Everything fell into place for me last week. For the first time all season, I went a perfect 6-0 in my college football picks. To top things off, I also took home the top spot in the NFL football pool I participate in thanks to Washington knocking off the Dallas Cowboys Monday night. Can I keep this newly developed hot streak going? Lets’ find out.
I will admit some of my picks turned out to be much more dominant than I ever imagined they would be. Miami tanking Virginia Tech and Boise State burning BYU were blowouts I did not see coming. My wife ended up getting burned by those losses as well, picking Virgina Tech and BYU in each. She also took a hit when Bo Wallace was picked off by LSU in the final seconds of the Saturday night game in Baton Rouge. I escaped with a victory there. We both picked West Virginia over Oklahoma State and Arizona State over Washington, but I stuck with Utah at home against USC while my wife took the Trojans. Another nailbiter went my way to cap off the 6-0 week. It was not a good week for my wife, going 2-4 this week. But another week is upon us and fortunes can be reversed very quickly.
My overall season record is now 32-22. Thanks to a strong showing last week, I overtook Stef and her record of 30-24 this season. But it is far too early to start bragging about anything. My wife still holds the weekly results lead, with a 5-4 advantage heading into Week 10 of the season. Now, on to this week’s picks, which may feature a little too much west coast bias for my east coast biased wife.
Moving forward, I will be using the College Football Playoff rankings. All times are eastern, as usual.
Pittsburgh vs. No. 24 Duke, 12:00 p.m. ESPNU
The ACC Coastal continues to be a jigsaw to put together, but Duke looks to be on the right track. That can change real quick this week on the road at Pittsburgh, as long as the Panthers don’t lose four turnovers and give up 28 points in the first five minutes of the game again this week. I have to believe Pittsburgh gets off to a better start this week after what unfolded against Georgia Tech last week. And remember the offensive explosion these two had last season? Pitt edged Duke 58-55 in Durham. I’m guessing there will be far fewer points scored between these two this season. I am really starting to like this Duke team and Pittsburgh has lost four of their last five. Still, just when you think you have this division figured out, you learn you have not even come close. I’ll go with the home upset here, knowing it could come back to haunt me.
I Say: Pittsburgh
Wife Says: Duke
No. 20 West Virginia vs. No. 7 TCU, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2
These are the two biggest surprises in the Big 12 this season, and plenty is riding on the outcome of this game for each as well as the Big 12. TCU just put 82 points on the board last week, and they should be able to provide some offensive fireworks again this week. But there is something about West Virginia that suggests this will be no easy week for the Horned Frogs. West Virginia’s offense should do some things at home as well, but I’ll go with TCU’s defense and the rising star in Trevone Boykin to go home with a win and a good spot atop the Big 12.
I Say: TCU
Wife Says: TCU
No. 4 Ole Miss vs. No. 3 Auburn, 7:00 p.m. ESPN
How does Ole Miss respond after a tough, physical loss on the road against LSU? Playing at home this week certainly should be comforting for the Rebels, who have already knocked off Alabama in Oxford. This one could be all about Auburn’s offense going against the Ole Miss defense. If this game is clsoe, do you have more faith in Auburn’s Nick Marshall or Bo Wallace of Ole Miss to make a key play. I’m going to go with Auburn here to drop Ole Miss down one more peg in the SEC West, but my wife is sticking with the home field advantage.
I Say: Auburn
Wife Says: Ole Miss
No. 5 Oregon vs. Stanford, 7:30 p.m. FOX
Oregon has had a Stanford problem the last couple of seasons, but I think that is a thing of the past. Marcus Mariota and the Ducks have been ona tear since losing at home to Arizona, and Stanford has no offense to count on in this one. I think Stanford’s defense will continue to slow down Oregon enough to keep the Ducks from running wild, but ultimately Stanford is going to have to score some points at some point and I just cannot see that happening. Not enough, at least.
I Say: Oregon
Wife Says: Oregon
No. 22 UCLA vs. No. 12 Arizona, 10:30 p.m. ESPN
It is hard not to like what Rich Rodriguez has been doing with the Arizona program. He seems like a natural fit for the program and the results on the field speak volumes of the work being done here. Despite being ranked 10 spots in front of the Bruins in the new College Football Playoff ranking, UCLA is a pretty solid favorite at home. This despite two close calls for UCLA the past two weeks, winning by a combined five points on the road against California and Colorado (in double overtime). Arizona feels like a decent bet here, but for some reason I’ll try my luck with UCLA at home this week.
I Say: UCLA
Wife Says: Arizona
No. 14 Arizona State vs. No. 17 Utah, 11:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1
Are you kidding me? A match-up of two top 25 teams playing for first place in the Pac-12 South and this game is not starting until 11 p.m. on the east coast? Thanks a lot Pac-12. I will probably not watch much of this as we have to get up early Sunday morning for a race, but I would be very curious to see if Arizona State’s offense can get on track early on against Utah’s defense, which has been one of the best in the conference this season. Utah scored a big win last week against USCand have performed well on the road (wins at Michigan, UCLA and en escape in overtime against Oregon State), so this team is battle-tested away from home. But I’ll side with the home team once more here in the Pac-12 South. We’re split on this game as well.
I Say: Arizona State
Wife Says: Utah
So there you have our picks for the weekend. Feel free to comment with your own picks or predict who will win this week’s head-to-head match-up. We have a number of games picked differently, so the results could go any number of ways this week.