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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Picks of the Week

Week Ten

Alright, if it hadn’t have been for my Bulldogs and Wolverines I would have gone 100% this weekend, but as it was I went 6 for 8 to bring my total up to 40 for 65, or 62%. Last weekend decided a few things: Oregon pretty much has the Pac 10 sewn up and made a heck of a statement with a solid thumping of USC, Florida proved that they can actually play offense when it matters, and Texas proved they are the team to beat in the Big 12, and will likely be heading to the National Championship game barring a major stumble in the coming weeks.

While this weekend is not quite as dramatic, there are several key match-ups to watch, specifically the grudge matches in Tuscaloosa and Happy Valley. Whomever emerges from these two games with the W will have a good shot at their conference championships.

Northwestern at No. 4 Iowa
I don’t know if this is a trap game or not, but Iowa had to work awfully hard in the 4th quarter to bump off a decent Indiana team, and it doesn’t look like the Hawkeyes will have much of a week off with the Wildcats coming to town. After nine wins Iowa has a pretty solid body of work to suggest that this one will be close, but ultimately Iowa will emerge on top. What Iowa needs is a win here and a Penn State victory over Ohio State to more or less clinch the Big 10 championship. Look for a lot of Blue and White fans in Iowa City this weekend.
Iowa 28 Northwestern 14

Purdue at Michigan
Why, oh why do you torture me so, Big Blue? All Michigan needed was a victory over a majorly struggling Illinois team on Saturday but what the Wolverines came with was more of the same: turnover central, and a lackluster defensive effort. With only three games left on the schedule, and two of them being hard conference matches against Wisconsin and Ohio State, this game looks like the Wolverines’ last chance to reach the all-important sixth win to earn a bowl berth. Purdue is no Penn St. so look for Michigan to be feeling the Forcier in the Big House and come up with a Big Win. Plus there's a good chance I wil actually be in the stadium to watch this game, so I'm sure word will spread to all the Wolverine players that the venerable Tres Crow is there and they will obligingly play at their greatest potential, lest they let me down. Or at elast that's what I'm hoping for.
Michigan 35 Purdue 28

No. 9 LSU at No. 3 Alabama
This is it. Florida has clinched the SEC East and this game essentially solidifies the West. ‘Bama clearly has the advantage with the game being played in Tuscaloosa, but LSU has had a way of shocking teams all season. After LSU’s slug match with Georgia a few weeks back and Alabama’s grind fest with Tennessee I imagine this will not be an offensive showcase, but a classic one-yard-at-a-time nail-biter. I think Alabama has a more complete team and as long as they can find a way to pass effectively, eventually LSU will make a mistake. I think ‘Bama and Florida have a date with destiny in Atlanta.
Alabama 17 LSU 14

No. 8 Oregon at Stanford
On paper Oregon should seriously thump Stanford, but coming off a big win against USC it’s possible the Ducks will be a little hung-over and get caught looking to the post-season with Stanford…or they will kick the Cardinals all over the field and keep their steamroll a’rollin’. I think it’ll probably be the latter.
Oregon 45 Stanford 17

Wake Forest at No. 10 Georgia Tech
The Demon Deacons of Wake Forest managed to bump off a reeling Virginia Tech last weekend but I don’t think they will find the same welcome mat in Atlanta. Georgia Tech is hands down the favorite to win the ACC and they are playing on all cylinders. They can see the finish line and I doubt they are gonna let a few sacrilegious pastors get in their way.
Georgia Tech 45 Wake Forest 21

No. 16 Ohio State at No. 11 Penn State
While both of these teams need Iowa to lose twice in order to win the Big 10, this is still a major pride game for both the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes. There are also some BCS implications for Penn State if they win; it is possible they could get themselves in a BCS game if they win out, since their only loss would have come at the hands of a dominant Iowa team. I think Penn State are finally firing at all cylinders and will get a boost from the white out of Happy Valley.
Penn State 28 Ohio State 14

Connecticut at No. 5 Cincinnati
I’m very sorry for UConn’s loss but I don’t think Cincinnati is going to let up just because their collective heart is bleeding. The Bearcats are stomping everyone that gets in their way and with BCS title hopes glinting in their eyes I think the Huskies will just be more fodder for their touchdown machinery.
Cincinnati 33 Connecticut 17

No. 12 USC at Arizona State
Arizona State is better than their record suggests and USC has nothing really to play for since losing to Oregon. So, will this be a big upset for the Sun Devils? No. USC will go to Tempe and take their lunch money and give them a wedgie just because they are pissed about losing to Oregon.
USC 35 Arizona State 14

No. 24 Oklahoma at Nebraska
Although this game practically means nothing at this point, I think this should still be a good game as the Cornhuskers try to pull out of their nosedive and Oklahoma simply tries to keep their heads above water and get into a good bowl game. Even without Bradford Nebraska can’t keep up with the Sooners on Offense so their only hope is stopping Oklahoma on Defense. Otherwise this one could get out of hand.
Oklahoma 35 Nebraska 17