Week 7 College Football Picks and Preview
This is a pretty bad weekend slate, although every week, we get great games. I’ve decided to stop worrying about how bad the games look and will just enjoy the weekend that starts with College Gameday broadcasting from Eugene.
National Picks Last Week: 4-6 (Holy hell how did that happen!?)
All Season: 36-32-2
USC (-3) at Cal
Since Cal has such a genius defensive coordinator who could shut down the Oregon offense then I’d like to see him do the simplest thing to stop the USC offense. Double cover Robert Woods. I’d like to see Barkley throw 11 completions to someone other than Robert Woods. USC has struggled rushing the football but Barkley has really made up for it. Zach Maynard didn’t have a great game last week and Cal has scored only 20 points in their last 12 quarters against USC, losing last year at one point 42-0. I like this years USC team more than last years, and I’m indifferent on the Cal team.
Utah (+7) at Pitt
Utah is free! Free falling! They’ve gotten beaten the last two weeks and have found out that they have a little more work to do before they contend for a PAC-12 title. Last year they beat Pitt at home but now travel to the City of Champions. Utah has been down, but there is a big difference between Washington, Arizona State, and Pitt. One of these things is not like the other. I like Utah with the aid of seven points.
Michigan (+2) at Michigan State
Denard Robinson has had no problems in the pro-style offense. They are averaging 38 points a game and Robinson is in the running for the Heisman. Even more impressive is the work on the defensive side of the ball in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are only allowing 12.5 points per game, good for 8th best in the country. The Spartans are scoring 28 points a game. In their big games they have only scored a total of 23 points. I like Michigan to win straight up.
LSU (-17) at Tennessee
I don’t get ESPN’s recent hot pants for the Honey Badger video from YouTube. That video has been up for a long time and calling Tyler Mathieu the Honey Badger isn’t really that funny. But then again, no college football writer has been incredibly funny.
The Volunteers are awful at running the football, ranking 114th in the country with only 84.8 yards per game. Now they play LSU. LSU is one of the most efficient offenses, they rarely make mistakes, their defense is big and superfast, and they run the ball really well. It’s a fundamental style of football that dominates less talented teams and almost everyone breaks at some point.
Florida (-2) at Auburn
The biggest surprise of the college football season so far is the success of Auburn without almost half their team and a professional at the quarterback position (I don’t care what the NCAA says they didn’t find). I get that John Brantley Jr. is out again, but now the backup has had two weeks of getting first team reps.
Auburn has played teams like Mississippi State, Clemson, and South Carolina close. So far Florida dominates teams of that caliber. I don’t feel comfortable with this pick because Auburn is so surprisingly good on a week to week basis, but if the spread was anything over 3 I’d side on Auburn.
Ohio State (+3.5) at Illinois
Ron Zook has been otherworldly this season. This guy was so close to being fired, his hot seat was actually on fire, and now Illinois is 6-0 after playing Arizona State and Northwestern. Braxton Miller was good last week against Nebraska, and once he left, the Buckeyes fell apart. Miller is back this week and I think the Buckeyes can finally pull together a complete game. I don’t want them to, but they need this win to be bowl eligible right now.
Colorado at Washington (-15.5)
The Huskies have been better this year than last, like Keith Price has been a better quarterback than Jake Locker so far. Colorado hasn’t won a game on the road in 21 tries. Washington has a good home field advantage and could be the snake that bites the PAC-12 North contenders in the butt if they don’t watch out.
Arizona State at Oregon (-14)
I like Oregon, but I’ll do a bigger post on it.
Last week: 3-2
All season: 34-13
USC beats Cal
Oregon beats Arizona State
Utah beats Pitt
Washington beats Colorado
BYU beats Oregon State
Stanford beats Washington State