Friday, September 21, 2007

Spread Em Where I Can See Em

There aren't many compelling games on the college football schedule this weekend. If you're in need of earning some points with your significant other, this Saturday is an ideal time to sacrifice some football viewing for the greater good. On the other hand, there's a very easy remedy that makes any game more exciting- gamble on it! This week's picks:

Michigan State -11.5 at Notre Dame
The next touchdown that Notre Dame's offense scores this season will be their first. Last week, I made the mistake of thinking Notre Dame was at least as good as Troy. That won't happen again. The Spartans get to exorcise some demons from their 4th qtr collapse in last season's matchup.

Washington +6.5 at UCLA
While both teams are coming off of losses, the defeats had two very different feels to them. Washington hung tough with a tradition-rich school, Ohio State, and established that they could play with the big boys. Optimism for the Jake Locker era should be very high in Seattle. Meanwhile, UCLA was humiliated against a mediocre Utah team and flat-out gave up in the second half. If the Bruins face any adversity against Washington- and they will- there's no reason to believe the team will respond well. Add to the equation that UCLA comes into the game with a ton of injuries at key positions, and forget about covering the spread- it's hard to imagine UCLA even winning the game.

Cal -14 vs Arizona
Lost amongst all of the criticism directed towards Lloyd Carr, Charlie Weis, and Karl Dorrell is the fact that the seat is getting awfully hot for Mike Stoops. He was brought in to turnaround the program, but instead they're just spinning their wheels. Since beating UCLA 52-14 in 2005 in what was thought to be a watershed victory for Arizona, the Wildcats have only 7 wins against 10 losses. It can't help that ASU is looking pretty potent on offense this year and might actually become Pac-10 contenders in the near future. Things are just going to get hotter for Stoops this weekend as Cal's firepower will just be too much to handle.

East Carolina +25 at West Virginia
Nobody stops West Virginia's rushing attack, but ECU has done a good job of at least slowing them down in the past. That should be enough to stay within 3 tds and figgie.

Oregon -17.5 at Stanford
Oregon should rush for 300 yards in this game. It's just a shame this isn't at Autzen stadium, because it would be quite a joy to have Oregon cheerleader shots after every TD the Ducks are going to score.

Utah State -3 vs San Jose State
This game might determine who is the worst Div I-A team west of the Mississippi. San Jose State must really miss James Jones as they've been outscored 116-17 through three games. Utah State isn't much better, losing their three games by a combined score of 109-37. This is San Jose State's fourth consecutive game on the road; although having visited San Jose a few times, I can't say that I blame the team for wanting to leave the armpit of the peninsula as often as possible...even for Logan, Utah.

Michigan +3
vs Penn State
Every factor is pointing in Penn State's favor, except one. Each Thursday, during halftime of the ESPN game, Lou Holtz gives a "pep talk" to a team playing that weekend. I have to admit, as hokie as they are, I actually enjoy them, Sylvester the Cat delivery and all. Unfortunately, they haven't been too effective for the team involved. First, it was a pep talk for Michigan as they went on to face Oregon. Oops. Then, it was a pep talk for Nebraska as they prepared for USC. Uh oh. This week, he's in Penn State's locker room:

Poor, Nittany Lions. They won't know what hit them.

(YTD: 12-8)



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