New Year's Eve Bowl Games: Free College Football Picks

The amount of college games on the docket right now is a little overbearing, so I’m going to go ahead and write a little less about each game, include them into one article, and cut down on the amount of computer hours I’m putting in these last few weeks. Don’t worry, I’ll still have some of the bigger games of the College Bowl season with bigger write ups, so keep checking in. And don’t feel like I’m ripping you off, the same amount of research goes into these picks as any write up I do for any other pick I do all year. Here goes Thursday’s Bowl Games…

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Air Force Falcons @ Houston Cougars (-4.5): The quick little bit of information I gave on this game in my weekly newsletter still has me liking the Cougars to pull it out over the Falcons. I said the Falcons have been blistered by elite passing attacks, and in their last 3 losses they were out-gained through the air by 550+ yards. I think the Cougars have a chance to do that again.

Stanford Cardinal (+10) @ Oklahoma Sooners: I know the Pac 10 has been brutal, and I know the Cardinal are without their freshman sensation at running back, but something in me just trusts Jim Harbaugh to get his team prepared for this big game. Since he got on campus as the head man at Stanford, he’s had his kids ready to play better than expected, especially against elite opponents. They have a stellar rushing attack, and not just at running back, their offensive line is one of the best in the country. That should be worth a 10 point cover.

Navy Midshipmen (+7) @ Missouri Tigers: Navy has out-rushed their opponent in 8 of their last 10 games, winning 7 of those match-ups. Missouri was out-gained on the ground in 4 of their last 8 games, and in all four they recorded the loss. It’s not as good as gold, but with a touchdown to play with, I  sure like the consistent and disciplined Navy Midshipmen.

Iowa State Cyclones (+3) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers: Neither of these teams really impress me, but I know what I think about the Big 10, and while the Big 12 is a little overrated, they are much better than the Big 10. Both teams were terribly inconsistent, playing with Top 25 talent one week while getting beaten up other weeks – the one thing keeping me with Iowa is that Minnesota gives up lots of rushing yards, and Iowa State has shown the ability to win when they can run.

Tennessee Volunteers @ Virginia Tech Hokies (-4.5): The SEC really embarrassed the ACC toward the end of the year in some inter-conference match-ups, but I don’t see that happening here. Tennessee has gone through to stuff with some trouble within the program towards the end of the season, and while they played well in some games down the stretch, I think all that attention hurts them a bit against the Hokies. Va Tech won 4 straight to end the season, never giving up more than 13 points and out-scoring their opponents 132-35 in those games. Your can run on Tennessee, and the Vols don’t throw the ball real well – both those statistical advantages look to really favor the Hokies in this one.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA Pick

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Illinois Illini (+7) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA Pick: Once again, I love these late season games where 2-6 teams that have struggled but are still better than 5-4 teams finally get a chance to try and make things right. I’m a strong believer that when Illinois travels to Minnesota to play the Gophers, that’s exactly the type of game they’ll be playing.

Illinois has stunk this year, no doubt about it. But despite their stinking, they had lost 3 games by two touchdowns or less before beating the piss out of Michigan last week, 38-13. That was their second straight win against the spread, and probably the first game they played up to their talent level. They’ve certainly had a pretty tough schedule to start the season, about as tough as Big 10 opening schedules go – playing Missouri, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, a talented Indiana team, and Purdue – then Michigan. I’m not crazy about the Big 10, but aside from also playing Iowa, that’s about as tough a schedule as a Big 10 team can have.

Minnesota just got done beating Michigan State at home last week, and they’ve played pretty good football in Minnesota. They are 3-2, but a close loss to Wisconsin was a good showing, and it was a 21-21 tie with Cal until the Bears broke the tie with 7 minutes left in the 4th. So, they’re comfortable on the road.

The road team has won 3 of the last 4 meetings between these two schools. Despite the fact that Minnesota has covered in 4 of the last 5 and won outright in all four of those games, I’m taking Illinois to continue playing good football. They have the talent…

Week 9 College Football Picks Review: 2007

I had some tough luck on Saturday, and that shows with all that good karma I had coming my way on Sunday (12-2 overall in my NFL picks). Anyway, check out my review and maybe you’ll be convinced that my 2-3 should have very well been a 4-1.

LUCKY LESTER’S Free NCAA Football Review

Free Picks: Week 9

Minnesota Golden Gophers (+23.5) @ Michigan Wolverines: loss
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

With Michigan up 10-0 with a few minutes gone in the 2nd quarter, I liked my chances, basically up 33 points… Chances? Well, they were crushed when the Wolverines shutout the Gophers 34-0 after that, and I lost this 23.5 point game by half a damn point. Talk about bitter, that was like drinking pure cranberry juice after rinsing with Listerine. It was Carlos Brown’s 85 yard touchdown run with 9 minutes left in the 4th that killed me, well, aside from Minnesota going 45 minutes without a score, that hurt as well. Tough game to lose, even tougher to watch.

Florida International @ Arkansas Razorbacks (-39): win
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: Belmont)

“There are a lot of points on the board here, but the Razorbacks are going to be very close to shutting out FLINT, and I think McFadden, Jones, and company can put up 7 or 8 touchdowns. That will be enough in this one. ” Well, Flint put up 10, but as I imagined, the Razorbacks were ready to destroy Flint, rolling them by 48 and a much needed win for good Ole Lucky Lester.

Arizona Wildcats @ Washington Huskies (-3.5): loss
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: Belmont)

Talk about an absolutely brutal finish for Washington Husky backers such as myself. Since the opening day win over Syracuse (a game I picked) the Dogs have killed me one way or the other. This one I thought was well in hand, when I turned the channel up 41-26 half way through the 4th. Boy was I wrong. The Wildcats scored quick, then the Dog continued the collapse by fumbling on their own half of the field. The Cats punched that one in as well, and a two point conversion tied it. Still, the Huskies wasted another chance, and the Wildcats put together a touchdown drive to take the lead. 22 points in the 4th quarter – when will these Huskies learn? Better yet, when will I learn?

Baylor Bears @ Kansas State Wildcats (-24.5): win
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: WSEX)

“Kansas State is too good for the Baylor Bears. The Wildcats do all the little things right, and that’s the type of team that kills Baylor. It may seem like a lot of points, and I understand that, but the Bears haven’t lost a game by less than 20 points all season long. 5 losses, all by 20 points or more. I like the Wildcats in that situation.” Chalk it up as 6 losses and still by 20 points or more, one by 38 points, this one, a 51-13 stomping by the Kansas State Wildcats. And Baylor scored in the 4th, late. This was a good win.

Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Texas Longhorns (-20.5): loss
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: WSEX)

This was the only loss I think I picked wrong on Saturday. Yes, basically, I’m saying this is the only pick I would have changed after watching Saturday’s game. The Longhorns were in a lull, and the Cornhuskers played their best football of the season. I should have at least felt that possibly coming, and just left this game alone. The other games, I would pick the same if I had the chance to do it again.

Free College Football Picks Week 9 – 2007

I had a nice Week 8, saying that a 4-1 record was all but guaranteed. Weird, I finished 4-1. Well, this week, I’m not guaranteeing anything, but I feel pretty strongly about my plays, and you should to. Check out my free picks, and for a small fee, my elite picks are solid as well.

LUCKY LESTER’S Free NCAA Football Picks

Minnesota Golden Gophers (+23.5) @ Michigan Wolverines:
(Line: Thursday, 5:00am EST: Belmont)

This game hasn’t finished with a 23 point difference since 1996 – and I don’t think this is the year Michigan changes that. Minnesota is the best 1-win team in college football. I don’t think Minnesota will pull out another underdog game-buster, like App State did in Week 1, but let’s not go crazy and say the Gophers suck because they lost to a D1-AA team last week. Uh, so did the Wolverines, remember? Take the Gophers and all those points.

Florida International @ Arkansas Razorbacks (-39):
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: Belmont)

There are a lot of points on the board here, but the Razorbacks are going to be very close to shutting out FLINT, and I think McFadden, Jones, and company can put up 7 or 8 touchdowns. That will be enough in this one.

Arizona Wildcats @ Washington Huskies (-3.5):
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: Belmont)

The Huskies have struggled to find wins after their 2-0 start. In fact, wins have been downright impossible to find, despite some quality performances against some very good football teams. They’ve been tied or up at or after half time in each of their 5 losses, and those 5 losses haven’t come against shmucks. Aside from a loss to the undefeated in the Pac 10 Bruins, the Huskies haven’t lost to a team not ranked in the Top 25. In fact, each of those 4 losses have come to teams in the Top 10. That’s a dirty schedule. I think the Huskies will put two halves together against the Wildcats, and notch their 3rd win of the season. The toughest part of their season is over, this is where the wins start to come.

Baylor Bears @ Kansas State Wildcats (-24.5):
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: WSEX)

Kansas State is too good for the Baylor Bears. The Wildcats do all the little things right, and that’s the type of team that kills Baylor. It may seem like a lot of points, and I understand that, but the Bears haven’t lost a game by less than 20 points all season long. 5 losses, all by 20 points or more. I like the Wildcats in that situation.

Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Texas Longhorns (-20.5):
(Line: Thursday, 3:00pm EST: WSEX)

Nebraska isn’t stepping up and beating anyone any time soon. That whole program is in the dumps, and the kids no longer believe they can win. That’s not something that can help Cornhuskers chances against a very good Longhorn team. The Longhorns haven’t kicked any good teams around, but they’re used to smashing bad ball clubs. Remember, the Longhorns were ranked in the Top 5 earlier this season, and even without Limas Sweed, they have the talent to put 50 on the Huskers’ terrible defense. Take Texas here.