Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rocktober Football Begins with a Bang

Wow, I think I’ve recovered from last weeks 2-4 record. That brings the overall season record to 14-9. This week has been circled on the calendar since mid-August because of the number of impact games. It doesn’t get any easier for the teams that expect to continue on their march to Glendale (or the BCS.) Given that fact, why not just jump into it and pick the big games instead of picking and choosing alone.

Buckle up kids. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Let’s start with Thursday night’s game: Texas A&M at Oklahoma State (-3)

Both are 3-0, but neither is ranked. I have a feeling the survivor of this one will crack the top 25 next week after tonight’s matchup. The Cowboys lead the country in yards per game, just shy of 600, and now lead is ppg at 57. A&M wasn’t smooth against FIU, but Jerrod Johnson has a ton of hype on the conference (and one of my fantasy teams is counting on him showing up tonight as well.) When all is said and done, Kendall Hunter will have over 200 yards from scrimmage, Blackmon will have 3 tds, and the Cowboys will bet he first to 40 for the home win and cover of the 3 points, with an over of the 66.5.

OSU 45 - A&M 37

Miami (-3) @ Clemson

Clemson played Auburn to the wire, while the Hurricanes were being downgraded in Columbus. Miami as road favorites, in Death Valley? That shows no respect for the old guard ACC, and proves the desire to push for the new guard to be relevant in order to upgrade the conference stature. Well, it won’t happen in this game. Jacory Harris is in a giving mood, and the Tigers will capitalize, this time, for the outright win at home.

Clemson 27 - 21

Virginia Tech (-3.5) @ NC State

The Hokies are coming off a shutout road win, and the Pack are the last undefeated team in the ACC. Get ready for a fight in this one. Although it doesn’t matter much outside of tobacco road, it has huge implications in the conference race, and the BCS race. The Hokies are coming into their own, the defense is looking like they actually have met Bud Foster before, and the special teams are showing up. However, Stiney is still asleep at the wheel, unable to stick it in. The lack of touchdown production was an issue to begin the season, but since the D is here, it hasn’t hurt us in the past 2 games. Give David Wilson some more touches, turn Williams loose, and grind Evans right up the middle. And when they aren’t looking, let Tyrod go up top to Boykin and Coale. Russell Wilson may be the next Phillip Rivers, having already surpassed the 1000 yard mark this year. The Wolf Pack is a well oiled machine, clicking on all cylinders at this point. But, VT is not Directional (Western) Carolina or Cincinnati this year. The Hokies roll into Raleigh and grab a hold of the Coastal lead with tough D and just enough scoring to cover the 3.5. It’s not pretty, and Tuffy II won’t like it, but that’s the breaks.

VT 23 - NC State 17

Meeshigan (-10) @ Indiana

Shoelace! There’s not much more to say, but there will be more written. Denard will play the first half, provide a lead for the Maize and Blue, and “rest” the leg in the second half. The Hoosiers won’t be able to tackle, or find Robinson as he puts up over 300 yards in the first half. Tandon Doss, with over 100 yards and 2 tds in the second half, will do his best to stage a comeback, but Meeshigan will leave with a win and cover.

Michigan 37 – Indiana 23

TexasOklahoma (-3.5)

The Longhorns are what they used to be. Neither are the Sooners, but they will be better than their foes this weekend. The Landry Jones to Broyles connection will be hot this weekend as OU takes a step closer to the Big 12 championship dance. Of course it would at least be nice if we could watch this game this weekend, but ABC/ESPN decided that nobody east of the Mississippi cares. Thanks. I’ll read about it Sunday morning.

Oklahoma 41 – Texas 20

Wisconsin (-1.5) @ Michigan State

Sparty needed OT (and a heart attack) to beat the Golden Domes, who are 1-3 btw, in East Lansing. This one might stay close for a half, but the Cheeseheads will prevail. Both teams will rack up over 300 yards on the ground, but turnovers will cost State dearly in the end.

Wisconsin 27 – MSU 24

Notre Dame (-2.5) @ Boston College

Notre Dame? The team that’s 1-3, and on the road this weekend, is favored, but almost a field goal, on the road, with only 1 win, is that right?! I guess the thing that really bothers me about this game is the fact that this is the ABC game Saturday night. At lest Matt Millen is doing this game, so we don’t have to hear him anywhere else. Sure, the Eagles were grounded and shutout last weekend, but putting them as home dogs to THIS team? Notre Dame is 99th in the Country in rushing. Crist has been throwing the ball well, but the air in Chestnut Hill will be a little different than the pristine Saturday afternoons played before Touchdown Jesus. I see Montell Harris showing up big time and carrying BC to yet another victory over Notre Dame.

Boston College 36 – Notre Dame 16

Florida @ Alabama (-7.5)

The past two years, the winner between these two has gone on to win the National Championship. That may or may not be the case this year, but it lines up as another great matchup. There are more than a few questions on the Gator side of the ball: Can Pouncey find the QB snapping out of the shotgun? Can Brantley find his grove against what is proving to be another stout Bama defensive backfield? Is Burton a real threat (5 rushes, 5 touchdowns???!!!) or just a gimmick that worked against a weaker SEC foe? Will the issues and injuries affect the on field play come Saturday night? That’s a lot of issues for a 4-0 team ranked #7. As for Bama, the answered some questions last week, like: How will they play from behind in the second half? How will Mark Ingram fit back into the offense in a big game? How will the D look against one of the top rated QB’s? Let’s add that up real quick…3 positives for Bama, 4 negatives for Florida. But that's why they play the games on the field and not on paper. Florida’s defense keeps them in the game till the end, just enough to win on the road.

Florida 31 – Alabama 24

Penn State @ Iowa (-7)

The Nitany Lions have already experienced a tough beating on the road, which will prepare them for the trip home Sunday. Adam Robinson will be a workhorse for the Hawkeyes, carrying the ball over 30 times for over 180 yards and 2 scores in a snoozer.

Iowa 28 – PSU 10

Stanford @ Oregon (-6.5)

The over/under for the game is 65. Is that the game, or first half? Oregon ducked under a point per minute average after last week, but didn’t relinquish the lead in ppg (57.8), having to battle back from 14 down to beat the Sun Devils on the road. On the other side of the ball, Stanford is 4th nationally in ppg at 48.0. They might need a third digit for the score board Saturday night. I’m just happy we get a chance to watch this one since it was originally scheduled for 11:15 est. All the attention has been on Luck and his passing ability, and potential #1 pick status. This game is the one to shine in if you want to solidify your financial future, and maybe even your trophy collection come December and January. But, look at Oregon’s signal caller, and he’s 90 yards and 1 td behind Luck in the stats column. It will be a matter of who executes better, and more often as to who comes out on top. Both of these defenses aren’t too shabby, and can hold their own. Honestly, I don’t see each of them scoring at will this weekend, playing more of chess match than a track meet, feeling each other out along the way and trying to wear the other one down. Oregon is at home, giving them an advantage, and giving Brent Musberger tons to babble about. The ducks wear all yellow (1 of over 512 combos they have available) and cut down the tree.

Oregon 34 – Stanford 22

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