Week Four Predictions
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As we enter the fourth week of games, the Pick'em Contest here on Fans25 begins to really heat up. 31 players currently have a record of 73% or better - a mark that would have won the contest in two of the four seasons. Your's Truly is among those near the top, sitting at 80% after three weeks. Here are my predictions for week four:
UNC (3-0, 0-0) at #25 Georgia Tech (3-0, 0-0) - 12:00 - ESPN - With the kind of trouble these two teams faced in the offseason, who would have thought that the Heels and Jackets would be a combined 6-0 and receiving plenty of votes in the national polls? Probably not many, especially for UNC, and first-year Head Coach Everett Withers who inherited a depleted team. But here they are, and Atlanta's Bobby Dodd Stadium will see a game to determine an early ACC Coastal leader. Georgia Tech, 34-24.
Georgia (1-2, 0-1) at Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1) - 12:21 - These schools have two things in common: smokin' hot coeds and a coach on the hot seat. Yes, Mark Richt at UGA and Houston Nutt at Ole Miss are sitting on blazing infernos right now, and both are in dire need of an SEC win to keep the ship afloat. Georgia's two losses came to quality opponents (Boise State and South Carolina), while Ole Miss has lost to a couple of so-so squads (BYU and Vanderbilt). In a close one, I will go with the visitors. Georgia, 30-26.
#7 Oklahoma State (3-0, 0-0) at #8 Texas A&M (2-0, 0-0) - 3:30 - ABC - Here is the game where I think we see Texas A&M exposed for who they really are. Everyone in America (it seems) has thrown the Aggies into the top ten, and I think it is without merit. Mike Sherman is 21-19 in four seasons at A&M - not exactly Nick Saban-like. Also, Texas A&M seems to slip in any big game. With a home crowd and a hunger for a big win, TAMU will come out firing. But when it all settles, I like OSU in this one. Oklahoma State, 36-28.
#14 Arkansas (3-0, 0-0) at #3 Alabama (3-0, 0-0) - 3:30 - CBS - Arkansas is one of those teams that I feel is underated year after year because they are overshadowed by their SEC West brethren. In 2011, the Hogs again have a fine team. But their opponent this week, Alabama, is a bit finer in my eyes. Though the Hogs will make some noise early, I expect the Tide to get rolling by halftime, and turn a close game into a decisive victory. Alabama, 31-20.
#11 Florida State (2-1, 0-0) at #21 Clemson (3-0, 0-0) - 3:30 - ESPN - The Tigers feel good about themselves for the first time in several seasons following their win over Auburn. But that feeling could be short-lived if FSU has their gameface on. The Seminoles are extremely talented, but will be operating with trouble at QB. If EJ Manuel plays, he will play slightly injured. If he doesn't play, the backup (6'-2", 180 pound redshirt freshman Clint Trickett) has just 23 college completions. I predict Clemson to come out with lots of emotion, and with a new offensive look, outscore the visitors behind WR Sammy Watkins and crew. Clemson, 33-27.
Colorado (0-1, 1-2) at Ohio State (2-1, 0-0) - 3:30 - ABC - The Buckeyes will be looking to take out some anger this weekend, and they should have no problem doing that to Colorado. The Buffaloes are mediocre at best, and Ohio State - despite an early-season loss - are not a bad team. They may not be a BCS contender, butt they are not bad. I see Ohio State winning big in this game in the Horseshoe. Ohio State, 35-14.
UCLA (1-2) at Oregon State (0-2) - 3:30 - Time to decide who is the worst team in the Pac-12. UCLA is coached by a guy who has no reason to still be holding that job in 16-24 Rick Neuheisel. OSU meanwhile lost to Sacramento State for crying out loud. In this game, I will go with the home team who is in desperate need of a win. The Bruins are lost, and a road loss is just another stop on the Neuheisel farewell tour. Oregon State, 27-20.
California (3-0, 1-0) at Washington (2-1, 0-0) - 3:30 - There cannot possibly be a game in the United States (or abroad) with better looking uniforms than will be on display in this game. Both schools match a shade of gold with a deep blue or purple in what are two of the very best uniform combinations - regardless of sport, contienent, or level of play - in all of spirited competition....Folks, let's keep things in perspective here. I am a Southeastern guy, an ACC fan, a South Carolinian. I know, as The Top Fan, I should speak wisdom about who should win this game. But I don't know. I watch the West coast's best, but I am a diehard Southeastern sports nut. When West coast teams come into play on the national level (Stanford, Oregon, USC), I pay attention. Until then, I am guessing. I am going with the home-town team, as is common with me when unsure. Washington, 28-21.
Kansas State (2-0, 0-0) at Miami (1-1, 0-0) - 3:30 - ESPNU - The Hurricanes should have some pep in their step following a nice victory over Ohio State. But they need to be careful not to have a letdown take place as the lesser known Wildcats roll into town. Even if that happens (and I don't think it will under Al Golden's leadership), I think Miami has more than enough talent to come out of this with a W. Miami, 30-20.
Vanderbilt (3-0, 1-0) at #12 South Carolina (3-0, 1-0) - 7:00 - ESPN2 - The Gamecocks have been shaky in their first two should-win games against East Carolina and Navy. The Georgia game - which was supposed to be stressful - was also close. USC fans would probably enjoy a game without fourth quarter nailbiting, and they will get that at home, Saturday. Vandy is off to a nice start, but they don't have the playmakers that the Gamecocks do. Although many expect the Commodores to give USC all they want, I foresee an easy win. South Carolina, 40-20.
#15 Florida (3-0, 1-0) at Kentucky (2-1, 0-0) - 7:00 - ESPN - I keep picturing Kentucky celebrating an upset, so maybe I should go with that. But after losing at home to Louisville last week, I see the Wildcats as having no nuts. And I see the Gators coming in there and doing their thing. The Gators have a lot more to lose in this game than UK does, and I feel they are much better coached even though Coach Will Muschamp is in just game four. Florida, 30-21.
#2 LSU (3-0, 0-0) at #16 West Virginia (3-0) - 8:00 - ABC - Let's just hope that the game on the field doesn't turn into who can party the best off of it. These two schools sit at the round table of college partying, and the state of West Virginia could be in jeopardy if the 'Neers bring home a W. But I think LSU and that ludicrous defense holds on. This one will be a treat of a nightcap! LSU, 30-24.
Missouri (2-1, 0-0) at #1 Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0) - 8:00 - FOX - You have to go with Oklahoma big here. In the past, this kind of game has upset written all over it. But Coach Bob Stoops has been there and done that, and I think he will have this Sooner team ready. Games like this scare you to death as the visitors have serious game. But I think a home night game will inspire OU to victory. Like most Sooner games, expect a ton of scoring. Oklahoma, 45-34.
#23 USC (3-0, 1-0) at Arizona State (2-1, 0-0) - 10:15 - ESPN - In my final pick of the night, I think far away to the magical land of the West. I have annoyingly stated multiple times that Lane Kiffin is not my choice to lead USC. I think too much of their tradition. But, at the same time, he has them 3-0 and playing pretty well. Dennis Erickson, his opposition in this one, is mediocre. But as much as I want to go with USC because the big-name is certainly etched in my mind, I feel this is going to be a wild, Pac-12 shoot-out that will see ASU get some kind of crazy win. Arizona State, 38-34.
#10 Oregon (2-1, 0-0) at Arizona (1-2, 0-0) - 10:15 - ESPN2 - The Ducks are on a mission to get back into the national title race, and Arizona is about to be the next obstacle cleared. From here on out - now that they have all but blown their shot to play in "the natty" - Duck fans will watch their team destroy the opposition. College football is a strange game, and the Ducks are a strange group. In this game, they win big. Oregon, 40-20.
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