With four weeks in the books I hold a narrow lead over my wife when it comes to picking college football games. Last week was a rough one for me.
I went with the upset pick with Kansas State at home against Auburn, which cost me. Stef picked Auburn and picked up an early lead heading into the weekend. We both whiffed on Missouri at home against Indiana and LSU at home against Mississippi State. I again made a costly upset pick by picking West Virginia at home against Oklahoma in my upset pick of the week. Stef went with the Sooners, but she picked Miami to leave Nebraska with a win. I picked Nebraska. We both took Wisconsin at home against Bowling Green.
For the week, I went 2-4 and Stef went 3-3. This was the second straight week Stef broke even, and it helped cut into my lead. Our weekly results are now evened at 2-2. Overall I am now 14-10 and Stef is right behind me with an overall record of 13-11. Neither one of us is lighting it up, but the competition is heating up. Now, let’s move on to this week’s picks. Just like last week, we get started a little early with a Thursday night match-up.
All games are on Saturday unless noted otherwise. All times are eastern.
No. 15 Arizona State vs. No. 11 UCLA, Thursday 10:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1
This should be a crucial game in the Pac-12 South, so it is a shame at least one of these teams will be without a starting quarterback. Arizona State’s will be without a starting quarterback. Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly is out and UCLA’s Brett Hundley is questionable. UCLA has skated by in each of its first three games, leaving me with little confidence they can put it all together on the road against a potent offensive team like Arizona State. Regardless of whether Hundley plays tonight, I sort of like the Sun Devils in the clash of the only two schools to win a Pac-12 South title.
I Say: Arizona State
Wife Says: Arizona State
No. 12 Georgia vs. Tennessee, 12:00 p.m. ESPN
I have said time and time again I like the direction head coach Butch Davis has Tennessee heading, and I expect the Vols to give the SEC East some fits this season. I have not wavered on that, but I do feel they are still a few steps away from being able to go on the road and leaving Athens, Georgia with a win. Tennessee is growing and will be a force in the East in the next couple of seasons, but for now Georgia’s Todd Gurley is too much to handle for the Vols. In the battle between Uga and Smokey, we’re both siding with the Bulldogs.
I Say: Georgia
Wife Says: Georgia
No. 6 Texas A&M vs. Arkansas, 3:30 p.m. CBS (Arlington, Texas)
There are six teams from the SEC West ranked in the AP Top 25 this week, and I would make an argument there should be seven. The only loss suffered by Arkansas this season came on the road against the defending SEC champs and last season’s BCS runner-up Auburn. Bret Bielema still has some work to do to repair the program but I have a feeling he is doing a better job than many might be willing to give him credit for right now. We will get a nice clash of offensive styles between the Arkansas run game and Texas A&M’s Kenny Hill taking to the air.
I Say: Arkansas
Wife Says: Texas A&M
Washington vs. No. 16 Stanford, 4:15 p.m. FOX
Washington has somehow managed to get to this point in the season unscathed. I feel as though there have been smoke and mirrors along the way, despite my optimism about the future of the program under Chris Petersen. I think Washington gets a dose of reality this weekend against Stanford. The Huskies are ranked 76th in the nation in total offense, and they just so happen to be going up against the nation’s top-ranked defensive unit. Good luck with all that.
I Say: Stanford
Wife Says: Stanford
No. 22 Ohio State vs. Cincinnati, 6:00 p.m. Big Ten Network
Ohio State has not lost to Cincinnati since 1910. Is this the year Cincinnati celebrates a long-awaited victory over the top program in the state? The Buckeyes could be as vulnerable as they will ever be, but they stormed back from a home loss to Virginia Tech with a dominant performance against Kent State and then got a bye week. Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel will have to be sharp, because if he is not smart with the football then the chances Cincinnati scores a major victory in the Group of Five conversation could start to slip away. I know history and my brain tell me to go with the Buckeyes here, but I just cannot shake the idea Cincinnati can do what Virgina Tech did on offense. It is Cincinnati’s defense that concerns me. I’ll roll the dice for a second time this week.
I Say: Cincinnati
Wife Says: Ohio State
No. 13 South Carolina vs. Missouri, 7:00 p.m. ESPN
The destination game for ESPN College Game Day lost some luster after Indiana stunned Missouri last week, but the importance of this game in the SEC East should not be overlooked. Missouri will head to South Carolina with some revenge on its mind after the Gamecocks handed Missouri its only regular season loss last season. A win for Missouri will help to bury South Carolina in the division after already suffering a loss to Texas A&M. Mizzou leaving with a victory is something I felt a little more confident in before seeing the Tigers go down at home to Indiana, but I think they are capable of shrugging off that result in this match-up. Expect a bit of a back-and-forth game once again between these two.
I Say: Missouri
Wife Says: South Carolina
Feel free to share your picks and thoughts in the comments, and tell us who you think will have the better week.