2014 College Football Week Five Picks
After going an even 18-18-1 through the first four weeks, last week’s picks went a miraculous 7-1. This helped to offset the nausea brought on by watching ABC’s hypocritical coverage of the Florida State/Clemson game, in which all week their broadcasters, ABC and sister company ESPN, ranted and raved about the immaturity, arrogance, selfishness and stupidity of quarterback Jameis Winston for his continued ‘behavioral issues’. Then once the game started, they did a 180 by showing him 48 different times on the sidelines for a whopping total of eight full minutes of airtime. Of course he shouldn’t have been on the sidelines anyway, but Florida State apparently has little to no experience with actually policing their players behavior so I guess its just part of their learning curve.
Before we get into this week’s selections, here is a rundown of what happened in week four.
Maryland PK Syracuse – Maryland takes over game in the second quarter, scoring seventeen straight en route to a 34-20 victory. It won’t get any easier for the Orangemen in the next three weeks with games against Notre Dame, Louisville and Florida State. (W)
Duke -17 Tulane – The Blue Devils cause five turnovers, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns, as they roll over Tulane 47-13. More about Duke down below, as I will be picking them for the third straight week (W)
Marshall – 9 Akron – QB Rakeem Cato runs for two touchdowns and throws for another as he leads to Marshall to a dominant 48-17 win. Jump on the Marshall/Cato bandwagon now, they have a legit chance of going undefeated this year and are an entertaining team to watch. (W)
Alabama – 14 Florida – In a game marred by early turnovers, the combination of QB Blake Sims and WR Amari ‘Second coming of Julio Jones’ Cooper takes over the game as Alabama scores 21 unanswered in the third quarter on their way to a 42-21 victory. (W)
Louisville – 27 Florida International – Louisville rebounds from their loss to Virginia as they beat lowly FIU 34-3. I didn't take long in researching this game to realize that as long as Pete Garcia remains the FIU athletic director, they have no chance of ever turning around any of their programs. This is a guy who 1)hired Isiah Thomas as their basketball coach with, no surprise, terrible results, 2) allowed a former player/registered sex offender to throw out the first pitch of a baseball game and also fly with softball team, 3)fired the only football coach, Mario Cristobal, that ever got FIU to a bowl game and 4)threatened to withdraw from the Coaches vs. Cancer basketball tournament because he wanted to go against a weaker team. Being in the same sentence as Isiah Thomas and having to debate who is the more incompetant jackass just shows the level of his idiocy. (W)
North Carolina +2 East Carolina – The one blemish on my week four record is a giant one, as East Carolina suffers zero post big win letdown after beating Virginia Tech the previous, scoring 10 touchdowns as they go on to beat on North Carolina, and cover the over/under on their own, 70-41. ECU got through the tough part of their schedule and ended up 3-1, and should be favored in their remaining eight games. And their head coach is Ruffin McNeill, which sounds like the best name since Dirk Diggler for a combo action movie/adult film star.(L)
Nebraska – 7 Miami – Ameer Abdullah joins Amari Cooper as newcomers to the Heisman race as he runs all over Miami for 229 yards and scores three times as the Cornhuskers win under the lights 41-31. (W)
Boise State – 17 UL Lafeyette – I finally break my last game of the day/bailout streak as Boise defends their home turf and beats UL Lafeyette behind Jay Ajayi’s 150 yards rushing and three touchdowns. (W)
Last weeks record 7-1 Season record 25-19-1
THIS WEEK’S PICKS
Fresno State (-5.5) at New Mexico Friday, 8:00 PM
In the last two years, Fresno has beaten New Mexico 69-28 and 49-32, and I see no reason why this year will be any different. Fresno’s 1-3 record is misleading, as their three losses were all against very good teams, on the road at USC and at Utah followed by a home loss to Nebraska. They should fare much better against a New Mexico team that is still coming off the high of last week’s victory in the Rio Grande Rivalry game against interstate foe New Mexico State. Teams favored on the road this year are a porous 24-32 against the spread, but with Fresno’s recent success with a 11-5 record as a road favorite and New Mexico’s 1-5 record against the spread in their last six games as a home underdog, I have no issue laying the points in this one.
PICK Fresno State – 5.5
Rutgers (-11) vs. Tulane Saturday 12:00 PM
Despite losing star running back Paul James and his seven touchdowns so far this season, I still see Rutgers and their deep stable of backs running all over a Tulane team that is ranked 93rd in the country against the rush. The Scarlet Knights are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games and they keep it going in Jersey against Tulane.
PICK Rutgers -11.5
Maryland (+4.5) at Indiana Saturday 1:30 PM
After a shocking win at Missouri last week, everyone is suddenly all about the Hoosiers. I sense a letdown, especially seeing Indiana is 0-6 in their last six games following a victory. The Terps won for me last week as an eventual underdog at Syracuse and are 5-2 in their last seven games against the spread as a ‘dog, I see that getting points success continuing in Hoosierville.
PICK Maryland +4.5
UAB (-14) vs. Florida International Saturday 3:30 PM
As you can tell from reading above, I'm not a big FIU fan and won’t be picking them and their DB AD Pete Garcia anytime soon. I usually don’t like to give a lot of points with lesser teams, but FIU is a special kind of terrible and I can’t see them putting up much of a fight against the Blazers of Birmingham.
PICK UAB – 14
Louisville (-21) vs Wake Forest Saturday 3:30 PM
Louisville’s starting quarterback, Will Gardner, was hurt in last week’s game and probably won’t be playing this week, which means Reggie Bonnafon will be the starter in his absence. Bonnafon missed last week’s game after his father unexpectedly passed away, and it’s not hard to imagine the Cardinals coming out fired up to support him. Louisville has covered five of their last six games, the trend continues.
PICK LOUISVILLE – 21
Buffalo (-6) vs. Miami Ohio Saturday 3:30 PM
After a surprising ten win season in 2010, Miami Ohio is back again to being terrible, and unfortunately for them alum Ben Roethlisberger isn’t walking through that door (and subsequently going to the bathroom to sexually assault someone). Buffalo is by no means a good team, but they have covered in seven straight games versus teams with a losing record, and have had recent success against Miami including last years 44-7 drubbing. Go Bulls.
PICK Buffalo - 6
Temple (-5) at Connecticut Saturday 4:00 PM
UConn has had a rough start to the season, both on the field and against the spread, as so far their record for both is 0-4. Losing starting quarterback Casey Cochran, and his sweet Steve Sanders esque mullet (see picture above), for the season to concussions has definitely not helped their transition into a new conference, the AAC. I can’t see them getting their first win or cover of the season versus a Temple team that has covered their last five road games, and nine of their last eleven games overall.
PICK Temple -5
California(-13) vs. Colorado Saturday 4:00 PM
The Golden Bears lost a heartbreaker last week against Arizona, blowing a 31-13 fourth quarter lead and losing 49-45 on a Hail Mary as time expired (video below).With a tough Pac-12 schedule the rest of the year, every chance at a win is important, and they should take out their frustration against Colorado, a team that hasn’t been to a bowl since 2007 and is known mostly for Kordell Stewart, Rashaan Salaam underperforming in the NFL and Rae Carruth’s failure as a human being.
PICK California -10
Stanford (-7) at Washington Saturday 4:30 PM
Washington may be 4-0 so far, but they have done it against inferior competition, such as Georgia State and even a struggled at home in a game against Eastern Washington that saw them losing in the fourth quarter. They will find the going a lot tougher against a Stanford team that is under-ranked at #16 in the polls and should continue on their impressive14-5-1 record in their last twenty games as a road favorite.
PICK Stanford -7
UTSA (-4.5) at Florida Atlantic Saturday 5:00 PM
UTSA head coach Larry Coker and his twenty returning senior starters began the year with a big 27-7 upset win on the road at Houston and then nearly beat Arizona the following week before losing 26-23. They should find the competition a lot easier this week battling Conference USA foe Florida Atlantic. The game features a battle of recent trending success against the spread, with UTSA 6-2 in their last eight as a favorite along with being 8-2 in their last ten road games, while Florida Atlantic is an incredible 15-2 against the line in their last seventeen games following a loss. Go with Coker and the Roadrunners.
PICK UTSA -4.5
Duke (+7) at Miami Saturday 7:00 PM
When most think of Duke, the first thing that easily comes mind is their rich history of loathable basketball players like Laettner, Ferry, Parks, Reddick, Wojciechowski, etc. The football team is going to start to be recognized soon as a contender in the ACC, coming off back to back trips to bowl games, including last years 10 win team nearly beating in a bowl game Texas A&M and never-will-be-relevant-as-a-starting quarterback in the NFL Johnny Manziel. The recent against the spread trends for both teams are a near palindrome, as the Blue Devils are 10-2-1 in their last thirteen while Miami is 2-10 in their last twelve. Take the points in a game Duke has a good chance of winning
PICK Duke +7
Nevada (-5) at San Jose State Saturday 10:30 PM
This week’s bailout game pick is Nevada, mainly because I think they are at least ten points better then San Jose State, have covered ten of the last eleven times these two times have played and are an impressive 6-2 against the spread following a loss, and they’ve had two weeks to think about their last game against Arizona that they only lost 35-28 in a game that tied halfway through the third quarter. The line opened at two and quickly went up to five. Go with the early bettors.
PICK Nevada – 5
Vote below if you’d like on who you believe will win a wide open race for the first ever College Football Playoff Championship this season. Have a nice weekend, good luck and happy wagering.