Read my week four picks here.
Record after week three: 36-10 (22-22-2 ATS)
Can’t believe there aren’t more good noon games today. I’m sleeping in. Yeah, who am I kidding? I have an eight-month-old son. I’ll be up at 7 am and probably live blogging Gameday or something equally awesome.
7:26 am ET – Told ya. Been up since 6:15 am. Let’s see who’s playing in the EPL…
7:30 am ET – Heyyy Chelsea/Man City. Thank you football gods.
10 AM ET – Chelsea 0 Citeh 1. Tevez scored a beauty because Ashley Cole was momentarily hypnotized by his face, and finally the Evil Empire has fallen. They’re still in first, though. But hey, Newcastle is in sixth. It’s a celebration, bitches!
Jesus, the entire city of Boise is in the stadium for Gameday. And it’s 8 am local time in Boise too.
12:45 pm ET – I know true football fans should be interested in the early games no matter what, but MAN does the TV schedule suck right now. I’m relegated to watching ONLY Georgia Tech/NC State. And that’s not even a good game.
12:51 pm ET – I take it back. Watching Purdue lose to Toledo early in the second. Schadenfreude!
2:13 pm ET – Georgia Tech’s defense sucks. It’s all feast or famine. Like the stench of losing at Virginia followed Al Groh to Atlanta. Think Paul Johnson is questioning that hire yet?
3:20 pm ET – Toledo 31 Purdue 20. BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA. Man was that a satisfying couple of hours. We even got to have Purdue’s guts ripped out because they made it a close game for a minute only to have killer turnovers end it once and for all.
And now on to the game scores for the rest of the day…
10:15 pm ET – Mississippi State 24 Georgia 12 – Why is seeing Georgia suffer so much fun? It’s probably the most unexplainable thing in college football for me. It’s just…fun, and I have no idea why. Also, Mark Richt should be done after the year. He’s done a hell of a job there, but sometimes a coach’s act gets old and just doesn’t have the same effect as it used to. I think Richt and Georgia are in that position now. This loss is just inexcusable even if the Arkansas one last week is.
Scores and more snarky commentary after the jump.
12 pm ET
North Carolina State (3-0) at Georgia Tech (2-1) (-8)
Pick: Georgia Tech
Final: NC State 45 Georgia Tech 28
Screw Georgia Tech’s feelings; now I have to stew on this loss all afternoon. I blew my only early game pick and have to sit for another three hours (hell, maybe more) before I get one right. Thanks, smart kids!
Tech was completely undready defensively for NC State. I guess they were surprised that Russell Wilson likes to throw the ball AND run it occasionally. Sometimes doing both at the same time. Amazing. You’d think that would show up on film, but it was a total surprise to Al Groh and Georgia Tech’s defense. Just an awful, awful outing.
I think my love for the system may have clouded my judgment of Tech’s offense too. They have exactly one playmaker and Josh Nesbitt can’t do it all himself or he’ll leave every game on a stretcher. Plus, it looks like gameday is the first time he’s ever been introduced to the concept of the forward pass this season. I had no idea Demariyus Thomas was so important, or that he made Josh Nesbitt look so good last year.
This just sucks all around. But whatever, Arkansas/’Bama is kicking off.
Record: 36-11 (22-23-2 ATS)
3:30 pm ET
(1) Alabama (3-0) at (10) Arkansas (3-0) (+7)
Final: Alabama 24 Arkansas 20
It’s going to take more than that to kill the Devil, Arkansas. The Razorbacks made it way too easy for ‘Bama to get back into the game because the Hogs still can’t run the ball well enough to win, something you’re not going to ever get to say about this Alabama team.
Ryan Mallett had to be mistake-free for Arkansas to win, but he threw three INT’s, and that was about it. The last one was a complete misfire in which he underthrew (gasp!) a ball he was trying to throw out of bounds.
And you can bet your ass draft experts saw every bad throw, every time Mallett didn’t set his feet or look off a defender. He wasn’t nearly as polished as he was in every other game this year, which says a lot about Alabama’s defense. Hopefully the kid is more polished by the time the season’s over.
Record: 37-11 (22-24-2 ATS)
(16) Stanford (3-0) at Notre Dame (1-2) (+4.5)
Final: Stanford 37 Notre Dame 14
Watched the first quarter and gave up. Incredibly ugly game from both teams, which plays right into Stanford’s hands. They’re not going to out-athlete anyone, but damned if they can’t win while doing nothing in particular.
Calm down, Domers. This team is a work in progress, and they drew a crazy tough schedule early in the season. Combine that with a killer last-second loss to Michigan State, and this team is still better than 1-3.
It’s going to take some time with their defense. They changed schemes again, changed coordinators, and it’s not like their players were that good to begin with. It’s just impossible to win with Charlie Weis’ defensive leftovers. That was one of the worst units on any team in the country last year. That they’ve even come this far is a testament to Brian Kelly’s staff.
I have no idea when Stanford plays Oregon, and I don’t care to look, but holy shit is that going to be a clash of opposites. Hopefully, the difference in styles makes for a good fight instead of a crap one.
Record: 38-11 (23-24-2 ATS)
Temple (3-0) at (23) Pennsylvania State (2-1) (-14)
Pick: Penn State
Final: Penn State 22 Temple 13
Okay, so maybe Al Golden WAS auditioning for Penn State fans. But then again, Penn State looks like they’re playing a true frosh quarterback. Everything is conservative and they’re hemorrhaging points per possession because the efficiency just isn’t there. It’ll work in the future, but this is something of a lost season for Penn State. And they’re STILL undefeated. I wish Indiana had those problems.
Record: 39-11 (23-25-2 ATS)
UC,LA (1-2) at (7) Texas (3-0) (-16)
Pick: Texas wins but doesn’t cover
Final: UC,LA 34 Texas 12
I think this is the most stunning upset by UC,LA in recent years. Much more so than their win over USC a few years back. This was a true road game at Texas against one of the best defenses in the country, and the Bruins kicked the holy fucking shit out of Texas for the entire game. This was pure domination, people. I have no idea what to think now.
I’m thinking Mack Brown is going to have to retract that statement about this possibly being the best UT defense he’s ever had. Pretty sure they just got rolled up by a team that lost 35-0 to Stanford and lost to Kansas State the week before that.
I know, UCLA fan, you were with them all along. That boo-fest after the Stanford loss was just to “motivate” the team because you knew they could be so much better. You were just encouraging them to beat Texas. We’re UCLA! We’re ALWAYS good at football! This is unacceptable, Neuheisel!
Yep, thinking that the whole time, Bruins fan.
Record: 39-12 (24-25-2 ATS)
6 pm ET
Nevada (3-0) at Brigham Young (1-2) (+3.5)
Final: Nevada 27 BYU 13
Kaepernick and crew did it again! Depending on how Boise does, it looks like both teams will be undefeated when they meet toward the end of the season. Essentially, this will be WAC armageddon, although both teams are peacing out for the Mountain West along with Fresno State. Ouch.
It’s so weird not totally backing Boise State. I’m not a complete hater like so many of the bought-and-paid-for talking heads out there. I want Boise to go undefeated. But I love Nevada and the way they play almost as much as Georgia Tech. I have no idea what that means though. I have a thing for run-first teams, and I have no idea why.
Record: 40-12 (25-25-2 ATS)
7 pm ET
Kentucky (3-0) at (9) Florida (3-0) (-14)
Pick: Florida wins but doesn’t cover
Final: Florida 48 Kentucky 14
I realize John Brantley is a good passer, but there’s no way Urban Meyer thinks his offense runs better when the quarterback can’t run, does he? He’d have to be completely retarded since every time a team running a variation of this spread offense has a quarterback that can run, they have amazing stats. You can teach Darron Thomas, Trey Burton, or Denard Robinson to throw. You can’t teach them to be crazy fast or powerful.
Record: 41-12 (25-26-2 ATS)
Akron (0-3) at Indiana (2-0) (-22)
Final: Indiana 35 Akron 20
It wasn’t because we were missing our leading tackler that IU missed so many tackles and let Akron hang around. The defense has been awful at tackling from the very first snap. It also wasn’t because Chappell and the passing game was so hot that we ran the ball like shit once again. It’s because our offensive coordinator and head coach are finesse guys and don’t really preach commitment to the run the same way, say, Jim Tressel might.
And all of these issues happened against Akron, not Ohio State.
Still, IU is 3-0 and has won three games they were supposed to win. This isn’t a perfect team, but holy crap are they loaded at receiver and quarterback. I have never seen a team with this many good offensive players that still manages to get most of them consistent touches. If only the defense wasn’t bullshit.
I’m such a glass half-full guy.
Record: 42-12 (25-27-2 ATS)
7:30 pm ET
Fresno State (2-0) at Mississippi (1-2) (-2.5)
Pick: Fresno State
Final: Ole Miss 55 Fresno State 38
Fresno got jumped early and had to play catch up for pretty much the whole game. In fact, this game was a total blowout for Ole Miss, but the Rebels’ defense started showing their true colors in the second half to let Fresno back in a little. Typical Fresno team of late. Had a huge opportunity against a totally vulnerable major-conference team and they fucked the dog on the road. Lame.
Record: 42-13 (25-28-2 ATS)
7:45 pm ET
(12) South Carolina (3-0) at (17) Auburn (3-0) (-3)
Final: Auburn 35 USC 27
I expected a little more defense from South Carolina, but let me contradict that completely by saying I definitely thought Auburn could score this much on the USC defense. So yes, everything I expected happened. I’m just that smart.
Record: 43-13 (26-28-2 ATS)
8 pm ET
Utah State (1-2) at San Diego State (2-1) (-8.5)
Pick: SDSU Fight! Fight! Fight!
Final: SDSU 41 USU 7
I’m telling you this is a program on the rise. They aren’t to Utah or TCU’s level yet, but they can play with Air Force and the second tier in the Mountain West. Brady Hoke was an amazing hire for this team. You just wait.
Record: 44-13 (27-28-2 ATS)
(24) Oregon State (1-1) at (3) Boise State (2-0) (-17)
Pick: Boise State wins but doesn’t cover
So now Boise State has beaten two ranked teams that the talking heads who are in the pocket of the BCS and corporate sponsors are going to immediately try to downgrade. It’s already mostly worked on the Virginia Tech Hokies, though that team is going to be a force in the ACC.
But therein lies the rub. The Mountain West and WAC conferences are routinely ranked near or above the Big East and ACC, and you can see why every Saturday. The Big East is truly, truly awful. Is there any way a talking head could say Boise wouldn’t win that conference? And what happens if Nevada is undefeated too when the teams meet? They’ll probably be ranked, and Boise State will probably beat them too.
So, haters, exactly how is Boise State SOOOO much worse than two auto-bid BCS conference champions? Shit, they’d probably win the Pac-10 this year too the way Arizona is playing offense and Oregon is playing defense.
Record: 45-13 (28-28-2 ATS)
9 pm ET
(22) West Virginia (3-0) at (15) Louisiana State (3-0) (-10)
Pick: LSU wins but doesn’t cover
Final: LSU 20 WVU 14
They got a great game out of Stevan Ridley, but the LSU offense once again needed help to win the game. Patrick Peterson is going to win the fucking Heisman if he keeps this shit up. He’s their best scoring threat by far.
I know you have to stick with your guys, and it’s a process blah blah blah, but how the hell do Les Miles and Gary Crowton think Jordan Jefferson running this ridiulous, half-a-loaf offense is a good thing? Only this team could make a team with a defense as good as LSU’s seem like it has no shot against the great teams. Replace Texas with LSU and the same result happens against UC,LA.
Record: 46-13 (29-28-2 ATS)
10 pm ET
California (2-1) at (14) Arizona (3-0) (-6.5)
Final: Arizona 10 Cal 9
…And that’s why you hire a defensive coach to run your program. Ugly, ugly game all around. I’d expect that from Cal since they just can’t get out from under Nate Longshore and now Kevin Riley. But Arizona is always going to win like this a couple of times per season.
Everyone in the Pac-10 is like this. They all have some huge flaw about them that is going to make the conference title race maybe the tightest in the country.
Record: 47-13 (29-29-2 ATS)
10:30 pm ET
(5) Oregon (3-0) at Arizona State (2-1) (+11.5)
Final: Oregon 42 ASU 31
Oregon’s defense has some questions to answer. They played well in the first half, but I’d bet my whole salary that they’re going to see more of ASU’s game plan in the first half from other teams the rest of the way. Otherwise, good win.
Record: 48-13 (29-30-2 ATS)