From the Stands — Week 9 Picks
Had a decent week in Week 8 with my picks, going 4–3 on the day. I blame Tennessee and Michigan’s inexplicably bad defense. Oh, and Saquon Barkley for being inhuman.
Going to give a bit of a framework to the picks this week and beyond. I will be picking a game of the week from each of the Power 5 conferences. The Group of 5 schools will get one as well and Plus One other game that I find interesting for the week.
Last Weeks Record:4–3
Note: All point spreads found at Sportsline.com and are made against the spread and are current as of 10a on 10/25/17.
Pick Six Plus One
Big 12: #4 TCU (-6.5) at #25 Iowa State — This one was hard to pick. My heart is battling with reality. Is Iowa State really this good? Is it possible? Years of futility tell me no. Yet, this year it has felt different. They are winning handily in games. Both loses are close to good teams. TCU, on the other hand, has looked real good. Especially their defense. It has been suffocating teams as of late. I think the ISU defense will do a good job of slowing down Kenny Hill and the Horned Frogs. I have gone back and forth on my pick all week. The fan in me will not allow me, in all good conscious, not go with an Iowa State team that is playing so damn well. Pick: TCU 16, Iowa State 20
B1G: #2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State (-6.5) — This game has to potential to be a thriller. Not necessarily a shootout but with each team being continuously aggressive on both sides of the ball. Penn State is really good. I am not so convinced about Ohio State. They have yet to really impress me. Though they are wearing some new alternate unis that might make them play out of their minds. In the end, not only does 6.5 points seem like too much, I think Penn State wins outright. Pick: Penn State 27, Ohio State 17
ACC: #14 NC State at #9 Notre Dame (-7) — As mention in my Week 8 Review, I am sold on Notre Dame as a major player this year. I am a big believer in NC State as well. the Wolfpack’s only loss was in the first week to a tough South Carolina team. This will be a battle of strength (ND rush offense) vs strength (NC State rush defense). Both are elite. Who wins out? I tend to always favor the offense in these types of battles. The line for this game is spot on as I see the Fighting Irish winning by around a TD. That makes this pick really hard but going to have to go with NC State to cover, barely. Pick: NC State 14, ND 20
Pac 12: #15 Washington State(-3) at Arizona — Oh man. Pac 12 After Dark. Game kicks off at 9:30p Eastern. Crazy things happen out west late at night and this game has shootout written all over it. Arizona is one of the best rushing teams in the country with electrifying QB Khalil Tate. Wazzu throws the ball all over the field with Mike Leach. They even have a decent defense this year and that will give them the edge in the end. Pick: Washington State 45, Arizona 32
SEC: Mississippi State(-1.5) at Texas A&M — The line for this game has been all over the place. It started at -1 for A&M, went to a pick ’em and is now -1.5 for the Mississippi State. The Mississippi State Bulldogs have a Mac truck as a QB in Nick Fitzgerald. He had gained over 2,000 yards in his career and is averaging 6.9 yards/carry this year. A&M is a team that I just cannot get my head around. Losing to UCLA the first week was bad but they have been very competitive the rest of the season. Unfortunately I can never believe in an A&M team anymore. The Bulldogs control this one throughout. Pick: Mississippi State 35, Texas A&M 17
Group of 5: Florida Atlantic(-7) at Western Kentucky — I know very little about these teams other than the fact that Florida Atlantic is coached by Lane Kiffin and will recruit anyone as long as they are a good athlete. CFB Analytics has Florida Atlantic winning 33–24. In the little research I have done, Western Kentucky has beaten nobodies and lost to Illinois. That is bad. Florida Atlantic has also beaten nobodies and lost to Buffalo. That is also bad. When in doubt, go with the team that has the better players, and that is Florida Atlantic. Pick: Florida Atlantic 45, Western Kentucky 35
Plus One: #11 Oklahoma State(-7.5) at #22 West Virginia — Shootout City! Two electric offenses. Suspect Defenses. That probably means scores will stay low. I love the Oklahoma State offense. It may well be the best in the Nation. Had a rough week against the Texas D and I expect them to rebound. West Virginia is an enigma. They tried so hard to give the game to Baylor in Waco last week. Almost succeeded too. I just do not see them having enough to stop the Pokes. Pick: Oklahoma State 42, West Virginia 21