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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Picks of the Week

Week One delivered little in the way of surprises, but it was still a fairly illuminating week of college football. The West half of the SEC proved they are too be feared, with LSU ripping off Oregon’s face and Mississippi State and Alabama hanging forty+ points on their opponents. It’s still too early to tell if Ole Miss should be embarrassed about losing to BYU, but Auburn dropped out of the Top 25 with their barely-face-saving performance against Utah State. Notre Dame dropped a deuce in their collective pants against ND alumni, Skip Holtz, and his South Florida Bulls. Texas A&M did their best to show the Big 12 why they’ll be missed when they jet for the SEC. Michigan played 2 and half quarters and still won by 24 points.

This week is all about clarification. Was that just first-game jitters from the Auburn Tigers or are they a middling team this year? Is this Mark Richt’s last year at Georgia? Can Miss State make a push for the SEC West or are they pretenders? These questions will be partially answered this week. See below.

Arizona at #9 Oklahoma State
Arizona and Okie State both put in good showings last week. Some people in the sports media are claiming this could be the year that Arizona actually has two good teams at once. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, though, they have to play the Cowboys a thousand miles away from AZ. I think OK State is the real front runners in the Big 12.
Arizona 21    Oklahoma State 42

#21 Missouri at Arizona State
Missouri barely made it passed a MAC team last week at home, and yet they are the ones coming into this match-up ranked. I think Missouri will finish middle of the B12 this year. Go Sun Devils!
Missouri 10    Arizona State 28

#12 South Carolina at Georgia
Mark Richt is clearly feeling the heat coming from his seat after getting annihilated on both sides of the ball by Boise State last week. This is a must-win for him and his Bulldogs if they hope to keep their SEC championship dreams alive, and if Richt hopes to keep his job. Too bad this is also The Head Ball Coach’s last legitimate chance at a National Championship with South Carolina before he fades into oblivion. I hate to do this to my Dawgs, but they looked like crap last weekend.
South Carolina 16    Georgia 10

Notre Dame at Michigan
This is the first night game ever played in the Big House and the electricity from that alone will carry the Wolverines ahead of the struggling Irish. I don’t think either of these teams are particularly great, but Michigan is a few confidence building wins away from being a contender in the Legends Division of the B1G. They won’t win it, of course, but they could push Nebraska and Michigan State.
Notre Dame 21    Michigan 35

#16 Mississippi State at Auburn

This is where Auburn shows how much they lost form last season, and where Mississippi State shows just how much they’ve grown.
Mississippi State 35    Auburn 32

#3 Alabama at #23 Penn State
Last year Alabama kicked Penn State out of Tuscaloosa with a severe black eye, and this year JoePa and his two-QB monster hopes to return the favor. Unfortunately for them Alabama has the best defense in the country and PSU’s offense is still trying to find an identity. The only chance PSU has is if Alabama proves to be equally confused on offense and this thing comes down to the wire. If so, I think 85K screaming Lion fans could be the deciding factor.
Alabama 21    Penn State 14