Central Michigan Chippewas VS Troy Tojans: GMAC Bowl Pick

The lesser known of the final two college football games of the season, but this one might very well be the more exciting game of the two. Both of these teams have shown the ability to fill it up on the scoreboard. And a great deal of that offensive success comes from their two quarterbacks.

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Dan LeFevour, the more know of the two, has college football’s all time passing/rushing/receiving touchdown mark, totaling 147 scores in his 4 years starting at Central Michigan. The dual threat has been one of the best college football players in the game during his 4 seasons under center, and capped off his career with a 71.2% completion percentage, 27 passing touchdowns and 14 rushing scores this season while leading the Chippewas in rushing as well; another great year for the 11-2 Chipps.

But many say Troy’s Levi Brown has the bigger upside of the two, at least as far as the NFL is concerned. He passed for 3,868 yards this season (800+ more than LeFevour) with 22 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions. Brown has a very strong arm, and the Trojans averaged just .1 points per game less than the Chipps’ high powered offense. Both these teams can score the football.

As far as the gambling world is concerned, both these teams were book beaters, going 17-7 combined against the spread. The Trojans were 8-4 ATS while the Chippewas were 9-3. Troy averaged 33.1 points and 478.5 yards per game, 16th and 3rd in the Nation. Central Michigan finished 33rd with 416.9 yards per game, and one slot ahead of Troy in scoring with 33.2 points per contest.

Troy is just 1-3 all time in bowl games, beating Rice in the 2006 New Orleans Bowl. The Chipps are just 1-4 in post-season bowl play, also winning in 2006, against Middle Tennessee State in the Motor City Bowl. This is the first time these two teams have played.

And now for the reason why I’m taking Troy. I know I should have learned by now that betting against Superman Dan LeFevour isn’t the best bet around, but I like the Trojans in this one. They have really played good football over the last 8 games, losing only to Arkansas and beating up on just about every team in their path. Central Michigan will be their best win of the season, if they can pull the upset, and I think they will. LeFevour hasn’t performed his best in Bowl games, and it’s possible that might follow him into his final one. The Trojans boast a better passing attack than CMU has seen all season long, and I think that air attack will get the best of their secondary.

Central Michigan Chippewas VS Troy Trojans (+3)

Kentucky Wildcats vs Vanderbilt Commodores NCAAF Pick

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Kentucky Wildcats @ Vanderbilt Commodores (+3) NCAAF Pick: Oh, I love these games so much. You have a 2-8 team going up against a 5-4 team and they’re so close I’m going to go ahead and call them equal. Because of their records, and public perception of what those records mean, the Commodores are getting three points at their own place, even better! That being said, this spread isn’t big enough for people to stay away from a bad Kentucky team, nope, they are all over them thus far, 65% of the bets, just as I expected. I think Vegas realizes what’s going on here, the line hasn’t moved an inch. How can a 2-8 be equal to a 5-4 – let me dig in.

Well, for starters, both are 4-5 ATS, so they’re the same there. Second, just look at the brutality of Vandy’s schedule thus far, it’s a Quentin Tarantino film it’s so gory. Can you find an easy opponent they didn’t beat? Rice, got ’em, Western Carolina, got ’em! Maybe, just maybe Mississippi State and Army, so there’s a couple mediocre losses, but Vandy played tough in both those games. That’s right, as far as college football goes, the rest of their opponents have been beast-like. We’re talking Florida, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and LSU – lucky Vandy. So they’ve got 6 of their 8 losses against 6 teams that spent time in the Top 25 at some point this season – 4 have been in the Top 5.

Kentucky has 4 wins against Eastern Kentucky, Louisiana Monroe, Louisville, and Miami-Ohio – those teams are all terrible. There one decent win was against Auburn, and they’ve won 3 of their last 4, so they have some swag and mo going right now. But Vandy has played tough too. Over the last 3 they’ve played well above what people expected. The lost to SC by 4, were leading at half against Georgia Tech, and down just 1 going into the 4th quarter, and against Florida they were down just 13-3 midway through the 3rd quarter – their defense has had some solid performances lately.

That goes a long way with me, playing tough against good teams > beating up on bad teams.

Arizona Wildcats vs California Golden Bears Free Pick

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Arizona Wildcats (pk) @ California Golden Bears Free Pick: This game started where it should have been, Arizona favored at a Cal team that just isn’t nearly as good as the Cats – then it moved all the way to California being favored by 2 at home. Now this spread shouldn’t mean much in reality, I mean, 2 points, rarely do 2 points do anything at all – but it’s still ridiculous to me. I got them in the middle, at a pick-em. What has Cal shown against any worth-while team in the Nation, that makes them deserving of being favored against an Arizona team with just 1 Pac-10 loss? The answer, unquestionably, absolutely nothing.

The Bears have beaten college powerhouses like, Arizona State (by two), Washington State (doesn’t count), UCLA (worst record in the Pac 10), Minnesota (not even good in a bad Big 10), Eastern Washington (not even 1A), and Maryland (hiding in their shell all season long). Somehow, that got them ranked at some point. Then they were killed, take that back, embarrassed to the point of giving up against Oregon and USC. But then they had a stacked little schedule of mediocrity, and just like that they were ranked again. Then of course Oregon State made them look terrible again, because, well Oregon State is twice as good as Cal, and I’m guessing that’s the last time the Bears get ranked this season.

Then you have Arizona, beating Central Michigan (decent), losing by 10 to Iowa (9-1 on the season), beating Oregon State, beating Stanford, and running easily through UCLA and WSU of course. This Arizona team has beaten good teams, they’ve dominated bad teams, they are easily the better team here, but Cal has that name, and Arizona isn’t there yet.

Take full advantage, they may be 1-2 on the road, but Arizona is an easy pick here.

Washington Huskies vs Oregon State Beavers Prediction

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Washington Huskies @ Oregon State Beavers (-11) Prediction: I got this game at 11, it has moved to 12, but the points shouldn’t matter here. Oregon brought it to the Dogs, smacking them around in fine 43-19 fashion (and it wasn’t that close) and I expect the Beavers to do something similar to that. Teams that fully commit to running the ball against UW just embarrass the Dawgs. I basically think the Beavers, in their home stadium, are the Huskies worst nightmare.

Jake Locker may get all the hype, and he may be the more elite pro prospect, but Sean Canfield has impressed me more this season. Jake is a physical freak, one of the more impressive athletes I’ve seen play the QB position, but Sean is super accurate, completing 70% of this passes on the season. He has a very calm pocket presence and hangs in to make the big throw. He doesn’t make mistakes, mainly because he’s so accurate, and is basically the ideal quarterback to lead a dominating running attack like OSU has. But I don’t even know if Canfield will matter much in this game – I truly think the Beavers could hand the ball off every single play and win by two touchdowns.

The Huskies have lost 5 of their last 6 games after beating USC. The Beavers have won 4 of their last 5 after losing by five to Arizona. The Beavers’ only losses have come against USC, Cincinnati (both in close games), and Arizona. But it’s not about who they’ve played, but how these two match-up. Like Oregon, the Beavers are a nearly impossible match-up for the Huskies.

Michigan Wolverines vs Wisconsin Badgers Football Pick

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Michigan Wolverines (+10) @ Wisconsin Badgers Football Pick: When you look at their most recent against a common opponent (Purdue), this game looks very scary. The Wolverines just barely lost to Purdue after falling apart in the second half, 36-38, while the Badgers smoked the Boilermakers 37-0. So all by itself, that looks scary. Then if you look at what Wisconsin has done lately, killing purdue after playing tough against Iowa, and then beating Indiana – they look even better. And then you have to look at Michigan lately, try 3 straight losses, including a 12-38 beatdown by Illinois, of all teams, and this game looks like a sure Wisconsin win. But wait, there’s more reasons to go against my pick – the Wolverines are 0-3 on the road this year. What am I doing here?

I’m looking at the bigger picture, that’s what. The Wolverines and Badgers are very equal teams. That’s right, look at it all and take it in. Both lost a close game to Iowa (besides Northwestern, who hasn’t lost a close game to Iowa?) – both got beat up by one of the best teams in the Big 10 (Wisconsin 13-31 vs Ohio State, Michigan 10-35 vs Penn State) – both played close with Michigan State (Wisconsin winning by a score, Michigan losing in overtime), both beat Indiana by 3, both have beaten up on a lesser team or two, and both have had their poor performances (Wisconsin struggled but won against Northern Illinois and Fresno State – Michigan got killed by Illinois) – I’m telling you, these teams are more equal than their records insist. Better yet, they’re more equal than a 10 point spread.

Michigan has struggled over the last 3 games, no doubt, but it’s hard for me to ignore their start to the season where they either won or played close to every team they went up against. I expect them to get back to respectability against an overrated Wisconsin team.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket vs Duke Blue Devils Pick

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-10) @ Duke Blue Devils Pick: Listen Duke has played admirably so far this season, and Georgia Tech has stumbled (not lost, but had trouble with) against teams that can put the ball in the air with success (see Miami, Wake Forrest, Florida State, and Miami). But can your really put Duke in that category of teams? I can’t.

I know the Blue Devils are one of the top teams in the ACC (record-wise), but who have they beaten? Army in Week 2, North Carolina Central, NC State, Maryland, and Virginia. None of those teams are holding little yellow jacket jock straps.

The Jackets have won 7 straight games, covering the spread in 6 of the last 7. Aside from the Miami game, they’ve outrushed every single opponent they’ve played. Duke has lost the rushing attack battle in 9 of their last 10 games – including giving up nearly 200 yards rushing to Carolina, a team Georgia Tech out-rushed by 300 yards.

Against common opponents (though means little, but in this case it helps my argument so I’m going to share it as the grain of salt it is) Tech has looked like the much better team. GT beat Virginia 34-9 in a game that was never close, Duke battle the Cavaliers and won by 11. GT beat North Carolina 24-7, Duke lost to their Tar Heeled rivals 19-6. GT beat Virginia Tech, Duke lost by 12.

The only red flag is that the Yellow Jackets haven’t played awesome defensively against solid ACC passers. I just can’t see that one aspect adding up to a cover here. I’ll take Georgia Tech.

East Carolina Pirates vs Memphis Tigers Free NCAA Pick

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East Carolina Pirates (-4) @ Memphis Tigers Pick: This is a Tuesday game, and I’m sure standard mid-week rates apply, the home dog usually seems like a nice bet in that case. But I don’t see it here. East Carolina has downed Memphis three straight seasons, and covered seven straight. While the home team has won 7 of the last 10 in this series, and East Carolina is 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games on the road, I just don’t see any value in a Memphis team that, quite frankly, hasn’t looked worth a bet yet this year. Against North Carolina and West Virginia (two solid teams, both spending time in the Top 25 this year) the Pirates were within a score late in the 4th quarter. They’ve been in every game they have played. Memphis is more of a question mark every time out. They’ve looked good twice, mediocre once, and kicked around the rest of the times. Against like opponents, the Tigers are 0-2 while the Pirates 2-0. That doesn’t always matter too much, but with all the other things to like about ECU, that just helps the decision come easier. Good luck!

Boise State Broncos vs Tulsa Golden Hurricane Free Pick

This week there’s a great Wednesday match-up in College Football. 5th Ranked Boise State plays a talented and fast Tulsa team looking to deliver a crushing upset to the Broncos. As many have seen, anything can happen mid-week in NCAA Football and this is my free pick.

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Boise State Broncos @ Tulsa Golden Hurricane (+9): I like the Golden Hurricane to put up enough of a fight to keep this one close. Each of the last two meetings between these two programs have been close games. While Boise has won both, Tulsa has covered easily. Both defenses have a lot of speed and come second to their own offenses when people talk about these teams. It’s a Wednesday Night game, which makes me think it will be close. Tulsa can put up points, and they’ve done so in every single game besides their blowout at the hands of Oklahoma. I’m not sure they were ready for that game, but they will be for this one. Tulsa is 12-2 at home over the last couple seasons, and they always play well on their home turf. Both offenses are relatively mistake free, and I think that benefits the big home dog in this one. The Broncos haven’t really been tested yet this year, as even in their closest contest (an 11 point win over Oregon), they were in control all game long. Anything can happen mid-week on the road, and I expect this one to be a lot closer than Boise fans are expecting. That being what it is, I’ll take the home team and the points.

NCAA Football Free Picks: Bowl Season 1

Alright folks, I was going to try and break the bowl season into three different sections, and I was going to do a beautiful job doing it too. Then I decided to just go ahead and whip one hugemagnormous article with every single one of the 34 bowl games. Yikes. 34 bowl games? Yes sir, that’s a lot of football leading up to the National Championship – and that, well – that was going to be even better. But now, instead of that, I’m going to do 2 parts. The games before Christmas and the games after Christmas. It’s festive – go with it. I have to say it now though, I hate bowls and think an 8-16 team playoff with some non-championship bowl games is the way to make this thing work. 20 bowls and then a 16 team playoff with an actual champion at the end. That would make 35 games. On one, on one… Ready… break! Alright that’s all you get from me, now on to these blasted bowl games after every single team has basically had a month off to prepare for one single game. And to the winners go the spoils!!!


Navy Midshipmen (+3) @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The Deacons are definitely the favorite here. With fans and in the name game as well. But I think the Midshipmen would be in an even better bowl game had their senior quarterback, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, stayed healthy this season. Unfortunately for the Deacons, the leader of the Midshipmen is back in action, and since he left Navy has built a powerful defense to help supplement their powerful rushing attack. I know it’s tough to beat a team twice in a season, and that’s what Navy will have to do against Wake Forest, but I think it happens. Kaipo-Noa and his Navy teammates have lost two straight bowl games, and both were as close as they get. This is a team with strong will and great discipline – I don’t see them losing three straight bowl games.

Fresno State Bulldogs @ Colorado State Rams (+3): I have to go with Colorado State because there’s more excitement here. Talent? The Bulldogs do a peel-out runaway with that one, but that’s not what football and bowl games are all about. Neither team has been all that impressive, but it was the Bulldogs that were supposed to be great. They didn’t really beat anybody special, and always seemed to be in tight games against lesser opponents. The Rams will smack you in the mouth and they will be excited to be back in a bowl after missing the post season in each of the past two seasons. The Rams will get a shot at their first bowl win since 2001. But the Bulldogs are 4-1 in their last 5 bowl games under head coach Pat Hill, and while that might be something to worry about, I haven’t seen much trust or team play from the Bulldogs this season – so I’ll go against them here.

Memphis Tigers @ South Florida Bulls (-12): I actually kind of like that South Florida has lost 5 of their last 7 games after starting the season 5-0 and ranked 10th in the Nation. They’ve had an extremely disappointing season, especially with all the talent they got back. Memphis hasn’t lost many games by double digits this season, just twice, Mississippi to start the season and East Carolina in mid-October. Still, I like the Bulls to figure it out between losing a bunch of games and reflecting on their season. They have the talent to win this game by 4 touchdowns. I expect bigger things out of this South Florida team next season, and I have a feeling that they play like they were supposed to and handle Memphis in a game that will take place just 30 miles away from home for them. Home teams do well in bowl games, and this is about as close to home as the Bulls can get.

BYU Cougars @ Arizona Wildcats (-3): Both these offenses are pretty solid, but Arizona’s defense is better. Not consistent, but better. I think Arizona has as much potential as any other team in the Pac-10. They have tons of talent and athletes that can torment the Cougars. Also, this is the first bowl game these Wildcat players have been to in their careers. BYU has been to the Las Vegas Bowl 3 straight years, this is their 4th. There has to be something there. I like Arizona’s team more. BYU hasn’t beaten anybody that I would consider good. I know Arizona plays in the Pac 10, which isn’t good by any means, but this team is talented, much better than their 7-5 record insists. And BYU, they aren’t as good as 10-2 sounds. With more excitement and a little more to prove, I think Arizona takes this game and covers in Vegas.


Troy Trojans (-4) @ Southern Mississippi: Troy is a very good football team. They’ve taken one game on the chin pretty tough, a game against Oklahoma State a year after Troy upset the Cowboys. OK State doubled the Trojans up. Besides that, the Trojans have played pretty well in 3 other losses. They allowed a ton of points in the final quarter in a game they were way up on LSU and lost by 9. They lost by 18 to Ohio State, but that game was closer than the final score says. And they also lost by 1 to Louisiana-Monroe. The Trojans are very well coached, have a very tough-nosed run defense, and don’t make many mistakes on offense. Southern Miss’s Larry Fedora is a solid coach, but in his first year at the helm for Southern Miss, he might just have a tough time preparing for a month for one game. I like the Trojans better and they’ve done this before. They’ll be ready.


Boise State Broncos @ TCU Horned Frogs (-2.5): A lot goes into an undefeated season, and the Boise State Broncos have definitely done well this year. However, I think TCU is easily the toughest team Boise will have played this season, and that’s why this should be a great game. TCU is a scary defensive team and Boise State has a very tricky and well thought out offense. They’ve been good in Bowl games, no doubt about that, but I really think they’ve met their match with the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU’s defense is just too good. The Broncos will find running basically impossible, making them one dimensional against a defense that can really make some plays. TCU has two losses, to undefeated Utah on a game winning touchdown with 47 seconds left in the game and against Oklahoma. Give me the Horned Frogs in California.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (pk): The Irish haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all season long. They are, and have been, one of the biggest disappointments in college football. Now they get to go to Hawaii, which is cool, but it also means they are playing the Rainbow Warriors. Not only do I think Hawaii is better than Notre Dame, but they get to play at home. They are used to the environment that will definitely be tough on the Fighting Irish. Well, not tough, but tough on their football play. I expect the Warriors to do even more damage to the Notre Dame name.

NCAA DirecTV ESPN GamePlan: Week 13

Here are my picks from DirecTV’s college football schedule on Saturday, November 22, 2008. 

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Louisville Cardinals (+7): The Cardinals have lost 3 straight games, including a disturbing loss to the Syracuse Orange. But the played well most recently against Cincinnati, and this game is at home where they have played solid football historically. But really, why I’m taking the Cardinals, is because this is the Big East and I don’t think the Cards have a chance. That’s right. Since this is the Big East, you always go exactly opposite of what you expect to happen. Nothing would surprise me in this game. 

Army (+19) @ Rugters: Army has played better of late and though Rutgers has reeled off 4 straight wins against respectable competition (except Syracuse), I expect this game to be close. Army has played solid defense down the stretch, and come close to some solid teams, losing by just 3 at Buffalo and losing by 9 to Air Force. I’ll take the Knights. 

North Carolina State @ North Carolina (-10.5): The Tar Heels are very good at home, and the Wolfpack isn’t good on the road. I know this is an instate game, but I don’t see it being close. I’ll take the Heels. 

Clemson @ Virginia (+3): Clemson is still getting their preseason Top 10 lines and Virginia isn’t getting any respect for their turnaround. I know they’ve lost each of their last two games, but I have a feeling the Cavs come back and beat a Clemson team that has disappointed all season long. 

Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (-3): It’s true, the Commodores usually lose at home to good conference teams, but Tennessee isn’t that anymore. With the Vols having gained Bowl eligibility last week, I think they’ll play with a renewed sense of confidence. They got over the hump and don’t have that one thing to worry about anymore. Vandy should stomp the Vols. 

Florida Atlantic @ Arkansas State (-4): Arkansas State runs an efficient offense without many mistakes. For that, I like them over Florida Atlantic. The Indians have lost three straight while FAU has won 4 straight, but this is the game that turns the streak around. 

Stanford @ California (-9): Cal usually isn’t good toward the end of the season, but I can’t imagine them playing poorly at home against the Cardinal. They’ve lost two straight, but @ USC and @ Oregon State aren’t really games they should have won anyway, and both were closer than the final score. I expect the Bears to continue their undefeated home play, while the Cardinal continue to struggle on the road. 

Boston College @ Wake Forest (-2): I have to follow my rule here, take any unranked team favored over a ranked opponent. This is borderline because BC is ranked 25th, but the Demon Deacons have played really well at home (aside from a loss to Navy) and should right the Boston College ship. Ha. That’s right, the Eagles have been playing above themselves the last few weeks – that won’t continue at Wake. 

Louisiana Tech (-6) @ New Mexico State: Louisiana Tech is just that much better than New Mexico State… The Aggies haven’t been good at home, and L-Tech hasn’t been terrible on the road. This is the only play here. 

Idaho (+23.5) @ Hawaii: I hate betting on Idaho, but they are the play that makes sense here. This isn’t June Jones’ Hawaii team here, these Rainbow Warriors haven’t won a single game by 20 points or more. That’s an auto play on the Vandals in this one – as bad as they are.