Week Four Predictions
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After a not-so-good week one, I am slowly creeping back up the standings of the Fans25 Pick'em Contest. At 28-12 on the year, I am starting to find my groove again on the picks as we get a feel for who has what and how much. There are some very intriguing games this weekend as fall weather starts to make its way into the gridiron world!
Here are my picks for the games of week four...
Georgia Tech (3-0) at Virginia Tech (2-1) - 12:00 -ESPN - You would have to think that VT comes out super jacked up to make amends for a season-crushing loss a week ago to East Carolina. But was it really a season-crushing loss? Or were the Hokies set to lose several more games this year, anyway? We will soon find out as the other Tech of the ACC rolls into Blacksburg. This offseason I was tough on Beamer and Bud in our forum. Then they made me eat my words against Ohio State. But now, after the ECU loss, I am back to thinking unsure things about Virginia Tech....I haven't seen much of GT yet, so I am kind of in the dark on this pick. I'm going with the home team, but this might have been the toughest pick of the whole set. Virginia Tech, 28-21.
North Carolina (2-0) at East Carolina (2-1) - 3:30 - ABC regional - I have to go with ECU here. Let's face it, the Pirates can play ball, and they finally get a good home game. After playing South Carolina close on the road, and then beating VT on the road, ECU now gets a Tar Heel team that has yet to impress. For the ACC's sake, UNC really needs to win this game. But I'll believe it when I see it. It seems as if North Carolina is always picked in the top 25 preseason, but never seems to finish in the top 25. East Carolina, 30-24.
Virginia (2-1) at #21 BYU (3-0) - 3:30 - ESPN - I have two words that Virginia fans are going to hear a bunch of come Saturday afternoon: Taysom Hill. If you haven't seen this guy play QB yet, do yourself a favor and watch this game. Hill ran all over UConn in the opener, and made quick work of the Texas defense after that. The guy is athletic and a great decision maker and BYU is a legit Top 25 type of team. UVA notched a nice win over Louisville last week, but I am not sold on them yet after being awful for as long as I can remember. BYU, 45-17.
Florida (2-0) at #3 Alabama (3-0) - 3:30 - CBS - There are two big opportunities here. The first opportunity is for Florida to show that they are making strides on the way back up. That opportunity will not happen. The second opportunity - that will happen - is Alabama showing the SEC and the nation that they are still pretty damned good. The big names are here, but in reality, only one team is a big threat to win some hardware later this year. This game will show Gator fans that Will Muschamp truly must go. Alabama, 37-10.
Utah (2-0) at Michigan (2-1) - 3:30 - ABC regional / ESPN2 - I'm leaning towards picking Utah here, I really am. But Brady Hoke - so far in his Michigan career at least - has always managed to keep the Wolverine faithful just happy enough to keep his job. So in this case, I see a classic case of Hoke getting a big win just as the heat is being turned up high. The Utes can play ball, but I think they catch Michigan in one of those "rally the troops" type of situations. That said, if UM does lose, Hoke instantly heads towards the top of the dreaded hot-seat list. Michigan, 27-17.
Mississippi State (3-0) at #8 LSU (3-0) - 7:00 - ESPN - Gonna go with the Tigers here in Tiger Stadium at night. The place is known to be one of the hardest places in America to play, so with the Cajun folks going nuts for their first SEC game of the season, I think MSU gets sent home with an L. I know Dan Mullen has made Mississippi State into a decent program, but if Les Miles' squad is focused, they will win this one and start to be mentioned in the CFP chatter. LSU, 30-19.
#4 Oklahoma (3-0) at West Virginia (2-1) - 7:30 - FOX - It is always tough to pick against West Virginia at home. It isn't like they have a monster huge stadium or fans that are legendary beyond words, but the Mountaineers are just a tough out on their home field and pose a serious threat to upset OU here. I am going to go with the Sooners because they have looked solid in their games so far, but I just have a feeling Oklahoma better be ready. Anytime a Top 5 team comes into your stadium, the place is just electric and anything can happen. Oklahoma, 38-31.
Miami (2-1) at #24 Nebraska (3-0) - 8:00 - ESPN2 - If you read the message boards on here, I have already put forth my thoughts on this game: neither coach is good enough to be at their respective school...I was watching the 1994 (season) national title game last night between Miami and Nebraska, and those two teams were just completely bad ass in every way. There were studs at every position, some guys that looked like they could tear you in half with just their fingers. Now, I see neither team near that elite, feared level, and both coaches have had time to take steps towards getting back there - Bo Pelini has had more time than Al Golden. Neither fan base will like what I type here, but until these schools step up and get rid of mediocre leadership, these are just two big names. I think a very strong hire at head coach could see either school get back to the top and get back quickly, but the AD has to make it happen. Nebraska, 30-17.
#22 Clemson (2-0) at #1 Florida State (2-0) - 8:00 - ABC - Oh boy, where do I even start? The storylines are certainly there at quarterback, this we know. I don't even have to explain the Jameis Winston situation, and as for Clemson, half the fans want senior Cole Stoudt in there, and the other half want freshman Deshaun Watson. What will happen in this game is absolutely anyone's guess, but when the smoke clears, I just cannot pick Clemson after the fourth quarter fizzle-out against Georgia three weeks ago, the debacle against FSU last year, and the fact that CU has lost the last three trips to Tallahassee. This game is primed to be wacky, let's sit back and see what happens! Florida State, 34-27.
#2 Oregon (3-0) at Washington State (1-2) - 10:30 - ESPN - I seriously thought that Mike Leach would come into WSU and have the Cougars as a true top 25 team pretty quickly. But as we get into year three, they just aren't seeming to turn the corner (Leach is 10-18 overall and went 6-7 a year ago). In comes Oregon, whose running backs do know a thing or two at turning corners. The Ducks should win this one going away and Marcus Mariota can build his Heisman highlights up. I want to see if the Oregon defense can continue to impress. Oregon, 48-21.
* All rankings AP, all times EST
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