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2014 NCAA College Football Week Eleven Picks
With only one month left in the college football season, every game is crucial, especially for those teams fighting for spots in this year’s playoff. Six games involving top twenty teams (#10 Baylor at #16 Oklahoma, #8 Notre Dame at #11 Arizona State, #9 Kansas State at #6 TCU, #4 Alabama at #14 LSU, #13 Ohio State at #7 Michigan State and #5 Oregon at #20 Utah) highlight a great weekend of football. This week I will be picking eleven games, hoping to continue to improve on my 59-48-4 record on the season, including two selections of teams from the Mountain West conference, of which I have an undefeated 13-0-1 record on the season against the spread when picking.
Before getting into this weeks many selections, here is a brief, one sentence rundown on how each game last week went –
Georgia Southern -25 Troy
Second week in a row I picked Georgia Southern because they were playing against a bad rushing defense and again they don’t disappoint, dominating Troy 42-10. (W)
Cincinnati -6 Tulane
Munchie Legaux return to his home state is a good as he throws for three touchdowns, leading Cincinnati to a 38-14 win at Tulane. (W)
Air Force -3 Army
Air Force wins the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, beating Army for the 16th time in 18 games, 23-6. (W)
East Carolina -7 Temple
A soggy field and five fumbles doom East Carolina’s high powered offense, as they get upset on the road at Temple, 20-10. (L)
Central Florida -10 UConn
Central Florida lets up touchdowns on three straight possessions in the second half, as the last place in the conference Huskies get their first conference win of the season by upsetting the first place Knights, 37-29. (L)
North Carolina +17 Miami
Duke Johnson runs for 177 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90 yarder, as North Carolina can’t cover the generous spread and gets steamrolled 47-20. (L)
Washington -4 Colorado
Washington dominates the second half, outscoring Colorado 21-3 on way to a 38-23 victory on the road in Boulder. (W)
Western Michigan -6 Miami Ohio
Jarvion Franklin runs for three touchdowns, he now leads the NCAA with 20 for the season on the ground, as Western Michigan destroys hapless
Miami Ohio, 41-10. (W)
Louisiana Tech -6 Western Kentucky
Bulldog quarterback Cody Sokol throws for five touchdowns and runs for another as La. Tech routs Western Kentucky, 59-10. (W)
Georgia -13 Florida
Georgia has their typical every season loss against a team they shouldn’t lose to and Florida coach Will Muschamp extends his eventual firing by a month, as the Gators win big 38-20. (L)
TCU -3 West Virginia
TCU wins on a 37 yard field goal as time expires, beating West Virginia, but not covering, in Morgantown 31-30. (L)
Colorado State -6 San Jose State
Dee ‘Groove is in the’ Hart runs for 104 yards and four touchdowns, leading Colorado State to a 38-31 win. (W)
South Carolina -6 Tennessee
Spurrier and the Gamecocks blow a 14 point lead with two minutes left in regulation and lose to Tenneessee in overtime, 45-42. (L)
Arizona +6 UCLA
Brett Hundley runs for 131 yards and passes for 189 and a touchdown, leading UCLA to 17-7 win over Arizona in a surprisingly defensive battle. (L)
Nevada -4 San Diego State
Nevada scores twenty unanswered points in the second half on their way to a 30-14 win against San Diego State in Reno. (W)
Utah State -2 Hawaii
Fourth string quarterback Kent Myers (see more on him below) leads Utah State to a convincing 35-14 win at Hawaii. (W)
Last weeks record – 9-7
Season record – 59-48-4
THIS WEEK'S PICKS-
Northern Illinois (-3) at Ball State Wednesday 8:00 PM
David Letterman’s alma mater Ball State has won their last two games after dropping five in a row, but have struggled mightily this season against teams with quality running attacks, which is a weakness that Northern Illinois and and their 12th in the nation rated rushing offense should be able to exploit. Betting against teams who are playing in a rare televised home game is tough, but Ball State comes in having only covered once in their last five home games while the Huskies are 7-2 in their last nine road games against the line. If you want an alternative to watching early season NBA and NHL games, give the points and take Northern Illinois.
PICK Northern Illinois -3
Utah State (-6) at Wyoming Friday 8:00 PM
Last week Utah State’s fourth string quarterback Kent Myers was called upon and performed admirably, completing his first eleven passes and throwing for three touchdowns in a win against Hawaii, while their opponent Wyoming was able to exploit a weak Fresno State defense and run all over them in a surprising 45-17 upset win. They will find the going much tougher this week against Utah State and their defense that is ranked fifth in the nation against the run. The Aggies have also won the last two meetings between the two teams by an average of 36 points and is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games under the lights on Friday and are going against a Wyoming Cowboy team that has only covered once in their last eight games at home. The trends continue.
PICK Utah State -6
Louisiana Tech (-3) at UAB Saturday 12:00 PM
La. Tech comes in with a 6-3 record, having won four games in a row since losing to Auburn at the end of September, and more importantly having covered in seven of their last eight games. This week they play the University of Alabama Birmingham, known for being the smartest of all the major Alabama colleges (which is the equivalent of being valedictorian at summer school). For the second week in a row I’ll be taking the Bulldogs, this time hoping they can cover for the sixth straight time on the road.
PICK Louisiana Tech -3
Duke (-3) at Syracuse Saturday 12:30 PM
The Orange are 1-4 since losing do-everything quarterback Terrell Hunt and will be hard pressed to get a win this week against a Duke team that is 7-1 on the year and has covered in ten of their last twelve ACC games. Syracuse is also 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games, while Duke is 8-3 in their last eleven on the road. Hate Duke for their basketball team, bet on their football team.
PICK Duke -3
Georgia Tech (-4) at NC State Saturday 12:30 PM
After starting the season with a 4-0 record against mostly inferior competition, NC State crashed back to reality in losing four straight, including two blowouts against run heavy teams Clemson and Boston College. Georgia Tech, who has the number three rushing offense in the country, should find great success against a Wolfpack team that has only covered against them once in their last six meetings and has only covered twice in their last nine home games.
PICK Georgia Tech -4
Connecticut (-3) at Army Saturday 3:30 PM
After picking against UConn the last two weeks and watching them nearly upset East Carolina and then beat Central Florida, I’ve realized the err of my ways and will be taking them this week. Their opponent Army is a paltry 1-6 against the spread in their last seven home games, and this week the Huskies continue a mini mid-season resurgence and win on the road.
PICK Connecticut -3
Air Force (-6) at UNLV Saturday 4:00 PM
The Falcons are 21st in rushing in the country while UNLV is a horrible 126th in defending the run. Air Force takes UNLV to the danger zone, exploiting their glaring weakness and continue their recent success against the spread (5-1 in last six games).
PICK Air Force -6
Georgia Southern (-10) at Texas State Saturday 4:00 PM
Another game with a mismatch in the running game, with Georgia Southern’s offense a dominant 1st in the nation on the ground while Texas State is 113th in rushing defense. For the third straight week I’m taking Georgia Southern, and will continue to do so until oddsmakers realize how good of a team they are, especially against teams that are feeble against the run.
PICK Georgia Southern -10
Louisville (-3) at Boston College Saturday 7:15 PM
Bobby Petrino, seen above after getting into a motorcycle accident while the college student he was having a secret affair was riding on the back, and the Louisville Cardinals travel to Boston College to take on an Eagle team that is 5-2 straight up and against the spread in their last seven games. A lot of BC’s success is due to Florida Gator quarterback transfer Tyler Murphy, who leads all FBS quarterbacks in rushing yards, but I think he will be hard pressed to continue that this week against a Cardinal team that is ranked fourth in the country in defending against the run. Louisville is 9-2 in their last eleven games after a loss, and after having two weeks to think about their second half choke job to Florida State, they get back in win column with a road victory in Chestnut Hill.
PICK Louisville -3
Alabama (-6) at LSU Saturday 8:00 PM
Six points is a lot to give on the road in Death Valley, but Alabama has something to prove as they are currently on the outside looking in for the four teams to get into the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide have beaten LSU the last three times they’ve played by an average of 16 points per game, and while the Tigers have been playing well of late, their coach Les Miles has gone a few games without making one of his idiotic coaching decisions and seems overdue. Nick Saban may be personality deficient, he is very good at what he does, and with his team in need of a strong showing this weekend to climb in the rankings, I see him outcoaching Miles and Alabama winning on the road in Baton Rouge.
PICK Alabama -6
Michigan State (-3) vs Ohio State Saturday 8:00 PM
The battle for the Big Ten East title in East Lansing should be a great one as #13 Ohio State takes on #7 Michigan State. Coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartans haven’t lost a game to a Big 10 opponent since November of 2012, have won twelve straight at home in East Lansing, have covered in six of their last seven home games and are 10-3-1 against the line in their last 14 games against teams with winning records. Surprisingly though, they haven’t won at home against Ohio State since 1999 and have only beaten them twice at home since 1974. Both teams have surprisingly explosive offenses, but I think Michigan State’s defense is the difference as they win at home against the Buckeyes.
PICK Michigan State -3
That is all for this week's games, good luck with all your picks, and thanks as always to those who continue to read and enjoy my articles and forward them out to others in hopes of helping me to gain a larger audience. Very much appreciated.