October 26, 2011

WeIs Roundtable Week 9 Picks: Chaos Aftermath Edition

Chaos struck in Week 8.  Unlike lightning, it struck in multiple places - Norman and Madison experienced 3rd degree burns that may have caused irreparable damage.  Morgantown and Champaign required a healthy application of burn cream to already singed appendages.  How many more unbeatens time is up this week?  We cover two below as well as two other games of interest.  And if you're still in a dark place from Saturday's disappointment in South Bend, just look forward to next Saturday's primetime affair.  The hype in Tuscaloosa will reach absurd levels, so it garners at least an early mention.  Curious what the line might be come Monday.  At the risk of drawing LSU fans ire again, I'll guess Alabama's favored by 5 points.  Any other guesses, add to the comments.  The picks...

Stanford (-9) @ USC
Dan: Stanford (-9)
It was a brutal week for me last week in the picks. I didn’t feel confident with them and the results showed. It is time to bounce back this week. We all know what happened last Saturday night in South Bend, but don’t expect that to carry over. Stanford’s has established themselves as one of, if not the, most physical outside of LSU/Alabama in my mind. They will not be pushed around like the rag doll Irish were last week. I also expect Luck to have to have success against the USC secondary, which went largely untested last week. Stanford continues their dominant performance ATS.

Stanford 38 USC 27
Jeremy: Stanford (-9)
I'd really like to think that USC just needed the wake-up call that a night game in South Bend provided, but I still don't think they're all that great.  I was extremely impressed with the Cardinal's win last week against Washington, and I'm getting a little nervous that the Thanksgiving weekend matchup in Palo Alto is going to be a bloodbath.  Andrew Luck makes his first big Heisman case this weekend in LA.
Stanford 41  USC 28 
Jimmy: Stanford (-9)
The Cardinal flat out eviscerated Washington, rumbling for 446 yards on the ground.  Feel free to imagine how helpless a defense has to be against a pro-style offense that gashes them for a 10 yard average (Irish fans are already starting to get indigestion thinking about that Thanksgiving attack).  USC probably feels pretty good about their South Bend trip and have a false sense of confidence going back to the Colosseum.  Andrew Luck has averaged 46 points on the Trojans the last two years (both wins), and this might be his best offense yet.  He hasn’t been called on for any late game theatrics this season as no game has been within 3 touchdowns.  That trend should end this week, but I still think Stanford pulls away by a comfortable margin.
Stanford 48  USC 29
Mike: Stanford (-9)
At several moments during last week’s debacle unfold at Notre Dame Stadium, I remarked loudly (to no one in particular) that Stanford and Oregon would both annihilate USC this year.  Although I have sobered up since making those statements, my viewpoint has not changed.  Stanford, unlike Notre Dame, will commit to running the ball on the heels of last week’s 446 yard ground explosion, which will allow them to wear down the Trojans’ defensive front.  In addition, the physical Cardinal defense will be much more effective against the USC running game and Matt Barkley.  The best player in college football also happens to wear a Stanford helmet, which never hurts.  Look for another Stanford thrashing of USC at the Coliseum.
Stanford 47 USC 17
Phil: USC (+9)
Had the Irish taken care of business last week and won that game handily, as they should, this would be a steal, as I think Stanford would have won going away. But now, USC is looking like a good team after they manhandled the Irish and I think that they can give Stanford a game. If USC does truly have a chance, they will have to get pressure on Luck. The other key is getting Woods the ball in the open field (Jeez we made him look fast)! I am gonna say USC gives Stanford a game, and that thrashing doesn't make the Irish look so bad. 
Stanford 31 USC 27
Oklahoma (-13.5) @ Kansas State
Dan: Kansas State (+13.5)
The return of Snyder has brought success to Manhattan once again. The Sooners will be looking for a bounce back game. The Wildcats have given up nearly 700 yards through the air over the past two games, so Landry Jones should get his. Can the Sooner D bounce back? Manhattan is a tough place to play, and I expect the Wildcats to bring all they have. However, it won’t be enough for the win, but 13.5 just seems silly.

OU 31 Kansas State 27
Jeremy: Oklahoma (-13.5)  Lock of the Week
Bill Snyder's Magical Mystery Tour ends this weekend with a ticked-off Sooner squad coming to Manhattan.  OU rolls big in this one.
Oklahoma 37  Kansas St. 20 
Jimmy: Oklahoma (-13.5)  Lock of the Week
The Sooners will have one of two natural reactions to their stunning loss to Tommy Tuberville’s Texas Tech team (and yes, I just paused to say that five teams fast...you try it).  OU either mopes all week and packs it in for the rest of the season.  Or Bob Stoops inspires them to stomp their remaining competition in a last-ditch climb back into the top 2 BCS ranks.  Crazier things have happened with 5-6 games for everyone ahead of them.  Playing the role of spoiler for 2 undefeateds is a nice target to zero in on.  Boomer Sooner finds a way to play without their injured starters and throws up Playstation numbers from here on out.
Oklahoma 66  Kansas State 37
Mike: Oklahoma (-13.5)  Lock of the Week
Heading into last week, it appeared that this would be a battle of undefeated teams if Kansas State could handle its in-state rival Jayhawks in Lawrence.  Shockingly, however, Oklahoma was the team that failed to live up to its end of the bargain against a mediocre Texas Tech team at home.  Nonetheless, Oklahoma is still far superior to Kansas State and, assuming that there is no hangover, the Sooners should hand the Wildcats their first of several Big 12 losses this season.  Furthermore, Kansas State is not equipped to play from behind with its lack of a credible passing game, so this one could get ugly if the Sooners can start quickly.
Oklahoma 52 Kansas State 24
Phil: Kansas State (+13.5) 
(Ed. Note: Phil mistakenly thought Oklahoma State was playing this game, so I left his analysis for giggles, soon to be changed...now edited)
I have picked the Cowboys every week. I have a huge man crush on Weeden. They score in bundles and they have not let me down this year. Bill Snyder has the Cats playing as if it were the late nineties and Michael Bishop was running amok on the Big 12.  However, I am gonna stick with my man Weeden.  

Updated pick: Apologies to Landry Jones, but he is no Weeden.  That being said, I think OU bounces back.  I'm not sure how good Snyder's rejuvenated crew is, bu they are playing like Mike Bishop's '97 team.  Wildcats are at home, but I think OU wins in a close game.
Oklahoma 37 K St 31
Michigan State (+4.5) @ Nebraska
Dan: Michigan State (+4.5)
I realize this is the perfect let down opportunity for Michigan State, and, if they had beat ND and were headed into this game undefeated, I think I would take Nebraska. But at least some pressure is off, already having lost a game. The defense finally gave up some points to a non-ND team, allowing 31 against Wisconsin. Of course, Wisconsin was averaging over 50 points a game going into last week, so maybe that is not so bad. I expect the MSU defense to have success limiting the Nebraska offense. The only decent teams Nebraska has played this year have been Wisconsin and OSU. Saving a 4th quarter collapse by the buckeyes, the Huskers have not held their own. In Lincoln, I think they may have enough to pull off the win, but it will be too close to give the points.

Nebraska 21 MSU 20
Jeremy: Michigan St (+4.5)
I'm having a tough time understanding this line.  I know MSU's big wins this year have come at home, but I have a difficult time believing that they lose this game by more than a FG, if they lose it all.  I think the defense is pretty overrated, but Nebraska is pretty one-dimensional and Sparty can stop what they know is coming.  Although this seems like a perfect time for a typical Sparty moment, I'll take MSU to win this one outright.
MSU 27  Nebraska 17
Jimmy: Nebraska (-4.5)
A little incredible that MSU is a 4 point dog this week in the wake of Hail Mary Madness, but Vegas knows best.  Classic let down trap week for a team that hasn’t had a moment to breathe the last 3 weeks with emotionally draining wins over Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.  The tank’s gotta be empty, right?  Spartan fans collective confidence might be at its highest peak since 1966.  Mad props are in order for Mark Dantonio keeping his team’s focus during this grueling stretch.  Most any other week, I’d like Sparty in this as they seem to be a far better team on both sides of the ball.  But this week the script gets flipped.  Nebraska’s home crowd plays a huge role as Bo Pelini’s team feasts on their first statement conference win.  Go Huskers
Nebraska 36  Michigan State 30
Mike: Nebraska (-4.5)
Placing my faith in Nebraska has not worked out very well this season, but I sense that Michigan State is somewhat overrated.  While Michigan State’s defense is getting plenty of hype after their last two wins, Wisconsin was able to move quite effectively last week in East Lansing.  Sparty also made several big plays on special teams and converted a Hail Mary, none of which can be relied upon this week.  There is also a potential emotional letdown factor in this game that favors the host Cornhuskers, thus making Nebraska the smart play here.
Nebraska 31 Michigan State 24
Phil: Michigan St. (+4.5)  Lock of the Week
Not sure the angle here. The wise guys in Vegas must know something that I don't know. Nebraska has been only average this year, and Michigan St has looked pretty good other than their inexplicable egg they laid versus the Irish. Coming off their miraculous win over Wisconsin, I think that Sparty will by flying high, and I think they will outright beat Nebraska.

On to a more important point - after watching the end of the MSU-Whisky game and MNF, does it seem to anyone else that the refs are less concerned with making the right call in games, and instead making the call that will allow replay to get it right. I'm not even sure I know what I am talking about, because I like replay, there just seems to be alot more missed calls lately. The stripes don't have to be good anymore. Oh well.
MSU 28 Nebraska 23
Georgia (-2.5) vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
Dan: Georgia( -2.5)  Lock of the Week
Could the cocktail party be any less interesting this year? I don’t remember the last time the SEC East was this irrelevant. The Gators look terrible – how do you only score 6 points against Auburn? Of course, the Bulldogs aren’t having a dream season either. Richt continues to be on the proverbial hot seat, but I think they are playing well enough to handle a Gator team in disarray. Maybe Richt even sneaks into SEC title game if USC slips up, but really the SEC east champion will be nothing more than a whipping boy come December.

Georgia 24 Florida 17
Jeremy: Georgia (-2.5)
Good Lord, the SEC East is a mess.  The Dawgs, on life support early in the year, have a chance to make a big statement this weekend in Jacksonville and make a run to the SEC title game.  Florida's offense may receive a much-needed boost with the return of John Brantley, but here's betting that he won't be at 100% and the Gators will continue to have trouble moving the ball.  A late FG seals a big win for Mark Richt, and probably allows him to keep big-time OL recruit John Theus, and swing Keith Marshall's attention back to Athens.
Georgia 23  Florida 13 
Jimmy: Georgia (-2.5)
One team has an SEC title berth in their crosshairs, while the other is coming to the fight empty handed.  Georgia has taken care of business against the dregs of their SEC schedule (convenient that UGA avoids playing Bama, LSU and Arkansas in regular season) since stumbling out of the gates 0-2.  They’ve caught up to the pack and are in a fine position to gallop down the stretch past fading South Carolina (who still faces Arkansas and Clemson).  Florida’s headless horseman offense looks like they’re running in an entirely different race.  I like UGA in the always entertaining environs of the World’s Largest Cocktail Party.
Georgia 33  Florida 17
Mike: Florida (+2.5)
Assuming that John Brantley comes back, the Florida offense should be much more balanced than in weeks past.  Nonetheless, Georgia’s defense appears to be rounding into form under Todd Grantham and the Dawgs should be able to offset the first half suspensions of Kwame Geathers and Shawn Williams with the return of Cornelius Washington and Alec Ogletree.  On offense, Aaron Murray should have enough success through the air against the Florida secondary to lead Georgia to victory in the Cocktail Party.
Georgia 27 Florida 17
Phil: UGA (-2.5)
I've heard rumors that John Brantley will be playing this weekend. I've also seen Florida play this year, and I think their problems run deeper than not having Brantley. UGA seems to be hitting their stride and Crowell is looking like a 5 star back. The Gators have traditionally dominated this matchup, but I think UGA marches on in the SEC East and gets a win.
UGA 24 UF 14
Bonus Picks  
Dan: Clemson (-4.5) @ Georgia Tech
Clemson has made me nervous at times this year, but something is amiss in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets offense is sputtering a bit, and Clemson can certainly put points on the board. I like Paul Johnson and his triple offense, so I hope they bounce back soon, but I don’t see it being this week. Clemson should cover easily

Clemson 31 GT 20
Jeremy: Central Michigan (-8.5) @ Akron
The Zips almost made me look foolish last weekend, but I'll keep riding them until Rob Ianello finds himself out of a job.  
Central Michigan 30 Akron 17
Jimmy: Virginia Tech (-14) @ Duke
Duke lost to D1-AA Richmond earlier this season, and lost by 25 two weeks ago to Florida State.  The Hokies are better than the Noles with Logan Thomas gaining more confidence each week and David Wilson leading the nation in rushing.  Expect more of the same.
Va. Tech 47  Duke 13
Mike: Arkansas (-10) over Vanderbilt
Arkansas struggled badly last week against a weak Ole Miss team, but a more honest performance should be in store for this week against the Hogs.  If Arkansas plays a decent game, the punchless Commodores do not have a chance to cover this spread, even at home.
Arkansas 34 Vanderbilt 14
Phil: Ole Miss @ Auburn (-7)
Wow, how the mighty have fallen. I don't have much to say about my Tigers, other than the loss of 3 WRs, 4 OL, 5 DL and the greatest college football player ever are looking like too much to overcome. That being said, we have 3 losses this year, to the numbers 1, 4, and 10 teams in the country, all on the road. Not a bad resume, and not unexpected. 

I hope Gus lets Moseley get untracked this week against an improving Ole Miss squad. We need to control the ball, make the smart easy play and get off the field on 3rd down. I hope being at home lets us get back on track heading into "Amen Corner." 
Auburn 34 Ole Miss 21

Last Week
Dan: 1-4 (- Lock of the Week)
Jeremy: 3-2 (-)
Jimmy: 2-3 (-)
Mike: 1-4 (+)
Phil: 4-1 (+)

Season to Date
Dan: 28-17 (6-2)
Jeremy: 28-17-1 (4-4)
Jimmy: 25-18-3 (6-2)
Mike: 20-25-1 (4-3-1)
Phil: 21-23-1 (5-2-1)

1 comment:

Mike said...

To be clear, I did mean to pick Georgia although I accidentally typed "Florida."

My only area of success in the pick segment this year has been errors and omissions.