Wednesday, September 15, 2010

College Football: Week 3

Week two was full of surprises. Virginia Tech shocked the nation and angered Boise State fans as they lost to James Madison at home. Georgia Tech fell to Kansas and Florida State didn't even show up in Norman. That was a disappointment. Last week I was 16-5 (1-2) and Brandon was 18-3 (1-0). Overall the standings are Me at 37-6 (2-3) with Brandon at 38-5 (1-1). Last weeks helmet sticker goes to Denard Robinson of Michigan. Denard was 24-40 for 244 yards and a passing touchdown. On the ground he had 28 carries for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns in Michigan's exciting win at Notre Dame. Rich Rod may be safe with this kid as his QB. Time for week three's picks. Brandon was able to post on his blog finally, although he may continue to have internet/computer trouble. I'd like you all to check out his take on the recent drama with Reggie Bush forfeiting his Heisman Trophy (as well as his week three picks) at the following link.

 Friday September 17th 2010

#24 California Golden Bears 2-0 @ Nevada Wolfpack 2-0

Colin Kaepernick will look to make a
statement at home against Cal.
D-I AA Eastern Washington and future MWC foe Colorado State are the first two teams to see Colin Kaepernick and the Nevada Wolfpack this season. With wins of 49-24 and 51-6 can we really judge how good Nevada is? We will this week in Reno as they host the Cal Golden Bears who has had pretty much the same schedule so far. They allowed ten total points combined as they hosted both UC Davis and Colorado scoring fifty two points of their own both times. This could be a season defining game for both teams. Both schools look pretty even to me on the offensive side of the ball. It's Cal's inexperienced Defense that I see being the downfall in this game. Kaepernick is too powerful and will be on his home turf. The Wolfpack take home the upset of the week honors. Nevada 27 Cal 17. Brandon: Cal 45 Nev 24.

Saturday September 18th 2010

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide 2-0 @ Duke Blue Devils 1-1 (0-1)

Duke just put up a fight on the road against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest last week but only beat Elon by 13 at home the week before. Even though they're at home this week I have a hard time seeing them doing much on the field against the Tide. Mark Ingram has been cleared to play this week. Tide fans will be stoked to see their Heisman winner from last year make his debut. I'm trying really hard to find something good to say about Duke football. With all the conference realignment that's been going on we keep hearing that football is the money maker. I seriously doubt that is the case in Durham. Sorry Dukies, Coach K's name isn't on the football turf. No surprise here. Bama 48 Duke 16. Brandon: Bama 38 Duke 16.

#2 Ohio State Buckeyes 2-0 vs. Ohio Bobcats 1-1 (0-1)

The Buckeyes haven't lost at home to another school from the state of Ohio since 1921 when they fell to Oberlin 7-6. 'Nuff said. OSU 55 Ohio 10. Brandon: OSU 48 Ohio 17.

#3 Boise State Broncos 1-0 @ Wyoming Cowboys 1-1

Boise is coming off of a bye where they watched Virginia Tech (whom they beat in a thriller the week before) lose at home to James Madison. The fans are irate as that will put a major hit on the Broncos strength of schedule in their run for the BCS this year. VT was supposed to contend for the title this year. Watch out Cowboys. The Broncos will be looking to pour it on in retaliation. Blowout alert. BSU 51 UW 7. Brandon: BSU 40 Wyo. 21.

The Longhorns lost a tough
one the last time they
visited Lubbock

#4 Texas Longhorns 2-0 @ Texas Tech Red Raiders 2-0

Who can forget the last time the Longhorns visited Lubbock? This one could be another thriller. Texas is reloading while the Raiders are still getting over the Mike Leach drama. SMU almost left Lubbock with a victory in week one. Both teams face their only true challenge thus far. Anything can happen in a rivalry right? Just ask the 2005 TCU Horned Frogs. I'm still not sold on Texas yet this year but no one can deny Mack Brown's resume. Taylor Potts will be tested with the Longhorns experienced secondary and that could be the difference. Tech's one dimensional offense will be their Achilles heel. If they can establish the run against UT's young front four they could pull away with a victory. No Michael Crabtree this time. Texas takes the nail biter. Texas 24 TTU 18. Brandon: Tex 38 Tech 23.

#5 TCU Horned Frogs 2-0 vs. Baylor Bears 2-0

Top of the MWC versus the bottom of the Big XII. TCU is desperately seeking for exposure in their own state to compete with the Texas Longhorns. Scheduling Baylor may have been good for that but I'm not sure it will get more attention than the Texas/Texas Tech game. Funny how those two games landed on the same day. The Bears have only allowed nine points combined this season and scored thirty four in both games against Sam Houston State and Buffalo. TCU could score more than nine in the first quarter alone. Baylor will be getting the same treatment they gave their first two opponents. Horned Frogs win big ... again. TCU 43 BU 10. Brandon: TCU 40 Baylor 16.

#6 Oregon Ducks 2-0 vs. Portland State Vikings 1-1

The Ducks have had a high octane offense all season. They got off to a slow start at Tennessee last week and went into the locker room tied at 13. They outscored the Volunteers 35-0 in the second half. Don't expect Oregon to follow in Virginia Tech's footsteps. Portland State lost badly on the road in Tempe earlier this month to another Pac-10 foe Arizona State. Well guess what Vikings, the Ducks are the defending Pac-10 Champs. Another big win in Autzen Stadium. Oregon 58 PSU 3. Brandon: Ore 65 Por St. 7.
Jeff Demps has been the
spark for Florida's success
so far this season.
 #7 Florida Gators 2-0 @ Tennessee Volunteers 1-1

Tennessee fans had something to cheer about in the first half against Oregon as they were tied 13-13 going into the locker room. The Vol's wouldn't score again and lost 43-13. Perhaps that was because of the rain and lightning delay. Sometimes taking a break from what's working can be negative. Especially in the game of football. Regardless, they got pummeled. People have been questioning Florida and they've come up with two convincing victories over Miami (OH) and South Florida. Both teams are pretty young and the game was close in Knoxville last year. Still, I see Jeff Demps with yet another big game on the ground. Tauren Poole has been impressive on the ground for Tennessee too and this could turn into a battle between the two. Urban Meyer will still lead his Gators to victory. He knows how to get things done and I believe his team as the edge in the QB battle and defensively. UF 27 Ten. 16. Brandon: FLA 42 Ten 17.

#8 Nebraska Cornhuskers 2-0 @ Washington Huskies 1-1

Washington got off to a slow start but rolled to a nice win against Syracuse last week. They got shutout in the second half of week one but gave 'Cuse the same outcome with a 41-20 victory. Locker looked more like himself with 289 and 4 TD's against the Orange. Chris Polk running the ball has been offering some nice security for Locker. However, things could get ugly as the Huskers come to town. NU hasn't really had any tough opponents so far but I don't see them slowing up. The offense will do what they can to keep up but it will be a long day for the Huskies defense. NU 38 UW 26. Brandon: UW 21 NU 20.

#9 Oklahoma Sooners 2-0 vs Air Force Falcons 2-0

Oklahoma scared a lot of folks two weeks ago when they almost lost to Utah State. The Sooners shut them all up last week. I disrespected how they play on their home turf. I had them losing to Florida State and they won by 30. Air Force had a great win last week too as they ran all over BYU. The Falcons are trying to compete for a top three spot in the Mountain West but I'm not sure they walk out of Norman victorious. Landry Jones, DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles have all been ridiculous this year. Jones is three yards shy of 600 for the year. Broyles has nearly a third of those yards while Murray is just under 260 on the ground. Air Force's Triple Option featuring Jared Tew and Asher Clark could find success on two or three drives but that won't be nearly enough. OU takes another big victory. OU 41 AFA 24. Brandon: OU 40 AFA 21.

In 2009 the Hawkeyes and Wildcats
squared off at Kinnick Stadium with
Iowa being victorious.

#10 Iowa Hawkeyes 2-0 @ #18 Arizona Wildcats 2-0

Arizona will be looking to avenge the loss to the Hawkeyes in September of last year. The two schools square off in our game of the week. The Wildcats defense has allowed 6 points in two games this season. I don't think Ricky Stanzi cares about those numbers as he comes to Tucson. Nick Foles has looked spectacular for the U of A thus far. He has a primary target in junior Juron Criner while Nic Grigsby and Greg Nwoko are sharing the load on the ground. But this inexperience defense will be challenged as they face the Hawkeyes. Adam Robinson will test the youthful Wildcat linebackers and could open up the passing game for Iowa. I see a close one and I would really like to see AZ get the victory, but this Iowa defense is too good. They have eight returning starters from 2009 on a unit that ranked 10th overall in total yards allowed and 4th in passing yards. Again, Arizona will test the defense and could find them guessing once or twice, but Iowa will be too much in the end. Iowa 27 Arizona 24. Brandon: Ariz 32 Iowa 24.

#11 Wisconsin Badgers 2-0 vs. Arizona State Sun Devils 2-0

ASU began the season with two D-I AA schools at home. I'm not sure if they know what they're getting themselves into traveling to Madison. The Badgers haven't exactly played powerhouse schools either but their offensive attack will have a field day. Even if John Clay gets stuffed by the Devils veterans up front, The passing game shouldn't have any problems either. As much as I like Steven Threet, a decent air game won't be enough. Wisconsin 37 Arizona State17. Brandon: Wis. 38 ASU 14.

LSU will look to build from their
thrilling OT victory over UNC.
 #12 LSU Tigers 2-0 (1-0) vs Mississippi State Bulldogs 1-1 (0-1)

MSU let me down last week as I picked them to upset Auburn at home. They see another SEC opponent coming to Starkville. This LSU offense is led by Stevan Ridley and Jordan Jefferson with Brandon taylor and Patrick Peterson leading the way in the secondary for the defense. The defense carried the Tigers last season as the offense ranked 112th in overall yardage. Pretty bad. And they were still 9-4. Sorry Bulldogs, I can't go with you this time. This D is too powerful. LSU 24 MSU 13. Brandon: LSU 31 MSU 20

#13 Arkansas Razorbacks 2-0 @ Georgia Bulldogs 1-1 (0-1)

The Bulldogs welcome Ryan Mallett to Athens who hasn't really had any troubles yet this season. In two games Mallett has 701 passing yards. He's definitely lived up to the hype he's been getting. This week he faces an inexperienced secondary on the road. Georgia is coming off of loss to South Carolina where they failed to find the endzone. Freshman Aaron Murray has been very efficient throwing the ball for the Bulldogs. Being at home may give them a spark or two but I still see Mallett having a big game through the air leading the Razorbacks to victory. Ark. 28 UGA 17. Brandon: Ark. 23 UGA 14.

#14 Utah Utes 2-0 (1-0) @ New Mexico Lobos 0-2

After the Lobos 72-0 loss to Oregon earlier this year some were saying they're the worst team in college football. New Mexico has been outscored 124-17 so far this season. The last time the Utes came to town the Lobos nearly gave Utah their only loss. They couldn't pull it off and lost 13-10. The Utes later found themselves in the Sugar Bowl destroying Alabama. I don't see that happening again this year (UNM nearly beating them that is) as New Mexico has too many problems to be upsetting a top 15 school. Utah cruises to 3-0 regardless if Jordan Wynn is able to play. Terrence Cain is more than capable. Utah 44 UNM 17. Brandon: Utah 45 UNM 10.

Cam Newton has been impressive so
far on the ground and through the air.

#15 Auburn Tigers 2-0 (1-0) vs. Clemson Tigers 2-0
I praised Cam Newton last week but predicted his team to lose a close one against Mississippi State. They proved me wrong and won 17-14. Clemson faces their first real challenge of the season as they travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium. CJ Spiller is gone and Sophomore quarterback Kyle Parker is the only returning skilled position offensive player but so far this season it's been the Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper show in the backfield. The Tigers could find themselves in another close fight. I'm not disrespecting Auburn again. Newton will lead his team to victory in another nail biter. UA 28 Clemson 26. Brandon: Aub. 36 Clem. 24.

#16 South Carolina Gamecocks 2-0 (1-0) vs. Furman Paladins 1-0

South Carolina had the solid win against Georgia last week and Steve Spurrier is starting to make his statement as their head coach. Watch out SEC, the Cocks are alive. I was surprised by JMU last week and NDSU the week before so I'm not going to say anything about this being pretty much a week off for SC. But I am predicting Marcus Latimore having a huge game on the ground as he leads his team to a blowout. So.Car. 45 Furman 7. Brandon: So.Car. 41 Fur. 10.

#19 Stanford Cardinal 2-0 (1-0) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2-0 (1-0)

Stanford didn't travel very far as they shutout UCLA 35-0. Their attack is led by future first round draft pick Andrew Luck. Wake Forest had a hard time closing out Duke in Winston Salem last week. Their rushing game was well balanced and Chris Givens nearly had all the receiving yards. Andrew Luck will be too much for WF's young D. Stanford 38 WF 13. Brandon: Stan 38 Wake 14

#20 Penn State Nittany Lions 1-1 vs Kent State Golden Flashes 1-1

PSU is coming off of their embarrassing loss to Alabama. They failed to reach the endzone at all. It's time to rebuild their confidence against MAC foe Kent State. Nothing really stood out positively for PSU besides freshman Robert Bolden's two picks. Time to regroup. The Golden Flashes kept up with Boston College last week but still lost 26-13. Sam Kirkland and Jacquise Terry headline the offense at receiver. The Nittany Lions may be a little inexperienced but I see them looking good in Happy Valley. After that loss last week they need to show some resilience before Big Ten play starts. PSU 30 KSU 13. Brandon PSU 41 KSU 10.

#21 West Virginia Mountaineers 2-0 vs. Maryland Terrapins 2-0

West Virginia had an exciting overtime win last Friday over Marshall. Although I picked them, it would have been cool to see The Herd pull it off on the 40th anniversary of the devastating plane crash. Maryland squeaked by Navy two weeks ago and ran all over Morgan State last week with their talented running game. Geno Smith had a great game through the air in Huntington while Noel Devine had great rushing numbers as well. I'd like to see Maryland pull this one off but the Mountaineers defense is too experienced for a one dimensional offense. WVU 33 UMD 17. Brandon: WVU 36 UMD 24.

#22 Michigan Wolverines 2-0 vs. Massachusetts Minutemen 2-0 (1-0)

Denard Robinson had over 500 yards of offense in South Bend last week. I'm not saying he'll repeat that performance but do look for another big day from Rich Rod's crew as the Minutemen come to town. Mich. 47 UMASS 6. Brandon: Mich. 56 UMASS 13.

Case Keenum will try to lead his team
to victory against UCLA on the road.

#23 Houston Cougars 2-0 (1-0) @ UCLA Bruins 0-2 (0-1)

Houston continues to light up the score board. It's a good thing because the defense has allowed 28 and 24 points to Texas State and UTEP so far. They're leaving the state of Texas for the first time this year as they visit the Rose Bowl. Case Keenum has been impressive thus far and I believe he'll continue that. UCLA has two experienced safety's in Tony Dye and Rahim Moore but they won't be enough for the high octane offense of the Cougars. UCLA started last season 3-0. They will start 2010 0-3. UH 44 UCLA 23. Brandon: Hou 36 UCLA 21.

#25 Missouri Tigers 2-0 vs. San Diego State Aztecs 2-0

Mizzou is still in reload mode after the Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin era but off to a nice start in 2010. Blaine Gabbert already has over 500 passing yards in two games this season. Brady Hoke is still trying to make the Aztecs relevant in the top heavy Mountain West but can't quite find his next Nate Davis. Ryan Lindley is still the man taking the snaps in Qualcomm and SDSU is off to a 2-0 start. A challenge lies ahead as they face a much more competitive opponent than Nicholls State and New Mexico State. Travelling to Columbia will be a good test for them. The Tigers aren't exactly a Big XII powerhouse but the gap between mid Big XII and mid MWC isn't close. Sorry Mr. Hoke. Mizzou 28 SDSU 10. Brandon: Mizzou 42 SDSU 17.

T.j. Yates T.J. Yates #13 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates after throwing for a touchdown against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Meineke Car Care Bowl on December 27, 2008 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** T.J. Yates
TJ Yates is looking to rebound after
the tough loss to LSU in week one.
Non Top-25 Game
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 1-1 @ North Carolina Tar Heels 1-0

GT got upset by they Jayhawks of Kansas last week. That doesn't look too good for them because KU lost to North Dakota State the previous week. The Tar Heels are coming off a bye week where they had time to get past their last minute loss to LSU. Senior Tight End Zack Pianalto dropped two late touchdown passes from TJ Yates that could have been the game winner both times. I'm still bitter about that too. Georgia Tech had a solid running game last week where six players had over 30 yards on the ground. Josh Nesbitt however only completed 5 of 15 passes. Yeah that's not gonna fly against this veteran UNC defense. I'm not calling blowout alert here, but the Heels will still win by more than a touchdown. UNC 28 GT 17. Brandon: GT 26 UNC 20.

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