Thursday, September 22, 2016

College Football: The Week 4 FIVE (With trepidation)

At some point this has to turn around right?

When my numbers are correct it seems I'm unlucky as hell, and when my numbers are off it seems I've not luck then either.  At some point it becomes a mountain to high to climb but we're not near that point yet.  Everyone has slumps, it's just that the tout's refuse to acknowledge theirs.

Let's get to it.

The Week 4 FIVE:

1. USC @ Utah (-3). Last week I predicted Stanford was going to roll over a dysfunctional USC team and I was right. What kept the game from my FIVE was that I wasn't yet sure just how bad USC was. I think I have a pretty good idea of that now.  USC will be starting their Freshman QB but I think the problems with this team run much, much deeper than just Max Brown. Utah to Cover -3. USC 17 Utah 27.

2. Nevada @ Purdue (-6). Aw crap, Another road dog that I'm high on. The thing here is that Purdue is a genuinely awful team that might not win a game this year. Their coach is going to be fired and Nevada, while not all that good, is certainly not an easy out. Nevada to Cover +6. Nevada 27 Purdue 10.

3. San Jose State @ Iowa State (-7). Yet another road underdog. Suggesting that I haven't learned my lesson from last week. However, Iowa State is a pretty horrible football team with a coach who (like Purdue) won't be coaching there next year and SJSU is a decent team who, incidentally, gets their quarterback back healthy. Yes, SJSU's offensive line is an issue, but Iowa State is not a particularly strong team at rushing the QB. SJSU to cover +7. SJSU 24 Iowa State 17.

4. Central Michigan (-3) @ Virginia. Virginia is the worst team in the ACC and it's not really all that close. Central Michigan is the 2nd best team in the MAC (More on the best team later) and they've already played in front of a more hostile crowd in Stillwater, against a better team, than they'll face on Saturday.  Bronco Mendenhall has quite the rebuilding task ahead of him. Central Michigan to cover -3. CMU 28 Virginia 10.

5. Georgia Southern @ Western Michigan (-7). It's possible that this game is a matchup between two eventual Group of 5 conference champions. If any side let's the other down however I think it will be the Eagles. Broncos head coach P.J. Fleck has quietly built an impressive program which should have him jumping to a Power 5 school next year. Note to Fleck: RUN (don't walk) away from Purdue. Last year the Eagles whipped the Broncos 43-17 in a game where the WMU defense was helpless against the GSU run-game. Also, last year's GSU head coach Willie Fitz has moved on to Tulane.  Western Michigan to cover -7. GSU 13 Western Michigan 33.

Games considered, but not included (In other words, the games I'll be telling you I should have chosen sometime on Sunday)

Georgia @ Ole Miss (-7) I want to be a believer in Ole Miss, I really do.  But history says that the week after Alabama teams struggle. I like Ole Miss here because Georgia has looked pretty pedestrian this season but I'm not willing to go all-in.  Maybe a min-bet in? 1/2 a min bet in?  UGA 17 Ole Miss 27.

Florida @ Tennessee (-7). An SEC team that I think is decidedly mediocre playing still another SEC team that I think is mediocre. The difference is the 2nd SEC team is going to be missing their best offensive player, QB Luke Del Rio. Florida 10 Tennessee 27.

Pitt @ North Carolina (-7). All these touchdown spreads and not a good team among them. Head Coach Larry Fedora of the TarHeels needs a signature ACC win. Is Pitt that win? I really don't have much of a feel for this game after what Oklahoma State did to Pitt.  Pitt 23 UNC 24.

Louisiana State (-3.5) @ Auburn. S-E-C (struggles on offense). This game could be so boring that if Musberger was on the call he'd be telling Vegas stories starting midway through the 2nd quarter. Of course, the media will term it "another thrilling SEC defensive battle". LSU 13 Auburn 10.

Houston (-34.5) @ Texas State. I'm never a fan of betting games like this. Houston is coming off of an emotional win over Cincinnati, but has a QB whose shoulder is probably hurt worse than they're letting on. I expect a grind it out type of game that Houston wins by something near the spread. UH 35 Texas State 0.

Army (-14) @ Buffalo. I love this. 3-0 Army has beaten better teams by bigger scores than this. Since you probably don't read down this far you might not know this. Which means you might think this line is out of whack.  It's not. Army 38 Buffalo 3.

Okahoma State @ Baylor (-8). The Bears have not looked good offensively and Oklahoma State's defense showed signs of life against Pitt. The issue? Baylor is balanced while Pitt wasn't. first one to 70 wins.  OSU 63 Baylor 69.  (Take the over)

S. Carolina @ Kentucky (-2). Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops is probably looking forward to the day he can get back onto brother Bob's coaching staff. S. Carolina 17 Kentucky 10.

Stanford (-3) @ UCLA. I think this might be looked back upon as the last stand of the Bruins. I was high on them at the beginning of the season but I clearly neglected to take into account the Mora factor. Stanford 33 UCLA 20.

Arkansas @ Texas aTm (-5.5). I'm still not a believer in the fighting Sumlins, but I have a hard time believing in a team full of "karma" either. Rooting for the ground to open up and swallow both teams in this one.  Arkansas 21 Texas aTm 20.

California @ Arizona State. First one to 100 wins. Cal 68 ASU 70.

Air Force (-3) @ Utah State. The service academies are a combined 8-0.  Let me repeat that: The service academies are a combined 8-0. The 0 has a chance to go here. Air Force 14 Utah State 17.

And finally........

Penn State @ Michigan (-19). The bloom fell off the Harbaugh rose last week against an improved Colorado team.  Can the Wolverines get their mojo back?  Good teams win, great teams cover. I think Michigan is a good team that has the potential to be great, but needs better offensive production, especially from the run.  Penn State 7 Michigan 23.

Good luck this weekend regardless of whether or not you are following or fading. (To be honest, I'd fade a bit until I get back on track.)

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