Gaining some momentum, I'm now a solid 14-10-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 on double unit plays. Up 8 units minus juice ain't too shabby.
All plays 1 unit unless stated otherwise. Here are the plays.
Southern Miss +11 @ Boise State. Yes, I realize this game is being played on the smurf turf, but this isn't your baby daddy's Boise State team. Ian Johnson has struggled running the ball without the benefit of the Zabransky passing attack. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry in a loss @ Washington and had just 3.5 yards a tote in an ugly home win vs. Wyoming. QB Taylor Tharp is averaging just 6.7 yards per attempt and has an anemic 3 TD passes and 3 picks on the year. For comparison sake, Zabransky averaged 9 yards per attempt last season.
Defensively, the Broncos are yielding a solid 250 yards a game, but the Southern Miss offense should be the toughest test for Boise to date. Senior QB Jeremy Young is enjoying a great start to the season and seems to be reaching a production level that matches his physical skills. He's a big strong athletic guy, who is second on the team in rushing, and should pose problems for the Broncos D. Talented sophomore RB Damion Fletcher is coming off a workmanlike 27 carries for 111 yards in a win vs. a tough East Carolina defense. Coach Jeff Bowers will play it close to the vest and keep his Golden Eagles in this game where they'll have a shot to win in the 4th quarter. Vegas calls for a total in the high 40's but it'll be a bit lower. 24 to 21 Boise.
West Virginia -6.5 @ South Florida. Sorry, I'm not a believer in the Bulls becoming a national power just yet, especially in this spot with a juggernaut of a WVA team coming into Tampa with revenge on its mind. We all know what kind of explosiveness the 'Neers bring to the party week in and week out, it's just a matter of figuring out if they'll bring it emotionally. This is one of those golden weeks where we don't have to wonder. They're going to be amped for this game. And the linesmakers have done us a favor buying into USF's wins over a couple BCS schools. Victories over a grossly overrated Auburn club, and a young, hapless Tarheel squad have deflated this line to under a TD.
Sure, USF won last year, but WVA played its worst offensive game of the year. Slaton fumbled on the USF 1 yardline, the Mountaineers failed to score a TD on 4 possessions inside the 20, and USF had a fumble recovery for a TD in a 24 to 19 win. WVA will score in bunches this year, with a healthy Slaton, Pat White, Owen Schmidt, and the addition of unbelievably gifted Noel Divine. Considering WVA's ability to stop the run and the Bull's weak rushing attack, it will be up to sophomore QB Matt Grothe to move the ball through the air to keep up with WVA. Which means more plays and possessions for the most talented offense in the nation. Add it all up and it's a statement game for West Virginia. They roll 42 to 21.
Hey, who are those two asshats with Tanner?
Arizona -2 vs. Washington State. Basically what I see here are two relatively evenly matched teams, though I have Arizona rated slightly higher. Wazzu has a slightly better offensive unit and Arizona a better defensive unit. Washington State comes off a demoralizing loss at USC and now has to travel all the way down to Arizona. Arizona defeated a better Wazzu team up north last year. I made this game a 6.5 so this is like Christmas in September, catching this number.
Mike Stoops returns 9 defensive starters to a team that held the then #25 WSU Cougars to 11 first downs and 1.9 yards a rush on the road last year. Arizona should move the ball against a horrible WSU defense giving up 275 passing yards a game and 430 total. 31 to 24 Zona
**Colorado State +11 @ TCU. 2 units** The dreams of this TCU football team were dashed 3 weeks ago when the Longhorns took them behind the woodshed outscoring the Frogs 31 to 3 in the second half. Most programs could accept the loss and get on with the season. Not TCU. You see, when your team is made up of players with the collective mentality of a professional wrestler, you don't take losing well. Hell, you don't take anything well. The Horned Frogs are done, folks, illustrated by their ugly loss to Air Force on the road, and an ugly win at home vs. SMU. The Mustangs outgained TCU 350 to 250. That's right, TCU had 250 yards of total offense against the Ponies.
TCU kicker after some light calisthenics.
If you're a Frog backer and that's not enough to shrink your testicles, down a bottle of Propecia, and send you into a roid rage, then consider you lost your best player and human growth hormone experiment Tommie Blake to an undisclosed medical condition. Amino acids just don't cut it I suppose.
In Colorado State we get a team that has played a brutal schedule of Colorado, Cal, and UH tough and close. Expect them to hang around with TCU waiting for the Frogs to open up a huge can of quit. Which they will. CSU gets its first win 24 to 21.
Indiana +12 @ Iowa. I'm not sure how Iowa lays double digits to anyone. They were outyardaged by 100 yards @Iowa State and @ Wisconsin, while averaging 230 total yards in both games. Indiana will bend and not break vs. an anemic Iowa offense and hold the Hawkeyes in the twenties.
On offense, Indiana was impressive moving the ball against a good Akron D to the tune of 500 yards, and had 400 yards of offense vs. a talented Illini D. They'll move the ball against a disinterested Iowa team.
Throw in the sandwich spot for Iowa between a heart-breaking loss at top 10 Wisconsin last week and playing a top 20 Penn State next week, and it's not hard to envision the Hawkeyes overlooking the Hoosiers. Too many points here, Iowa 24 Indiana 17.
*Big 12 play of the Week. Colorado +23 vs. Oklahoma. 1 unit*This is a value play as I'm pretty sure Colorado would be a 4 or 5 point favorite vs. Tulsa on a neutral field. (Remember, Tulsa was a 23 point dog at home last week). You've got OU's unbelievable start to thank for this inflated number. Are we truly ready to make OU a 30+ point favorite at home vs. an average Big 12 team? Would they be 40 point favorites at home vs. Baylor or ISU? The spot here also favors Colorado since OU has Texas on deck and Bob Stoops is notorious for looking ahead to the Texas game.
Matchup wise, Colorado's strength is on defense and they're holding a pretty solid slate of opponents to under 3 yards per carry. It will be a far cry from the high school tackling unit Tulsa rolled out last Friday against the Sooners. The wild card is how many points do we get out of the Buffs offense. The good news is they rolled up 634 yards of offense last week. The bad news is that it was against a bad Miami, OH club. If Buff QB Cody Hawkins can limit mistakes, he can have some success against the Sooner secondary. If not, I'll lose my first "Big 12 game of the week" pick. I think the Buff's keep it within the number in this look ahead spot for OU. 38 to 20, ou. F' Mike Stoops' levitating ass.
Good luck to everyone.