October 14, 2009

College Football Picks - Week 7

More on time this week, the Red River rivalry, Touchdown Jesus vs. the Spoiled Children, and the battle of the Techs highlight the schedule.

Cincinnati (-2.5) over SOUTH FLORIDA - USF's best two victories are over FSU and Syracuse. While the Noles used to be good, they're not what they used to be. The Bearcats roll in this game, continuing my projection that they will win the Big East again.

Pitt (-3) over RUTGERS - This spread is ridiculous. Rutgers is 4-1 with victories over Howard, FIU (by 8), Maryland, and Texas Southern. Meanwhile, Pitt has beaten L'ville, UConn, and Navy, and lost a close game to NC State. Until Rutgers can pass the ball against a legitimate opponent, they'll get crushed like they did against the Bearcats.

Oklahoma (+3.5) over TEXAS - The Horns are struggling to run the ball and struggling to beat lesser opponents. Check out their scores at halftime vs Wyoming and Colorado. Meanwhile, the Sooners have Bradford back and have lost to 2 very good teams.

NOTRE DAME (+10) over Usc - The best programs don't rebuild, they reload. But this year, USC is taking a little longer than normal to get back to form. Claussen and the Irish are good enough to keep this close, with a little help from Touchdown Jesus and the home crowd.

Virginia (-3.5) over MARYLAND - Virginia dominated a BCS conference opponent last week. Maryland was down 35-10 at the half. I'm not sure Wake is that much better than Indiana. Even Maryland's victory over Clemson wasn't particularly convincing, and losing to Rutgers... see my thoughts on Rutgers above.

Virginia Tech (-3) over GEORGIA TECH - The concern here is GT's defense. 44 pts to FSU with zero stops in the first half, ugliness vs Miami, a couple bad quarters against Clemson... I don't anticipate the option putting up 49 on the Hokies' D, so Derrick Morgan and the rest of the Wreck defense need to have the game of their lives to stay in the ACC Championship discussion. Otherwise Ryan Williams and Tyrod will run wild in Atlanta.

Stanford (+4.5) over ARIZONA - I still like the Cardinal even after a pounding by the Beavers.

Last week: 5-3
Season: 22-20

6 Responses:

gpb said...

Wow. An interesting turn of events. I didn't think Duke would trounce another ACC opponent ever. At least now we don't have that most recent honor. I think I'm more concerned about our defense though. Shootouts are only fun to watch if you win.

BSU (-8.5) Tulsa. I don't think Tulsa is any means good enough.

VT (-3) GT. I don't like being in shootouts. We can score but if we can't stop anyone, I'm going to have problems the rest of the season.

Navy (-7.5) SMU. Navy's played better against better competition.

Washington (+6.5) AZ St. Huskies aren't a joke anymore.

Arkansas (+24.5) Florida. Backs are putting points on the board. Even if Meyer gets a solid lead, I think he might sit Tebow.

Cal (-3.5) UCLA. Cal has been stuffed in the last two games and they aren't turning it over. Here's a chance for Best to come back after two bad weeks.

UVA (-3.5) Terps. I think the Hoos woke up. Unfortunate for Maryland.

Last Week: 4-3
Season: 14-24

Lets see if I can build on last weeks momentum.

Steve said...

Granted, RU's schedule has been "cake" thus far, but you're touting Pit's win over Louisville????

Rutgers will beat Louisville like a drum too.

Russell said...

Louisville at least plays in a BCS conference and is definitely better than Howard, Texas Southern, and probably FIU. I would even say they're probably better than Maryland.

L'ville's losses are to Kentucky, Utah, and Pitt (2 on the road). None of those are bad losses for a CUSA team.

To be clear, I'm not saying they're good, and the Louisville/Rutgers pillow-fight will probably be competitive.

Chuck said...

Uh, Russell? Hello? Anyone in there?

Did you do any research at all before making your picks and, I presume, laying your dollars down?

How is Pitt -3 at Rutgers a joke when RU has beaten Pitt 4 straight years and crushed them last year in the Ketchup Kastle, putting a 54spot on the Panthers?

OK, Pitt has played a clearly tougher sked this year and perhaps deserves to be a marginal fave over RU on the road but in the one game that could have really mattered for Pitt thus far, they laid a 4th quarter egg at NC State and blew it big time. That very same impressive NC State then proceeded to lose 2 in a row, including a 49-28 deomokition at home at the hands of... Duke? An Pitt couldn't beat 'em? So how good a road team in Pitt, really?

In their only other game that could remotely be considered tough, they squeaked by UConn at home on a last second FG. They are hardly dominating anyone and havebn't dominated Rutgers in like decade.

OK, Teel, Britt and Underwood are no longer in Piscataway but Tom Savage is doing a more than adequate job and has yet to throw a pick.

You simply can't say that Pitt should be bigger than a 3 point favorite and certainly not against a team that has their number in spades like Schiano abnd Rutgers. Pitt may very well win but they are more than likely to lose as they simply fold their tents when they see Scarlet. Big favorites? i don't think so.

Russell said...


It's good to know a decade is 5 years, because Pitt dominated Rutgers in 2004 and 2002 (and also won in 2003). Obviously neither Schiano nor Wannstedt had a lot to do with those games.

It's my belief that Rutgers is much, much worse than a couple years ago. This is supported by their destruction at the hands of the Bearcats, and even the manner of their win at MD. Rutgers' longest scoring drive against MD in the first 3.5 quarters was 30 yards, and Rutgers had 42 passing yards for the whole game.

I agree they'll improve with Savage at QB, but he's still a true freshman.

For Rutgers to be within a TD of any team even being considered for the top 25 is a big stretch.

Russell said...

Preemptively, that was not the blowout I forecasted, but my pregame assessment was still accurate. Rutgers still has almost no offense, and Pitt was clearly the better team.

The punt hitting the Pitt player and resulting in a TD for Rutgers was pure luck. Add in Pitt's 2 missed field goals, both quite makeable, and that's 13 points left on the board or given away by Pitt. And by the way, Pitt still covered. Most teams cover when given a special teams TD (essentially), a blocked punt, a fumble, and 2 missed FGs. Rutgers did not, because the spread was wrong.

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