Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Picks for the Week - Week 7

They say always go with your instinct.  Well my instinct was telling me to stay away from last week and it was apparently right.  Let's look at the carnage.

South Carolina +19.5 - Loss
Georgia -3 - Loss
Georgia Tech +7 - Loss
Northwestern/Michigan over 35 - Win

Baylor -45 - Win
Indiana +6.5 - Loss
Missouri -4.5 - Loss

Georgia looked like a sure thing and then Nick Chubb gets hurt on the first play and Mark Richt loses control of a 21 point lead and down they go. It always sucks to see a player get injured and I hope Chubb has a speedy and full recovery.

Michigan, wow.  Ok so the two top defenses in terms of points play each other and you think sure this will be a defensive battle.  In a way it was, except Northwestern's defense didn't really show up until the second half.  Michigan had a quick start scoring twice in the first two series while holding Northwestern scoreless.  Michigan's defense lived up to their reputation.  Northwestern did ok, but just really had some bad breaks and was never able to recover.  I think Northwestern is still a good team and still has a good defense.  They just can't score on a defense like that and had a lot of trouble with Michigan's run.  Michigan's profile is a badass defense with a good run game.  Keep that in mind.

Baylor dominated again.  Baylor is killing teams, but partly because those teams have some of the worst defenses in college football.  Can they maintain that dominance against good d's?  We'll find out, but not this week.  Baylor is playing West Virginia this week.  WV gave up 33 and 44 points to the two Oklahoma teams.  There's a good chance they'll give 66 to Baylor.

Ole Miss beat NMSU pretty badly point wise. They covered the 45 pt. spread, which was a pleasant surprise to me.  NMSU is a bad team and Ole Miss started the first quarter playing down to their level of competition.  Turning the ball over 3 times is pretty inexcusable.  Once Ole Miss found their rhythm, they scored fairly easily but they're still not very successful with the inside runs and had a few dropped passes that should have been caught.  Memphis will be a good test.  Memphis is going to give Ole Miss everything they have.  They had a week off and are on a 12 game winning streak.  After week two I was not worried about Memphis, but having watched our offensive line thin out and struggle and our secondary get burned in the zone over and over again, I'm not so sure.

The good news is that Memphis doesn't typically rush with a lot of people.  They send three and try to cover.  Try is the key word as they're worse at it than Ole Miss.  If they keep this strategy against Ole Miss, they'll lose.  If you give Chad Kelly longer than 4 seconds to sit in the pocket he's going to destroy you with an accurate deep ball.

On the other side Memphis has a very capable QB and a power run.  Ole Miss routinely plays the same defensive strategy of rushing only 3 leaving the QB to make accurate throws.  This could be a high scoring game (over 70).  I see Ole Miss jumping to a big lead, then letting Memphis get close but closing out the game with a win of about 8 points.

I'm still struggling to watch as many games as I'd like.  It's really not fair how life gets in the way of my football obsession.

Let's look at next week:

1. Michigan State +8.5 vs Michigan
Talk about a comeback.  Harbaugh has Michigan looking like a real contender with 3 shutouts in a row, two of them to a top 25 ranked team.  Michigan's only loss was to Utah and we all know now that Utah is a pretty good team.  MSU on the other hand has maintained a high rank, but seems to keep squeaking by all of their opponents.  At the very least they're letting them stay close.  This is a rivalry game at Michigan and that has to be kept in mind as well.  However, with the home field advantage and the quality of the defenses that Michigan State has faced up till now, there is little doubt in my mind Michigan wins this game.  I think they'll beat them by 21 points.  This is my lock, Michigan - 8.5

2. Ohio State -17.5 vs Penn State
It's tough being the number one team in the country because everyone gives you their best game.  Sometimes, they even employ crazy schemes and risk everything with thin man to man defense just to try and beat you.  As a result a lot of your games end up being closer than they should.  Penn State hasn't lost since Temple.  They haven't really played power houses, but they're in a rhythm.  If there is anything Franklin does well, it's pump up his team for the big game.  Penn State will probably lose, but I see them keeping it a lot closer than 17.5.  Take the points.

3. Boston College +15.5 vs Clemson
Clemson is on a home game stretch and really feeling it after beating Notre Dame.  They covered against Georgia Tech, beating them by over 19 points.  BC on the other hand is off and on with some crazy low scoring games.  BC tops pretty much all of the charts in terms of defense.  I think the spread here is pretty close.  I think Clemson wins by 14, but it's going to be close.  What I don't see is the over hitting at 36.5.  BC can't score, but at the same time won't let the other team score.  I think this is a 21 point game tops.  I'll take the under.

4. Bama -4 vs Texas A&M. My instinct says Bama beats A&M by 14.  Bama still has a topped ranked defense and although Texas A&M's defense has improved, it's worse than Arkansas.  The Aggies have a gutsy coach and pretty good offense, but they haven't seen a defense like Bama's. I'd take Bama -4.
5. LSU -9.5 vs Florida.  Again my instinct says LSU opes up a cajun can of whoop ass and Florida loses big here.  There will be no mercy shown like USC had and Fournette is going to go in there and have a 200 yard game.  Florida has a good defense, but part of that has come against poor teams or good teams with poor performances. Their offense is going to be lead by old unreliable Treon Harris in one of the worst possible stadiums in the SEC. I'm just not convinced that this team is for real.  I think LSU wins by 18.

The rest of the games are right on the money in terms of spreads.  Vandy +2.5 vs USC should be interesting.  I think USC covers, but mainly because I have no faith in Vandy and I have to believe USC will send Spurrier off with some sort of farewell win.  And Vandy sucks.

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