College Bowl Games Picks, Predictions & Previews 02/01/2010

I didn’t ace Friday’s New Years’ games, going 2-3 with a couple losses in games I took the favorite (West Virginia and Oregon) but I look to fight back in Saturday’s lesser known bowl games. No highly ranked Top 10 match-ups here, oh no, the BCS takes a break from “blessing us” with their handy work, and we get to see unranked foes go at it, lower ranked teams try to beat up on unranked opponents, and probably some really good football. Don’t get it twisted, highly touted games rarely live up to the billing while these small bowl games often go big. Here’s some small write-ups for Saturday’s games.

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Northern Illinois Huskies (+7) @ South Florida Bulls (International Bowl): The Huskies won 4 of their last 6 to become bowl eligible, at one point winning 4 in a row before losing their final two games to end the season (both against bowling teams, Central Michigan and Ohio). South Florida lost 5 of their last 7 after a 5 game winning streak to open the season. They didn’t lose to bad teams by any means, but that doesn’t mean they played like a dream either. Rutgers spanked them 31-0, but they did beat West Virginia. This is a tougher game than people are giving credit, and the 7 points are something I expect to come in handy.

Connecticut Huskies @ South Carolina Gamecocks (-4.5) (AT&T Cotton Bowl): I really like the Huskies, have been pulling hard for them all season long, and will be rooting for them to win again here – but that doesn’t keep me from using my brain and seeing a very small chance of that happening. The Gamecocks are too tough defensively, and with all that time leading up to this game, I think the Ol’ Ball Coach will have a nice plan of attack on tap.

Mississippi Rebels (-3) @ Oklahoma State Cowboys ( Bowl): I haven’t been a big fan of Mississippi, and watching them play at times this season has been painful – but they turned the season around a bit and have looked semi-successful toward the end of the season. They have some great players, and a RB that can dominate a game. I think they take care of the Cowboys.

Arkansas Razorbacks @ East Carolina Pirates (+8) (AutoZone Liberty Bowl): East Carolina had a great season, and while they can lay eggs, so can the Razorbacks. Arkansas can play great and play like pee, and something tells me a 4 week wait to play the East Carolina Pirates won’t have them rolling with excitement. East Carolina won 6 of their last 7 including 4 in a row to end the season. I think they keep on that hot streak and stick with the Razorbacks.

Michigan State Spartans @ Texas Tech Red Raiders (-7) (Valero Alamo Bowl): I know there’s been some crazy ish going down amongst these two teams, and a lot of players are probably really grateful a game is just around the corner so they can play football and quit talking about off-the-field problems. But I actually think Michigan State’s problems greatly out-weigh Texas Tech’s dilemma, especially for just one game. Mike Leach’s firing will certainly effect the Red Raider team, but probably next season more than this one day. His staff knows what he wants to do, and they’ll do it. As for the Spartans, loosing a gaggle of important pieces for a suspension because of a fight probably puts them in an impossible spot. The Raiders have almost every single one of their players for this game- that’s important.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs Mississippi Rebels Football Pick

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Arkansas Razorbacks (+6.5) @ Mississippi Rebels: I have to be honest here, the Rebels just kind of gross me out. All pre-season all I heard about was how great Jevan Snead was going to be, he was highly ranked, touted as a Top NFL Prospect. So far the kid hasn’t completed 50% of his passes and Ryan freaking Mallet looks like a better pro prospect than him. The Razorbacks lost a close one to Georgia, then got blown out by Alabama, and took a tough three point loss to the Gators last week – but they have talent, and they can put up points on any defense in the Nation. Ole Miss has not impressed me, beating up on teams like Vanderbilt and UAB doesn’t make up for looking like absolute dump against South Carolina and Alabama in losses. The Razorbacks just have to fight that post-Florida hangover, and they’ll cover this easily. Arkansas has won 4 of the last 5 against Ole Miss, covering in each of those 5 contests. I’ll take them for 6 in a row…

College Football Free Picks Week 4 2009

Needless to say I’m not happy about my performance over the last couple weeks with my College football free picks. 5-5 is my best outing for Alf’s sake. That’s right, I’m resorting to Alf, of all freaking weird individual made up creatures, for my inspiration this week. Am I desperate? Yes, I might as well be asking the muppets for help. I’m not one to quit, that’s for sure, so this is my attempt to get back on top and produce a winner in Week 4. I’m taking eleven games here, four favorites and seven dogs – lets go get a winner!

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Mississippi Rebels (-3.5) @ South Carolina Gamecocks: Road favorite on Thursday Night is scary. I just think Mississippi is that much better than South Carolina. You never know what can happen on these Thursday games, but I think the history of these things, the upsets that have happened, have at least gotten the attention of good teams, and most are ready to rumble these days. The Rebels have yet to be tested this season, while South Carolina has gone toe to toe with some solid teams. Still, this line is too close, and Mississippi is better than the Gamecocks.

North Carolina Tar Heels @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-2.5):Georgia Tech saw what happens when you go backwards on stupid penalties. That kills this team, and I’m willing to bet they don’t go through that type of problem for the rest of the season. The Tar Heels are solid, but Tech is better. They can really run the ball – if they can just stop from going backwards, and I think they clear that up this week, they should win this game by a couple scores.

Indiana Hoosiers (+21) @ Michigan Wolverines: Michigan’s one win over Notre Dame makes them a 21 point favorite? That’s a little much for me. They are bigger, faster, and stronger than Indiana, no doubt, but the separation between these two teams isn’t three touchdowns, not in my opinion. The Irish aren’t that amazing and Indiana isn’t Eastern Michigan or Western Michigan. They may not be great but this is a big kickoff to conference schedule, and I think Indiana will have a few big plays that keeps them within three scores of the Wolverines.

Miami Hurricanes @ Virginia Tech Hokies (+2): The Hurricanes are very talented, and they’ve played well beyond what most people expected. I’ve taken them a few times early, and won because of it, but I’m going against them in this one. Va Tech is very tough at home, and I think these two teams are pretty similar. Hokies as an underdog at their own place seems like enough for them to play with a chip firmly planted on their shoulders. That should be enough to hand Miami their first loss. I almost always, always, bet on the lower ranked favored team, but nothing is always right, and I think this one goes the other way.

TCU Horned Frogs @ Clemson Tigers (-2.5): The Tigers are very tough in the trenches, NFL talent all over the board, I think they take down the 14th ranked Horned Frogs is what would supposedly be an upset. However, as you can tell, Vegas doesn’t think it will be much of an upset.

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Arkansas Razorbacks (+17) @ Alabama Crimson Tide: Arkansas has a lot of talent. Alabama can really run the ball, and they play tough defense, but the Tide will allow a couple big plays to Mallet and company, and probably end up winning this game 24-13 or something like that. I just smell a cover.

Akron Zips (+16) @ Central Michigan Chippewas: This game is actually a nice little rivalry between a couple solid small college programs. The Zips have had a tough start to the year, playing tough competition right out of the gate, and Central has a nice win and has played well overall. I still think these two teams always play it close, and I like that to stay the same this weekend.

Kentucky Wildcats @ Florida Gators (-21.5): I know, the flu is going around Florida’s squad, and things are looking slowed down a bit after Tennessee played them close, but Kentucky isn’t going to run clock, and Tim Tebow doesn’t have sickness, he’s made of antibiotics. I think Florida wins by four scores, proving a point this week after a mediocre performance against the Vols.

Boise State Broncos @ Bowling Green Falcons (+17): I think Bowling Green comes to play in this one, and keeps it close. They play the Broncos tough defensively, and at home for the first time I think they’ll be ready.

Iowa Hawkeyes (+10) @ Penn State Nittany Lions: Iowa has taken out the Nittany Lions 6 of the last 7 meetings, that’s gone past coincidence in my book, so I have to go against my gut and hopes and heart and take Iowa. I think Penn State will be pretty focused on redemption for last year’s late season loss – that will probably get in their way a bit, and Iowa will keep it close. I like the Lions to pull it off, but 10 points might just be enough.

Washington Huskies (+7) @ Stanford Cardinal: I think Stanford is solid, and UW is coming off a huge emotional win at home against the USC Trojans. They can’t get any higher. So obviously they are vulnerable here. However, I still think this line is good value and I can’t pass it up. Jake Locker is too good, too much of a freak to just let his team get smashed after a big win. I have to believe he keeps the Huskies close.

Week 4 College Football Picks Review: 2007

Can I post yet another winning handful of picks in Week 4? Another week, another winner. Sure, I was only 3-2, but 60% isn’t bad, now is it? Yes, that’s a winning number, and if you put up the cash, you might just find that 60% makes you money. This is the path on took to 3 wins and two losses.

LUCKY LESTER’S Free NCAA Football Picks

Florida Gators (-23) @ Mississippi Rebels: (loss)
Florida barely pulled this one out, and a 23 point cover was completely out of the question by the time this one got through the first few minutes. Overall, Ole Miss played well, but even in their bad days, the Gators look unbeatable. I get a loss.

Duke Blue Devils @ Navy Midshipmen (-12): (loss)
Duke covered again, making me rethink my use of my old gimmie pick. Duke always use to be a crappy loser that I could rely on to give me a much needed win. Not this week, that’s for sure.

Kentucky Wildcats (+7) @ Arkansas Razorbacks: (win)
“The truth of the matter is, I think Andre’ Woodson is special, like Darren McFadden special, except the difference here is, Woodson is a quarterback, and in College Football, I’ll take a talented team with a special QB over a talented squad with a top notch RB. I think Kentucky has more balance, and therefore will win this game. You’ve got to like the points, too.” (me) Arkansas looked good, but in the end, their run-heavy attack just wasn’t enough. When Dick needed to come out and get his offense going, the Razorbacks struggled. On the other hand, when the Wildcats needed a big play, Woodson did his damage.

Michigan State Spartans (-12) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish: (win)
This one didn’t start off good for me, and I was thinking, DAMN! But then the real Fighting Irish stood right up and the Michigan State Spartans of all teams just straight took it to the Irish. Notre Dame is bad, folks, and I don’t know if its getting much better any time soon.

Arizona Wildcats @ California Golden Bears (-16): (win)
Once again, the Bears just barely pulled out a cover in this one. I’m tired of watching Cal come out and stomp teams and think, “Ha, I’ve got this one in the bag,” before allowing lesser teams right back in the game to where I think “Ha, freaking Cal, at it again,” and then either barely covering to give me some heart relief, or just blowing the spread all together and making me want to write bad things about them all week long.

Free College Football Picks Week 4 – 2007

Can I post yet another winning handful of picks in Week 4? Ah, that is the question. I will go in with these 5 squads, and go headfirst, with the confidence paralleling the brave 300. Hopefully I don’t hit the skids in the end like those guys in the movie – on the other hand, if I can get some abs like that, I’ll give up the last few years of my life and spend the next 20 years lifting up my shirt instead of using dumb pickup lines. Either way, here’s my Free Picks for Week 4.

LUCKY LESTER’S Free NCAA Football Picks

Florida Gators (-23) @ Mississippi Rebels: 9/22/07 12:30pm EST
I’d be hard pressed to find a team in the Nation as good as the Gators. Florida can do it defensively and with the ball, making opposing teams look foolish every time out. The Rebels are solid, but they don’t have the players to match up with the Gators. I understand that this is a tough game for Florida, as they just knocked of Tennessee last week, but I have a feeling that Tim Tebow leads too much by example for the Gators to struggle in this one. That kid loves to compete, and beat the piss out of you he will.

Duke Blue Devils @ Navy Midshipmen (-12): 9/22/07 1:00pm EST
Duke ended their 22 game losing streak last week. It made me sad. What better way to celebrate one of the Nation’s longest losing streaks than by losing to a military team? That’s what I’m saying. I’m also saying that Navy isn’t as bad as a 1-2 record would insist. They’ve played solid football this season, and I expect them to route the Blue Devils in this one.

Kentucky Wildcats (+7) @ Arkansas Razorbacks: 9/22/07 6:00pm EST
Believe it or not, Kentucky has won 2 of the last 3 games between these two clubs. Last time these teams played, in 2003, the Razorbacks won 71-63. To be honest, I really think the world of both these clubs, and both will get their character tested because each squad played a huge game last week. Kentucky beat Louisville and Arkansas lost to Alabama by a field goal. The truth of the matter is, I think Andre’ Woodson is special, like Darren McFadden special, except the difference here is, Woodson is a quarterback, and in College Football, I’ll take a talented team with a special QB over a talented squad with a top notch RB. I think Kentucky has more balance, and therefore will win this game. You’ve got to like the points, too.

Michigan State Spartans (+12) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 9/22/07 3:30pm EST
I don’t like either of these teams, but what has Notre Dame showed to be anything more than a 25 point dog? Sure, they are Notre Dame, but this week they lost their opening day starting quarterback to a transfer. How did he break the news to Charlie Weis and the staff? He didn’t make the bus trip to Michigan. C’mon. The Irish are falling hard, to the point where a couple wins seems unlikely. Anyone… Is Temple or Duke scheduled? I didn’t like the Spartans to start the season, but the new coaching staff has proven to be impressive, so I’ll easily take them here.

Arizona Wildcats @ California Golden Bears (-16): 9/22/07 6:00pm EST
I am one of the guys that believes the Bears are WAY better than they’ve been playing. However, that shouldn’t matter too much this week, as even at their steady pace, they are 3 scores better than the Wildcats. I understand that Arizona has been known to surprise from time to time, but a 1-2 Wildcat team that lost to BYU by 13 and New Mexico, shouldn’t come even close the Bears. This could be the breakout game the Bears offense has been waiting for.