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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Picks of the Week

Well, I had a pretty good week last week. I went out on a few limbs and for the most part those limbs snapped underneath me and tossed me to the floor, but I went 5 for 7, bringing my total through four weeks to 27 out of 34, or 79%.

Week Five opens up league play for most of the Big Six conferences, which brings all sorts of crazy games. Several conference races should be considerably clearer after Saturday, which should lend momentum to several Top Ten teams heading into the meat of conference play. So, here are the top games of Week Five.

No. 16 Miami at Clemson
Miami went to Pittsburgh and got the job done, keeping Pitt locked down to just 3 points. Jacory Harris still looked a little squirrely, but managed to hang 30+ points on a team that many had chosen to win the Big East four weeks ago. I expect Clemson to be a little bit tougher than Pitt, though, and another road game should be tough for the Hurricanes. This game will be a close one, but I think Miami is on a roll and will eke out a one TD win.
Miami 28 Clemson 24

No. 21 Texas vs No. 8 Oklahoma
Last week wasn't kind to the Big 12. Nebraska looked less than Stellar against North Dakota State, Oklahoma almost dropped the ball against Cinci, and Texas got clobbered at home by a streaky UCLA team. Still, this game is the one to watch in the heartland. The Sooners and Longhorns are theoretically playing for the Big 12 South title and so despite their relatively unimpressive performances last week, both teams have a ton to play for. I expect this game to be close, but as long as Oklahoma can play smart and get their offense going I they will be able to shut down Texas.
Texas 21 Oklahoma 32

No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 24 Michigan State
This is one of two Big Ten games this weekend which will help sort out who is for real and who is just playin. Wisconsin and MSU are both undefeated at this point, and both had scares at home against decent opponents, but I think that the Spartans are ripe for some teeth kicking. MSU's long, slow decent to mediocrity starts on Saturday.
Wisconsin 35 Michigan State 24

No. 19 Michigan at Indiana
Simply put, Indiana doesn't stand a chance. Yes, they're 3-0 but that's because they haven't played anyone yet. Their defense isn't very good, and their vaunted run game has yet to really get off the ground. Assuming Denard Robinson is healthy, this game could get out of hand early, but I suspect the Hoosiers are going to be excited for this game and will put up a fight against our not so great defense. I'll be fair.
Michigan 48 Indiana 31

Virginia Tech at No. 23 North Carolina State
This is the real start of conference play in the ACC and NC State has really shown their mettle in the NC games. Unfortunately, VT is back on the upswing and I think the season will prove that the FCS debacle two weeks ago was just a stumble on the Hokies' way to a divisional title. Virginia Tech to "stuns" NC State by a touchdown.
Virginia Tech 17 North Carolina State 10

No. 7 Florida at No. 1 Alabama
This is both a rematch of last year's SEC title game and a preamble to this year's title game. 'Bama's probably going to win both of them. They faced their stiffest competition last week when they barely shuffled passed a very good Arkansas team. The Gators will not be as tough, especially in Tuscaloosa.
Florida 21 Alabama 28

No. 9 Stanford at No. 4 Oregon
This is the second biggest game of the weekend and is presumably the Pac 10 title game. Both the Cardinal and the Ducks are in the Top Ten and undefeated. Both have destroyed their opponents in convincing fashion, and both have extraordinarily high-powered offenses. This could go one of two ways: 1.) a low-scoring defensive battle or 2.) a total offensive free-for-all. The first favors Stanford, the second Oregon. The Cardinal is going to be a dark horse for the NC game in a few weeks. Stanford wins.
Stanford 21 Oregon 20

No. 22 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa
This game was a lot bigger a few weeks ago before PSU started hemorrhaging offensive linemen and Iowa got served notice in Arizona. But, as it is, these two teams are still at the top of a decent heap o' Big Ten so the outcome sort of matters. Penn State has underwhelmed so far and Iowa's only loss was a close one 2000 miles from home to a Wildcat team that might actually end up being pretty good. I'm gonna go with home field advantage and the Hawkeye defensive line on this one. Penn State is a 5-loss team this year.
Penn State 14 Iowa 28