Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 5 Predictions

Texas A&M @ Arkansas (+2.5)

The Aggies haven't fared too well against their soon-to-be-brothers in the SEC lately, and last week's tough breakdown against Oklahoma State isn't going to help. Still, the Razorbacks three wins are against cupcakes and their one decent opponent, Alabama last week, plastered them. I think the Aggies can recover and get back on track.

The Call: Texas A&M by 7

The Result: Arkansas 42-38

Another week, another collapse by the Aggie D. If it didn't get into their heads last weekend, it sure will after this one. The Razorbacks should have pretty easy go of it the rest of October, with Old Miss & Vandy on the slate, which should allow them to get their own defensive footing again.

Mississippi State @ Georgia (-7)

The Dawgs are finally starting to find their footing, while the Bulldogs are having a bit of a rough season.

The Call: Georgia by 9

The Result: Georgia 24-10

Next week against Tennessee should be a good test for the Dawgs - we'll know if these last three wins are indicative of them turning around onto the right path or just playing much weaker teams these last three weeks. The Bulldogs have two more easy wins on their slate the rest of the year, so they'll need to find two conference wins in the SEC somewhere to become bowl eligible. I don't see it happening...

Penn State @ Indiana (+15.5)

Look, I know the Nittany Lions struggled against Alabama two weeks ago, but the Hoosiers struggle every game. This one will get away from them at the beginning.

The Call: Penn State by 24

The Result: Penn State 16-10

Really? The Nittany Lions don't have Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin until the last three weeks of the season, but they need to start getting their house in order or those games are gonna be over pretty quickly.

Rutgers @ Syracuse (-1.5)

The Orangemen are 3-1, but their wins have been in overtime against not-so-great teams and against a cupcake. Nothing too impressive there. The Scarlet Knights don't have any spectacular performances either, but have played better and more consistently so far this season.

The Call: Rutgers by 7

The Result: Rutgers 19-16

Ugly one. The Scarlet Knights couldn't get anything going on the ground the whole day, and both teams turned the ball over so much that the Orangemen will be kicking themselves for a while about this one.

Texas Tech @ Kansas (+6.5)

Tommy Tuberville's boys are clipping right along so far this season, getting their usual Red Raider sugar high. And I just can't get that Jayhawk demolition at Georgia Tech out of my mind...

The Call: Texas Tech by 10

The Result: Texas Tech 45-34


Arizona @ USC (-12.5)

No, the Trojans aren't going to implode again like they did against Arizona State last week, but they'll make some mistakes as always. The Wildcats have played (and lost to) three Top-10 teams in the last three weeks, which has to be messing with their confidence right now...

The Call: USC wins, but Arizona covers the spread

The Result: USC 48-41

Quite the air show in this one. The Trojans' mistake was that their defense forgot to show up, though the offense showed how lethal it can be when it's clicking. The Wildcats might be the best 1-4 team out there, probably better than a lot of .500 teams.

Georgia Tech @ NC State (+10)

Dare we believe in the Yellow Jackets this season? They seem to be a bit renewed and able to adjust better than they have in the past... The Wolfpack just aren't playing well right now - they haven't covered a spread all season.

The Call: Georgia Tech by 14

The Result: Georgia Tech 45-35

And the Yellow Jackets continue to roll. I guess equaling the spread is better than not covering it.

Bowling Green @ West Virginia (-19.5)

Raise your hand if you think that the Mountaineers are going to take out their frustrations from last week's loss to LSU on the Falcons. Thought so.

The Call: West Virginia by 31

The Result: West Virginia 55-10

The Mountaineers' toughest games will be at the end of the season, and while it's possible that they slip up to someone in the BigEast before facing Pitt and South Florida, I don't know that I'd bet against them.

Clemson (+7) @ Virginia Tech

After the Tigers knocked off the Seminoles last week, this became a big game, not only in the ACC race but possibly nationally as well. Clemson's defense is a bit shaky, giving up 20-30 points per game, while the Hokie D is averaging just 10 points per game. That'll be the difference.

The Call: Virginia Tech by 9

The Result: Clemson 23-3

Wow. That was rather enlightening. Is this the fabled Tiger team that people have been waiting for for the last decade? Will they finally be able to get to the ACC promised land? Or further? The road from here on out is definitely easier, with a Yellow Jacket collision looking like the only major hurdle until the rivalry game with South Carolina. The trick will be winning all those other games...

Texas (-9.5) @ Iowa State

I don't usually go for upsets this big, but I'm making the call here. The Cyclones have been able to pull out three close wins, and won't panic if the Longhorns start to score. The Longhorns are still working through the kinks it seems, and might just be ripe for the pickin'.

The Call: Iowa State by 4

The Result: Texas 37-14

Eh, had to go for it. I'm still not ready to think that Texas is back, but they're definitely improved from last season - if only in the W category.

North Texas @ Tulsa (-23)

Both of these two are 1-3, playing and losing to some really quality teams. I just don't see 23 points separating them.

The Call: Tulsa wins, but North Texas covers the spread

The Result: Tulsa 41-24

Yeah, that's better.

Alabama @ Florida (+3.5)

The Gators have been better than expected this season, playing at a high level under their new coaches. But they really haven't had to deal with much adversity - this'll be their first big test on the year. The Tide are rolling right now, and after this should steamroll through October...

The Call: Alabama by 10

The Result: Alabama 38-10

Aside from the first ten minutes, the Gators were basically inept against the Bama D - and that was before Brantley left injured. The Tide are looking every part the nation's top team, and I'd say they're certainly more reliable than LSU right now.

Nebraska @ Wisconsin (-10)

The Badgers are looking as good as anyone so far this year, but they really haven't played the caliber of opponent that other top teams have. Will that bite them this week? Maybe... the Cornhuskers are playing solid themselves, but also against weak competition. I can see this one going down to the wire.vvvvvv

The Call: Wisconsin wins, but Nebraska covers the spread

The Result: Wisconsin 48-17

That was a bludgeoning. Yikes. Test #1 for the Badgers - passed with flying colors. If the race comes down to a few unbeatens or one-loss teams though, do they have the schedule to hang in there?

Again, pretty solid straight up, 10-3, and decent enough against the spread, 7.5-5.5. So far I'm 54-13 (80.6%) straight up this season, quite happy about that, and 36-31 (53.7%) AtS, so-so.

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