Weekend Picks  

Posted by Walter

Boston College -3 over @ Miami

Folks, these are teams going in opposite directions. As I pointed out earlier, BC has a great coach and a ton of young talent to build around. They are poised for a major BCS run in 2007. Miami, on the other hand, has, for all intents and purposes, a lame duck coach, and unsettled positions all over the offense and defense. The Hurricanes are playing for a .500 season and a bowl berth, but they know that this means nothing to the Coral Gables faithful. BC is playing for a chance to make the ACC title game and a major BCS bowl (if Wake loses, more on this in a moment). It's thanksgiving night, almost exactly 22 years to the date of Doug Flutie's famous hail mary pass to beat Miami in the Orange Bowl. BC has more to play for, and they haven't quit on their coach. The Eagles take it in a closer game that it should be. Call it BC 24-17.

Yes you all may recognize this picture, but how
many of you know that the pass was caught by
Gerard Phelan or that the play was called 55
Flood Tip?

Texas A&M +13.5 @ Texas

I'll admit it, I just don't like this Texas team. Last year's team was so likeable with Vince Young running, Mike Huff hitting, and Mack Brown putting rap music on his IPod. I remember watching A&M hang with the Horns last season for three quarters behind a gutty performance from Stephen McGee (filling in for the injured Reggie McNeal). McGee is one of my favorite players in the nation and he always seems to play his best when the spotlight shines its brightest. The Texas defense was totally exposed by Kansas State and A&M has more talent in McGee and Jorvorski Lane. I think Texas will still win the game, but I don't want to root for them so I will take A&M 35-34.

LSU +1.5 over @ Arkansas

Arkansas has been great this season, but they have been totally one dimensional. The Razorbacks have made some big plays in the passing game to Marcus Monk and Co., but they rely 100% on the running game to move the chains. LSU has shown perhaps the best run defense in the nation with massive D Tackles and speedy linebackers. The LSU run defense agains the Arkansas run offense is really one of the best matchups of the season. Arkansas is the younger of the two teams, and I believe Jamarcus Russell will make the plays he needs to late in the game. LSU will get more from it's passing game than Arkansas will get from it's running game. They take it 16-14.

Florida -7 over @ Florida State

Florida sucks. Florida State sucks more. It's as simple as that.

South Carolina +2.5 over @ Clemson

This line would have been a gimme (for Clemson) a mere 4 weeks ago. At that point Clemson was rolling along towards a BCS bowl bid. Since then, Clemson has lost several games and looked terrible doing so. South Carolina, on the other hand, has lost several games but has looked good doing so. I have been banking on Steve Spurrier winning one of these games for his team the past few weeks and I am not ever jumping off his bandwagon. Clemson is vulnerable and South Carolina and Blake Mitchell are getting better each week. The South Carolina defense, led by twins Jasper and Casper Brinkley, is an underrated unit that has also improved a ton over the course of the season. I expect a ton of passing yards from Mitchell, and a rather easy Gamecock win. Call it South Carolina 27-17.

Boise State -2.5 over @ Nevada

Boise State can smell the BCS. Nevada is a very good team with an outstanding coach in college football hall of famer Chris Ault, but Boise is going to be way too jacked up for this game to be stopped. Boise is a veteran team that has come close before. They won't take anything for granted and will show up in Reno ready to play. Even without Ian Johnson the Broncos are going to have way too much firepower on offense for Nevada to handle. Jeff Rowe is a capable QB, but he needs to have the game of his life for the Wolfpack to have a chance. Give me Boise 35-24.

@ Maryland over Wake Forest

If Wake loses, BC wins the ACC Coastal division and plays Georgia Tech for the right to play in a BCS bowl. Ain't no way I am picking Wake here. Give me Maryland 24-20.

How about just a little more good karma for BC?
Go Maryland!

Notre Dame +6 over @ USC

The other defacto semifinal game in the annual BCS "playoff." It is a strange game to pick for several reasons. First, we don't really know how good Notre Dame is. Yes they beat up on the likes of Army, Navy and Air Force, but they got punked at home by Michigan and needed miraculous comebacks to beat both Michigan State and UCLA. My gut is that with all that NFL talent on the roster the Irish are pretty darn good, but we haven't seen it on the field just yet. Second, we don't really know how good USC is. They have won the games they have needed to in the Pac-10 but they haven't exactly done it convincingly. Some posit that it is because the Pac-10 is an underrated conferene because its middle of the road teams are better than other conferences. While it is true that Arizona, Washington State and Oregon State may be better than their counterparts in other BCS conferences, I would actually contend that the Pac-10 is a weaker conference than we may think. Just look at some of these results when Pac-10 teams have played opponents from other BCS conferences (or top 25 teams):
  • LSU 45 Arizona 3
  • Tennessee 35 California 18
  • Oregon 35 Oklahoma 34 (we know that this should have been an Oregon loss)
  • Boise State 42 Oregon State 14
  • Notre Dame 20 UCLA 17
  • Oklahoma 37 Washington 20
  • Auburn 40 Washington State 14
In general the Pac-10 has not fared well at all against top teams from outside their own conference. That said, USC is the best of the bunch.

OK so there is a lot we don't know about this game. What do we know? Well, I know that there are going to be a lot of passing yards and a lot of points. You could make an argument that there has never been 4 better WR on the field in a single game in the history of college football than we will see on Sat. (Jarrett, Smith, Samardzia, and McKnight). While the Irish passing game may be more polished, the USC secondary is better. Still, expect close to 400 yards and 4 TD from each team's passing game. The achilles heel of Notre Dame all season has been their pass protection. Though Pete Carroll will look to exploit this, the Trojans have not rushed the passer well this season. This will be the difference in the game. You can't give a QB the caliber of Quinn and an offensive mind the caliber of Weis all day to throw the ball. Notre Dame wins an absolute shootout 43-40. Quinn's huge day won't win him the Heisman, but it will win him the #1 overall pick in the draft......a much more valuable prize.


Post a Comment

The Team

How's the look?