Week Seven Predictions
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With a record as dismal as mine so far here in 2014, I barely feel confident enough to even write this predictions article. During the eight years this site has existed, I have always done well in the Pick'em Contest - finishing in the Top 5 twice and nearly winning it all in 2011. My score has never been below 71%. But this year, things have gone terribly wrong so far, punctuated by a 5-10 record a week ago....Regardless, the show must go on, so here are my picks for the games of week seven - take 'em for what they're worth!
Texas (2-3) vs #11 Oklahoma (4-1) - 12:00 - Dallas - ABC - Texas has had issues while Oklahoma hasn't had as many or so it seems. In this one, unless you are looking for that Upset Special type of game, you have to think that OU will get this done. The one season-questioning loss is now out of the way after an L to TCU, so the Sooners can now put things on cruise control until the post season debates gear up. Oklahoma, 35-20.
#13 Georgia (4-1) at #23 Missouri (4-1) - 12:00 - CBS - The announcement that running back Todd Gurley is suspended indefinitely (while an NCAA investigation goes on about his signing autographs for money on EBay) has turned this prediction upside down. Granted, UGA still has a stable of running backs most teams would die for, highlighted by Nick Chubb and Keith Marshall, we all know that Gurley was the horse Georgia rode. Now, he will need his teammates to pick him up in his absence. Will it happen? I say yes. Georgia, 35-31.
Duke (4-1) at #22 Georgia Tech (5-0) - 12:30 - ESPN3.com - GT has risen up the polls after not playing much of a schedule thus far. The lone "big" wins are over an up-and-down VT team and a mediocre Miami team. Duke, meanwhile, lost in its only shot at a hlafway decent opponent so far (Miami last week). So who do I pick? No favorite really. I want GT at home, so I will probably go that route. But David Cutcliffe is a damned good coach and it wouldn't surprise me to see him pull this out. Georgia Tech, 29-21.
Louisville (5-1) at Clemson (3-2) - 3:30 - ESPNU - The Cardinals of Louisville travel to Clemson for the first time of what will be many trips for these division foes, and before a tackle has been made or a FG has been missed, the Cards are already starting to get the water boiling. Louisville LB Lorenzo Mauldin said they will win if they stop Clemson's first possession and HC Bobby Petrino compared Death Valley to the (usually half empty) Carrier Dome. Both statements sit uneasy with the Tiger faithful and help focus a Tiger team coming off of a stressful start to the season. Louisville has CU's attention now and will get beat. Clemson, 31-20.
North Carolina (2-3) at #6 Notre Dame (5-0) - 3:30 - NBC - One side of me wants to pick ND to be the surprise team of the weekend and go into South Bend and get the big W. But the other side of me knows that UNC is just not that good. As I try to claw myself back up the standings of the Pick'em Contest, it is smart to take the home team, who happens to be better, also. So with that said, the Irish and QB Everette Golson have a good team and I will pick them at home. Notre Dame, 35-20.
#9 TCU (4-0) at #5 Baylor (5-0) - 3:30 - ABC / ESPN2 - Here is Baylor's first real shot at glory this year. Sure, they have a nice Top 5 ranking, but what is it based on? Not much. Besides Texas (who isn't all that) the Bears have played practically nobody. TCU offers a much more quality type of win should they pull it off, but it will not be easy. Baylor averages 51 points per game, but the Frogs defense is a bit better than SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo. I haven't had the chance to get into either team, but as usual, I will go with the home team when unsure. Baylor, 40-33.
#12 Oregon (4-1) at #18 UCLA (4-1) - 3:30 - FOX - The Ducks bounce back...or not. This might be the game of the weekend and is about as hard of a game to pick as any in a long, long time. But I get this feeling deep down inside that the Bruins end the Oregon winning streak this time around. It has been five-straight wins for UCLA in this one and I have yet to decide if the Ducks are as strong under Mark Helfrich as they were under Chip Kelly. I like Oregon, and it is hard to bet against them, but I am going with a UCLA team I picked high preseason and have been so-so on so far. UCLA 38-32.
#2 Auburn (5-0) at #3 Mississippi State (5-0) - 3:30 - CBS - Auburn rolls here. That is about all I am going to say. If I am wrong then I am wrong, but this is one team that has impressed me over and over in recent memory, and I have to go with them here. I get that MSU is good and will have perhaps their most rowdy crowd ever this Saturday. Cow Bell will be supplied ad nauseum. But Auburn has been there and done that and I think they take this one, as well. Auburn, 30-20.
#3 Ole Miss (5-0) at #14 Texas A&M (5-1) - 9:00 - ESPN - Sorry Rebel fans, but I have to think this is the beginning of the end of the year to remember. Nothing against Ole Miss, but with a schedule lined up with teams like this, eventually somebody is going to get you. TAMU impressed me to no end in the opener against South Carolina, and I will stick to those memories to get me through this one. I know Ole Miss is good. Good D, solid WRs, well-coached. But I think the Aggies are very strong and will be revved up to get back up the polls behind QB Kenny Hill. Texas A&M, 28-21.
USC (3-2) at #10 Arizona (5-0) - 10:30 - ESPN2 - Here is my upset special of the week as I will take the Trojans on the road to defeat the Wildcats. Arizona is riding high off of their win over Oregon, so I see them humbled a bit here by a USC team that has talent but is still trying to put it all together with a first-year HC. One side of me wants to ride the Arizona wave, but the other side says USC pulls the upset. USC, 30-24.
* All times EST, All rankings AP
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