Wednesday, September 27, 2006

College Picks 9-27-06

Here are my picks for this week’s college football matches involving teams from the AP Top 25 (because Jim Tressell proved how worthless the Coach’s Poll is during the week leading up to the Texas game). Get ready to be rich.

#1 Ohio State (-5) over #13 Iowa

Being an Ohio State fan, I am very much aware of their struggles in night games (the Northwestern game from 2004 stands out, but that could be because A) I told everyone it was going to happen before the season even started and B) my buddy Nick puked all over the local BW3’s and then got into a fist fight with a Michigan fan). However, two factors have me feeling extremely confident that this game will be over by halftime. One, Ohio State is really, really good, and I think the thumping they gave Texas has helped them move on from their night game struggles. Two, and even more importantly than one, Iowa isn’t very good. I have no idea how they’re ranked #13. They needed overtime to beat Syracuse, and the Hawkeyes would have lost that game if the ‘Cuse could have converted on one of their seven attempts at the goal line. “But Drew Tate was hurt!” you exclaim. True, but Tate wasn’t hurt the next week when the Hawkeyes had to come from behind to beat a very iffy Iowa State team. “But Iowa always struggles with the Cyclones, what with the inner state rivalry and all!” you exclaim again, annoying me to no end. Also true. What you have failed to exclaim, however, is that the Buckeyes smoked the Hawkeyes 31-6 last year, a game in which Iowa had a healthy Drew Tate and two of the best linebackers in the country in Abdul Hodge and David Greenway, both of whom have since left for the pros. A few more interesting facts for you:

  • Iowa is 0-7-1 all-time versus the number one ranked team in the country, and the last three meetings have been routs.
  • This is the first true night game in the history of Kinnick Stadium, which leads me to believe that the Hawkeyes aren’t exactly grizzled veterans when it comes to prime-time football.

#2 Auburn (-7.5) over South Carolina

I’m not supremely confident with this pick after seeing how little scoring Auburn did against LSU and how well South Carolina’s defense has played at home. Still, it seems safer to bet Auburn to cover than for South Carolina to keep it close. If you’re going to take South Carolina, you might as well take them to win it outright as well.

#3 USC (-14) over Washington State

No explanation needed I hope.

Alabama (+13) over #5 Florida

Thirteen just seems like a huge spread for an SEC game that doesn’t involve Vanderbilt or Kentucky.

#6 Michigan (-4.5) over Minnesota

Are you kidding me? Florida is favored by 13 over Alabama but Michigan is only giving 4.5 to a team that just lost to Purdue? That Metrodome crowd must really be rowdy.

Mississippi State (+30.5) over #9 LSU

Not because I think Mississippi State has a chance to win or even score but because I have trouble seeing LSU putting up 31 points.

Ole Miss (+13) over #10 Georgia

Georgia should be in control the entire game, but don’t expect a blowout given how muddled Georgia’s quarterback situation is.

#24 Georgia Tech (+11) over #11 Virginia Tech

Not only is Virginia Tech not going to cover, they’re going to lose. Georgia Tech is my darling, and I’d trust Calvin Johnson to catch my balls with the warmth and gentleness of an Asian masseuse even if Brett Favre was rifling them through double coverage to him.

#12 Notre Dame (-14.5) over Purdue

I think the Fighting Irish found themselves in that comeback over Michigan State. They’re not nearly as good as everyone said coming into the season, but they are good enough to beat Purdue by 15 at home.

Arizona State (+1) over #14 Oregon

I don’t think the Ducks will cover, but they will win. (Just seeing if you’re paying attention.)

#15 Tennessee (-13.5) over Memphis

There’s no way the Vols lose to in-state rivals two years in a row (Vanderbilt beat them last year).

#17 TCU (-7) over BYU

If you’re betting on this game, there’s numbers you can call.

#18 Clemson (-33) over Louisiana Tech

I usually am scared away by big spreads, but what the hell. Let’s just hope that whichever Bowden is coaching the Tigers continues to eschew extra points for two point conversions, as he did in Clemson’s win over Florida State.

#20 California (-10) over Oregon State

Only 10? Is there something about Oregon State that I don’t know?

#21 Nebraska (-16.5) over Kansas

Kansas hasn’t won in Lincoln since 1968. Plus, Nebraska’s going to be fired up after losing to the Jayhawks last year.

#22 Boise State (+4) over Utah

This one’s coming down to the wire with no more than a field goal deciding it.

South Florida (+3.5) over #23 Rutgers

I’m afraid Rutgers’ stay in the top 25 ends abruptly after only one week.

#25 Missouri (-15) over Colorado

Colorado, despite the near upset of Georgia, is pretty damn bad, while Missouri is actually quite good.

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