Thursday, September 25, 2008

Philosopher's Picks: Week 5

Friday, September 26 8:00 PM ET ESPN2
Connecticut (4-0, 0-0) @ Louisville (2-1, 0-0) -3.5: Birds Wif Teef fresh off a 1/2 bye week and a shellacking of the "Power Cats" from Kansas State look to continue the rebound from an embarrassing start to the season against the 4-0 Sled Dawgs. UConn's record is undoubtedly buoyed by 1-AA patsies and close wins against Baylor and Temple, a veritable the who's who of ESPN's Bottom Ten. UL had a slightly less odorous preseason schedule that featured one middle middle of the pack SEC team, a bottom dweller from the B12 and a 1-AA foe. UConn's strength has been the run and UL's strength on D is the run. I look for this to be a lower scoring affair, which brings the hook into play. I still think UL will cover based on their being at home. UL 23 UConn 17, Cover Confidence 10.

Saturday, September 27
12:00 PM ET BTN. Minnesota (4-0, 0-0) @ #14 Ohio State (3-1, 0-0) -17.5: This shouldn't take much thought, so it won't. OSU rolls behind TP. OSU 35 Minnesota 10, Cover Confidence 2.

12:00 PM ET ESPN2 North Carolina (2-1, 0-1)@Miami (FL) (2-1, 0-0) -7.5: This is one of the tougher games to pick this week. Both teams have been as hot and cold as a Las Vegas craps table. UNCs victories are slightly less impressive than Miami's. Rutgers is not nearly what they were expected to be, so the 41-17 shellacking goes out the window. Meanwhile Texas A&M lost to Arkansas State. It's a wash there. Miami looked impressive defensively against Florida in their lone loss, which says something. I'm feeling a Hurricane a brewing. Miami 27 - UNC 17. Cover Confidence 12.

12:05 PM ET ESPN Classic. Northwestern (4-0, 0-0) @Iowa (3-1, 0-0) -8.0. Northwestern is the real power cats in purple. Both teams featured equally fetid preseason schedules against BCS conference bottom dwellers and D-1AA foes. Northwestern has looked good in their games, thumping Syracuse, beating a rejuvenated Duke squad, thumping D-1AA SIU and physically dominating an Ohio team during a rain storm. Iowa has looked weak offensively against it's two BCS foes, ISU and Pitt. Northwestern for the cover and win. NU 23 Iowa 21. Cover Confidence 3.

3:30 PM ET ABC/GP Arkansas (2-1, 0-1) #7 Texas (3-0, 0-0) -27.5: This line is HUGE for a "rivalry game". Having said that: Blowout. Texas 56 Arkansas 21. Cover Confidence 4.

3:30 PM ABC/GP #9 Wisconsin (3-0, 0-0) -6.5 Michigan (1-2, 0-0). It looks as if Wisconsin will break Michigan's 22-game Big Ten opener streak. Just by how much is the question. Michigan's offense was pathetic against it's two preseason foes before Notre Dame gave up 350 yards to the Wolverines (who proceeded to turn over the ball six times and lose). The question for Michigan's offense is: Is Notre Dame that bad or is Michigan coming around on this spread thing? I hope for the later, but suspect the former. Wisconsin comes in at an overrated #9 - their offense struggled against Fresno State to score 13 points in a narrow win. I look for a defensive struggle reminiscent of Michigan's 14-9 win over PSU last season. But this time with roles reversed: Wisconsin 14 Michigan 9, Cover Confidence 9.

3:30 PM ET CBS Tennessee (1-2, 0-1) #15 Auburn (3-1, 1-1) -6.5. Tennessee is in a world of hurt. Losing to UCLA this season is NOT a good thing. Getting kicked like a stray dog by your rival Florida is also NOT a good thing. Not scoring 40 against a gutter team like UAB furthermore NOT good. Auburn beating Mississippi State 3-2, also es no bueno. Offensively this looks to be a struggle. Auburn 16 Tennessee 14, Cover Confidence 8.

3:30 PM ET ABC/GP @Jacksonville, FL Colorado (3-0, 0-0) Florida State (2-1, 0-0) -5.5: Let's just call this a road game for the Buffaloes. Florida State is bad, Colorado is okay. I wouldn't take much from the CU win against Bill Stewart's traveling debacle WVU, but a win is a win. Never pick against a home dog on Thursday night! Colorado and the cover. CU 24 FSU 20, Cover Confidence 5.

3:30 PM ET NBC Purdue (2-1, 0-0) @Notre Dame (2-1) -1.5: As mentioned before, Notre Dame is still that bad. Purdue is okay, having beat a better than average CMU team, losing to Oregon in OT and thumping D-1AA Northern Colorado. I'll take the Boilers to win. PU 30, ND 14. Confidence 1. LOCK IT.

7:00 PM ET FSN #24 TCU (4-0, 1-0) @ #2 Oklahoma (3-0, 0-0) -17.5: Who wants to take a bet that this game will be preempted by some meaningless baseball game. How about the last place Tigers getting further skullfucked by Tampa Bay? I don't like TCU because they are Christians from Texas, which means they probably have eight wives and molest children. Oklahoma is on a war path. Oklahoma 48 TCU 13. Cover Confidence 6.

7:45 PM ET ESPN #8 Alabama (4-0, 1-0) @ #3 Georgia (4-0, 1-0) -7. Georgia has played down from it's preseason #1 ranking while Alabama has played up from being unranked to #8 with solid wins over top ten Clemson, Tulane, some D-1AA team and Arkansas. This game is at Georgia, else I'd pick Bama to win straight up. Maybe next year, Saban. UGa 25 Bama 23. Cover Confidence 7.

8:00 PM ET ABC/GP #22 Illinois (2-1, 0-0) @ #12 Penn State (4-0, 0-0) -14.5: Penn State has been crushing meaningless and hapless moon calves in typical Nittany fashion. Not much can be said about their four scrimmages. Meanwhile, Illinois lost to offensive juggernaut Mizzou but looked impressive. Then they nearly lost to a UL-Lafayette team. WTF? This is a difficult game to pick, but I think Juice has just enough juice to keep it under the spreadable 14.5. PSU 38 - ILL 30. Cover Confidence 13.

8:00 PM ET ABC/GP Virginia Tech (3-1, 2-0) @Nebraska (3-0, 0-0) -7: VT got boarded and forced to walk the plank against and upstart ECU team in the first game of the season, but since then they have looked solid. Nebraska has hosted a host of nobodies and won convincingly each time. Typical for Nebraska. I look for this one to remain close. VT showed it can play well on the road last week. Nebraska 22, VT 21. Cover Confidence 11.



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