NCAA Football Week 6 Picks and Preview
Last week: 5-5
All Season: 32-26-2
Oklahoma at Texas (+11)
I believe that this is only the third time since 1996 that this game has had a double-digit underdog. Many are picking this game to be a blowout, and there’s good reason for that. Oklahoma pulled away from Florida State and their closest game was a 10-point win against Missouri.
As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend.” This is a different Texas team than a lot of people think. I would say it’s totally different from last year’s 5-7 team. It has been revitalized by new position coaches and coordinators, as well as the quarterback play from Case McCoy and David Ash (but mostly McCoy). Malcolm Brown has been a bruiser and Foswhitt Whittaker has been good as well averaging five yards a carry and a season total of four touchdowns.
This Longhorn team is considerably than the one last year and really found an identity during the BYU game. I may not like Texas to win, but I like the Longhorns to show some fight and cover a close loss.
Iowa (+4) at Penn State
Iowa is always a tough team to get a handle on. Sometimes everything you see on the field, like the 2009 season, tells you that this is a bad team but they always find a way to win. Sometimes they win and lose games they shouldn’t and the challenge is figuring out which team is the one we’ll see each week. This is one of those years. The Hawkeyes lost at Iowa State in overtime but then beat a really good Pitt team.
Why I’m picking Iowa to win the showdown in Happy Valley is because of the Penn State quarterback situation. The team doesn’t have an identity and is still in a time-share between Robert Bolden and Matt McGloin. If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any, and it is throwing the offense off. Iowa should be able to cover pretty easily.
Arizona State (-4) at Utah
Utah got embarrassed by Washington (their words, not mine) and are without Jordan Wynn this weekend hosting the Sun Devils. The Utes barely lost to USC and showed they can play in the PAC-12 on a given week, but the loss to Washington may have shown an inability to play at a PAC-12 level week in and week out.
Arizona State has an innate ability to play down to the level of their opponent. Against USC the Trojans couldn’t get out of their own way and allowed the Sun Devils to blow the game open, but the Devils didn’t look like a PAC-12 South leader for most of the game against the Beavers last week. Brock Osweiller reminds me of Colin Kaepernick in the way they look like ostriches playing football. They just stride it out in the open field with their heads bobbing up and down, just like an ostrich. If Arizona State doesn’t play down to Utah and turn the ball over, which is still in the realm of possibility and a big if, then Arizona State should cover.
Miami at Virginia Tech (-7)
Miami is coming off a win against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, which is impressive in the sense that I had never even heard of that school before. And for Miami to pay this team money to get their butt’s kicked is impressive. The funniest part of the game was that Bethune-Cookman was close with Miami up until the fourth quarter when depth played a part.
The Hokies on the other hand are coming off a loss against Clemson, a team that looks really good right now. They are 8th in the country in points against per game with 12.6. The Hokies play great defense and special teams, a Frank Beamer trait. They host Miami on ABC and should win by 7. This is as much of a play for consistency as it is against Miami’s inconsistency.
Arizona (-1) at Oregon State
The fact that the line is this is close is unreal. This is a layup line; it’s going to work. Oregon State is maybe one of the worst teams in FBS football right now and it doesn’t look like they have a winnable schedule.
One could make the argument that the Beavers have James Rodgers and Halahuni back and that this Beaver time is at home and is due for a cheap win, but they’d most likely be wrong.
The Wildcats have a good passing attack but have troubles rushing the ball. This is great for them this week because the Beavers have a poor pass rush, poor coverage deep, and no rushing defense. Arizona could line up in a full house formation almost every time and gain three to four yards.
Most importantly, Arizona is going to score, a lot. The Beavers can’t keep up with the scoring pace that the Wildcats will have for most of the game. It’s a law of psychics or something like that.
Florida at LSU (-14)
I can’t think of any more efficient teams than LSU this season. They play lockdown defense, they force turnovers, and run the ball hard. It’s like watching a Big-10 team from the 70’s and 80’s, except this team is fast. Really fast. Jordan Jefferson is back on the team and is looking to get his starting spot back, but it’s hard to give it back to a guy who kicked a marine win the face when Jarrett Lee has been 5-0 so far this season and faced the hardest first four games an LSU team has ever played (mostly because LSU likes playing directional schools, you know, because they have the money to pay them).
LSU doesn’t care about how it wins as long as it wins. A 1 point win is the exact same to Les Miles as a 42 point win, no matter who they are playing. The Mad Hatter is 1-13 when being a double-digit favorite to an in-conference opponent. I would put the LSU defense as equals to the Alabama defense. While lacking some size up front they get it back in speed when compared to the Crimson tide. Florida couldn’t run well against the Alabama defense and now they have to go to Death Valley and Tiger Stadium with a true freshman. This could be LSU by 20 and I would probably take it.
Auburn (+10) at Arkansas
Auburn is outperforming everyone’s expectations after losing their professional players and a week free agency period this offseason. They’ve been scoring 30 points a game. Their only game where they weren’t within single digits of their opponent was in their loss at Clemson, who has turned out to be a pretty good team.
Hopefully Tyler Wilson has stopped being nice to his linemen who have been hanging him out to dry. You could set up a full eight-minute montage of him getting crunched while throwing the football. I like Arkansas to win but Auburn to Cover. Maybe God loves Auburn just enough to allow them to cover.
Ohio State at Nebraska (-10.5)
I watched Ohio State play Michigan State last week. I had the same reaction every time Ohio State had the ball as I did when I saw LaMichael James’ elbow on DuckVision last night. I just wanted to vomit. Someone should look in to Braxton Miller to see if he’s connected to Wayne Rooney’s family gambling issues because it seems like Miller is intentionally losing games. Joe Bauserman on the other hand is continuing his attempt to show that blind people can play football in college. Try and guess how he’s doing.
Nebraska is going to win the Legends division of the Big-10. They ran in to an unstoppable force last week playing in Madison and now they get to host a Buckeye squad who is on an empty stomach after throwing up all over the place last week. I’m sure the dry heaves continued through Wednesday and they’re finishing their Sprites before heading to Nebraska. Taylor Martinez shouldn’t have to throw the ball at all, which is the best thing that could happen to the Cornhusker offense.
Air Force (+14) at Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are still last in the country in turnover margin at -9. A triple-option and ball control team like Air Force will make the most of those turnovers. You would think a team called Air Force would throw the ball non-stop but instead they keep it on the ground. The triple-option is one of the hardest offenses to play for because the blocking and looks they give on offense are so unique. Many plays look alike but switch up who is blocking who and who the pitchman is. Real fans of football appreciate it and it’s like watching football from the 60’s.
Georgia (-3) at Tennessee
The Bulldogs have rebounded quite nicely from their loss to Boise State in the season opener. The Broncos have an ability to look perfect in home openers and execute well, making their opponents look unprepared. The following week the Bulldogs lost a shootout to South Carolina, 45-42. Since then they’ve beaten Ole Miss and Mississippi State by two touchdowns. Aaron Murray has been doing the grunt work on offense and Isaiah Crowell has been a standout as a true freshman this year.
The Vols have only played one SEC opponent so far, losing to Florida by 10 in The Swamp. They get to host Georgia, avoiding a trip between the hedges, and are still underdogs. I like Georgia a lot, mostly because Mark Richt really needs to win this game to have a hope of keeping his job.
Last week: 3-2
All season: 31-11
Oregon beats Cal
Arizona State beats Utah
Washington State beats UCLA
Arizona beats Oregon State
Stanford beats Colorado