Week 10 Picks – WVU, KState, LSUThis post is all business. Nine new picks, plus my Oregon pick to make ten chances to win Saturday. Power has been restored post Sandy and I’m ready to start a new winning streak.
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Oklahoma at Iowa State +12 12pm ESPN2
The Sooners won’t be focused for a noon kickoff on the road, especially after the demoralizing defeat against Notre Dame. QB Landry Jones isn’t much of a leader and I expect OK to look sluggish early. Iowa State regained some confidence last week and slowed Baylor’s explosive passing game. QB Steele Jantz played his best game as a Cyclone and will be able to build on that performance. Oklahoma likely finds a way to win in the fourth quarter, but it won’t be pretty. Iowa State hangs around and keeps this game close.
Syracuse at Cincinnati -4 12pm SNY
Cincy is coming off a tough loss against Louisville. Playing at home should help the Bearcats and I expect them to play with a sense of urgency. QB Munchie Legaux will bounce back in a big way. The Orange have been inconsistent all season and rarely play well away from the Carrier Dome. Cincinnati has more talent on both sides of the ball and I have faith in Butch Jones as a head coach. The Bearcats win by ten.
Tulsa +9 at Arkansas 1220pm SEC Network
Arkansas has defeated Tulsa in 17 straight matchups. This year is an opportunity for Tulsa to finally end that streak. The Hogs are 3-5 and after last week’s loss to Ole Miss, there is little left to play for. Arkansas is missing three key players, including stud TE Chris Gragg. Tulsa has won seven games in a row and the Golden Hurricane are confident and eager for this opportunity. Tulsa QB Cody Green is healthy again and his running ability will cause difficulties for the Hogs’ defense. This game means far more to Tulsa and their fans and I expect that to be evident on the field. Tulsa plays well Saturday and this game is decided on the game’s final drive. How Arkansas is favored by nine, I’ll never understand.
Georgia Tech -8 at Maryland 1230pm ESPN3
Easiest one to write all weekend. If Paul Johnson can’t win this game convincingly, he should be fired. Maryland’s top four QBs are all out for the season with injuries. Shawn Petty, a converted linebacker and 2star recruit, will start for the Terps at QB. Petty ran the read option as a QB in high school, but rarely threw the ball. Maryland’s best player on offense is WR Stefon Diggs, but with Petty playing QB, Diggs won’t have many opportunities. Georgia Tech should be able to take an early lead and capitalize on conservative play-calling by the Terps. Randy Edsall is finding out just how hard it is to avoid karma. The Yellow Jackets win by 14.
TCU at West Virginia -3.5 3pm FOX
Everyone has completely lost confidence in WVU and Geno Smith. Don’t underestimate this team yet. TCU has been a train wreck since QB Casey Pachall checked into rehab. West Virginia is playing the Horned Frogs at the right time. Fresh off two horrible beat downs, WVU I in need of a feel-good victory. Despite recent struggles on defense, I think Geno and company play well enough to get the win. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin reemerge and dominate against a TCU defense that allowed 56 points to Texas Tech. People don’t seem to be focusing on how poor this TCU defense has looked.
Nebraska at Michigan State +1.5 330pm ABC
Michigan State finally regained some confidence last week with a big road win against Wisconsin. The Spartans made plays on offense late, and QB Andrew Maxwell was able to step up under pressure. MSU’s defense is one of the best in the conference and I expect them to play well against Taylor Martinez. Nebraska hasn’t played well on the road this season and the Huskers will have trouble slowing RB Le’Veon Bell.
Clemson -12 at Duke 7pm ESPN2
Duke’s Cinderella story came to an end last Saturday against FSU. The Noles dominated from start to finish and showed how far away Duke is from competing against elite teams. Clemson simply has too much speed and athleticism on both sides of the ball. Hopkins and Watkins will have big nights in the passing game and RB Andre Ellington should have 150 yards and 2 tds. Clemson showed maturity by pounding Wake Forest on the road last Thursday. I expect the Tigers to continue to build on that momentum and take advantage of a superior talent advantage. Wallace Wade Stadium is hardly intimidating, even at night. Dabo’s squad wins by three touchdowns.
Oregon -8 at USC 7pm FOX
PICKENS GAME OF THE WEEK
Oklahoma State at Kansas State -8.5 8pm ABC
KState has been rolling all year and I expect more of the same against OKState. The Cowboys can score, but I don’t believe that they are much improved on defense just yet. Young QB Wes Lunt will struggle on the road in Manhattan and his mistakes will fire up the Little Apple crowd. The Wildcats have been opportunistic on defense all season and Collin Klein makes opponents pay for mistakes. KState will play its usual brand of hard-nosed, mistake free football and the Heisman frontrunner will score another four touchdowns.
Alabama at LSU +9 8pm CBS
I continue to claim that this Alabama team is overrated. The Crimson Tide may very well play for the national title, but all of the notions that this is one of the best teams ever is ludicrous. Alabama has been dominant but until last week, Saban’s team didn’t face any opponents close to the talent level of LSU. Playing against backup QB’s against Arkansas and Missouri didn’t prove much to me. I think Alabama likely wins this game in the 4th quarter, but winning by ten points in Death Valley is too much to ask. LSU and Les Miles will be ready after the bye week and I feel confident that the crowd will have an impact. If LSU can make a few big plays early, this game should be a dogfight. I anticipate a 16-13 final, but wouldn’t be shocked if Les is able to pull a few rabbits out of his hat once again. We will find out just how good this Alabama team is on Saturday night. If my predictions hold true, Oregon will look like the nation’s best team when Sunday morning rolls around.
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