College Football Week 9 Picks and Preview
Last week: 3-5
All season: 44-39-3
Michigan State (+4) at Nebraska
The Spartans had their date with destiny last week and called back. But will destiny stand them up? Wisconsin won by a large margin at Nebraska earlier this season and the law of transitive property we could expect the same. However, transitive property doesn’t work in college football, or I’d be perfect every week on picks. Taylor Martinez still has a long way to go passing the football. Could the Spartans fall victim to a hangover? Possibly, but this team is on a mission this year since they got scrubbed last year in their Rose Bowl berth.
Purdue at Michigan (-14)
Purdue caught Illinois on their yearly slide, it may have just taken the Fighting Illini longer than normal to slip. Michigan is really good and Denard Robinson is my All-Dreads quarterback for sure. The Wolverines continue to be more impressive on defense than on offense, allowing only 14.7 points per game and scoring 34.6 a game. Denard has struggled statistically throwing the football, but looks to be getting better every week. Purdue needs to win this game to keep on track for bowl eligibility, otherwise they need to beat Iowa and Indiana in consecutive weeks at the end of the season to go bowling (unless Ohio State doesn’t completely fall apart by that part of the season).
Missouri (+10) at Texas A&M
The Aggies have been a disappointment this year and should have been much better than their record shows. Their defense just can’t hold on for a full game and that’s why I think Missouri will backdoor cover.
Georgia (-3) at Florida
IT’S THE TIME OF YEAR FOR THE WORLD’S LARGEST COCKTAIL PARTY! Or TGFKATWLKP (The game formerly known as the worlds largest cocktail party). I picked Georgia to win the SEC East and this game will decide that division. The Bulldogs have great receivers but will have to match up with a super fast Florida secondary. Isaiah Crowell has been great so far this season and has surpassed expectations.
The Gators are still in a transition period as John Brantley is the only real quarterback left on the roster and he may not play in the game. The offense has totally sputtered and has barely scored in their last 12 quarters. It is absolutely crucial for the Gators to get their rushing game going, but their one-dimensional style so far could force them to have to pick one and live or die by it.
Oklahoma (-14) at Kansas State
The Wildcats so far have been the surprise of the Big-12, and if it weren’t for Clemson, would probably the biggest surprise in the country. Luckily, the Tigers are killing it and letting State fly under the radar. Head coach Bill Snyder has a formula for a top ranking: open with cupcakes, play good defense, rush the ball like there’s no tomorrow, and win the turnover battle. Now they play their biggest game of the year hosting the Sooners. Kansas State needs to stop the Oklahoma passing attack and play just enough on rushing to stuff a Sooner attack that struggled rushing against one of the country’s worst rush defenses in Texas Tech.
Oklahoma will be pissed after losing to Texas Tech last week in a game where they were favored by 30 or more points. They will put a lot of speed on the field on both sides of the ball and need to take advantage of it. If Oklahoma can force Kansas State in to mistakes they’ll run away with the game. I think the Sooners are going to make it rain points in Manhattan.
Baylor at Oklahoma State (-14.5)
The Cowboys score points, and a lot of them. Robert Griffin III fell victim to the Chase Daniel curse, when the media begins making a lot of fuss about a quarterback throwing more touchdowns than incompletions. Baylor will score and has an average defense, and Oklahoma State has a good defense and will score 14 points more than Baylor.
Ole Miss at Auburn (-13)
The Tigers just win. Ole Miss has been a let down (or was it crazy to expect anything more?) and many are calling for Houston Nutt’s job.
Clemson (-4) at Georgia Tech
It’s so tough to pick against Georgia Tech this game because they are so good at possessing the ball and wearing down defenses. They’ve always had a strong running game but now they have a dangerous passing attack led by Tevin Washington to go along with it.
Georgia Tech runs a really tricky 3-4 defense that blitzes a lot so it will be interesting to see how Tahj Boyd reacts, although the spread will help him out by forcing the defense to show its hand. I don’t think the Tech defense has enough speed though to keep up with the best freshman in the nation, Sammy Watkins, who will surely be on my All-Dreads team at the end of the season.
Wisconsin (-7.5) at Ohio State
Last year this was the Big-10 game of the season. The Badgers now have to travel to Columbus. The Buckeyes are not the team they were the last few weeks and it’s a collapse that has been a long time coming. The Buckeyes have such a hard time scoring on offense and have been held to seven points or less four times this year. Wisconsin, like Oklahoma is going to be pissed coming in to this week and heads will roll.
Stanford at USC (+9)
A lot of guys in Vegas are sure that Stanford will lose one or more games the rest of this season. The best team they’ve played so far is Washington, who has only played one team with a winning record and got throttled. The United States continues their man-crush on Andrew Luck talking about his Jonny Unitas like qualities of calling his own plays. Stanford has so many guys who could go pro next year outside of Luck that it is surprising. They have two first round picks on the offensive line and all three of their tight ends could probably get drafted. Just like how Oregon operates in an offense that causes a lot of problems for defenses through speed, Stanford does the same through size.
USC has a good defensive line to combat the front seven of Stanford. They are the best team the Cardinal will play before Oregon and will be a good barometer. Last week was probably Kiffin’s best as a head coach. He ran the ball to set up the pass, he didn’t give up on the run and start tossing darts to Robert Woods, and he played Trojan football for a full four quarters. Stanford should look to cut off Robert Woods and let their beefy front seven take on the rushing game. I don’t think USC will win, but they will test Stanford and cover.
PAC-12 Picks Straight Up
Last week: 3-3
All season: 42-17
Oregon beats Washington State
Stanford beats USC
Washington beats Arizona
Utah beats Oregon State
Arizona State beats Colorado
Cal beats UCLA