2016 – Week 9 Picks
That's how you are supposed to pick games. We went 9-1 straight up and 7-3 against the spread. The Upset of the Week was also a winner in picking Penn State to upend Ohio State. We are sorry that we ruined your strategy of going against us to make your picks. A blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.
There are a lot of home dogs this week, which makes you worry as far as making decent picks. Playing on the road is a difficult thing to do in college, no matter how good your team is. So we will see if we heed that advice or make some bad decisions.
The college football season might be more defined about what games we aren't talking about this week as opposed to the games we are talking about. Who would have thought that Miami-Notre Dame, Michigan-Michigan State, Arizona State-Oregon don't do anything more than raise an eyebrow as a match up?
On to the Week 9 guesses.
Teams on bye: North Carolina, Syracuse, Iowa, Rutgers, Colorado, UCLA, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Vanderbilt, BYU, Charlotte, Ball State, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Colorado State, Nevada, Idaho, LA Lafayette, Texas State, Troy
#25 VA Tech
Virginia Tech is playing on a Thursday again. They are playing on the road this time. The ACC Coastal is its usual glut of teams with 1 or 2 losses in conference. Two of those teams with 1 loss are playing in this game, so this will go a long way in trying to sort out the Coastal. Virginia Tech has made a dramatic offensive transformation in HC Justin Fuente's first year. They are averaging just about 36 ppg this year. That's not what you usually think of when you think of the Hokies. Pitt this year is also averaging many point per game at 38. So while traditionally you would think of this game as a defensive struggle, it should have a pretty good offensive flow to it. VA Tech is top 10 in the nation in red zone defense, while Pitt is 3rd to last in red zone defense. Let me use that random stat to pick the winner of this game. PICK: Virginia Tech 35, Pittsburgh 28
The annual World's Largest Cocktail Party. This game never follows convention and always seems to have a surprise result. Do Georgia fans wish they still had Mark Richt and his maddening, consistent excellence? Doesn't Kirby Smart feel like when Florida hired Will Muschamp? This game just looks gross. Georgia lost to Vanderbilt. Florida is awesome on defense but their offense is so mediocre. Florida needs a win to stay ahead of Kentucky (Kentucky!) in the SEC East race. I think this pick has more to do with wanting to see the chaos in the SEC East, more than it has to do with any sort of logic. Florida sure seems a lot better on paper, but who cares. PICK: Georgia 19, Florida 17
Baylor is the least talked about top 10 team. I think it's no secret why. No body wants to talk about them because every talking point has to be prefaced with the fact that they did something horrible off the field which is so much more important than football. Then they have to say something of the sort, "Now with the awkward transition to what's happening on the field." Baylor is undefeated and doing it in a typical Baylor way. They are racking up tons of yards and tons of points against a terrible schedule. Well that trend is going to continue. Texas is terrible. We are into our 3rd straight season of Texas starting 3-4. They aren't turning it around this year. Baylor has the 4th ranked offense. Texas has the 94th ranked defense. (On a side note, did you know Texas A&M has the 96th ranked defense? How long are they going to last in the top 10?) Baylor should win easily on the road. PICK: Baylor 45, Texas 24
#17 Utah (+10)
Washington is a double digit favorite on the road against a tough Utah team. I can't say that's not deserved. The Huskies have been dominating all comers this year. They are definitely living up to the preseason hype so far. They are averaging 48 ppg and only giving up 14.6 ppg. That's really good. Utah is doing its normal Utah thing and dictating the games with their backfield pressure and time of possession dominance. They hold onto the ball for nearly 36 minutes per game. If they can do that and limit Washington's possessions, they can keep it close and hope for a turnover or two to flip the game. It should be a good game, but Washington will have too much and earn a hard-fought win. PICK: Washington 28, Utah 21
A couple of crappy defenses in the Big 12? Get out of here! Another Texas Tech barn burner. TCU needs to stop the bleeding. The Horned Frogs had all of this promise coming into 2016. The defense was back healthy, coupled with Kenny Trill and that fast paced offense.....many pundits had TCU winning 10 games coming into the season. We can throw that out the window. No one ever expected the Red Raiders to have a formidable defense, but now we're getting into laughable territory. They're letting up an average of 44 pts a game, C'MON!!! They can't stop the run, they cant stop the pass, they can't stop the Pop Warner from down the street from scoring. If nothing else it's entertaining. The drawback is the 4+ hour games they play in every week - that crap wears on a team. TCU isn't a whole lot better on defense. They do OK with "stopping" the run, only giving up 3.5 yds per carry. TCU is at home and seems to have their crap together relative to Texas Tech. Since they're at home and can stop a drive every once in a blue moon, I'm gonna go with TCU. This game will obviously be high scoring and more than likely be close in the 4th quarter. TCU gives Texas Tech it's 4th loss in a row. Will Kliff keep his job after this year? It's getting a little warm. PICK: TCU 51, Texas Tech 44
#13 Boise State
Welp. We all missed the Wyoming pick this year, didn't we? I don't think anyone saw a 5-2 record coming into this game. Let's be honest, Boise should not have any issues with this matchup. Wyoming has been winning games off of the turnover. They're average on both sides of the ball and play a straight forward game. We probably should have suspected this a little bit since their coach is the ex-NDSU coach who won all of those FCS Championships. That dude can spit shine a turd. Boise QB Brett Rypien is a star in the making....no doubt about it. If he's on his game he'll pick apart the Cowboys defense all night long. Since this game is in Wyoming I think it might be within a score at halftime. The 2nd half will be a different story. Boise will give Wyoming a taste of their own medicine with a few turnovers to separate for the rest of the game. Boise is well on their way to a NY6 bowl. All the have to do is stay the course. Boise covers the spread. PICK: Boise State 46, Wyoming 26
#11 Wisconsin (-9)
The Nebraska run is about to come to an end. They haven't really played anyone of merit. We thought they did after the Oregon game, but that was a terrible lie to the CFB world. Wisconsin has the most ridiculous CFB schedule not named Ole Miss, and they have done remarkably well. That defense has somehow gotten better after Aranda left to coach the LSU defense. Wisconsin still beats you over the head and will be a tough out no matter who they play. Nebraska will need Tommy Armstrong III to play out of his mind and not get sacked a million times if they want to pull off the W here. Braska is playing the Law of Average game this year after the most ridiculously unlucky season I've ever seen in 2015. Things are, strangely, going their way in 2016. Funny how that works. Let's be frank though, Nebraska has a cake walk schedule. They've seen nothing like the Badgers in 2o16. I fully expect this to be a close game since that's the Badger way. I just think that Nebraska will get pushed around in the 2nd half while incurring many injuries from being hit square in the chin. The Badgers take this on their way to winning their last 5 games. PICK: Wisconsin 27, Nebraska 20
Ole Miss (+4)
This is by far the hardest game to predict this week. Auburn looks like they're back and Ole Miss is a better team than their record shows. Chad Kelly can throw on anyone. That has been established. Ole Miss is usually known for a lack of the run game, but this year it's a little different - they can run the ball. The problem is that the Land Sharks aren't very scary anymore. They cannot stop the run and the passing defense is below average at best. Teams seem to be switching over to the run in the Red Zone against Ole Miss to punch it through, and it's working like it's never worked before under Houston Nutt. Ole Miss has lost to Florida St, Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU. 3 out of those 4 are very respectable. We all know that LSU is now the scariest team in CFB after firing Les Miles and opening up the offense. I deduct no points for losing that one. Auburn lost to Clemson (should have won that one) and Texas A&M, starting off 1-2. We all thought the time has come to fire Gus Malzahn. Then they reeled off 4 solid wins and now have the attention of everyone in the SEC. This game started off as Ole Miss as the favorite then the line changed to favor Auburn after the betting commenced. I think that people are betting based on the blowout from last year and just assume that Ole Miss is done after losing 4 games. I got news for you people, Ole Miss is gonna destroy some dreams....first up Auburn. I agree with the Vegas opening line - Ole Miss is going to win by a FG at home to salvage the season and propel them to win the rest of their games. Just watch PICK: Ole Miss 35, Auburn 32
#12 Florida St. (+4.5)
This game was billed to be the contest of the year in the ACC. Then Florida State went out and got destroyed by Louisville and lost a heartbreaker to North Carolina. Clemson has been off this year. One week they will look great and back on track, and the next week they look decidedly mediocre struggling to beat overmatched foes. Remember all that talk in the preseason if both Clemson and Florida State could make the Playoff? That's not going to happen. FSU is all but out with 2 losses and Clemson might be out too with a loss here coupled with their shaky play so far this year. Clemson seems to play to the level of its competition as evidenced by the Louisville game. There's no reason they shouldn't come out fired up for this game and put the Seminoles in an early hole. Clemson plays a solid game and their mean defense contains Dalvin Cook for a road win. PICK: Clemson 27, Florida State 24
#10 West Virginia
Oklahoma St. (+4)
West Virginia is now a top 10 team and is not under the radar anymore. Everyone is talking about them and throwing them into hypotheticals for the Playoff race, and Dana Holgorsen is now going to be one of the top candidates for other jobs rather being on the hot seat. It's true, West Virginia is playing very good defense in a league that is not know for its defense. They also have been good on the road this year. But this has a feeling of that week where they get a little full of themselves and we start to wonder what all the hype was about. Oklahoma State is a pretty good team on the offensive side. We saw what West Virginia did to Texas Tech a couple weeks ago, but I'm just trying to predict what I think the storyline will be after this one. This fits the bill for the Upset of the Week. PICK: Oklahoma State 27, West Virginia 21
Season Record - Straight Up: 48-31
Season Record - Versus Spread: 34-45
Upset of the Week: 2-6