September 11, 2009
Fresno State @ Wisconsin, Saturday 12pm
Ahad: I have always been a supporter of Fresno State, but I think the Badgers at home are going to be too much. Pick: Wisconsin
Matt: Wisconsin is coming off a tough season, but they should rebound this year. I am big fan of Fresno State as well, but I don’t see them pulling it out here. Pick: Wisconsin
Evan: The Badgers are my second favorite Big Ten team, I’ve always liked Madison. I know nothing about their football team this year, or Fresno State’s for that matter – do they still have David Carr? Pick: Wisconsin
Mike: This was a big game last year. I remember being really excited for it and wound up falling asleep watching. More because I was in Syracuse and had spent the day going to the Penn State game, not because of the 13-10 game. Fresno’s 51-0 beating of UC Davis can’t be used for much. So why did Wisconsin only beat NIU 28-20? In reality it was 28-6 going into the 4th. A TD, pick, and recovered onside kick would have been enough to tie the game. Wisconsin can’t lose focus in the 4th this week. Pick: Wisconsin
Notre Dame @ Michigan, Saturday 3:30pm
Ahad: If there was a way for both teams to lose, I would be happy. NDâ€™s offense looked ok last week and should continue to evolve as the season moves forward. Michigan still plans on playing all 3 quarterbacks. Teams that donâ€™t have clear-cut starting QBs donâ€™t sit too well with me. Pick: ND
Matt: I have always hated Michigan more than Notre Dame, so I will be rooting for Notre Dame. Have the Irish really gotten back on track? They are ranked. And apparently, Lou Holtz thinks they can make it to the National Championship Game. Really Lou!?! I doubt they get that far, but I like them winning this one. Pick: Notre Dame
Evan: I have always rooted for Notre Dame, must be that Catholic guilt thing. While Lou Holtz is certifiable, and no Lou, Jimmy Clausen is not a Heisman candidate, I still think the Irish have the edge in this one. I don’t think it will be long before Michigan is restored though, so ND better enjoy it while it lasts. Pick: ND
Mike: This might actually be a half decent game this year. Both teams beat up on weak opponents causing everyone to overreact and think they are back. The ND defense should be able to handle Forcier. What does Michigan have on offense? Seems like they are still trying to find who their starter is at every skill position. The Notre Dame offense had a solid practice last week against the Wolfpack. Their running backs along gives them the edge, so Claussen just needs to ride them and look for his chances. Pick: Notre Dame
UCLA @ Tennessee, Saturday 4pm
Ahad: Tenn put up some big offensive numbers last week. I expected Kiffin to run up the score and I think he will try and do it again. He is looking to make splash in his first real test at home. Pac 10 vs SEC, to Evanâ€™s delight I will go with the SEC. Pick: Tenn
Matt: I haven’t heard too much about UCLA this year, but I have heard lots about Tennessee. The Kiffins win this one easily. Pick: Tennessee
Evan: I would soooo love to see Tennessee lose on one hand, I really hate them now that they have Kiffin (must have been what the rest of the SEC felt like when Spurrier was at UF), the big difference of course is that Kiffin has yet to win anything. On the other, I want Tennessee to win for the purposes of s.o.s. I don’t think UCLA has the motor to keep up after that cross country trip, plus there’s that “SEC speed”. Pick: Tenn
Mike: I don’t like UCLA but I want them to be good. Does that make sense? Not a bit, I think my logic is they are the natural rival to USC and someone needs to beat them every few years. UCLA has a freshman QB and their starting RB is out this week. I guess Neuheisel is starting to get his guys in place. Tennessee is a much more stable situation. I forget our rules about west coast teams coming east, but I don’t remember it being a good thing. Pick: Tennessee
South Carolina @ Georgia, Saturday 7pm
Ahad: Georgia looks to comeback after an opening week loss. SC just doesnâ€™t impress me. This game could get ugly. Pick: UGA
Matt: Neither team looked particularly impressive last week, but at least South Carolina won. I feel like Georgia will rebound at home. Pick: Georgia
Evan: Spurrier loves beating Georgia, but Georgia proved they could play with a very good Ok State team, while SC barely squeaked by lowly NC State. Pick: UGA
Mike: Their offensive outputs were nearly identical last week. Their defenses can’t really be compared as OK State has a much better offense than NC State. I have this one as a toss up but to avoid everyone making the same pick for every game I have to go with USC.
USC @ Ohio State, Saturday 8pm
Ahad: OSU will be better on defense this week as they are facing a more traditional opponent. Navyâ€™s option game can give a lot of teams a hard time. After a shaky start USCâ€™s offense started to click. I donâ€™t think OSU has the firepower offensively to keep with USC. This game could end up being a blowout. Pick: USC
Matt: Here is the biggie of the week. Not sure what to think about either team. USC blew out their weaker opponent and Ohio State almost lost to their weaker opponent. This game will definitely be closer than last year’s matchup, but I still think USC is the superior team. Pick: USC
Evan: On the one hand, I think USC will blow them out. I hate Ohio State and think they are the most overrated team ever. On the other, I can’t help but think Barkely will be a little rattled given the environment (even if he is the college Tom Brady). In the end I think USC’s defensive speed wins this game. Pick: USC Ohio State (Evan changed his pick prior to kickoff.)
Mike: Trust in Carroll, so he lost most of his team, but his recruiting every year is always ridiculous. So they just need to get used to game day. My biggest concern is underrating OSU after that Navy game. This game just makes me angry after ESPN saying 2 5-star recruits that have proven themselves worthy of the rating. Really? Barkley after one game and Pryor hasn’t poven himself as a superstar yet. Barkely is the only way USC loses this game, so he just needs to be safe. Pick: USC
Average games I mentioned I’d try and point out some of these games this week.
Idaho @ Washington and Hawaii @ Washington St. – Could be the Washington teams’ only shot at wins until the Apple Cup.
Western Michigan @ Indiana – Might be below average, but a game I’m curious to see the outcome. Indiana really needs to win this game to have any respect.
Purdue @ Oregon – How does Oregon respond post LeGarrette with LaMichael James in his place. A game the Big 10 would really love to win.