Quick Picks (Thursday Edition)  

Posted by Frazier

Well, tonight is the Big East apocalypse. And I couldn't be more excited. Not only is a clash of undefeated teams, not only will this put one of these teams improbably in a front-runner position for the national title game, not only does it feature three legitimate Heisman-caliber players (Slaton, White and Brohm) not only does it feature two of the greatest offensive coaching minds in all of football, but it should be an exceedingly fun game to watch. Since this is a Thursday game I think we all know that my pick is doomed to have their title hopes dashed tonight. But dammit, I'm making one anyways.

West Virginia +2.5 AT Louisville

There's really only one question in my mind, did West Virginia peak too early? One of these teams enters the game looking incredibly good over the past month, and dominating teams on both sides of the ball. The other is Louisville, which hasn't been able to put together a complete effort in over a month. The Mountaineers defense struggled getting pressure early in the season, but recently, and notably against UConn, they have been swarming the backfield and forcing the quarterback into poor decisions. Now, WVU hasn't faced a quarterback 1/100th as good as Brohm is, but solid pressure against any quarterback will increase your chances of catching a mistake. As for the offensive side of the ball, well, WVU has been running roughshod over the opposition. And, unfortunately for defenses, Pat White has found his touch as a thrower too. Even if Louisville holds them in check for awhile, they will keep the ball on the ground, and are likely to break a couple of big runs. Slaton is one of the fastest backs in the country, and there are rumblings from Mountaineer practices that White is, in fact, the faster man. Yikes. Of course, Louisville is going to be able to score points in bunches, but they are going to need an excellent running effort to keep the attack balanced. This is a team that desperately needs to click, and they just haven't been. Of course I don't love betting against Petrino with some extra practice time to get his troops ready. I expect a high scoring affair, with plenty of action, and an outcome that is in doubt until the end. One team will build a pretty decent lead, but the other will strike back. I'm betting that WVU holds on in an absolute classic, 37-33.

- Frazier

@ Louisville -2.5 over West Virginia

Now I will admit up front that the impetus behind this pick is two fold: (1) I wanted to be different than Frazier. Aside from his horrible luck picking games not played on a Saturday, it just makes for better reading if the two of us disagree. (2) Louisville was my horse at the beginning of the season. I was driving the Bobby Petrino bandwagon from day one and I am not about jump ship now. OK so now that we have that out of the way, on to the analysis.

Faithful 323 readers may find it strange for me to be picking Louisville since I have promulgated so many theories as to why they have looked so “off” the past few weeks. No, I am not admitting that those theories are incorrect, I still believe that the injuries to Mike Bush and Brian Brohm set this team back several weeks and presently allow defensive coordinators to more effectively gameplan. But what I believe in more than those theories is Bobby Petrino. All you need to know about Bobby Petrino is that he was so good as an offensive coordinator that he actually got John L. Smith hired as a head coach at a Big 10 school (Petrino was his coordinator at Louisville). Unless Petrino has also slayed the minotaur or found the golden fleece, I think that tidbit might be item #1 on his resume. But what does this have to do with the game? Well, we can all agree that Brian Brohm is a unique talent and one would expect that he would be putting up heisman caliber numbers under Petrino. While to some extent he has, I’ve always gotten the feeling that Petrino was always holding something back with Brohm. Almost like he was saving something for when he really needed it. Well that day has come! I expect Petrino to turn Brohm loose tonight against a defense that hasn’t faced an offense 1/10th as good as the Cardinals. Screw the running game, screw balance, look for Brohm to throw throw and throw some more. And make no mistake, the Cardinals are going to need a virtuoso 350 yard, 4 TD type performance from Brohm to win the game tonight. I think they get it. Call it Louisville 38-34 in an absolute classic.

- Walter


Post a Comment

The Team

How's the look?