2014 College Football Week Six Picks
October is usually the best month of the regular season for college football, and the first weekend promises to be a great one with an incredible six games involving ranked teams (#6 Texas A&M @ #12 Mississippi State, #3 Alabama @ #11 Ole Miss, #4 Oklahoma @ #25 TCU, #14 Stanford @ #9 Notre Dame, #15 LSU @ #5 Auburn, #19 Nebraska @ #10 Michigan State). Much like the first four days of March Madness, setting up two TVs in one room might be a necessity to catch as much of the action as possible.
Before getting into the picks for this week, here is how my selections for the final weekend in September went.
Fresno State -5.5 New Mexico
In the first of four Friday night games in a row for Fresno State, QB Brian Burrell throws for over 300 yards and three touchdowns leading the Bulldogs to a 35-24 road win. See below for my pick in their game this week against San Diego State. (W)
Rutgers -11.5 Tulane
Quarterback Gary Nova becomes the all time leader in career touchdown passes at Rutgers as they beat Tulane 31-6. This week the Scarlet Knights welcome Michigan to New Jersey for a Big 10 battle. My choice is below in what could, and should, be bumbling and baffled Brady Hoke’s last game as Michigan coach. (W)
Maryland +4.5 Indiana
Maryland wins their inaugural Big 10 opener as they crush an Indiana team on letdown mode after upsetting Missouri the previous week. The Terps play Ohio State this week at home in a game that is currently off the board due the questionable status of Maryland starting quarterback CJ Brown and his injured left wrist. The video below shows the best play from last week’s Ohio State game, as a Buckeye assistant strength coach levels a fan who ran onto the field during the game.(W)
UAB – 14 Florida International
Six UAB turnovers, including two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, help Florida International to a 34-20 win in a game that saw them once score 27 points in a row. (L)
Louisville -21 Wake Forest
In what was an horrible game to watch involving two freshman starting quarterbacks, Louisville wins but can’t score as many points as they were favored by, only beating Wake 20-10. (L)
Buffalo -6 Miami (OH)
Down 21-14 in the second half, Buffalo running back Anthone Taylor runs for 222 yards and scores touchdowns on three straight possessions as Buffalo beats Miami 35-27. (W)
California -10 Colorado
Quarterbacks for both teams combined for NCAA tying record fourteen touchdown passes, as Cal beats Colorado in a double overtime shootout 59-56. For those interested, the game it tied was a 1990 Houston vs. Eastern Washington game in which David Klinger threw eleven touchdowns in 84-21 win. (L)
Temple – 4 Connecticut
Temple wins their first ever AAC game, destroying UConn 36-10. The Owls defense has now scored in all four of their games this season, while also causing a whopping seventeen turnovers. (W)
Stanford -7 Washington
A late touchdown run by QB Kevin Hogan is enough for Stanford to get past Washington 20-13 on the road at Husky Stadium. Cardinal coach David Shaw labeled the team’s offense as ‘sloppy’ and ‘semi efficient’ in a game that they won mostly because of their defense. (PUSH)
UTSA -4 Florida Atlantic
Jacquez Johnson throws two late touchdown passes, including one with twenty seconds left, as Florida Atlantic comes back to win 41-37 (L)
Duke +7 Miami
Freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya throws his 11th and 12th touchdown passes of the season, including one on 4th and 19 in an absolute downpour, as Miami beats Duke 22-10 at Sun Life Stadium. This picture is a good example why most will forever root against the Blue Devils, regardless of what sport. (L)
Nevada -5 San Jose State
Nevada wins on the road 21-10 in a game only watched by those with a gambling problem. (W)
Last weeks record – 6-5-1
Season record – 31-24-2
THIS WEEK’S PICKS
Fresno State (-3) vs. San Diego State Friday 10:00 PM
This spread for this game opened with San Diego State as a two point favorite, but has since moved five points in the other direction when it was learned that Aztec starting quarterback Quinn Kaehler was lost for the season due a leg injury sustained in last Saturday’s game, and now they will be forced to start a true freshman. Fresno State covered for me last week against New Mexico on a Friday night, and I see their recent success as a favorite (5-1 against the spread in their last six games) continuing against a depleted San Diego State team.
Pick Fresno State – 3
Massachusetts (+3.5) at Miami OH Saturday 2:30 PM
UMass has been able to grasp defeat out of the hands of victory three different times this year, blowing fourth quarter leads against Colorado, Vanderbilt and Bowling Green on their way to a 0-5 record. Which also happens to be the same record of their opponent, Miami Ohio. In their last seven games respectively against teams with losing records, Massachusetts is 5-2 against the spread, while Miami is 1-5-1. With QB Blake Frohnapfel, who threw for over 500 yards last week, and new coach Mark Whipple leading the way, I see the Minutemen getting their first win of the year against a Redhawk team they beat last season. Go. Go U. Go U Mass. Go UMASS.
PICK Massachusetts +3.5
Navy (-4) at Air Force Saturday 3:30 PM
If you like to watch the run, this is the game for you as both teams are ranked in the top five in the nation in total rushing offense. Navy has covered their last five road games, while Air Force is 3-8 in their last eleven at home against the spread. In a game full of heroes on both sides of the feel, I see the Midshipmen covering the line on the road and taking control of their destiny to winning their third straight Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy.
PICK Navy -4
Oregon State (-7) at Colorado Saturday 4:00 PM
Oregon State travels to Colorado a week after getting beaten up at Southern Cal 35-10. The Beavers have responded to losses well in recent history, covering in seven of their last ten games after dropping their previous game. Colorado might be suffering a bit of an emotional letdown after losing last week’s 59-56 overtime shootout loss against Cal.
PICK Oregon State -7
South Alabama (-3) at Appalachian State Saturday 6:00 PM
South Alabama is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight road games, while Appalachian State is 2-6 against the line in their last eight games overall. Neither team is very good, but South Alabama showed life last week in beating Idaho, and I think they will ride that momentum to a win on the road.
PICK South Alabama -3
Rice (-6) vs. Hawaii Saturday 7:00 PM
Another matchup of bad teams, and in this one I like Rice a lot against a Hawaii team that hasn’t won on the road since 2011. These teams are polar opposites when it comes to recent success in October, as Hawaii has only covered once in their last 9 games in the month while Rice is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight. Go with the Owls.
PICK Rice -6
Rutgers (-2.5) vs. Michigan Saturday 7:00 PM
It’s been a tumultuous week in Ann Arbor, with hundreds of students and fans protesting on the front lawn of the University of Michigan president, demanding that he get rid of Athletic Director Dave Brandon after an embarrassing loss at home to Minnesota 30-14 that saw their concussed quarterback Shane Morris be allowed to go back into the game to play after showing clear signs of the head injury. And after fellow bloated loudmouth Charlie Weis lost his job this week, coach Brady Hoke might not be too far behind. Rutgers only loss this year was to Penn State on a late touchdown, and I can’t see them losing there second ever Big 10 home game to a Michigan team whose season seems to have gone off the rails.
PICK Rutgers -3
Cincinnati (–4) vs. Memphis Saturday 7:00 PM
Memphis has been getting one vote in the Coaches Poll for the past few weeks, and it’s , Memphis coach Justin Fuente’s former boss and current TCU coach Gary Patterson, who he previously coached under for five seasons (yet another reason why the coaches poll will always mean less then the Associated Press). The shenanigans will end this week, as Memphis will be hard pressed to win at Cinci, especially after losing leading running back Doroland Dorceus for the season. Memphis has only covered three times in their last seventeen road games against teams with a winning record. The losing continues for the Tigers.
PICK Cincinnati -4
Virginia (-5) vs. Pittsburgh Saturday 7:30 PM
Virginia is one of four teams that has covered in all of their games this season, going 5-0 thus far against the spread (the others - TCU 3-0, East Carolina 4-0, Georgia Southern 5-0). I think that success continues against a Pittsburgh team that started out the year 2-0 but has lost the last two weeks, at home none-the-less, to lowly Akron and Iowa.
PICK Virginia -5
South Carolina (-5) at Kentucky Saturday 7:30 PM
Four players for Kentucky were suspended this week for a pellet gun incident that briefly caused the campus to be shutdown. Not a good thing to have happen going into a game against a team that you’re 1-13 against in your last fourteen games. Spurrier and the Gamecocks have covered in six of their last eight games against teams with a winning record, and with all going on in Lexington, I see South Carolina getting the win and cover in this one.
PICK South Carolina -5
Georgia Southern (-17) at New Mexico St. Saturday 8:00 PM
As mentioned above, Georgia Southern has covered in all five of their games this season, and if you include last season, they’ve beaten the spread in their last nine games. They also have the number one ranked rushing offense in the country and are going against one of the worst run defenses in all of college football. Much like Virginia against Pitt, I see Georgia Southern continuing their undefeated mark against the line.
Good luck in all your picks this weekend and feel free to vote below on which game you are most excited to watch. Also, In honor of Auburn's big game against LSU this weekend, enjoy the video of Bo Jackson rushing for almost 300 yards on one play.