Week 4 Picks

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Last week was rough.  Some big swing and misses as we went 5-5 straight up and 4-5-1 against the spread.  Did hit on the upset of the week again with Ole Miss winning against Alabama on the road.  I wouldn’t count Alabama out just yet.  They lost to the Rebels last year as well and still made the playoff.  Then you have the one man wrecking crew at LSU in Leonard Fournette.  Pretty sure they are still scraping the carcass of Auburn off the field.  Auburn is done.  Mississippi State has a chance to reinforce that this weekend.

The USC hype train derailed again this weekend against Stanford.  Maybe we will look back at that week 1 loss for Stanford and realize Northwestern was actually really good?  UCLA thwarted another BYU miracle to remain unbeaten.  Chosen Rosen looked like a true freshman against the veteran BYU defense.  Texas looks like they found a quarterback.  Jerrod Heard set the Texas record for offense in a game and the Longhorns piled up 44 points.  That 45th point was the one that got away as the kicker missed an extra point to potentially force overtime.  Notre Dame dominated Georgia Tech and looked to have to trouble with the triple option.

And how can we go a week without the latest from Brett Bielema.  During the week he was taking shots from Rex Ryan and Texas Tech and Kliff Kingsbury put the smack down on Arkansas during the game and after the game in the post game interview.  Can’t wait to see what next week brings with him.

This week the PAC 12 starts to kick into gear with some top 25 match ups and there are some SEC teams that can have some teams looking towards next year already with a loss.

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Michigan (-5.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

So the magic ran out last week against UCLA.  Tanner Mangum couldn’t bring BYU back in the end after they gave up a 10 point 4th quarter lead. They did fluster freshman sensation Josh Rosen picking him off 3 times in the game.  But the more concerning thing is BYU gave up 296 yards rushing at 7.8 ypc.  That is not good.  But they are going up a Michigan offense that still hasn’t figured out how to move the ball.  Michigan ranks 87th in the nation in yards per game.  This despite not playing the toughest opponents after their opening week against Utah.  BYU has played in some exciting games, but their offense has been ok, and their defense hasn’t been good.  But this game feels like BYU is running on fumes.  They have had 3 straight games that went down to the wire and that has got to be exhausting.  They go on the road halfway across the country to take on a decent team with an early kickoff.  Feels like Michigan gets the win and Harbaugh picks up his first victory over a ranked team as coach of Michigan.  PICK: Michigan 20, BYU 14

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Saturday, September 26, 12:00 PM ET” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1440994016639{margin-right: 10px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text]#20 Georgia Tech

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Duke (+9.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Georgia had a tough go against Notre Dame.  The final score was misleading.  They picked up 2 desperation TDs at the end after they had been dominated all game.  Their triple option was held in check and they ended up throwing the ball 24 times.  You don’t see that very often out of the Jackets and that is clearly not Justin Thomas’ strength.  So Georgia Tech gets to open up ACC play with a Duke team that doesn’t appear to be as good as they have been the past couple years.  The majority of the players that were responsible for Duke’s recent success have moved on.  They aren’t the program yet that can reload year after year when they have a talent exodus like that.  They looked good against some lower division foes, but struggled against Northwestern last week.  Like we have seen with Stanford, Northwestern just might be better than everyone thinks.  Georgia Tech should bounce back and take care of the Blue Devils on the road.  Someone has to win the ACC this year and there appears to be no team separating themselves from the pack in the first 3 weeks, so maybe it will be Georgia Tech going forward.  PICK: Georgia Tech 31, Duke 20

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Texas (+3)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

The sneaky, almost non-existent Pokes of 2015. No one is talking about OK State just yet, probably because they haven’t played anybody yet somehow find themselves ranked in the top 25.  I bet the Pokes wished they could’ve played Texas two weeks ago before Jerrod “The Truth” Heard had a coming out party against Cal on Saturday.  Now OK State has their hands full with a confident Texas team that feels like they should win some games coming up with Heard at the helm.  I would reel off some stats for you about now but none of that matters since the Pokes have played no one and Texas is “born again”.  So this game is all about the feel of it.  I have no doubt that OK State is a solid team and should fully expect to win this game going into Austin, TX.  On the other hand, I’m buying the hype in Austin after watching Heard go crazy on Cal’s D…I know, I know…Cal’s D is pretty soft but I don’t care who you put out there against Heard, he was going to will the Longhorns to a crap ton of yards.  I’m loving Texas in this one, right now the line is Texas +3….I say, let’s go for it, forget the line. Texas beats OK State in another fun game in Austin!! PICK: Texas 34, OK State 31

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Florida (-1.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

This week the Florida Gators will host the Tennessee Vols in the ‘Swamp’.  Last week The Gators started off SEC play with a 14-9 win over Kentucky.  Jim McElwain’s previous week’s tirade seemed to do little for the Gator’s offense as they only posted 14 points (ZERO in the second half) on a Kentucky defense that has already surrendered 33 points to La.-Lafayette and 22 to South Carolina, but the Gators did continue their win streak against Kentucky which now stands at 29 games in a row.  As for Tennessee – they start SEC play in a hostile environment playing the Gator’s stout run-defense which does not bode well for Butch Jones and the Vols.  Some might say the Vols are coming off a bye week after they rolled through Western Carolina 55-10…Tennessee  was able to give their starters ample rest as they jumped out to a 41-3 lead at halftime.  No doubt in my mind Tennessee still has a bitter taste in their mouth from their collapse at home against Oklahoma two weeks ago.  If Tennessee can run the ball against Florida they will win the game – The Vols are averaging 246 rushing yards per game (4.67 yards per carry)…BUT…Florida’s run defense is only allowing 55 rushing yards per game (1.95 yards per carry).  With that being said, Florida finds a way to score three more points than Tennessee and wins the game 24-21.  PICK: Florida 24, Tennessee 21

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Saturday, September 26, 7:00 PM ET” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1440994061821{margin-right: 10px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text]#14 Texas A&M

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Arkansas (+7)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Two weeks ago this looked like a great matchup.  Then Arkansas was hit with the injury bug.  The Razorbacks do not have the defense they had last year.  But fear not people, coach Bret “Bert” Bielema makes sure to keep it interesting….first he complains about Ohio St’s weak schedule, promptly loses to Toledo at home.  Then it happens again in Week 3 against a good looking Texas Tech team, after the game “Bert” complained about the Big 12 refs….implying that it was one of the reasons they lost.  Then after the Tech game coach Kliff Kingsbury throws dirt in Bert’s face and calling him out for earlier comments during a coach’s conference, so if you haven’t seen it then click here.  It’s fantastic….unless you’re an Arkansas fan. Now Arkansas has to try and find a way to win a game, because they might have to wait until Auburn in a month.  Cuz a win isn’t happening this weekend.  Texas A&M isn’t flawless, to say the least.  QB Kyle Allen looks like Tom Brady one minute and Maty Mauk the next minute.  The defense is definitely improved but far from elite.  A&M should be just fine here especially after the slew of injuries on the Razorbacks.  I would be shocked if Arkansas wins this game.  The secondary is going to have their hands full with the speed of A&M’s receivers.  Texas A&M wins by 2 TDs in this one. PICK: Texas A&M 38 Arkansas 24

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Auburn (+3)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Mississippi St heads to Auburn to take on the Tigers Saturday night.  Auburn is sitting at 2-1 but the preseason playoff favorites have not looked good so far this year.  After opening with a 31-24 win over a solid Louisville team, they needed OT to beat Jacksonville State, and were annihilated by LSU last week. Jeremy Johnson’s days as the starting QB might be numbered if they can’t turn things around here soon.  Mississippi State’s also sitting at 2-1 with their only loss coming to LSU as well, albeit by a lot more respectable 21-19 scoreline.  Dak Prescott is off to another solid start to the season and has a fine group of skill players to work with including future Key and Peele East/West All-Star Receiver, De’Runnya Wilson. If either of these teams has any hope in making a run in an incredibly stacked SEC West, they’ll need a significant win in this one.  I’m calling for Auburn’s slide to continue and Mississippi State to come in and pull out the win.  PICK Mississippi St. 30, Auburn 24

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Arizona (+3.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

A pivotal match in the wide open PAC 12 South.  The winner of this game will be sitting pretty on top of the South.  So far neither team has looked pretty in their wins.  Highly touted QB Josh Rosen hasn’t looked so “Chosen” the last couple of games…..truly looking like a freshman, the old deer in headlights when he saw all of those blitzes from BYU.  Expect Arizona to bring pressure after watching the game tape, I don’t think they have the capability to bring the same amount of pressure since LB Scooby Wright is still out.  Rosen should get more time to distribute the ball this weekend.  They’ll need to rely on that experienced defense until he gets settled in to his role.  Arizona is hard to figure out up to this point.  They struggled against UTSA (2 years in a row now), looked solid against Nevada, and then played their cakewalk game last week.  I really like QB Anu Solomon and his weapons, and they can move the ball once they catch a rhythm.  UCLA will do their best to disrupt that rhythm.  The Bruins D knows how to to stop Arizona only allowing 7 pts last year against the Wildcats.  UCLA is the slight favorite in this one according to Vegas and I agree.  I like the Bruins D to carry them to another win.  Rosen improves a little bit, but only because Coach Mora brings the reigns back a little in the playbook, allowing the running game and defense to do the talking….UCLA by a TD.  PICK: UCLA 28, Arizona 21

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#13 Oregon (-14)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

This looks like a good match up.  Utah is a hard nosed team and Oregon is slowed down by teams like that – see Michigan St. a couple weeks ago and Stanford a couple seasons ago.  Another thing that is concerning for Oregon is the QB Vernon Adams has a broken finger.  Jeff Lockie did not look all that inspiring against dreadful Georgia State.  He only average 7.35 yards per attempt.  Enough with the negative.  It’s still Oregon.  They still have arguably the most explosive set of skill players in the nation led by RB Royce Freeman.  He is second in the nation with long plays from scrimmage (10+ yds) with 20.  He has a chance to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.  Oregon really needs Vernon Adams (if he plays) to connect on some passes to open up the run game.  Utah on the other hand, hasn’t played the brand of defense they have the past couple years.  They aren’t getting to the quarterback with the frequency as they normally do and only rank 63rd in total defense.  Utah has been bad at getting off the field this year too allowing opponents to convert 46% of 3rd downs.  If Oregon can stay in 3rd and short situations, they should be able to sustain drives and wear the defense down.  Oregon wins their PAC 12 opener at home.    PICK: Oregon 38, Utah 21

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Arizona St. (+6)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

This is the early season underachievers bowl.  USC is coming another one of those losses to an unranked team while being a double digit favorite.  USC has been quite the paradox this year.  The media picked USC to win the PAC 12, but then everyone you heard in the media said they thought USC was overrated.  Someone had to vote them the preseason favorites and give the a #6 ranking.  But predictably, they had that loss they always have.  Not many thought it was going to be to Stanford the way they looked the first couple weeks.  USC is brimming with talent but there is something missing with them.  It’s hard to say what it is.  It’s probably coaching.  Steve Sarkisian has done his team no favors with his off field issues and he just might not be a very good coach.  He never did anything significant with Washington but he was on the staff during the glory years of Pete Carroll.  USC just needs to stop trying to recapture those years and go a different direction one of these years.  Arizona St. was being hyped as a potential playoff team and PAC 12 south contender.  Now they have fallen out of the rankings after being dominated by Texas A&M in week 1 and then struggling with Cal Poly in week 2.  There is nothing really inspiring about these two teams.  USC was exposed on defense against USC and their prolific offense seems to be a product of playing some weak competition the first 2 weeks.  But at least they handled their weak opponents, which is more than the Sun Devils can say.  Let’s go with USC to win on some crazy ending.  #PAC12afterdark.  PICK: USC 49, Arizona St. 47

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UPSET OF THE WEEK!

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Texas Tech (+8.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Oh yeah, the upset pick of the week.  So far we’re 2-1.  Not bad for trying to pick off top teams every week…..just doing our best to predict where Team Chaos will strike next.  Another playoff contender is going to bite the dust, and this time it’s not in the SEC.  The Big 12 is going to lose it’s top contender for the Playoff.  The battered Horned Frogs will feel the injury bug in the loss column in Week 4.  Texas Tech is coming off a great performance in Fayetteville.  The Red Raiders figured out how to not commit a million penalties and also not turn the ball over 4+ times a game.  If they can keep that theme on offense then the Big 12 has found their dark horse.  QB Mahomes looks legit and Coach Kliff calling those plays at a crazy rate is a lot of fun to watch.  TCU not only has problems with injuries (5 starters out thus far) but now they lost their DE because of a felony arrest.  All the signs are pointing the wrong way for TCU.  TCU is still really good, but I’m feeling the Texas Tech Red Raiders this year.  They hired Gibbs, the DC for Houston the last few years, who specializes in turnovers.  You give Tech a short field and they’ll make you pay in one minute or less.  Just watching TCU up to this point doesn’t quite look like the team that was steamrolling everyone in 2014.  QB Boykin will need to carry his offense with great efficiency against an improved Tech D.   Don’t get me wrong, Texas Tech’s D is far from being good at this point, but all they need to be is serviceable and make a timely stop here and there.  “Bend But Don’t Break” type of D with a couple of turnovers is what Tech is looking for.  That kind of D will keep them in every game.  If Tech wins this game get ready for a heavy dose of Kliff Kingsbury on your Tele.  It’s gonna be a barn burner folks!!  PICK: Texas Tech 51, TCU 45

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Season Record – Straight Up: 18-12

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Season Record – Versus Spread: 12-17-1

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Upset of the Week: 2-1

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