Tuesday, September 21, 2010

College Football: Week 4

Last week Brandon beat me by one pick going 22-2 (1-1) while I finished 21-3 (1-0). That's twice now that North Carolina has let me down losing by the same score both times. And who thought Houston would lose their first and second string QB's? Tough break for the Cougars. After three weeks Brandon is 60-7 (2-2) with me at 58-9 (3-3). We have two helmet sticker winners. Brandon went with Ryan Mallett the QB at Arkansas. Ryan was 21-33 through the air with 380 yards and 3 TD's with one of those being the late game sealer over Georgia. My helmet sticker goes to Colin Kaepernick. Colin was 10-15 with 181 yards and 2 TD's through the air and ran the ball 17 times for 148 yards and 3 more touchdowns as his Nevada Wolfpack ran over the Cal Golden Bears 52-31. Now lets look ahead to week four.

Thursday September 23rd 2010

#19 Miami (FL) Hurricanes 1-1 @ Pittsburgh Panthers 1-1

The 'Canes are coming off of a bye. They got some extra time to prepare for Pitt after their 36-24 loss to Ohio State. Jacory Harris will be hungry for a win. Pitt also had a bye after their victory over New Hampshire. So far Dion Lewis has been pretty quiet and Tino Sunseri is still trying to get his feel for the offense. Harris threw four picks against the Buckeyes and his team still only lost by twelve points. Set those aside and his numbers were pretty decent. With all due respect to Dave Wannstedt and his Pitt Panthers (and the home field advantage) Miami will come away victorious. I'm not really sold on either team, but I think Miami just has a few more weapons than Pitt. Miami 20 Pitt 14.  Brandon: Miami 32 Pitt 21.

Friday September 24th 2010

#5 TCU Horned Frogs 3-0 @ SMU Mustangs 2-1 (2-0)

When TCU first joined the Mountain West Conference they plowed through with an undefeated conference record. They started the season with an upset over Oklahoma. The only loss on their record was SMU and they lost by more than a touchdown. Since then, this game hasn't really been close. June Jones is still trying to get SMU back to where they used to be years ago. They almost went home from Lubbock with a victory, beat UAB 28-7 and last week they sent Washington State home with a loss by two touchdowns. Holding tight against Tech was impressive but UAB has never really been good and WSU has been the worst Pac-10 team for years now. It's almost a disgrace having them in the Pac-10. TCU still has Andy Dalton at QB with his high powered offense. I do see some competition here but it will still be a comfortable win for Gary Patterson's Horned Frogs. TCU 41 SMU 27. Brandon: TCU 45 SMU 24.

Saturday September 25th 2010

Ryan Mallett showed much poise during crunch time as
he led Arkansas to victory over Georgia.

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide 3-0 @ #11 Arkansas Razorbacks 3-0 (1-0)

The Tide and Razorbacks square off in weeks four's GOW. Bama has blown out every opponent so far this season. One of those was a young Penn State. Mark Ingram is back and will try to capitalize from his huge game in Durham last week. But beware Tide. You're in Ryan Mallett's house. Mallett already has over 1000 yards passing and showed his Heisman hopeful abilities in the thrilling win over Georgia last Saturday. I'm highly looking forward to this game. The defending Champs want nothing more than to repeat and the Razorbacks are finally back in the top 15 since Darrenn McFadden left. Ohio State is the eight point favorite for this matchup. I'm calling this one the UPSET SPECIAL of the week. Very tight game in a solid SEC matchup. Sorry Saban. No undefeated season this time. I don't see many flaws, just the Razorbacks with one more chance of making a play than the Tide. The fans will go crazy in Razorback Stadium after this one. Arkansas 28 Bama 24. Brandon: Ark 27 Bama 24.

#2 Ohio State Buckeyes 3-0 vs Eastern Michigan Eagles 0-3 (0-2)

Ohio State plays their fourth straight home game of the season (they have eight total). This one will be another breezer as they face their second MAC opponent. Another big day for Pryor and company. OSU 56 EMU 0. Brandon: OSU 52 EMU 12.

#3 Boise State Broncos 2-0 vs Oregon State Beavers 1-1

The Broncos face their last non conference threat to making their run for the national title. There is another threat on the schedule but we'll look at that when it gets here. BSU welcomes the Beavers of Oregon State to the smurf turf. Boise took a bad hit to their strength of schedule when Viriginia Tech (who was #6 in the country when they beat them) lost at home to James Madison. They also nearly lost to ECU this last week. The Broncos need to make another statement against an AQ school so their argument can remain. The Broncos surprised no one as they pummeled Wyoming 51-6 on Saturday and they haven't lost at home since September 8th 2001 when they lost 41-20 to Washington State. Oregon State has never beaten the Broncos either. The Rodgers brother's will try to break both of those streaks. They're coming off of two competetive matchups against TCU and Louisville. They will put up a fight but Chris Peterson will not let his Broncos lose this game. I just don't see it happening. BSU 38 OSU 26. Brandon: BSU 30 OSU 24,

#4 Texas Longhorns 3-0 (1-0) vs UCLA Bruins 1-2 (0-1)

The Bruins ran all over Houston last week who was without star QB Case Keenum, and that was why they were able to do that. Still, UCLA hasn't proven anything yet this season. The Longhorns beat rival Texas Tech in week three and it didn't really go down to the wire either. With Texas rolling and UCLA definitely struggling this season I find it highly unlikely the Bruins will come out of Austin with a 2-2 record. Nor do I see this one being a close game. Texas 28 UCLA 10. Brandon: Texas 36 UCLA 24.

LaMichael James leads the way for the
2010 highest scoring offense.
#6 Oregon Ducks 3-0 @ Arizona State Sun Devils 2-1

ASU almost gave me another L last week as Wisconsin narrowly escaped with a 20-19 victory. This could be the first real test for the Ducks this season too. They struggled in the first half at Tennessee but rolled to a huge victory. The Devils will be ready for Oregon. Do not discount the upset potential here as Steven Threet will look lead with the passing game. Oregon's huge running game and top scoring offense could be the difference here. I don't see them matching their season average, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a shootout. It took me awhile to think this one through. I kept leaning back and forth. ASU did well against NAU and Portland State at stopping the run but John Clay had 162 yards last week. The running game is the Ducks forte. They will take the victory in Tempe. Oregon 38 ASU 27. Brandon: Oregon 42 ASU 27.

#7 Nebraska Cornhuskers 3-0 vs South Dakota State Jackrabbits 0-2 (0-1)

Nebraska only allowed Jake Locker to complete four passes last Saturday. He finished 4-20 with just 71 yards and they picked him off twice. The Huskers had three players with over 100 rushing yards on the road. With that performance and holding a potential number one overall NFL draft pick to go 4 of 20, I see the material of a National Champion. They are just cruising thus far this season. Oh yeah, they're playing SDSU this week. Almost forgot. NU 58 SDSU 6. Brandon: NU 48 SDSU 3.

#8 Florida Gators 3-0 (1-0) vs Kentucky Wildcats 3-0

UK is lead by senior running back Derrick Locke who is coming off of a big game against Akron. The Gators are rolling thus far in 2010 with Jeff Demps giving them the spark in each of their three games. The SEC really is unpredictable sometimes but I'm not sure the Wildcats have a chance in this one. UF has alot of momentum scoring at least 31 points in each game so far with the defense keeping each opponent under 20 points. I see the same pattern here as they host Kentucky. Jeff Brantley will have a decent game but the play maker will be Demps. Urban Meyer leads his team to victory yet again. UF 33 UK 17. Brandon: FLA 34 UK 17.

DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles
have been very dangerous for OU.
#9 Oklahoma Sooners 3-0 @ Cincinnati Bearcats 1-2

The Sooners defensive line has had some issues this season and the D as a whole is letting points be scored. They were almost upset by Air Force last week and Utah State two weeks ago. I'd like to start an argument that they may be facing their worst opponent of the season thus far. With no dis-respect to Fresno State, Cincinnati just doesn't look good so far. I do like Zach Collaros though. He's been getting the ball to his receivers but have lost both games on the road to the Bulldogs and the NC State Wolfpack. They come back home to host Landry Jones, Demarco Murray and Ryan Broyles. I believe the Bearcats will put some points on the board but their defense will have a long afternoon. OU 51 Cincy 28. Brandon: OU 41 Cincy 21.

#10 Wisconsin Badgers 3-0 vs Austin Peay Governors 2-1 (1-0)

Wisconsin saw a scare at Arizona Sate last week but pulled off the victory 20-19. I'm not really sold on the Badgers yet as they've struggled each week. They ended up beating UNLV 41-21 but struggled a bit against San Jose State. Their competition level droops down a bit as they host Austin Peay. The Badgers will start 4-0 but could have a long season in conference play. Wisc. 37 AP 16. Brandon: Wisc. 37 AP 14.

#12 LSU Tigers 3-0 (2-0) vs #22 West Virginia Mountaineers 3-0

West Vriginia remains the only team from the Big East in the top 25 and along with Rutgers are the only two left undefeated. They have a tough task as they travel to Baton Rouge. The offense is still rolling with Noel Devine leading the way on the ground. He's averaged 118 yards on the ground per game and Geno Smith is averaging 266 passing yards per game. This LSU defense has only allowed 10 points since their 30-24 defeat of North Carolina and both of those games were against SEC foes. This could turn into the battle of the two running backs as Stevan Ridley leads the way for the Tigers offense. Jordan Jefferson is only averaging 19 passes a game. I give Devine a touchdown or two but I don't see much else going well for the Mountaineers offensively. Look for a competitive game, but don't expect it to go down to the wire. The Tiger's D will keep their offense on the field for most of the game. LSU 34 WVU 21. Brandon: LSU 30 WVU 21.

#13 Utah Utes 3-0 (2-0) vs San Jose State Spartans 1-2

San Jose State finishes a Tough non conference schedule against the Utes. They see the third ranked opponent in four games. Utah has had two weeks of easy victories and it looks to be three in a row. Jordan Wynn has been out with a sprained thumb but Terrence Cain has looked just fine in games against UNLV and New Mexico. Utah doesn't really have one outstanding player, yet as a team they look fantastic. They have many different offensive weapons at every position. SJSU barely squeaked by Southern Utah at home last week. I don't see much of a spark for them as they visit Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah 48 SJSU 10. Brandon: Utah 48 SJSU 12.

#14 Auburn Tigers 3-0 (1-0) vs #15 South Carolina Gamecocks 3-0 (1-0)

Finally we get to see just how good both of these schools are. The Gamecocks did upset then #22 Georgia, but I'm not sure just how good the Bulldogs are this year. I love this matchup between Auburn and Steve Spurrier's South Carolina squad. Alshon Jeffery is the star wideout for the Cocks. He has 306 of Stephen Garcia's 500 passing yards. If Auburn can keep him in check, all they'll have to worry about is the running game of Marcus Lattimore. I think the balance that Cameron Newton brings to the table on his home field will be the difference in this game. Auburn has too many weapons with their running game and the passing game compliments it very well. I like South Carolina to be a sleeper in the SEC this year, but I think they fall to Auburn in this one. UA 27 SC 19. Brandon: Aub. 27 SC 21.

#16 Arizona Wildcats 3-0 vs California Golden Bears 2-1

Arizona with the big win over Iowa last week welcomes the Bears to Arizona Stadium. Cal suffered the big loss to Nevada last week but won't get long to lick their wounds. Nick Foles and co. awaits them. Both teams are opening conference play for 2010. Cal scored 52 points in the first two games of the season but gave up that same amount to the Wolfpack last Friday. Nick Foles is no Colin Kaepernick, but the Wildcats have many offensive weapons. Shane Vereen is a great playmaker as he replaces Jahvid Best, but I don't see Cal having enough to pull the upset. Arizona 35 Cal 21. Brandon: AZ 34 Cal 27.

Dayne Crist will be hungry for a win
after the tough OT loss to MSU.
#17 Stanford Cardinal 3-0 (1-0) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1-2

Stanford is off to a great start in the 2010 season and they finish non conference play traveling to South Bend. The Irish suffered the thrilling loss to Michigan State last week and that was their second close loss in a row. It's time to rebound. Stanford is doing a great job with their balanced offensive attack led by Andrew Luck. Both teams look pretty even to me but I'm gonna go with the Irish in a close game. Big day for both QB's. Dayne Crist coming away with the edge as they upset Stanford. ND 31 Stanford 27. Brandon: Stan. 35 ND 28.

#18 Iowa Hawkeyes 2-1 vs. Ball State Cardinals 1-2

Iowa comes back home after the loss to Arizona and to a team on a two game losing streak. Ball State lost to Liberty at home and Purdue on the road. Traveling to Kinnick Stadium will not be fun for them. Field day for the Hawkeyes. Iowa 44 Ball State 10. Brandon: Iowa 37 Ball St. 7.

Bernard Pierce will lead the way as Temple will try to take
advantage of the youthful Penn State.
#20 Penn State Nittany Lions 2-1 vs. Temple Owls 3-0 (1-0)

We still don't know how good Penn State is. They got demolished by the defending champs while beating Youngstown State and Kent State. The Lions are very young and vulnerable and the Owls are off to their best start in years. I understand that JoePa is on the sideline still but watch out PSU it's UPSET ALERT. If we look at these two on paper, they're virtually neck and neck. Temple is coming off a convincing victory over UCONN and has all the momentum coming into Beaver Stadium. PSU has everything to lose and they proved two weeks ago they don't belong with the elites anymore when Bama beat them 24-3. Nice win here for the Owls. Temple 28 PSU 24. Brandon: PSU 38 Temple 10.

#22 Michigan Wolverines 3-0 vs. Bowling Green Falcons 1-2

Michigan struggled a bit against UMASS last week but I think that's a fluke. They'll regroup and be ready for Bowling Green. The Falcons lost their first two road games and I don't see this one being much different. They will show some promise on a couple drives but Denard Robinson will have his way with the BG defense. Mich. 38 BG 14. Brandon: Mich. 42 BG 28.

#23 Michigan State Spartans 3-0 vs. Northern Colorado Bears 2-1 (1-1)

MSU had a scare with coach Mike Dantonio suffering a heart attack after the exciting win over Notre Dame. He's okay and should be good to go against Northern Colorado. The Spartans fake field goal to throw for a touchdown gave them the overtime win over Notre Dame. That has to be exciting for the players and they should be all ready to build off of that. No problems this week against the Bears. MSU 38 NCU 13. Brandon: MSU 40 NCU 7.

#24 Missouri Tigers 3-0 vs Miami (OH) Redhawks 2-1 (1-0)

The Tigers struggled to put away San Diego State last week while the Redhawks rolled all over another school from the Mountain West beating Colorado State 31-10. 22 of Zac Dysert's completions have been to Senior Armand Robinson. The Redhawks have a balanced rushing game too. All Missouri needs to do is keep Robinson in check and they should be fine. Blaine Gabbert has two primary targets in T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew. I would like to put upset alert on for this game so don't be surprised, but I'm not going with it just because I can't pick two MAC schools to upset two top AQ teams the same week. I wouldn't be able to live with myself. Mizzou should be too powerful for these Redhawks. Mizzou 31 Miami 23. Brandon: Mizzou 42 Miami 23.

Ryan Colburn will try to lead
his Bulldogs to 3-0.
Fresno State 2-0 (1-0) @ Mississippi Rebels 1-2 (0-1)

Jeremiah Masoli is having a real good season so far for the Rebels. Yet they find themselves 1-2 with losses to D-IAA Jacksonville State and SEC foe Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs first two wins have been very convincing as they begin their finale of the WAC. Fresno usually loses the close games on the road to AQ schools but I see them taking this one. Ole Miss has too many problems of their own. This will be a close game with Masoli fighting for a victory but Ryan Colburn will lead his Bulldogs to victory as they beat their second AQ school this season. Without Masoli the Rebels wouldn't be as dynamic and Fresno has too many weapons. FSU 23 Ole Miss 16. Brandon: Ole Miss 34 Fresno 14.

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