19 hours ago
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The college football season is in full swing, and many programs are entering their conference schedules, which means things are about to get even crazier for some schools. To this point in the season I have been killing it with my picks sitting at 12-3 thus far. However, I'll be the first to admit it's easy to get on a hot strict, but it's a lot harder to remain on it. Looking across the board at this week's upcoming games, sure there are a few easy picks that will give you guaranteed winners, but that's not what I'm here for. I'm here to help you pick the difficult games. Also just by chance, this week the bulk of our attention will be focused on the SEC.
Alabama v. Arkansas +7.5: What an amazing SEC game to get the weekend started. Alabama is the defending national champions and they bounced Duke right off the field last weekend. Saturday they will face a much tougher opponent in the top ranked Razorbacks who are lead by NFL-Ready quarterback Ryan Mallet. The Arkansas QB has made a name for himself this season, and with a strong showing on Saturday he can put himself at the top of the list for the Heisman Trophy. Perhaps the factor helping the Razorbacks the most is the 'Bama defense. Yes, that sounds strange, a Nick Saban defense actually helping an opponent, but it can happen. Alabama lost a ton of talent during the off season, and their secondary is completely new. To this point in the season, the Alabama secondary has not faced a team that can put on the aerial assault that Arkansas can put together with Ryan Mallet at the helm.
This is a very difficult game to pick, a spread of 7.5 points is a lot of points for a team to give up to a fellow top 10 team and a conference foe. In my personal history I've struggled when dealing with Alabama. They always seem to find a way to make games far more interesting than they should be. I have also been banging the drum for Arkansas and Ryan Mallet all season, and I cannot jump off the bandwagon now.
Make a moderate play for Arkansas to shock the world and cover the 7.5. If the line drops or you can tease it to 6.5 or 6, start leaning towards Bama.
Stanford -5 v. Notre Dame: This line has grown from 3.5 to a big 5 points so far this week, obviously there are plenty of people who favor Stanford in this one. Notre Dame is coming off a heart breaking loss to Michigan State last week. That being said, you can tell Brian Kelly is doing his best to up the standard of play in South Bend. The problem is Stanford is for real. Andrew Luck is among the best quarterbacks in the country.
Stanford has been on a roll this season, and they are gearing up to make a legit run at a Pac 10 title. Notre Dame is improving but losing a game in the manor they did last weekend is hard to overcome. Especially for a young program, that has experienced two close losses in as many weeks. The spread for this game is sitting at 5 points and favors Stanford, despite the growing spread I like this. I also like the talents of Andrew Luck.
Stanford wins and covers the 5.
Georgia +1 v. Mississippi State: Georgia is on a horrible downward spiral at the moment. They have dropped two games that you can bet Mark Richt had tagged as wins going into the season. Every year it seems like Richt is on the hot seat as Georgia's head coach. If he wants to keep those rumors as just rumors, the Bulldogs must win this game.
The spread is only +1 and in some books it's already become a pick'em game. If you can get this game with Georgia as the dog, it's a must pick game.
Georgia wins the game and covers.
Auburn -3 v. South Carolina: Auburn fought hard and held on against a scrappy Clemson team last weekend, and remained undefeated. Somehow the War Eagles find a way to keep winning. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not completely sure how they are doing it. What I do know is the Old Ball Coach has one more run in him. South Carolina looks better than they ever have, and for the first time the Gamecocks are beginning to adopt some of the swagger possessed by their coach. South Carolina has a lot of speed and a lot of options on the edges. Look for them to exploit that when playing Auburn much in the same way Clemson did last week.
The spread favors Auburn by 3 points, and based on their shaky performance against an average Clemson team, I'm not sure they can cover that number.
South Carolina covers the 3 and don't be surprised when they win the game.