Thursday, September 15, 2005

Week Three Picks

This weekend is a make or break weekend for many teams. Florida, Louisville, Tennessee, Michigan State, Clemson, Boston College are just the few that have to prove to the college football this weekend, that they are for real.

The Biggest Games(ranked by significance)

1. Tennessee at Florida- The spread will finally have to face a speedy defense. In Urban Meyer's four year and two games of coaching his teams have only faced and beaten two ranked teams. Both were as coach of Utah, Oregon in 2003 and Pitt last year in the Fiesta Bowl. Tennessee is a huge jump up in talent, but Florida, as well, is very talented.

The Gators are grasping Meyer's offense, but wins over Wyoming and Louisiana Tech are nice but neither team possess the size and speed of Tennessee. Tennessee, however, was not impressive over UAB two weeks ago, and dropped in the polls as a result of their performance. Rick Clausen will get the start for the Vols, and that is huge. Eric Ainge did not look good against UAB. Gerald Riggs will need to have a big game if the Vols expect to win. The Gators can not be allowed get into an offensive rhythm, Tennessee needs to control the tempo with Riggs.

This game is one of the most anticipated rivalry games of the year. The addition of Meyer's offense this year just adds to the excitement. Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer has fallen under scrutiny this past offseason for some off the field problems by his players. Fulmer and Tennessee need to win this game to keep the masses happy, while Meyer needs to erase the memories of losses in the Swamp by the previous coaching regime.

UT will be able to run the ball and control the clock, and Florida will lose another game on Florida Field. Volunteers 21 Florida 16.

2. Michigan State at Notre Dame- Notre Dame has yet to face an offense like Michigan State's. The Spartans are averaging a staggering 592 yards a game. Pitt was suppose to have had an explosive offense, and the Irish contained them. The next week Ohio did onebetter job than ND, holding Pitt to only a field goal and one special teams touchdown. Michigan did not provide the Irish defense with the offensive test they needed, as well.

Notre Dame's offense is clicking on all cylinders, and a shoot out with Michigan State would not be a surprise. I like Michigan State in the upset, even though Notre Dame Stadium will be rocking for the first home game. The Spartans oulast the Irish 34-31.

3.Florida State at Boston College- If there ever was such a thing as a statement game, this would be it. Boston College makes the jump into the ACC by hosting the best ACC team of the last 13 years. Granted FSU is not the juggernaunt of the 1990's, but the 'Noles defense still is very good. BC's defense is not too shabby either. Mathias Kiwanuka is a terror on the end, and should wreck havoc on either of FSU's freshmen quarterbacks.

The Seminoles offense came to life in the second half against The Citadel, but will it continue against the Eagles? Boston College makes a huge statement with a close 27-24 win.

4. Miami at Clemson- What more does Clemson have to prove? They beat a very good Texas A&M team, and won on the road versus Maryland to open ACC play. Only maybe Notre Dame has a better resume at this point of the season. Clemson can erase all doubts over the close wins in its first two games by beating the Hurricanes. On paper Miami should mop the floor with the Tigers, but Clemson went into the Orange Bowl last year and won. Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst can burst on to the Heisman scene with a huge game against a great Cane defense. Clemson's late game heroics shall continue, Tigers win 20-17.

5. Oregon State at Louisville- The make or break game of the week. Louisville needs a dominating performance to solidify themselves as a national title contender, and to ease the doubts of the strength of the weak Big East Conference. While, Oregon State needs to show the nation there are other teams in the Pac Ten other than USC. The Beavers needed a last minute field goal to beat Boise State last week, hardly impressive considering the beating Boise State received at Georgia.

There are not going to be few games more exciting than the Beavers and Cardinals. Defense will take a back seat in this offensive showdown. Louisville's offense was somewhat exposed by Kentucky in the Cardinals narrow win two weeks ago. The defense is aggressive and will give Oregon State's Matt Moore fits. I see Oregon State coming out on top. The Beavers secondary is big and fast and will prove to be the equalizer against the pass and in run support. Beavers win 41-35.

6. Oklahoma at UCLA- Oklahoma is a shade of its former self, and a win by UCLA will not do much in voters eyes, unless the Bruins blow out the Sooners. Oklahoma is too one dimensional and UCLA's defense is far superior than TCU and Tulsa. If the Sooners can figure a way to throw the ball UCLA could be in trouble.

UCLA's coach Karl Dorrell has to win this game and maybe even beat USC this year to keep his job. The Bruins are playing better than ever under Dorrell, but San Diego State and Rice are not the best measuring sticks. UCLA should beat Oklahoma, but the unless UCLA really lays the lumber to them it is just a blip on the radar. Bruins 28, Sooners 17.

7. Fresno State at Oregon- read the preview on my Fresno State Football Blog.

3 Pontential Upsets....

What will happen- South Carolina beats Alabama. I believe Alabama is a solid top 12 team, and they should win this game. Yet, something is telling me Spurrier is going to get his first big win as coach of USC against Bama.

What might happen- Arizona over Purdue. Arizona's offense has been pedestrian, but the defense is more than capable of holding down Purdue. If Arizona builds an early lead, it just might be enough to pull out the win.

What is unlikely to happen- Northwestern upsets Arizona State. The second game of the Arizona desert Pac 10-Big Ten challenge. Northwestern is good enough to take advantage of any post LSU hang over. The Sun Devils can not overlook the Wildcats.

Betting Man? Surefire Picks!

note: I am thinking of eliminating this part of my picks, every time I post one I lose, but if I don't I win. I was a dismal 0-3 again as Oregon State and GT did not cover, and Pitt just stunk up the joint.

Oregon State(+14) at Louisville- If Louisville could not beat Kentucky by 14, I don't see them doing that to the Beavers if they pull out the win.

Tennessee(+6.5) at Florida- This will be a close game either way, 6.5 is a little much.

Florida Atlantic at Minnesota(-31)- Minnesota beat Tulsa and Colorado State both by at least 31 points, and Florida Atlantic will suffer the same fate.

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