Last week’s record: 2-4
I had strong feelings for three underdogs at home and one favorite on the road last week, and those feelings got me off to a bad start with my picks. It’s redemption week and I am shooting for a clean sweep of this weekend’s slate.
Upset Pick: San Diego State at #22 Michigan
(Saturday @ 12 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network)
- Brady Hoke did an excellent job for the Aztecs last year and that success was good enough to land him the easiest responsibility in the nation: be more popular in the state of Michigan than Rich Rodriguez. He has the Wolverines playing well and now he welcomes in his old team for an easy win, right? Not if Ronnie Hillman gets to the porous Michigan defense. The sophomore running back is the second leading rusher in the nation after three games, averaging 165 yards per game and almost three touchdowns per game. I think he will run wild in Ann Arbor, and the Aztecs will pull an early upset at the Big House by the score of 31-24.
2nd Pick: #14 Arkansas at #3 Alabama
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
- This should be a fun one to watch. Arkansas can score with the best of them and Alabama’s defense seems able to stop anybody on the other side of the ball. If the Razorback D can pull together on the road, they have a shot to catapult themselves in conference play. Unfortunately for them, Trent Richardson will be wearing crimson and gray. I see him wearing down Arkansas and leading the Tide to a 42-28 victory.
3rd Pick: #11 Florida State at #21 Clemson
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- I did not give Clemson a chance last week against Auburn, and they looked great in the second half of the non-conference win. That momentum looks to carry over this week as the Tigers stay at home against Florida State, who is desperate to stop the bleeding and move back up the rankings. I am still upset that they are one of the losses in my 2-4 record, so naturally I will pick the team I had no faith in or knowledge of last week. Clemson wins again, 23-21.
Marquee Pick: #7 Oklahoma State at #8 Texas A&M
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC)
- This Big 12 showdown features two dynamic offenses, but it will be the defenses that determine the winner in this one. The Aggies have the upper hand in this one as their counterpart has a very inexperienced club on defense. A&M’s running game (led by Cyrus Gray) will set the tone early in College Station, and the famous “12th man” will limit Brandon Weeden’s ability to get the ball to Justin Blackmon. Texas A&M wins big in a huge match-up, 49-27.
5th Pick: Missouri at #1 Oklahoma
(Saturday @ 8 p.m. ET on FX)
- I am anxious to watch college football on FX, but I only hope that this game can stay competitive long enough for me to actually enjoy the experience. Missouri pulled the huge upset in Columbia last year, but that team seems like a distant memory due to graduation and multiple injuries. To this point, the Tigers have scrambled to field an offensive line and are down to one running back on the depth chart (Henry Josey). At least Blaine Gabbert is starting this week…for Jacksonville, of course. Oklahoma is absolutely loaded and nearly unstoppable at home. The only way Mizzou stays in this game is by scoring on each of their first four possessions. My sister will hate me for saying it but Oklahoma takes this one, 56-30.
6th Pick: #2 LSU at #16 West Virginia
(Saturday @ 8 p.m. ET on ABC)
- LSU would beat Oklahoma at a neutral site today. That being said, West Virginia has no chance of winning this one in prime time. Why? Experience. The SEC seems to win the national championship every year because their best teams play in front of huge, loud and intense crowds on national television nearly every week. While Morgantown will be rocking furiously tomorrow night, I give the Mountaineer fans a half before the ruckus dies down to a low boil. LSU wins handily, 40-17.