Thursday, December 2, 2010

College Football: Week 14

Last week was insane. There were several sheer classics in big rivalry games and the standings show just how easy it is to pick them. Brandon was 15-6 (1-1) and I capped my worst performance yet going 12-9 (1-4). Boise lost by 3, BYU by 1 Ole Miss by 6, Texas by 7. Florida was my only upset pick that wasn't close to winning. So going into the last week before the bowl picks the standings are as follows: Brandon is 211-52 (8-15) with me at 197-69 (8-26). Ouch. That just starts to look worse each week. I'm giving away co-helmet stickers this week. They're going to the QB/WR duo at Maryland that upset North Carolina State. Danny O'Brien was 33-47 with 417 yards and 4 TD's with no picks. Torrey Smith caught 14 of those passes for 224 yards and all 4 TD's were to him. Crazy performance for both guys. Brandon went with Cam Newton for his helmet sticker. he was 13/20 through the air for 216 yards and 3 td's, ran it 22 times for 39 yards and a TD while he led Auburn from a 24-0 deficit to beat arch rival Alabama 28-27. Just give him the Heisman for crying out loud. For Brandon's blog click here.

This week is the Pac-10's rivalry week as well as Championship Week for a few of the other conferences. Most the other conferences are done with the season so there aren't many games.

Thursday December 2nd 2010

Can Steven Threet close out his JR
season with a win over the Wildcats?
 #23 Arizona Wildcats 7-4 (4-4) vs Arizona State Sun Devils 5-6 (3-5) 8 PM ET

What is better than beating your bitter arch rival for your sixth win of the season to become bowl eligible. Flip that, beating your rival and not allowing them to become bowl eligible. I'm sure if there were bigger implications on the line this would be better. However, that's not the case at all here because ASU needed to get 7 wins because two of their wins were against D-IAA Portland State and Northern Arizona. Having said all of that, this is a rivalry game and anything can happen right? Right. Arizona is having their best season in a long time led by QB Nick Foles, but I'm going with the upset here. Of course it will go down to the wire, but I think Steven Threet (if he comes back from his injury last game) will light up the Wildcat defense and be victorious in Tucson, but not by much. ASU 27 Zona 25. Brandon: Zona 28 ASU 20.

Friday December 3rd 2010

MAC Championship Game
#25 Northern Illinois Huskies 10-2 (8-0) vs Miami (OH) Redhawks 7 PM ET 8-4 (7-1)

Does anybody even care about this game? It's the first time a MAC school has been ranked since a Brady Hoke led Ball State squad in 2008. I know that was two years ago but the MAC and top 25 don't go together very often. The Huskies two losses were to Iowa State 27-10 in the season opener and two weeks later 28-22 to Illinois. The next week they beat Minnesota and haven't lost since. Great season for NIU. Miami (OH) has done well in the MAC but I don't like this one to be very close at all. The Huskies are on a roll and will be MAC Champs. NIU 34 Miami (OH) 14. Brandon: NIU 40 Miami (OH) 21

Saturday December 4th 2010
#24 West Virginia Mountaineers 8-3 (4-2) vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights 4-7 (1-5) 12 PM ET

I'm not even sure how to break this game down. Everyone knows WVU is going to win. I'm not sure I see Rutgers surprising anybody but if they did that would still cause some drama in the Big East standings. If UCONN beats USF they're headed to the BCS regardless. If they lose WVU is headed unless the Scarlet Knights can pull the upset which I've already stated is not going to happen. WVU 31 Rutgers 13. Brandon: WVU 32 Rutgers 20.

#11 Boise State Broncos 10-1 (6-1) vs Utah State Aggies 4-7 (2-5) 3 PM ET

Although Boise's national title hopes and dreams were shattered by the Nevada Wolfpack last week I doubt they have a let up game. They still have a shot to be 12-1 this season. That still looks good on everyone's track record. Having said that, if I were the coach I'd be stripping Kyle Brotzman of his scholarship for his ridiculous performance last game. That's probably why Chris Peterson is the coach and not me. Not to mention Kyle is a senior so that wouldn't do any good. But still, two field goals that are just barely longer than a PAT? Really? A Sr. Kicker? Wow. Doesn't get anymore disappointing than that. If I were Kellen Moore I'd never speak to that kid again. Okay fine, I'm just being too harsh. Anyway, the Broncos hammer the Aggies this week. BSU 57 USU 10. Brandon: BSU 47 USU 17.

#17 Nevada Wolfpack 11-1 (6-1) @ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 5-6 (4-3) 3 PM ET

The Bulldogs need this one to become bowl eligible. They can dream and wish all they want. That is not going to happen. Colin Kaepernick is just glowing after the victory over Boise State last week and he will be firing on all cylinders for the last two games of the 2010 season. Look out for his name in the NFL draft too. He may surprise some people. This game won't be close. UNR 48 LT 17. Brandon: UNR 47 LT 24.

LaMichael James Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks warms up before the start of the game against the Washington Huskies at Autzen Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon.
LaMichael James leads this
high octane "speed" attack
for the Ducks.
#2 Oregon Ducks 11-0 (8-0) @ Oregon State Beavers 5-6 (4-4) 3:30 PM ET

The Beavers need this one to become bowl eligible. How would that be? Beat your arch rival which would likely put them out of the national title game, and clinch your own bowl birth. OH MAN that would be insane. I'm sure TCU is hoping for that scenario. However, don't think for one second that that's the way I'm picking. The Ducks are too quick, fast and all of the above for the Beavers to even come close to an upset at home. OSU has had many significant injuries that have put the stamp on this disappointing season. They were ranked at a time this season and it looked as if they had some promise, but that's not the case however. For Oregon, LaMichael James has one last chance to improve his resume for the Heisman trophy. This one could be over by halftime. Oregon 58 OSU 24. Brandon: Ore. 45 OSU 23.

Cam Newton is one game away from
bringing home the Heisman and
punching the Tigers' ticket to the BCS
title game.

SEC Championship Game
#1 Auburn Tigers 12-0 (8-0) vs #19 South Carolina Gamecocks 9-3 (5-3) 4 PM ET

Everybody will be looking at this game with much intrigue and interest. The Gamecocks have surprised the nation all season. They upset last year's national champ Alabama and that is what put Steve Spurriers crew on the map. They have a freshman phenom in Marcus Lattimore and he's joined by Alshon Jeffery and Stephen Garcia in this powerful offensive attack. The only thing that can stop them from the SEC title is Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers who just can't lose. Alabama had a 24-7 lead on the Tigers last week and Newton led UA to victory 28-27 in a classic thriller. This kid will pretty much seal his name on that Heisman if he can pull this one off. And I think he does. I do like SC to give them a scare though. It will go down to the wire but in the end I trust Newton to win over Garcia. No matter who's offense is on the field last, the Tigers will be victorious. But it will be by them scoring on the last drive or second to last drive. This one is going down to the wire and will be another sheer classic. UA 26 SC 24. Brandon: UA 36 SC 31.

ACC Championship Game
#15 Virginia Tech Hokies 10-2 (8-0) vs #21 Florida State Seminoles 9-3 (6-2) 7:45 PM ET

I'm pretty disappointed in my wrong pick of Florida last week. They got destroyed by the Seminoles. That's the last time I disrespect FSU. I've been doing that all season. Or maybe the Gators really just suck. Oh well. Anyway, here we go for the ACC title. Even though both teams seem to be even and fairly close in the top 25 rankings, I still like VT to win comfortably here. They're on a huge roll winning ten straight and personally I think they're just more talented than FSU. Tyrod Taylor will lead his Hokies to the BCS, perhaps to the Orange Bowl. VT 23 FSU 13. Brandon: FSU 34 VT 33.
Landry Jones will use the talent around him on
offense to lead the Sooners back to a BCS game.

Big XII Championship Game
#9 Oklahoma Sooners 10-2 (6-2) vs #13 Nebraska Cornhuskers 10-2 (6-2) 8 PM ET

This match up is probably the most complete of the week. Both teams are having very solid season and provide eachother with a fantastic opponent. Nebraska has a running game that is so powerful it's just disgusting. Roy Helu Jr. and Taylor Martinez provide the main spark for NU. Martinez doesn't throw it very often so the Sooners are going to do all they can to stop the run game and force the Huskers to win by their running game. If Helu Jr. and Martinez get through that line of scrimmage, they're gone. Oklahoma on the other hand has a balanced offensive attack led by quarterback Landry Jones. His main target through the air is Ryan Broyles and DeMarco Murray provides a very trusting safety valve on the ground. Both teams are young but I'm going with the Sooners. They have just a bit more experience and balance. Their defense doesn't have to fight as hard as NU's defense does. Still, I like a battle in this one. We could see a shootout here. OU 34 NU 30. Brandon: OU 24 NU 21.

Can Jordan Todman lead UCONN to
it's first BCS game?
Connecticut Huskies 7-4 (4-2) @ South Florida Bulls 7-4 (3-3) 8 PM ET

With a win UCONN could be headed to their first BCS game ever. Interesting that Boise State, TCU and Utah will all have more BCS trips than most of this entire conference. I stand by what I've said for years that the Big East is a joke ... and the BCS for that matter. Both teams look pretty even except at running back. The Huskies have Jordan Todman who is 19 yards shy of 1500 for the season. that's going to be the difference for me in this game. USF led by BJ Daniels will battle with UCONN, but I'm not quite sure the defense will have enough to stop Todman. If they do, the Bulls win, but as for my pick ... I'm going with the Huskies. Welcome to the Fiesta Bowl Huskies. UCONN 23 USF 16. Brandon: USF 27 UConn 23.

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