Thursday, October 2, 2008

Philosopher's Picks: Week 6

Last week I my arguments for 13 worthy teams delivered a modest 8-5 record, which was enough to claim a tie for the lead in the O4 and win the Michigan Rx fivedollaz. But as Hume said "When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken." I must avoid such arrogance this week.
Hume Believeth Not in the Wannstache      

Thursday, October 2
7:30 PM ET ESPN Pittsburgh (3-1, 1-0) @ #10 South Florida (5-0, 0-0) -13.5. No doubt that the Panthers have been a disappointment this season despite posting a good 3-1 record. Those three wins were the uncomfortable I've got a weggie type victories over Buffalo, Iowa, and Syracuse. Their loss came against Bowling Green. Meanwhile, USF beat Kansas in a competitive game, UCF close and shellacked NCST. I am not down on the Panthers as much as I should be, but perhaps I am wrong. This is a coin toss. USF 31, Pitt 17. Confidence 13.

9:00 PM ET Oregon State (2-2, 1-1) @ #15 Utah (5-0, 2-0) -11.5. Oregon state shocked the football world with a victory against previous #1 USC on a Thursday night last week. (Never pick against a home dog on Thursday night!). This time the Beavers take the show on the road. OSU is not nearly as bad as their debacles against PSU and Stanford would suggest. The Beavers did rack up 490 yards against Stanford. I am looking for a OSU cover and make this one close. Utah 27, Oregon State 24. Cover Confidence: 3.

Saturday, October 4
12:00 PM ET #6 Penn State (5-0, 1-0) -13 @Purdue (2-2, 0-0). Penn State faces another team with lax defense in the Big 10. Purdue has been giving up lots of points and yards to the likes of Notre Dame and Central Michigan. I look for Penn State to exploit the Purdue defense and win this one going away. PSU 52, Purdue 24. Cover Confidence 4.

2:30 PM ET NBC Stanford (3-2, 2-1) @Notre Dame (3-1) -7.5.
A battle of resurgent teams in South Bend. There are two distinct advantages for the Irish here - a bunch of 4 and 5 star recruits and home field. Stanford has one: The hook. I still see the Irish pulling away at home. Notre Dame 35, Stanford 17. Cover Confidence: 7.

3:30 PM ET CBS Kentucky (4-0, 0-0) @ #2 Alabama (5-0, 2-0) -16.5. What some see as a potential trap for the Tide, I see as a blow out. Alabama and Oklahoma appear to be two teams taking the rape and pillage approach to their schedules this season. Kentucky has gotten fat on a barely D-1A schedule. Alabama in a rout. Tide 45, K-Cats 7. Cover Confidence 2.

3:30 PM ET Illinois (2-2, 0-1) @Michigan (2-2, 1-0) -2.5. Yeesh! Picking on my Alma Mater this season gives me the heebie jeebies. Michigan's Jekyll and Hyde offense is scary bad at times. At least their D is solid (except when the offense turns the ball over 11 times in the span of 6 quarters). Illinois has not impressed anyone this season having lost big to Mizzou and Penn State and barely nipping UL-something. I look for Michigan to still have some problems moving the ball on offense, but the rejuvenated home crowd will carry the Wolverines. Michigan 27 - Illini 20. Cover Confidence: 12.

3:30 PM ET Florida State (3-1, 0-1) @Miami (FL) (2-2, 0-1) -2.5. Neither team is ranked? Oh yeah, it is post 2005. Miami looked prepared to make the next step with a win at aTm, a solid but disappointing game at Florida and a bangin' start against a good UNC team. That fell apart in the second half. FSU is in a similar situation. After going yard on two D-1AA teams, they were smothered by Wake Forest, at home... again. Then came the up and coming Buffaloes from Colorado and FSU clowned them. Both teams are helter-skelter, making this a tough game to pick. I like Miami at home with the minus-hook. Miami 17, FSU 14. Cover Confidence: 11.

6:00 PM ET #13 Auburn (4-1, 2-1) -4.5 @ #19 Vanderbilt (4-0, 2-0). How will Vanderbilt handle being in the top 20 with ESPN Gameday paying a visit to Nashville. Vanderbilt is one of the few teams with a worse offense than Auburn (remember 3-2 versus Mississippi State?). Auburn has played a tougher schedule and is bigger, stronger and faster. I like them to cover going away. Auburn 27, Vandy 9. Cover Confidence: 5.

7:00 PM ET #24 Connecticut (5-0, 1-0) @North Carolina (3-1, 1-1) -7. I continually pick against UConn and continually lose. Both teams are playing with injured QBs. Both back ups were highly recruited transfers. Both teams won in conference road games last week when they looked to be getting a caning. UNC gets seven by virtue of being the home team playing a night game. UCOnn ain't skeer'd. UConn for the cover (watch them get railed). UNC 28, UConn 27. Cover Confidence: 10.

8:00 PM ET #5 Texas (4-0, 0-0) -13.5 @Colorado (3-1, 0-0). Texas is another untested-untried team that has been going yard on vastly inferior foes, scoring 52, 42, 52, and 52 on FAU, UTEP, Rice and Arkansas respectively. Colorado has taken on stiffer competition with WVU visiting Boulder and a visit to FSU at Jacksonville. Colorado is still a young team and Texas is experienced. The minus-hook will be in play this week. Texas to cover. UT 38 - Colorado 24. Cover Confidence 9.

8:00 PM ET #23 Oregon (4-1, 2-0) @ #9 USC (2-1, 0-1) -16.5. I would not want to be in Oregon's shoes this week. USC, if they get the advantages they should, will take no prisoners. Oregon is a better offensive team than their arch rivals in Corvallis. This, however, is a night game in Southern Cal and the Ducks have been forced into one dimensional play due to QB injuries. Oregon hasn't exactly been stellar on D, so I am going with the Trojans and giving the 16.5. USC 38, Oregon 21. Cover Confidence: 8.

8:00 PM ET #14 Ohio State (4-1, 1-0) -2 @ #18 Wisconsin (3-1, 0-1). Wisconsin has not lost at Camp Randall since Bielema took over for Alvarez. They also never lost a game under the big Brat's tutelage when leading after half time and the third quarter. As Michigan proved, there is a first time for everything. Wisconsin is too one dimensional to beat OSU. Their running attack goes into the teeth of a very talented and experienced defense. Meanwhile, Pryor is evolving as a good if not great passer and can hold off the pass rush with his speed. Who cares if this is a night game at Wisconsin, the Bucks have BTDT. LOCK IT! OSU 29, Wisconsin 10. Cover Conficence: 1.

9:00 PM ET #4 Missouri (4-0, 0-0) -10.5 @Nebraska (3-1, 0-0). Nebraska gave up 35 points and 377 yards to Va Tech at home. Va Tech's previous highs were 24 points and 322 yards against, wait for it... wait for it... FURMAN! The black shirts are not back and, against Mizzou, that is down right scary. This is a Nebraska team that gave up 70 to Kansas last year and looks just as shaky. Nebraska's offense looks good, however. Look for Mizzou to cover in a high scoring affair. Mizzou 45, Nebraska 30. Cover Confidence 6.


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