Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday's football picks (and other stuff)

Last week I was 9-5-1. So far for the year I'm 32-23-2. Let's keep it going!

Michigan State 4 over ILLINOIS. PICK: SPARTANS. Illinois has looked horrible lately. MSU meanwhile should have gained a lot of confidence with last week's win, and they have a solid coach in Mark D'Antonio to keep them focused.

VIRGINIA TECH 13.5 over Boston College. PICK: HOKIES. Va Tech is tough at home. And look for a young BC team to have a bit of a letdown after a big win over the Seminoles at home last week.

VIRGINIA 7 over Indiana. PICK: HOOSIERS. I still think this IU team has potential, and they still have a lot to play for (for example, to become bowl-eligible). And this remains a Cavalier bunch that lost to William and Mary.

MINNESOTA 3.5 over Purdue. PICK: GOLDEN GOPHERS. Purdue's defense can't stop anybody; and the Boilers have been a bad road team as well.

PITTSBURGH 7 over UConn. PICK: PANTHERS. Despite some injuries, the Panthers have too much talent.

Alabama 5 over MISSISSIPPI. PICK: CRIMSON TIDE. Because that defense is just too tough. And Nick Saban's team over the last year or two has been good in these SEC games vs teams they should beat.

MISSISSIPPI STATE 1.5 over Houston. PICK: COUGARS. I know--how can you pick a team that just lost to UTEP. But--this is also still a team that's beaten Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, and can really move the ball offensively. They had a horrible letdown last week. I'm guessing they'll be a lot more focused this week.

OREGON STATE pick'em vs Stanford. PICK: CARDINAL. Stanford has Jim Harbaugh, who's given them toughness; and an excellent back in Toby Gearhart.

TENNESSEE 1.5 over Georgia. PICK: BULLDOGS. Georgia probably should have beaten LSU last week. Meanwhile, this is a Tennessee team that's lost--at home--to both UCLA and Auburn. Look for them to lose at home again.

TEXAS TECH 16 over Kansas State. PICK: RED RAIDERS. That Tech offense is getting it going.

TEXAS 32.5 over Colorado. PICK: LONGHORNS. That's a lot of points. But consider this: the Buffaloes earlier this year gave up over 50 Toledo.

FLORIDA STATE 3 over Georgia Tech. PICK: YELLOW JACKETS. This is an FSU team that has been horribly inconsistent. But I sense we have here a Georgia Tech team that's coming on--in the last two weeks they've beaten North Carolina and Mississippi State, and looked good doing it.

OHIO STATE 16 over Wisconsin. PICK: BADGERS. Hmmm. 16 points? Against an unbeaten Wisconsin team that has momentum and just got done winning at Minnesota? That's just too many points against what I see as still a bit of an inconsistent Ohio State offense.

Oregon 3.5 over UCLA. PICK: BRUINS (upset special). This is a UCLA team that's shown itself capable of playing well, both at home and in tough environments (see their win over Tennessee). Now they're at home, and I suspect the Ducks might overlook them a bit.

Auburn 2.5 over ARKANSAS. PICK: TIGERS. Auburn is a hot team, probably feeding on being overlooked by the national media despite being undefeated. They can score. Arkansas meanwhile has a hard time stopping people, and makes too many mistakes.

OKLAHOMA 25.5 over Baylor. PICK: BEARS. Not to win; but to keep it closer than 25. It still seems questionable as to whether Bradford will play...even if he does, he could easily be rusty...and Baylor's not a bad team.

Navy 12 over RICE. PICK: OWLS. Again, not to win, but to keep it close. One gets the sense that Navy isn't quite hitting on all cylinders yet, especially with its option offense. And Rice can score.

TCU 10 over AIR FORCE. PICK: HORNED FROGS. Look for that TCU defense to keep swarming; and I suspect the Frogs' offense will get going, too, particularly its running game against the undersized Falcons D.

Florida 7.5 over LSU. PICK: TIGERS (upset special). You just have a feeling. LSU is at home in a big game; the Bayou will be rocking. They have a history of big upsets there. Tebow is questionable; even if he plays, will he make it through the entire game? The Tigers just beat Georgia on the road; one gets the sense they're coming on. It all points to another crazy, close game in Cajun country.

IOWA 8 over Michigan. PICK: WOLVERINES. Again, not necessarily to win. But I suspect Rich Rod's been tinkering with the Michigan running game, to make it better; and Brandon Minor is much healthier this week for the Wolverines. That will help. Tate Forcier can make plays. Iowa's offense is less-than-dynamic. The Iowa defense will likely help secure a Hawkeye win, in the end. But in a very close game.

I was 7-7 last week; I'm 34-27-1 for the year so far. Let's keep it going...

Minnesota 10 over St. Louis. PICK: VIKINGS. It's just hard to see the Rams, with their QB injury issues, with their inability to move the ball consistently, being able to hang with the Vikes.

Dallas 8.5 over KANSAS CITY. PICK: CHIEFS. Not to win; but to keep this one close. And with Tony Romo struggling and the dymanic Felix Jones out, it's frankly hard to see the Cowboys blowing anybody out.

CAROLINA 3.5 over Washington. PICK: PANTHERS. Carolina's just had a bye week, to get healthy and re-tool; meanwhile, the struggling Redskins barely beat the woeful home.

PHILADELPHIA 14.5 over Tampa Bay. PICK: EAGLES. Donovan McNabb is back. So is Tampa's rookie QB Josh Johnson, which is not good news for the Bucs.

NY GIANTS 15.5 over Oakland. PICK: GIANTS. I don't care if it's Eli Manning starting or David Carr for the Giants; the Raiders have one of the more anemic offenses we've seen in some time. Look for the Giants to hold them, easily, to under 10 points.

BUFFALO 6 over Cleveland. PICK: BILLS. Cleveland is not a good road team; the Bills should be able to get well again at home.

BALTIMEORE 8.5 over Cincinnati. PICK: RAVENS. It's a tough pick; Cincy is an improving team. But...that was a mighty struggle the Bengals had last week on the road in Cleveland, and those kind of mistakes will kill you in Baltimore.

Pittsburgh 10.5 over DETROIT. PICK: STEELERS. The Lions haven't shown that they can really hang with a good team yet; as the Steelers showed last Sunday night, they're still a good team.

SAN FRANCISCO 2.5 over Atlanta. PICK: 49ERS. Because they're at home, and I really like that defense.

New England 3 over DENVER. PICK: PATRIOTS. You get the sense that New England is starting to get its groove back; and it's hard to pick Kyle Orton over Tom Brady.

ARIZONA 5.5 over Houston. PICK: CARDINALS. Both teams have defensive issues; look for the Cardinals to outscore 'em.

SEATTLE pick'em vs Jacksonville. PICK: SEAHAWKS. Because they're at home, Matt Hasselbeck is healthy again and will play, and Jacksonville is an inconsistent bunch, especially on the road.

Indianapolis 3.5 over TENNESSEE. PICK: COLTS. This will be a tough game, with the 0-4 Titans desperately trying to save their season, and undoubtedly playing like it. But the Tennessee secondary is plagued by injuries, their front 4 isn't what it used to be without Albert Haynesworth, Kerry Collins has come back down to earth, and Peyton Manning can and will exploit your every weakness.

NY Jets 1.5 over MIAMI. PICK: JETS. Because Rex Ryan is too smart and his defense too good to allow rookie QB Chad Henne and the Dolphins just run the wildcat all night and gain yards. They'll shut that down, force the young QB to throw and make some mistakes, and Mark Sanchez will manage the game and guide the Jets to a win.



Barack Obama wins the Miss Congeniality Award..., sorry, the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, it's supposed to be for achievements, and he doesn't have any yet.
So one has to conclude now that the award either means nothing, or it's simply a worldwide popularity contest.