College Football: Week 6 Picks- Another Upset By Kansas State? SEC Opening Acts Could Steal Spotlight

8 10 2011

 

Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee Volunteers

 

Considering the LSU-Florida game is billed as the top SEC game of the week, people shouldn’t write this Georgia-Tennessee game off so quickly as it has the makings to outdo the battle in Death Valley.

In a battle for SEC East Division supremacy, Aaron Murray of Georgia and Tyler Bray of Tennessee will meet in what could be a preview of future Sunday’s as these two pro prospects are expected to put on a fireworks show in Knoxville.

Tennessee have converted  a nations best 62 percent on third downs, en route to scoring 40 or more points in its three wins this season.  Not bad.  However, this offense will face a Bulldogs defense that has limited its opponent under 26 percent on third down conversions, which is ranked second nationally.

With the loss of Justin Hunter at wide receiver, Tennessee’s offense could be in a bit of trouble against Georgia.  The Bulldogs defense ranks 4th in the nation against the pass as this unit has exceptional coverage, and have only allowed five passing touchdowns this season.  If Bray can’t get this offense flying through the air, then Tennessee will get shut down quickly.

The Volunteers ground game is down right awful.  Ranked 97th in the nation, yes, 97th, Tennessee averages a measly three yards per carry.  Tennessee also ranks dead last in the SEC in rushing offense.  Georgia will find it easy to contain the ground game of Tennessee as the Bulldogs currently rank 56th nationally against the run.  Not bad.  They also limit running backs to a mere 4.51 yards per carry.

 

Georgia Bulldogs 41 – Tennessee Volunteers 27

 

Auburn Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks

 

Last season Ryan Mallett and Cam Newton took their teams to war in what may have been the SEC’s “Game of the Year”.

Newton and the Tigers dropped 65 points on Mallett’s Razorbacks in the win.  Tyler Wilson made an appearance in that game, relieving Mallett after the star quarterback suffered a concussion in the first half.

This season, Auburn are without Cam Newton, and Arkansas are sans Mallett.  Could we see a repeat of 2010’s bomb show?

More than likely.

Let’s all be honest here.  The point of Auburn’s defense is not to stop the opposing team’s offense, but, really, to give the Tigers’ offense a breather.  To put it in simple terms: Auburn’s defense is down right awful.  High school football programs play better defense than the Tigers.

Nationally, the Tigers rank 106th in total defense, 108th against the rush, 74th against the pass, and 74th in scoring defense.

Arkansas averages over 471 yards per game in total offense (16th overall) and is also 16th in the country in scoring.  The Razorbacks average over 39 points a game, and against Auburn, it looks like the offense will be running wild Saturday.

This will be the perfect defense for the prolific Tyler Wilson to take advantage of and destroy.  The Tigers secondary is obviously its weakest link, and will be exposed quickly and often as Wilson’s air show takes flight.  Expect the Razorbacks pivot to break the school record  for most passing yards in a game that he set last week against Texas A&M (510 yards).  Too early to say “Heisman Trophy darkhorse”?

Stat Pack: Arkansas are 20-for-20 with 15 touchdowns in the red zone this season.  

 

Arkansas Razorbacks 54 – Auburn Tigers 39

 

UPSET SPECIAL!

 

Missouri Tigers at Kansas State Wildcats

 

Okay, short and sweet.

Kansas State knocked off RG3 and the Baylor Bears last week in a thriller.

Coach Bill Snyder obviously has a great thing going at K-State.  He must be channelling it from those slick Nike shoes he sports.

Collin Klein ranks second in the FBS in quarterback rushing, averaging 105.8 yards per game.  Dual-threat quarterbacks seem to be all the rage these days.  If Kansas State can knock off Baylor, then, they can topple Missouri, too.

Kansas State Wildcats 31 – Missouri Tigers 28

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College Football: Week 5 Picks- UCLA’s Un-Luck-y Day, Boise’s Revenge, The Persa Show

1 10 2011

UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal

Once upon a time the Bruins were a legit football program who were constantly chalking up victories over the Cardinal, but, in recent years, it seems like these two storied teams have swapped places and are currently moving in opposite directions.

Last season, the Bruins were on the receiving end of a 38-0 whipping at the hands of Andrew Luck and the Cardinal at the Rose Bowl, and this season, it looks like Stanford are going to continue where they left off.

Maybe to make things fair, the NCAA should spot UCLA a 10-point lead at kickoff, just to make things a little less embarrassing for the Bruins.

Stanford enters this game with the top-ranked run defense in the nation, a Heisman front runner in Andrew Luck, and an offense that ranks 9th in scoring, and 24th in total offense.  UCLA, on the other hand, ranks 98th in total defense, 91st in scoring defense, and 72nd against the pass.  Mismatch much?

Stanford comes into this game red hot as they have won 11 straight games, scoring no less than 37 points in all contests.

As mentioned earlier, these are two programs moving in opposite directions-Stanford are driving towards a BCS National Championship berth, while Rick Neuheisel is just trying to keep his job at UCLA.

 

Stanford Cardinal 48 – UCLA Bruins 13

 

Nevada Wolf Pack at Boise State Broncos

UPSET ALERT?

Arguably the worst defeat the Broncos have ever endured came last November at the hands of Nevada in a stunning 31-34 overtime loss.  Boise State were right in the thick of things in regards to busting the BCS system and making a statement to be included in the BCS National Championship talks, but, the upset at the hands of the Wolf Pack shattered the dreams of Boise State.  What many people remember from this game, especially Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman, was the two short field-goal misses that could have changed the game drastically.  Instead, the Broncos were the first top 10 program to lose to Nevada in Wolf Pack history.

That was last year, this is 2011.

Broncos coach, Chris Petersen, has the Broncos back in the top 10, and again, in the BCS title conversation.  Surely, Broncos quarterback, Kellen Moore remembers that loss last season very well, and will definitely be ready for Nevada this time around.

What can’t be overlooked here is the consistency of the Broncos at home on the smurf-turf.  Boise State are 63-0 as hosts since 2001, and have won their last five home games agains the Wolf Pack.

Kellen Moore will highlight his high-powered offense that ranks 8th in the nation in passing (354.0 yards per game) against a Nevada defense that ranks 78th.

Considering that the Broncos are very pass-happy, and like to air the ball out, this game could see quite a workout on the scoreboard.

Boise State’s Tyler Shoemaker has been a suitable replacement for the departed Austin Pettis.  Shoemaker has hauled in six touchdown passes this season, and seems to be the new “go-to” guy for Moore.

Interesting note, this season the Broncos have not attempted a single field-goal.  Are Boise State scared to get back on the bike after falling off last season to Nevada?  That scrape the Broncos got after their fall should have healed by now.  Don’t underestimate the power of the three-point play, Broncos.  But, then again, today Boise State may not need to resort to field-goals.  This is going to be a romp.

 

Boise State Broncos 54 (yeah, we’re going with two missed PAT’s today) – Nevada Wolf Pack 13

 

 

UPSET SPECIAL!

 

Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini

The Dan Persa Show returns for the first episode of the season.

Northwestern’s golden boy is set to start his first game of the season after recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered last season.

Are the billboards back up around the Chicago area, campaigning Persa’s Heisman push?  Hmm.

The prolific quarterback may not be Heisman material, but, he can, however, right the ship that is the Wildcats football season.  Northwestern are currently sitting on a 2-1 record and coming off of a bye week as they visit their first Big Ten foe, the 4-0 Illinois Fighting Illini.

Please note, the Illini have lost six of the last eight games against the Wildcats, and have also dropped their last three conference opening games since their 27-14 win over Indiana in 2007.

These both seem like ideal scenarios for Northwestern today.

What Illinois offense is going to show up today?  Will it be the offense that runs up the scoreboard like it did against FCS opponents?  Or, will the offense that struggled against Western Michigan and Arizona State be the one that takes the field today?

Illini running back Troy Pollard will be a major factor in this game.  Pollard averages 10 yards per carry and has a keen eye at finding holes in defenses that allow him to explode through them.

Northwestern struggled against Army’s run game a few weeks back, so, Pollard and the Illini could expose this lacklustre defense early, and put the Wildcats in a hole.  However, if the Wildcats unit holds and improves this week, Illinois could be in a lot of trouble.

It’s understandable that one person doesn’t win games on their own, but, today, Dan Persa is going to make all the difference in the world.  Can he return to his early 2010 form for Northwestern?  Will he work gingerly to avoid another injury?

Considering the magnitude of this game (albeit, it’s nowhere near Nebraska vs. Wisconsin), Dan Persa and the Wildcats are looking for that first big statement win of the season, and what better way to get it than by knocking off the 24th-ranked Illini on the road.

 

Northwestern Dan Persa…err…Wildcats 27 – Illinois Fighting Illini 23





College Football: Week 4 Picks- Dogs Day Afternoon Will Shake BCS Picture

24 09 2011

Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Boise State Broncos

Let’s make this short, sweet, and easy for all.

Boise State have not lost a home game since 2001, have not lost to Tulsa in their past five games, the Broncos have Kellen Moore while the Golden Hurricane have…Kalen Henderson.

In the battle of Kellen versus Kalen, we’ll stick with the prolific and highly talented Broncos quarterback to torch a struggling, lacklustre Tulsa defense.

 

Boise State Broncos 52 – Tulsa Golden Hurricane 17

 

 

UPSET SPECIALS!

San Diego State Aztecs at Michigan Wolverines

Denard Robinson vs. the Aztecs?

Shut down Denard, you shut down the Wolverines.

The run game of Aztecs Ronnie Hillman trumps Denard Robinson any day of the week.  What? Because Denard is statistically better than Hillman, barely?  Look at the games the Michigan Denards have played.  Western and Eastern Michigan, and Notre Dame.  Take the Irish out of the mix, and sure, Denard the Destroyer showed his might against two weak, struggling defenses.  Now, look at Denard against the Irish-114 yards on the ground.  Not very “Denard” like, now was it?

Now, look at Ronnie Hillman’s numbers.  191 yards on the ground against Washington State last week, 117 against Army in week 2, and 189 rushing yards against Cal Poly in his opening game.  Let’s not forget, Hillman is tied with Alabama’s Trent Richardson and SMU’s Zach Line for most rushing touchdowns this season with eight.

Hillman will go up against Michigan’s rush defense that ranks 103rd in the nation against the run.  Perfect.

It’ll probably be the Hillman hustle over at the Big House today.  Aztecs stick it to their old coach.

 

San Diego State Aztecs 34 – Michigan Wolverines 30

 

 

Arkansas Razorbacks at Alabama Crimson Tide

Will the suffocating defense of Alabama stop the explosive offense of Arkansas?

Stat Pack:  Alabama is 7-3 in its past 10 against the Razorbacks, and 19-0 in opening SEC games.

So?

The last time Tyler Wilson saw this Alabama team, he had a miserable appearance.  Wilson stepped in during the fourth quarter in 2008, going 4-for-7, 27 yards passing, sacked twice and threw one interception/

So?

Three years makes all the difference.  Tyler Wilson is not the same pivot as he was in 2008.

The outcome today will be completely different as the Razorbacks quarterback looks to exact revenge against this ‘Bama defense that many believe to be the best in the nation.

Really?

A tad suspect if you actually look at it.

Penn State, Kent State, North Texas?  No wonder this unit is so good-they haven’t even played anyone relevant yet.

On the flip side of the ball, Trent Richardson seems to be the only thing working on offense.  If the Razorbacks contain Richardson, things may unravel quickly for the Tide.

Anything else you need to know about this game…check the previous post HERE

By no means is this game going to be a blowout, but, instead, a death blow to Alabama’s season.

Offense over defense in this one.

 

Arkansas Razorbacks 31 – Alabama Crimson Tide 30

 

 

Picks Record to Date: 3-1

Upset Special: 0-2

 

For all other picks through out the day, follow me on Twitter and check ’em out.





Bleacher Beast 2011 Fall Semester

2 09 2011

Welcome to another year at the Bleacher Beast.

With a new “semester” upon us, much will be going on here, so, here’s what you can expect.

It seems like things have gotten a little soft around here, but that’s about to change.  Back are the rants, raves and complete rage about everything sports related.  Whether it’s EPL, MLB, NHL, NCAA Football or the NFL, if it’s gotten under our skin, we’re going to sound off.

Aside from that, you’ll find that our fall schedule will balance the anger out just as tad.

 

NCAA Football

Mondays: A preview of the best upcoming college football games of the week.

Saturdays: Our picks, plus an upset special (for all you gamblers out there)

Sundays: Our Top 25 selections, BCS Bowl projections

 

MLB

The playoff picture will be addressed as we approach the postseason.

During the playoffs, you will get analysis and predictions all the way to the World Series.

 

NFL, EPL and NHL

TBA

Class is in session starting Monday September 5th.





Picks for Saturday October 2, 2010

2 10 2010

Picks for Saturday October 2, 2010

EPL

Stoke City

Manchester United

Fulham

Ligue 1


Bordeaux

Lyon

Monaco

NCAA Football (CFB)


Florida State -7.5

Miami -3.5

Ohio State -18.5

NC State +3.5

Oklahoma -4.5

Michigan -11.5

Oregon State -3.5

Iowa State +7.5

Georgia -5.5

Georgia Tech -9.5

Florida +9.5

Stanford +7.5

Washington +10.5

Penn State +8.5







Picks for Sunday September 26, 2010

26 09 2010

Picks for Sunday September 26, 2010

NFL

San Francisco -4.5

New York Giants -3.5

Atlanta +4.5

Baltimore -11.5

New England -14.5

Cincinnati -4.5

Washington -4.5

Seattle +6.5

Indianapolis -7

Oakland +5.5

New England Patriots/Buffalo Bills OVER 43.5

Pittsburgh Steelers/Tampa Bay Bucs UNDER 33.5

Detroit Lions/Minnesota Vikings OVER 42.5

Houston Texans/Dallas Cowboys OVER 47.5

Atlanta Falcons/New Orleans Saints OVER 49.5

Cincinnati Bengals/Carolina Panthers UNDER 38.5

San Diego Chargers/Seattle Seahawks OVER 44.5

Philadelphia Eagles/Jacksonville Jaguars OVER 44.5

Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens UNDER 37.5

San Francisco 49ers/Kansas City Chiefs UNDER 36.5





Picks for Sunday September 19, 2010

19 09 2010

Picks for Sunday September 19, 2010

NFL


Green Bay -14.5

Baltimore Ravens -2.5

Tennessee Titans -6.5

Chicago Bears +9.5

Philadelphia Eagles -6.5

Carolina Panthers -3.5

Arizona Cardinals +7.5

Kansas City Chiefs -1.5

Miami Dolphins +7.5

Seattle Seahawks +3.5

St. Louis Rams +4.5

Houston Texans -3.5

San Diego Chargers -7.5

New England Patriots -3

Indianapolis Colts -5.5

New England Patriots/New York Jets OVER 38.5

Denver Broncos/Seattle Seahawks OVER 40.5

Houston Texans/Washington Redskins OVER 44.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Carolina Panthers UNDER 38.5

Tennessee Titans/Pittsburgh Steelers UNDER 37.5

Cincinnati Bengals/Baltimore Ravens UNDER 40.5

MLB

Minnesota Twins

Philadelphia Phillies

Arizona Diamondbacks

Texas Rangers