Friday, October 10, 2008

Week 7 College Picks

#5 Texas vs. #1 Oklahoma – The Red River Shootout carries much more than a heated conference rivalry. This time it has national title implications. Texas comes into this game with a great pass rush but will meet a stout and big Oklahoma offensive line. The beneficiaries of these men are QB Sam Bradford and RBs DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown. Bradford so far has torn up defense, vaulting himself to the top of the Heisman watch list. Murray and Brown are the “thunder and lightning” in OU’s backfield that provide a nice change of pace to the open air-it-out attack directed by Bradford. UT’s Colt McCoy has been impressive this year under center, becoming more dynamic by adding a running attack to his repertoire. He leads the Longhorns in rushing, which is a bad thing against Oklahoma. The lack of running backs for Texas may lead to their demise in this game and this year.

Oklahoma, 38-21

#4 LSU @ #11 Florida – LSU RB Charles Scott came into this season not knowing what to expect from LSU’s season because of the losses suffered to the NFL. But he has helped turn the Bayou Bengals into national title contenders with his 535 yards rushing (133 per game) and 6 TDs. He alone has helped to stabilize the Tigers’ young offense quarterbacked by first-year starter Jarrett Lee. This week they face the #4 scoring defense in the nation, the Florida Gators in the Swamp. Florida’s “Superman” Tim Tebow has not looked like the Heisman winner from last year but has had the help of his young RBs Chris Rainey and Jeffrey Demps. They have been good thus far but face LSU’s defense that only allows 2.4 yards per carry. Expect a close, low-scoring, defensive game but the LSU lines will control the line of scrimmage and ultimately pull out the tough win.

LSU, 16-14

#17 Oklahoma State @ #3 Missouri – In what should be the highest scoring game of the weekend, the two outstanding quarterbacks take center stage. Mizzou is led by Heisman candidate Chase Daniel, who has not gone 3-and-out all season. Zac Robinson has also been spectacular for the Cowboys, throwing for 10 TDs and running for 4 more. In the end, neither defense will be able to stop the opposing offenses from scoring, but I think a few field goals will decide the game.

Missouri, 52-45

#6 Penn State @ Wisconsin – Penn State’s new spread offense has been flawless so far, propelling them to the top of the Big Ten. One of the few big tests left for PSU is a talented Wisconsin team. Although they have lost two in a row to Michigan and Ohio State, Wisconsin is still a formidable opponent. Nittany Lion QB Darryl Clark has been spectacular, amassing a 162.5 QB rating. The home field won’t be enough for the Badgers as they drop their third straight to JoPa’s Lions.

Penn State, 31-14

Notre Dame @ #22 North Carolina – If someone told you that Notre Dame-UNC on October 11 would matter on the national stage – not South Bend or Chapel Hill stage, national –, you would’ve called them crazy. But here we sit, two 4-1 teams vying for respect and rankings. North Carolina has looked impressive in blowout wins at Rutgers and at Connecticut but underwhelming in a near loss to Miami and loss to Virginia Tech. Notre Dame’s experienced youth seem comfortable at home but a little rattled on the road as witnessed by the loss at Michigan State. I think the Carolina defensive line will be able to get pressure on Jimmy Clausen and force turnovers.

North Carolina, 24-20

#23 Michigan State @ Northwestern – Another matchup of surprise teams in 2008. Northwestern comes into the game undefeated while Michigan State RB Javon Ringer enters the game 12 yards from the 1,000 yard mark. Expect a heavy dose of Ringer from the Spartans. In fact, Ringer leads the nation in carries with 212 carries. Northwestern has been untested thus far against such a talented back. Ringer shreds the Wildcat D to the tune of 200+ yards and a win.

Michigan State, 28-17

Arizona State @ #8 USC – This matchup is a complete opposite from the two previous ones. This was supposed to be the unofficial “Pac-10 Title Game” because of the talent and potential both teams had. But the Sun Devils have sputtered to a 2-3 start and USC has fallen to Oregon State on the road. Rudy Carpenter and Keegan Herring have not been themselves in the three losses. Mark Sanchez and the Trojans continue the Devils’ woes with a pounding.

USC, 42-10

Tennessee @ #10 Georgia – Tennessee came into this year ranked with high expectations but lost their first game at UCLA, not being able to capitalize on 4 UCLA interceptions. Since then, its been all downhill including an ugly loss to archrival Florida. Knowshon Moreno and the Georgia Bulldogs looked to be for real. That is until the Tide rolled into Athens and took a 31-0 lead on the Dawgs. The strong running game of Georgia allows them to control the clock and keep Tennessee’s pitiful offense off the field.

Georgia, 33-13

No comments: