Friday, October 24, 2008

Week 9 College Picks

#3 Penn State @ #9 Ohio State - Penn State has been one of, if not the, most consistent teams in the entire nation. Meanwhile, Ohio State has quietly found itself back in the Big Ten and possibly national title hunt. Last week, each faced high profile opponents and won big. Penn State had a sluggish first half before exploding in the second half against Michigan. Ohio State, on the other hand, dominated from start to finish in an impressive romp over Michigan State. Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor has continued to improve even though the Buckeyes still rely heavily on the run. Pre-season Heisman favorite Beanie Wells has been an adequate back but has not delivering a dominating, superior performance yet. The Penn State Nittany Lion defensive line will decide this game with their pressure on Pryor and their ability to stop the run. On the other side of the ball, Penn State is led by "triplets" Daryll Clark, Evan Royster and Derrick Williams. Clark has been the leader of the "Spread HD" that this Lion offense has needed. Royster has provided the change of pace in the run game and a possession reciever out of the backfield. Williams has been a gamebreaker returning punts and kicks, while also a deep threat in the passing game. In the end, although in Columbus, the Lion defense will slow the Buckeye offene down and PSU's offense will strike quick. Expect Clark to have a big game.

Penn State, 34-28

#6 Oklahoma State @ #1 Texas - Texas, still in the toughest strecth in the nation, has completed and won games against Oklahoma and Missouri. Now, they face the undefeated, high-octane Oklahoma State Cowboys. The main story - as is the main story in just about all Big 12 games - is the quarterbacks. Texas' Colt McCoy leads the Heisman race and a Longhorn offense that has scored 45 and 51 points in their last two games. Cowboy QB Zac Robinson has been impressive through the air but also on the ground. His backfield mate, Kendall Hunter, has permormed like an All-American tailback thus far and should be able to slice the Longhorn defense to open up the passing game. The Cowboy defense is much better than the Mizzou defense Texas faced the week before. Expect OK State to slow down, but not stop, Texas' potent offense. The Cowboy running game will be the difference.

Oklahoma State, 48-45

#7 Georgia @ #13 LSU - A key SEC contest matches tough Bulldogs against iffy Tigers. Georgia's offense is similar to Florida's, which dropped 51 on LSU. Knowshon Moreno, Matthew Stafford and freshman A.J. Green form a formitable group of skill players for Georgia. The Bayou Bengals barely escaped South Carolina last week with the help from umpire Wilbur Hackett Jr. Don't expect LSU's vaunted defensive line to be as dominant as expected and for the Dawgs to control the clock.

Georgia, 24-16

#8 Texas Tech @ #23 Kansas - Another week, another Big 12 shootout. QBs Graham Harrell (Texas Tech) and Todd Reesing (Kansas) and WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech) lead the high scoring offenses. Mike Leach's wide-open, air-it-out spread offense should have no problem rolling up yards against a defense that allowed 650+ total yards against Oklahoma and Sam Bradford. Kansas' offense is not as good as Texas Tech's and won't be able to keep up.

Texas Tech, 63-42

#5 USC @ Arizona - Trojans head into game with national title dreams despie early loss to Oregon State. Surprising Wildcat team led by QB Willie Tuitama have upset potential but should be subdued by talented USC quarterback, running backs, well, everything. Home field advantage helps keep game close.

USC, 31-23

Virginia Tech @ #25 Florida State - Florida State looks to take next step on road towards ACC title with a win over Hokies. VT comes into game off loss at Boston College while FSU enters game on a roll. RB Antone Smith has looked more like the five-star recruit that the 'Noles wanted. Virginia Tech defense and running not enough againsy hostile crowd and rigid Seminole D.

Florida State, 21-14

Kentucky @ #10 Florida - Plain and simple: Kentucky does not have a shot at beating Florida in the Swamp. Gators have rebounded well since loss to Ole Miss on Sep. 27. Tim Tebow has started to return to form. In this one, Gators pound Wildcats

Florida, 51-21

Duke @ Vanderbilt - Two nerd turned football schools face off in what looked to be a promising matchup. Both have since lost key games and lost luster. But still, SAT scores aren't enough for Blue Devils in Nashville.

Vanderbilt, 27-17

Last Week: 5-3. Missed big on Texas and Ohio State but was pretty close on the other games.

No comments: