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Friday, 24 October 2014

The Playoff is Coming....The Playoff is Coming

#NCAA
Last Week: 32-18
Overall: 80-40

Ok so officially the playoff is still many weeks away from actually coming but next week college football fans will be glued to their television sets, social media and the internet awaiting to see the committee’s opening rankings of the Top 4 teams in the land.  Who will make the first cut?  Who will feel left out?  Honestly, who cares a bit at this point.  If you are team still in the discussion, or a fan who has a team still in discussion, all you can do is hit the field, win your games and hope everything falls into line.  That being said, this is a great opportunity for some teams to show why they deserve to be in consideration of the Final 4.

Not a horrible week of picks but not a great one either.  Overall, my record is not too horrible after two weeks I would say.  On a personal note, I had a blast in Eugene watching the Ducks dominate the Huskies.  It was #HuskieHate week (or #HuckTheFuskies) and it was one I will never forget.  Being at Autzen for the 101st consecutive sellout game was the highlight of the season so far for me.  The trip made me miss my college days and miss how exciting college football season is in person.  We just don’t get the same feel of excitement and rivalry up here in Canada, whether it be CIS or CFL.
A few quick points from my predictions last week:
      1)      Called West Virginia over Baylor! Baylor has been vulnerable the past few weeks and the West Virginia was ready to take advantage
      2)      UMASS wins again!  Back to back W’s for the Minutemen...called it!
      3)      Idaho picked up their 1st win, over New Mexico State.  Another successful prediction.
      4)      FINALLY correctly picked a Georgia Tech result, albeit it was against the Yellow Jackets as I picked North Carolina to beat them, which they did.  Thanks Tar Heels for breaking my GTech curse!
      5)      I also made a few HUGE errors in picks last week.  Shaking my head at you Iowa, Virginia, Bowling Green, BYU and Wyoming, among others.
      
      On to this week’s picks though, no time to dwell on the past.  Welcome to Week 9:

(6) Oregon over California – The Ducks have positioned themselves nicely right back into the Final 4 talk.  The loss to Arizona is a distant memory now.  Cal is not to be taken likely however.  This team has been the biggest surprise in all of college football this season, expected to finish near or at the basement of the PAC-12, the Bears are looking to go bowling.  Oregon has too much to play for though and the Ducks D will be the difference.  Interesting to note though, the game is being played in SanFran at the new Levi Stadium.  Tickets for this game were made available on GroupOn two weeks at a 60% discount!  If only I lived in Oregon or Cal....

Cincinnati over South Florida

South Alabama over Troy

Boise State over BYU – All that talk about how good BYU was, what a mistake!  I am not siding with them anymore, plus Boise is at home.  Blue Turf reigns surpreme.

Arkansas over UAB – Arkansas is a 27 point favorite...27 POINTS! I think UAB can actually keep this game closer than that, depending which Razorbacks team decides to show up.

Memphis over SMU – Stay winless Mustangs!

North Carolina over Virginia – Virginia burned me last week losing to Duke.  North Carolina ended my GTech curse, for those reasons alone I am going with the Tar Heels.

(11) Kansas State over Texas – Umm don’t look now but K-State could actually win the Big 12 and have a chance at the Final 4.  Who thought that was a possibility going into the season with Oklahoma and Baylor receiving all the attention?

Minnesota over Illinois – Still no voter love for the Gophers.  And they keep winning so I don’t think they care.  I’ll stick by them again this week.

Wisconsin over Maryland – So I have to admit Maryland surprised me last week beating Iowa.  They looked good...but also Iowa looked bad.  Plus I think we saw the real Iowa team, nice record but not that good of a team actually.  The Badgers, at home, will not be as easy.

(16) Nebraska over Rutgers – This could get ugly....

Rice over North Texas

Northern Illinois over Eastern Michigan

Navy over San Jose State – Oh you tricky Spartans!  Upset Wyoming last weekend, can you pull it off again?  So much talk about how good Navy was supposed to be this season as well.  They need this win to try and salvage a disappointing season.

Ohio over Western Michigan

Toledo over UMASS – So I picked UMASS the past two weeks and they won their first two games.  This was actually hard to go against them but sorry, head over heart.  Oddly enough, UMASS wins this game and they have a shot in the MAC.  Weird?!

Akron over Ball State

Georgia Southern over Georgia State

(25) UCLA over Colorado – Don’t expect a defensive showing in this game.  UCLA offense too strong though for the Buffs over 4 quarters, even on the road.

Miami (OH) over Kent State – Pillowfight of the week.  1-7 vs. 1-6.  Kent State did pick up their first win last week however.  Tough call...but then again nobody cares right?

Pittsburgh over Georgia Tech – Is the GTech curse over? 

Buffalo over Central Michigan – Chips lost to Ball State last week.  Gotta go with Buffalo at home this week.

Stanford over Oregon State – Oh Stanford, I trusted in you last week and you burned me.  Please do not do it again against the Beavs.  OSU probably is feeling like they should have won last week, unfortunately that mentality means nothing this week.  Low scoring affair in this one but a stronger Stanford D over a weaker OSU O wins out.

(23) Marshall over Florida Atlantic – The Herd continue thundering along the undefeated track...
Louisiana Tech over Southern Miss

(8) Michigan State over Michigan – Always a great rivalry but this shouldn’t be a close game.  Sparty at home, playing to stay in the Final 4 and overall is a much better team.  But hey, rivalry games bring out the best in players and who doesn’t like an upset?  Just not this week...not this rivalry...not these Wolverines.

(22) West Virginia over Oklahoma State – I am on the WVU bandwagon and liking this team!

(10) TCU over Texas Tech – The Frogs still have some hope...

Boston College over Wake Forest – Never picking the Deacons again! EVER!
      
      (1)    Mississippi State over Kentucky – Had Kentucky actually showed up last week and won like I expected them to, I would have considered this upset.  The Wildcats are at home and have a huge opportunity to knock off the #1 team in the country.  But these Bulldogs look too strong and too good.

Missouri over Vanderbilt

Old Dominion over Western Kentucky

Utah State over UNLV

UCF over Temple – UCF making a case for winning the American

(15) Arizona over Washington State – High scoring game coming up here!  Wazzu at home, I am actually tempted to go with the upset here.  These Cougs are not a bad team, way better than their 2-5 record.  They play tough at home as well.  I might be regretting this pick Sunday morning.

Colorado State over Wyoming – I held on the Cowboys chuckwagon for too long.  Not making that mistake again.  I bet against the Rams last week.  Not making that mistake again.

UTEP over UTSA

(21) Clemson over Syracuse

UL Monroe over Texas State

(24) LSU over (3) Ole Miss – The SEC is crazy right now so why not add another level of craziness.  LSU, at home, coming off a huge win, why not?  I am still not buying the Rebels either.

(5) Auburn over South Carolina

(4) Alabama over Tennessee

(13) Ohio State over Penn State

(19) Utah over (20) USC – Well, which of you had the Utes with a shot at winning the PAC-12 South? Yup, as I thought, no hands up on that one.  If Utah can win this game, at home, they have a very real shot.

(14) Arizona State over Washington – Speaking of the PAC-12 South, the Sun Devils are in prime position right now to take that title.  Going on the road to Seattle is never easy but I don’t think this Huskies team is actually as good as a 5-2 record makes them look.  Could be close for awhile but ASU is marching towards that PAC-12 championship game.

Hawaii over Nevada – Lesson learned kids, don’t bet against the Warriors at home.  Always bet against the Warriors on the road. 

#CIS
Last Week: 7-5
Overall: 21-9

Well that was not a good week for me.  Few major upsets I got caught in, namely Manitoba dominating Saskatchewan, Guelph upsetting Western and Carleton beating ranked Windsor.  I like it though.  The big negative on CIS football for years has been how predictable the regular season has become and how we see more blowouts and boring games than competitive or upset games.  This season has had MANY blowouts, yes.  But also some nice upsets and surprises.  Teams are nearing the end of the regular season and looking to solidify a playoff spot or avoid elimination this week.  The Ontario teams will end their regular season this weekend so lots of huge playoff implication games coming up.
      
      (1)    Laval over McGill – Rouge et Or win again...boring!

(7)Mount Allison over St. FX – This is probably the last challenge for Mt. A in their quest to go undefeated.  They have been dominating the Atlantic though and I expect it to continue this weekend and right through the playoffs.

Acadia over Saint Mary’s

(6)Western over Windsor – Two teams who were upset last weekend and looking to regroup as they fight for playoff positions in the competitive upper section in Ontario.  This is a HUGE game with MAJOR playoff implications.  I cannot go against a more experienced, and overall better, Mustangs team.

York over Waterloo – Pillowfight of the season! Two winless teams battle it out to avoid finishing winless on the season.  Waterloo was destroyed by a weak Toronto team last week.  I don’t see them turning it around this week.

(3)McMaster over Ottawa – McMaster playing for an undefeated regular season.  Gee Gee’s playing for their playoff lives.

Carleton over Queen’s – The Ravens continue their drive to the playoffs.  Who saw that coming this season?  A win this weekend, and with some help, the Ravens could end up 4th in the OUA.

(T4)Guelph over Laurier – I bet against Guelph last weekend and paid the price, not this time.

(T4)Montreal over Bishop’s

(10)Saskatchewan over Alberta – This game could decide second place and a Canada West SF home game.  HUGE advantage to the winner.

(9)Manitoba over Regina

(2)Calgary over UBC

(8)Concordia over Sherbrooke

Have a safe and enjoyable college football weekend everyone...#TwineTime