Remember, if you haven't made your picks, you have until 11:59 PT tonight to do so here. Here are our picks:
Utah at Michigan (12:30 PT, ABC regional)
Utah is expected to contend for the MWC title behind a senior quarterback and solid offensive line. Michigan is trying to break in a whole new system with a brand new quarterback and brand new offensive line. They are going to struggle, and Utah will take the game.
I don't know a ton about them, but I've heard good things. They should be a very solid team this year, and Steele really likes them. Michigan, though I think they will end up around 8-4, starts off with a very weak offensive line and new QB to break in a totally new system. Starting off against a top 25 team doesn't do them any favors
Hmm. Michigan lost a lot of talent at skill positions last year. But, they are Michigan, so the cupboard should not be bare. I may not like Rich Rodriguez, but I like him to win his debut.
Illinois at Missouri (5:30 PT, ESPN)
Chase Daniel + no Rashard Mendenhall + Missouri's defense = Missouri wins.
Juice Williams sucks.
Missouri will score a ton.
This one won't be close.
Both teams have high expectations for this year. However, Illinois no longer has Mendenhall to help take pressure off of Juice Williams. Add in that the game is at Missouri and it looks like a win for the Tigers.
Alabama at Clemson (5:00 PT, ABC Regional)
Clemson is a sexy pick to do some major damage this year. The problem I have with Clemson is that they always seem to choke under high expectations. Alabama is good enough to pick them off early, and I think they will.
Clemson is a much more talented team. They have a strong running game, and won't implode asa they are known to do, in this game at least. As for Alabama, I don't trust John Parker Wilson at all. Clemson pulls away in the 4th quarter.
Well, it sounded good in the previous pick, so I'll again go with the Tigers at home against a lower ranked opponent
Michigan State at California (5:00 PT, ABC Regional)
Questions at quarterback and wide receiver really make me want to pick MSU in this game. However, MSU is so mediocre that I just don't see them being able to go on the road and get it done.
At home, Cal wins this one going away. Michigan State will be decent this year, but Cal will be more physical on both sides of the ball. They'll take an early lead and hold it the whole game.
A Big-10 team visiting a Pac-10 team? I don't think my conscience could handle picking Michigan State. Look for Best to put up some big numbers.
Fresno State at Rutgers (Mon., 1:30 PT, ESPN)
Dave: Fresno State
This is the kind of game Fresno gets up for. It also helps that they have good talent, especially at the skill positions. They'll choke away the WAC like they always do, but they'll beat a Rutgers team struggling to replace Ray Rice.
Jared: Fresno State
Without Ray Rice, I think Mike Teal (despite his excellent receiving corp) will suffer. Fresno State will improve upon last year with a lot of experience coming back, and shouhld be able to make Rutgers one-dimensional. FSU has a tough road non-conference schedule, but I think they'll take their opener.
Nick: Fresno State
I hate Pat Hill. But, these are the games his team gets up for. If it it were Hawaii or Boise State, I'd pick against them. But not here
There you have it. After all, we're the 'experts' (because, you know, I didn't finish last a year ago or anything).
HUCK THE FUSKIES!!!