There's no place like Saturday...

October 14, 2011

College Football Report - Saturday Picks - Week 7

(Game of the week…)

#11 Michigan (6-0) Vs. #23 Michigan State (4-1)


12:00 ET ESPN, Sat. Oct. 15, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

This year’s heated in-state rivalry comes with some added fuel to the fire. The winner of Saturday’s game will be the favorite to take the Legends division of the Big Ten. The Wolverines continue to put points on the board, led by spread option…oh, I mean pro-set quarterback Denard Robinson. The offense for Big Blue may seem nearly the same, but the defense is what’s got Wolverine fans believing this year may be finally different. In East Lansing, the Spartans bring the nation’s No. 1 ranked total defense, allowing just 173 yards a game. MSU already has last year’s game plan at slowing down Robinson, and will look to force him into more interceptions than his nine already this season. Big Blue will be looking up at “Little Brother” for the fourth straight year. Pick: Michigan State 28 – Michigan 24

#20 Baylor (4-1) @ Texas A&M (3-2)


12:00 PM ET, FX, Sat. Oct. 15, Kyle Field, College Station, TX

Not exactly what I saw coming for a Texas A&M team that returned all but two starters from last season’s team. The Aggies pulled in a nail biter against Texas Tech last week to save their sinking ship. Ranked dead last in the country in pass defense, the last three weeks the Aggies have faced three teams which rank within the top ten in passing offense. They’ll get a break this week against No. 14 ranked pass offense, Baylor. Quarterback Robert Griffin III continues to impress, bringing in his first 100 yard rushing game of the year last week. He’s also completed at least 73 percent of his passes in each game. Kyle Field will be his toughest test yet, however, but against a secondary that couldn’t find a football in a sporting goods store, he shouldn’t have a problem. The Bears take their first win at Kyle Field since 1984. Just add it to RG3's resume. Pick: Baylor 38 – Texas A&M 34

(Give me a ticket to see…)

#18 Arizona State (5-1) @ #9 Oregon (4-1)


10:15 PM ET, ESPN, Sat. Oct. 15, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR

This may not be the last time these two face off this season. The way both divisions of the new PAC-12 are heading right now, it may come down to an Oregon-Stanford meeting down the road to hold these two apart again. The Aztecs have pulled in three straight since losing to Illinois, while the Ducks have rolled off a week one loss to now No. 1 LSU. The arm of junior quarterback Brock Osweiler has been the biggest contributor to success for ASU. The Ducks have quite the quarterback of their own in Darron Thomas, who will get a lot of added work with the absence of Heisman candidate running back LaMichael James due to injury. Thomas, who has accounted for 17 touchdowns this season, will air it out, while runners De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner fill the void of James. The first meeting goes to the Ducks. Pick: Oregon 46 – Arizona State 28

Florida (4-2) @ #24 Auburn (4-2)


7:00 PM ET, ESPN, Sat. Oct. 15, Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

Two weeks ago, this one could have had the looks of a far more appealing matchup. The Gators head to Auburn with their tails between their legs after being outscored 79-21 in back-to-back games against No. 3 Alabama and No. 1 LSU. Gators freshman quarterback Jacoby Brissett will get his second straight start, this time on the road. The Tigers were embarrassed at Arkansas last week, where three different quarterbacks attempted a pass. With inconsistency and youth at quarterback on both sides, this one is coming down to whichever team can get their running back moving north-south faster. Smart money is on Auburn sophomore Michael Dyer, whose 679 yards rushing rank him ninth in the country. Pick: Auburn 26 – Florida 21

#6 Oklahoma State (5-0) @ #22 Texas (4-1)


3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN, Sat. Oct. 15, Royal- Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX

Which Texas team is the real one? Was last week’s 55-17 loss to Oklahoma a fluke? Or was it their 4-0 start that was a fluke? Maybe that Oklahoma offense was just too good and the Longhorns just couldn’t keep up, no way, no how. But if that is the case, what happens this week against an OK State team which ranks No. 2 in the nation in total offense; No. 1 in scoring offense – 51 points a game? No worries though, the Longhorns have never lost the following week of the Red River Rivalry under Mack Brown. They’re 13-0. Last year it was No. 5 Nebraska who fell at home. However, it’s time to go cliché. Records were made to be broken. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell these Longhorns will keep up with the Cowboys attack. Pick: Oklahoma State 45 – Texas 27

(Upset pick…)

19 Virginia Tech (5-1) @ Wake Forest (4-1)


6:30 PM ET, ESPN3, Sat. Oct. 15, Groves Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC

The Hokies and Demon Deacons face off with a realistic chance of meeting once again in the ACC Championship later this season. Wait, wait, wait. Did I just type what I think I typed? Why, yes I did. Wake knocked off preseason conference favorite Florida State last week, on their way to a four game winning streak and 3-0 ACC start. Sophomore quarterback Tanner Price has been the difference maker for the offense, turning the ball over just twice all season. The Hokies walk away from a draining home game against Miami Fla. last week, narrowly escaping with the win. Despite a good game last week, Wake needs to make Tech quarterback Logan Thomas prove he can beat them with his arm. Either way, I’m riding the hot hand of the Demon Deacons in another close one. As Dickie V would say in this situation: It’s pandemonium in Carolina baby! Pick: Wake Forest 27 – Virginia Tech 24

(Double upset pick…)

#17 Kansas State (5-0) @ Texas Tech (4-1)


7:00 PM ET, Sat. Oct. 15, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX

How long can the Wildcat’s streak of close calls and upsets continue? According to me, three times a charm is all these ‘Cats are getting. Wins over Miami Fla., Baylor and Missouri have been impressive, but hanging with the high powered offense of the Red Raiders in Lubbock is another story. Led by junior quarterback Seth Doege – 17 touchdowns, one interception – the Red Raiders have scored 45 or more points in all but one game so far this season. Lubbock hasn’t exactly been KSU’s best friend either, as they haven’t won there since 1997. There’s only so much a talented K-State defense can do to keep their offense in games. If it comes down to a Texas shoot out between the quarterbacks. Collin Klein will show his first flaws of the season. Pick: Texas Tech 43 – Kansas State 30

Utah (2-3) @ Pittsburgh (3-3)


12:00 PM ET, ESPN U, Sat. Oct. 15, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Not exactly the way either wanted to start off the 2011 season of new beginning and change. For Pittsburgh, it’s the start of a new era of Pitt football led by new head coach Todd Graham and his offensive mind. So far, not good. For Utah, it’s been the start of BCS title game eligibility with their move to the PAC-12. They’re first year of BCS conference football has begun with an 0-3 start, losing by an average of 16 points. Now, both are looking for a clean slate against a none conference foe. Pitt’s struggles, as well as the Utes, have come from the quarterback position. Pitt running back Ray Graham ranks first in the country with 899 yards, but is questionable for game time. With the pressure on quarterback Tino Sunseri and Graham fighting through injury, the Panthers pull off a close one. Pick: Pittsburgh 21 – Utah 17

Last Week: 3-3 – Overall: 33-19– Upset Pick: 3-3

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