Week 7 Picks

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So what happens when you have a weekend of near upsets?  You have a decent record going straight up, and a terrible record against the spread.  We went 6-4 straight up and 2-8 ATS last week.  Also missed on the upset of the week as Cal had 6 turnovers against Utah in a 6 point loss.

I warned you last week about the potential problem Oklahoma could have with Texas.  It came to pass.  Oklahoma struggling with an un-ranked, double digit underdog Texas team is like USC losing at home to un-ranked double digit conference foes.  Speaking of USC, what a disaster that has turned out to be.  I think I said it a few weeks ago before the last couple weeks of mayhem, but USC has got to just break away from trying to recapture the glory days.  That is getting them terrible results and terrible coaching hires.

Is Michigan the best team in the Big 10?  That was the sentiment from a lot of folks after a third straight shutout while Ohio St. and Michigan St. struggled to put away inferior opponents again.  I think it’s safe to say Michigan has the best defense in the Big 10, but we will find out this week if they can start laying a claim to the best team.

Week 7 has some big showdowns with conference and national title implications.  Without further ado…

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Teams on bye:  Duke, NC State, Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma St., Texas, California, Arkansas, Tennessee, Navy, SMU, Rice, UTEP, LA Lafayette, Texas St.

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#15 Stanford (-6.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

UCLA had a week off to reflect on their loss after their big win against Arizona seemingly put them in the driver’s seat for the PAC 12 south title.  Now they get to face a Stanford team that looks like the team everyone envisioned in the preseason.  UCLA has another thing going for them this week – they are playing away from home.  Last year they had 3 losses at home (including a final week blowout against Stanford which cost them the PAC 12 South) and were undefeated on the road.  This year they are continuing that trend.  Josh Rosen has settled in to being a pretty typical freshman.  He has his good moments and his bad moments.  He’s been pretty much middle of the pack in all the national passing statistics, so UCLA actually relies on the run.  They are averaging 200 yards per game on the ground.  Stanford also likes to run the ball as they average 210 yards per game rushing.  It seems to me that the team that can make a few big passing plays will have the edge.  These teams are mirror images of each other statistically.  Let’s go with UCLA on the road just because they win on the road all the time.  PICK: UCLA 33, Stanford 28

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#2 Baylor (-21)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

This is a revenge game for Baylor.  This loss kept them from being undefeated and put all the debate on the head-to-head result with TCU in the forefront of the CFB Playoff last year.  Baylor just wants to go undefeated this time around and render that argument null and void.  Baylor is averaging a ridiculous 64 ppg.  That sure doesn’t seem sustainable, but it’s hard to go against them.  West Virginia appeared to have a decent defense to start off the year, but that was against some less than stellar competition.  The stats say they are only giving up 20 ppg.  But if you break it down, they gave up 0 ppg against non-Power 5 teams, and have given up 28 ppg against Power 5 teams.  Let’s call Baylor a power Power 5 team.  I don’t see West Virginia even being close in this one.  Let’s be crazy and lay 21 points.  PICK: Baylor 63 West Virginia 28

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

Those darn Hawkeyes actually won a game last week where expectations were starting to ramp up.  I refuse to live in a world where Iowa continues to be successful with increasing expectations.  It’s as nonsensical as the Chicago Cubs winning a playoff series.  But Northwestern is coming off a blowout loss that is shades of getting beat by Ohio St. a few years ago where that loss sent their next 2 years into a tailspin.  I think Northwestern is better equipped to handle that loss this time around.  It can’t happen where Iowa keeps winning.  I refuse to believe it and will pick against them every week until it happens.  No stats needed for this pick.  PICK: Northwestern 23 Iowa 15

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Memphis (+10.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

This is a sneaky match up.  Memphis has been quite good the past couple years.  Early last year they went to Ole Miss and got handled 24-3, but then they found their stride the second part of the year.  That roll has continued into this year.  The SEC has shown it is vulnerable against some questionable competition.  New darling Florida struggled with East Carolina early in the year, and LSU didn’t exactly dominate teams like Syracuse and Eastern Michigan, for a couple examples.  And Ole Miss doesn’t have to look any further than themselves as they struggled at home with Vanderbilt.  Ole Miss can’t come in to this game and think they are going to win just by showing up.  This will probably follow the script in those other games where it is close for 3 quarters and then the Rebels pull away in the 4th quarter.  But it wouldn’t be out of the question that Memphis could pull one out if they play flawlessly.  But Ole Miss will wear down Memphis and win the game.  I can see Memphis keeping it close though.    PICK: Ole Miss 31, Memphis 23

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

Beware the home dog.  Texas A&M is the type of team that Alabama has trouble with, even though the Tide destroyed the Aggies last year 59-0.  But as the game against Ole Miss showed, it’s not the type of team that they prefer to go up against.  Saw an interesting fact via OddsShark out there – Alabama is only 1-5-1 in its last seven road conference games against the spread and in their last eight games where they are favored by less than a touchdown are only 3-5 straight up.  This feels like the time that Alabama gets knocked off their perch and has a “down” year where they only win 10 games and don’t make the SEC championship game.  A win here by Texas A&M will make it extremely difficult for the Tide to win the west.  Texas A&M gets the huge home win.    PICK: Texas A&M 42, Alabama 36

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

If you would have told me this is where we would be at in the beginning of the season then I would have called you a LIAR!!  Now Michigan is a favorite at home against Michigan St and they look worlds better than the Spartans in the last month or so.  Now lets also let make an excuse for why Michigan St has looked so beatable lately.  They have lost 11 of their 22 starters up to this point, that is hard to keep an undefeated record no matter who you are playing.  Now lets talk about Michigan, they have not let up a TD since 9-19-15 against UNLV….shutting out BYU, Maryland and Northwestern in the process.  They barely lost to Utah in Week 1, while their QB Ruddock looked really bad in that game, Harbaugh has since reeled him in and let the defense and running game do the talking.  I can’t say enough about Michigan up to this point they look dominate.  Michigan St has one true hope, QB Connor Cook, he is going to have to play out of his mind for the Spartans to win this ball game.  Michigan St’s defense is truly beat up, but I think they can handle their own against an average Michigan offense. That being said Michigan is at home and that defense is gonna be stout.  I think Michigan wins by 10.  PICK: Michigan 24 Michigan St 14

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#6 LSU (-6.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

The Gators took a major blow this week, QB Grier tested positive for PEDs…..he’s gone for a year.  Maybe that’s what helped Grier spin out of 1000 tackles last weekend against Mizzou.  This makes LSU a clear cut favorite now.  Florida does have one of the best defenses in the country, but Leonard Fournette will be playing on the other end.  The offense for Florida will sputter without Grier, we’ve seen what his replacement QB Treon Harris can do and I’m not sold he can beat LSU.  LSU has a solid defense and a deliberate offense enough to control the clock and not allow Florida to have the ball a whole lot.  This game will not be pretty by any means, but I think that Florida D is good enough to keep this close.  If you look at most of LSU’s games they tend to let teams hang around when they shouldn’t….they’ll pull out the win in a close one.  PICK: LSU 21 Florida 17

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

USC is once again at the front of the CFB news.  Hopefully their ex-coach gets the help he needs….no one should be under the influence coaching a major football game.  I don’t think he’ll be a head coach again after that.  Moving on, Notre Dame might be looking at their version of the Red River Rivalry, a team with their back up against the wall.  USC is going to be pumped up and ready to play after having their team dragged through the news all week long and having to answer questions that should never have to be asked.  The Vegas line started a -2 for ND, it seems as if everyone is betting heavy on ND since the line is -6.5 now.  I’m going to sway the other way, USC is going to take out all of their frustration on ND this weekend and pull the upset with their new head coach.  The talent has always been there for USC they just need to figure out how to use it.  This week they figure it out and take down ND.  PICK: USC 31 Notre Dame 24

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#1 Ohio St. (-17)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

The most disappointing undefeated team ever, Ohio St.  They should be trouncing these teams they play, even Vegas still believes that they should blow teams out….it ain’t happening.  If this game was at Penn St I think I would pick Penn St.  Ohio St. looks slow on offense and far from dominant on defense.  The OSU D-Line is going to have a field day with Penn St’s O-Line, especially Joey Bosa.  PSU will be led by their defense, no doubt, but QB Hackenberg will be the ultimate key to win this game…..keep him on his feet and you have a chance.  Ohio St. feels like Florida St. of 2014…holding on to these wins until they play a decent team and then panic will set in.  OSU will not have to worry about a loss until the last 2 weeks of the season.   That’s when we’ll find out if “they are who we thought they were.” PICK: Ohio St 31 Penn St 17

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#4 Utah (-6.5)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1432672269878{border-right-width: 1px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Here we go again.  Utah is on my Upset Platter 2 weeks straight….they barely got by a Cal team last week that gave up 6 turnovers.  Cal QB Goff called it the worst game he has ever played and he almost won.  Utah is just waiting to get eaten by the PAC 12 and I’m going to go at them for the second week in a row.  And if it’s not this week they’ll lose next week and if they don’t lose any of these 2 games then I was completely wrong and I’m sorry I wasted your time.  ASU looked awful their first couple of games and were unbelievably unlucky in the 1st half of the USC game.  This is their game to get back on the map, if ASU loses here then they are done for the year and will be playing for 2nd or 3rd place in their division.  They key to this game is turnovers, ASU must keep the ball to keep in the game.  The Utah defense will bring the heat on defense, they haven’t let up more than 24 pts in any game.  ASU will need to break the 24 pt mark to win the game and get Utah into a shoot out to take this game home.  Utah throwing the ball is their Achilles heel, force them to throw when they are behind and you have them right where you want them.  ASU does all of this and throws their hat back in the ring of the PAC12. PICK: Arizona St 28 Utah 24

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Season Record – Straight Up: 36-24

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Season Record – Versus Spread: 21-36-3

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Upset of the Week: 3-3


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