2016 – Week 7 Picks
Last week was great. We actually did better against the spread for once and finally got back on track with the Upset of the Week. So it was 5-4 straight up and 6-3 against the spread. Florida and LSU got cancelled but we can only believe that we would have nailed that one too based on our track record.
We are now in Week 7. Many teams have already played half their schedule. I think it's time to look back at our reactions/overreactions from Week 1 and see what was justified and what was not. It sure seems like it was just Week 1, but here we are, 6 weeks later already.
Texas beat a top 10 team! Texas is back! Let's rank them #11! - Final Verdict - Overreaction. We kind of figured even at the time that moving Texas up that high was too much too soon. Notre Dame has plummeted and Texas' defense is terrible.
LSU still has no quarterback and can't figure it out on offense. - Final Verdict - Justified. This one has really taken some drastic measures since opening week. Les Miles is no longer the coach because the offense did not get better after that game. The offense did set a school SEC record for yards in the first game that Ed Orgeron took over, but it's too soon to tell if that is the new LSU, or if that was an aberration.
TCU's defense is terrible. They got torched by an FCS school. -Final Verdict - Justified. The common thinking was that TCU's defense was decimated by injuries last year, and this year they would be better just from having all their players back. Wrong. That game was a harbinger of things to come.
Tennessee is overrated again. They barely beat Appalachian State. -Final Verdict - Overreaction. I think we have seen that Tennessee is good. And lucky. They keep digging themselves huge holes, but the second half of games shows that they are a good team. They just aren't playing complete games.
Louisville put up video game numbers. But it was against Charlotte. They won't be able to do it against good competition. -Final Verdict - Underreaction. Louisville's offense is ridiculous. They deserved more hype than they got after the first week. They are a really good team and Lamar Jackson is still the Heisman front runner.
Houston is going to be the Group of 5 Playoff crasher! They beat Oklahoma! -Final Verdict - Justified. Their season just didn't go to plan. Going undefeated is very, very hard. Alabama has 4 national titles under Saban. They only went undefeated one time in winning those. Houston is very good. They definitely could have been a Playoff crasher if they could have went undefeated.
On to the Week 7 guesses.
Teams on bye: Boston College, Michigan, Penn State, Oklahoma State, TCU, California, Oregon, Washington, Auburn, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, East Carolina (PPD), Navy (PPD), SMU, North Texas, Old Dominion, UTEP, Utah State, Wyoming
While NC State has a good record so far, (4-1, 1-0) that is built upon beating some not so good teams and a weird game played in a hurricane. This game is more of a question if Clemson can cover the spread. After a rocky start to the season, Clemson has really picked up their game the past couple weeks and is starting to look like the team we all expected. Their defense just reloads every year. They have difference makers on the line every year. Clemson is 3rd in the nation for tackles for loss just behind Michigan and Texas A&M. That kind of havoc will make it a hard day for NC State to get anything going. Clemson is at home and is rolling. Let's lay the 18 points. PICK: Clemson 42, NC State 14
#19 Oklahoma (-11)
K-State has had a very quiet season so far. They had the opening week game against Stanford where they looked pretty good, but you haven't heard much about them since. They had a game that they called at half time because of weather. They had a low scoring game against equally under the radar, West Virginia. But they are in prime position to inject themselves into the thick of the Big XII race with a win against Oklahoma. OU has had a very up and down season so far. They had 2 losses out of conference against very good opponents. But they are undefeated in conference play so far. Oklahoma is not very good on defense this year. They are giving up 5.79 yards per play and give up 15.6 long scrimmage plays (greater than 10 yards) per game. They have a match up that is in their favor though. K-State is 112th in total offense. That's even below Kansas. They also are 105th in long scrimmage plays. This just seems like a bad match up for the Wildcats on the road. PICK: Oklahoma 38, Kansas State 20
#24 W. Michigan
Western Michigan looks to be the class of the MAC this year. They have already beaten two Big 10 opponents and are cruising through their conference games so far. Those results are translating to points as they have risen to #8 in the Jacknife power rankings. The Broncos are top 30 in both offense and defense nationally so far. That is a winning combination. Akron has been better than in years past, but I don't think they are going to be able to sink the Broncos and keep them continuing to row that boat. Western Michigan has a chance to be the Group of 5 team to make a New Year's bowl. It's not just the highest ranked Group of 5 school that gets slotted to a New Year's 6 bowl. They also have to be a conference champion. Houston has fallen off the perch and some sort of Broncos teams (either WMU of Boise State) is looking to take that spot. PICK: Western Michigan 56, Akron 30
#9 Tennessee (+12.5)
Rare is the AP poll that comes out where a team loses a game and doesn't drop in the rankings. That is the case with Tennessee this week where they stayed at #9 despite losing at Texas A&M. I guess voters are getting smarter and not necessarily blindly dropping a team due to an OT road loss to a top 10 opponent. This is the peak of Tennessee's schedule. After Alabama they get South Carolina, Tennessee Tech, Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt. If they can pull off a win against the Tide, then they should be able to roll into Atlanta for the SEC championship and potential playoff spot. Alabama just keeps rolling along this year. Despite all their championships, very rarely do they go undefeated. This sure seems like a spot where they can fall - on the road against a team that almost beat them in Tuscaloosa last year. Vegas doesn't think so. Alabama is a double digit road favorite against a top 10 team. That seems crazy. But Alabama again has a top flight defense and they don't make many mistakes on offense as their +5 turnover differential would indicate. Tennessee has done nothing but dig themselves a big hole every single game, and there's no reason to think that trend will reverse. I think Alabama does have a big win on the road and they continue on their road to another national championship. PICK: Alabama 45, Tennessee 28
Another solid Big 10 matchup this week. 'Member when the Big 10 was the laughing stock of CFB? I 'member. Nebraska is coming off a bye week and Indiana is coming off of a loss to OSU. Indiana looked solid and put up a nice fight, it's just that the Buckeyes are far too talented to lose to anyone not named Michigan. Indiana is going to pick someone off eventually. I was thinking it was this game but back to back weeks of OSU and Nebraska, plus the Huskers coming off a bye, it just doesn't seem right at this point. The Hoosiers have a much improved defense from last year. It seems like they traded out the high flying offense for a balanced attack and a poised defense that should keep the Hoosiers in every game this season. 'Braska is doing surprisingly well on defense thus far and have about the same frustrating offense they had last year with Tommy III. It's boom or bust with that guy. One play he looks phenomenal, the next play he'll look like he has no idea what he's doing out there. The kid can throw a bomb and escape from just about any pass rush out there. Mike Riley has seemed to have found a happy balance for Tommy and eliminated those bone headed plays he's known for. I'm really liking the Huskers this year. They should go 7-0 before they hit the road against Wisconsin and OSU. If they beat Indiana and Wisconsin then you better watch out for the Huskers. They could make a push for the Playoff after that. One game at a time though. 'Braska pulls out a tight, tight victory. PICK: Nebraska 31, Indiana 30
#16 Miami (-8.5)
What the hell happened to these teams last week? UNC gets absolutely throttled by VA Tech during Hurricane Matthew and Miami missed their first PAT in 72 attempts to lose to FSU in the last second. I think it's safe to say that UNC is worthless if they can't throw the ball 55 times a game. UNC can just trash the whole run game for this game since Miami only gives up 2.84 yds per rush. QB Trubisky better have his "A" game or else this one could get ugly quick. I fully expect a bounce back game from Miami and QB Kaaya. Kaaya looked less than impressive against FSU. It seems like he just needs to play halfway decent and Miami will win the game. I think this one is fairly black and white - Miami is by far the better team plus they are at home. I'm taking the Canes all the way. Bonus prediction: Miami won't lose another game all year. PICK: Miami 27, UNC 17
#12 Ole Miss
#22 Arkansas (+7.5)
If anyone has spotted the Arkansas offensive line, please called the University of Arkansas and ask for Bret Bielema. That looks to be the only missing piece for the Razorbacks. Too bad that missing piece is gigantic and really, really important. Other than that, Arkansas looks good folks. I imagine the Razorbacks are still going to score a solid amount of points this game since Ole Miss takes about 5 seconds to go down the field and score. Even in the bye week Ole Miss's QB Chad Kelly seems to find his way in the news. Mr. Kelly attended his brothers HS game only to end up trying to fight the opposing team after his brohter was lit up on a play....stay classy Chad. Look, the Rebels are a phenomenal team with a bad record. They just happened to have played Bama and lose spectacularly to FSU in the opening week. The defense is certainly talented. They just have to be on the field 75% of the time. Ole Miss might only lose one more game, but they have to have the hardest schedule in the country by a mile. I like the Rebels this year and I think they are a top 10 team despite their losses. They'll take it to Arkansas, cause a few turnovers and walk away with an impressive win. PICK: Ole Miss 43, Arkansas 28
Colorado is the surprise team of the year. I'm pretty sure no one saw this coming, especially since they were only picked by one person this year out of about 150 entries. McIntyre has turned the Buffs around in quick fashion. These guys still have a chance to make a run for the PAC12 Championship game if the chips fall their way. Arizona St. is along the same lines of Colorado...just not as surprising. ASU has found a way to win the close games that we're not used to them taking home. The Buffs have had a chance to win each game they've lost. They had Michigan on the ropes until late in the 3rd and everything fell apart, and they looked solid against USC. Colorado's strength is their passing game while ASU's Achilles heel is their pass defense. This is looking like a Colorado W all the way unless ASU pulls something out of their hat. ASU doesn't have much of a pass game this year compared to what we come to expect. The defense is certainly improved but not good enough to carry them to victory against any team of merit. The Buffs at home are tough to go against. Colorado will run away with this one and launch themselves back into the top 25 after this week. PICK: Colorado 38, Arizona St 24
#2 Ohio State
#8 Wisconsin (+10)
The Badgers look awfully good on defense and semi respectable on offense. OSU is OSU. They are loaded with young talent and the 2nd best coach in CFB behind Saban. They'll make a run at the playoff with a showdown against Michigan at the end of the season. Who knows, OSU and Michigan might both make it in. Wisconsin is gonna need to lean on RB Clement to keep this game tight and hope that the defense gets some timely turnovers to pull off the upset. JT Barrett is exactly where we expected him to be up to this point, in the thick of the Heisman race leading OSU to an undefeated season. If Wisconsin could move the ball on a regular basis I would certainly look at picking the Badgers, but unfortunately that is not the case. I wouldn't be surprised whatsoever if Wisconsin won this game. It's going to be all about the turnovers on Saturday. If the Badgers end up +2 in that category then we'll have ourselves a genuine upset. Too much of a risk to pick against the Buckeyes. I see them pulling away late with a pick 6 or something along those lines. PICK: OSU 27, Wisconsin 14
#20 West Virginia
Texas Tech (+1)
West Virginia has slipped into the top 25. I think it has to do more with just being able to stay undefeated rather than anything they have really done. This week is the first time all season they have to leave campus. And it's a heck of a road trip to get from Morgantown to Lubbock. Statistically, West Virginia has been pretty good on offense averaging over 500 yards per game. Of course, that is nothing compared to Texas Tech averaging almost 650 yards per game. Both teams are decidedly below average on defense. West Virginia doesn't seem to have the firepower to quite keep up with the Red Raiders on the road. Texas Tech pulls away late. This is the only game where we picked the underdog to win, and that is only a 1-point dog at that. So I guess this is our Upset of the Week. Since we have picked the favorite 9 out of 10 games, this is sure to be a spectacularly terrible week of picks. PICK: Texas Tech 49, West Virginia 35
Season Record - Straight Up: 32-27
Season Record - Versus Spread: 23-36
Upset of the Week: 1-5