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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Picks of the Week

Man, I seriously got thrown for a loop last week. It was mostly the SEC's fault with nearly every game ending in some sort of crazy upset or topsy-turvy match-up. SoCar upended the No. 1 team, LSU actually went in The Swamp and got the job done, Michigan State gave my Wolverines a sore paw. Sheesh. That brings me to 37 out of 50 games, or 74%, which is still a respectable percentage I guess.

This week doesn't have quite the intrigue of last, but a lot of stuff will get clarified in the Big Ten after Week Seven's match-ups. With MSU hosting Illinois, Michigan hosting Iowa, and the Buckeyes and Badgers facing off in Madison, the opportunities for upsets are everywhere.

Let's get to it.

Illinois at No. 13 Michigan State
I hate Michigan State. Always have. Especially now. They haven't left the state of Michigan the entire year and now get to go back to East Lansing with their stupid Paul Bunyan trophy and play an Illinois team that just trounced Penn State. I think this is a trap game for the Spartans. Not just because I hate them and it gives me devilish glee to predict a MSU loss, but because Illinois is kind of good and the Spartans are getting cocky. I hope they don't confuse a true sophomore quarterback in his 6th start ever melting down for actually stopping said true sophomore, because they didn't stop Denard Robinson. He stopped himself, and still managed to get 300 yards on them.
Illinois 34 Michigan State 24

No. 21 Missouri at Texas A&M
It's very possible that A&M will have a bit of a let down this week after taking Arkansas all the way to the wire, but if they play like they did against the Hogs they should have no problem dispatching the overrated Tigers. Hopefully the home atmosphere will help spur them on, otherwise they are likely to end up with another L. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Missouri 14 Texas A&M 24

Texas at No. 5 Nebraska
This game was supposed to be a possible prologue to the Big 12 championship game, but with Texas falling off a cliff Nebraska definitely has the ball here. The Longhorns' future is in the hands of Oklahoma, but Nebraska's is all their own, so look to them to come into this game fired up. It's not every year teams get to beat up on a down Longhorns team, especially when Texas is traveling to Lincoln. This could get ugly.
Texas 21 Nebraska 35

No. 12 Arkansas at No. 7 Auburn
This past weekend proved that the East isn't the only division in the SEC that's totally up for grabs. Arkansas may have lost to Alabama, but with the Tide dropping one to SoCar, the race is wide open again. A win in Auburn would do a lot to bring the Hogs back into it. Although both teams have high-powered offenses, I expect this one to be won in the trenches and on defense. Arkansas has been battle-tested and I think that will be the difference.
Arkansas 28 Auburn 21

No. 15 Iowa at Michigan
I hate Michigan State. Have I mentioned that? But those bastards in green may have done us a slight favor. By beating the Wolverines a bit of the pressure may have come off this young team's shoulders, so maybe Michigan will come into this even bigger match-up a little looser. The Wolverines have the advantage of playing at home, but the Hawkeyes have the best defense in the Big Ten, and their offense has been rolling. As will be the case with every Michigan game this year, it all comes down to Denard Robinson. If he has a big game then no one will be able to beat the Wolverines. If he doesn't, though, our defense isn't gonna do him any favors. I'm hoping last week was a bad case of the joojoobees and not a portent of the future. This game isn't the end-all-be-all, but a win would go a long way toward silencing the critics.
Iowa 30 Michigan 35

No. 20 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
I'm still not convinced that the Cowboys are the real deal, but this week's match-up will give them the opportunity to prove themselves. The Red Raiders are struggling a bit during Coach Tuberville's first season, but they still have shown a spark of inspiration on offense, and if they can keep OK State's offense from rolling too much, we might just have a game on our hands. But I've gone out on too many limbs these past weeks, so I'll play it safe.
Oklahoma State 35 Texas Tech 21

No. 1 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin
This is probably the match-up of the week. Looking eerily similar to last week's SoCar/'Bama game, we once again have the No. 1 team in the country on the road against a Top Twenty opponent looking for blood. Wisconsin's only loss comes courtesy of a Spartan team that looks like they might actually be good this year, so it's hard to tell whether the Badgers are overrated or just got beat on the road by a good team. This week will tell us a lot about the top half of the Big Ten. Between MSU/Ill, Mich/Iowa, and this doozie of a game, OSU and MSU will either emerge as the top dogs in the B10, or we'll have one heck of a muddled conference. I prefer the more confusing option. Whatever keeps the Buckeyes out of the NC game is cool with me.
Ohio State 28 Wisconsin 30