First, if you haven't made your picks, you can do so here. The deadline is tonight at 11.59 PM PT.
Here's what those of us at ATQ thought about this week's games. Our justifications can be found after the jump.
|Jared||Wake Forest||Notre Dame||Army||Tennessee||USC|
|Paul||Wake Forest||Notre Dame||Army||UCLA||USC|
Stanford at Wake Forest:
Jared: I'm not convinced that Wake Forest is that good. But they're a well coached team, and the 12pm EST games typically kill Pac-10 teams. Pick: Wake Forest
Nick: The Wake Forest defense gave up over 500 yards of offense to Baylor last week, including almost 200 on the ground. Look for Stanford to ride Toby Gerhart, and if Andrew Luck can avoid too many mistakes, this should be a win for the Cardinal. Pick: Stanford.
Dave: I want to pick Stanford, I really do. It doesn't bother me that they have a freshman QB starting on the road, he looked pretty good at WSU. What does bother me is that Stanford's defense let WSU run all over them for a lot of that game, and WSU really isn't good. Wake is at home again for the second week in a row, and Riley Skinner is too good a QB to lose to two middling teams in a row. It'll be close, but Wake knocks 'em off. Pick: Wake Forest.
Jeremy: Another one of those brutal 9 a.m. games for the west coast team. Stanford wasn't overwhelmingly good versus a bad WSU team, but they were breaking in a freshman QB. Wake gave up 197 rushing yards to Baylor. Stanford will run it down their throat and Andrew Luck will have to make a play or two. This could prove to be a pivotal game for coach Jim Harbaugh and the Stanford program.. Pick: Stanford
Dominic: I really like Stanford's toughness and personel. Even though they have to go on the road, they appear to be catching Wake Forest at just the perfect time after their loss to Baylor. Pick: Stanford
Paul: As much as I hate rooting against the Pac-10 outside the conference, I think Stanford struggles mightily on the road for an early game. It's just not in the cards for the Card. Pick: Wake Forest
Notre Dame at Michigan:
Jared: I really want Michigan to win this, but Notre Dame has a lot more talent right now. Pick: Notre Dame
Nick: As much as I'd love to pick MIchigan, I don't see them pulling this game out. I don't think that Michigan will be able to put a consistent pass rush on Jimmy Clausen -- which will mean trouble for the Wolverine's defense. Besides, Lou Holtz told me that Notre Dame is awesome. Pick: Notre Dame
Dave: Hail to the victors valiant! I'll admit it, I'm picking this because I want it to happen so badly. Nobody has gotten more credit for doing less than Charlie Weis. But don't underestimate the Wolverines, their win looked every bit as good as ND's against the same caliber opponent. Michigan wants to show they're back, they'll do it here. Pick: Michigan
Jeremy: It seems Notre Dame is back to playing pretty good football. Michigan isn't all the way back and their QB(s) will be tested by the ND defense. The Irish in a close one. Just stay away from ESPN this weekend to avoid Lou Holtz going bananas: So, Lou, what did you take from the Trojan's big win over the Buckeyes. "Well guys, the Fighting Irish just played amazing. I don't think anyone could beat them today. I expect them to upset Florida in the national championship next week." But Lou, the national title game isn't next week and we were talking about USC. "Yeah, that's right, when I coached the Irish we were the greatest team ever. We could beat anyone, anywhere, any time, even without Ricky Watters. And I would tell the boys to pray to Knute Rockne and he would bring us victory over Army. Touchdown Jesus!!!" Okay, thanks Lou. Pick: Notre Dame
Dominic: Even though this game is at the Big House in Michigan, I like the Golden Domers. They have a quarterback gaining more confidence every week and has an experience edge over Freshman Tate Forcier. Michigan looked great in their opener but I don't think it's enough in this game. Both teams need this game but I don't think Michigan has quite enough to pull it out. Pick: Notre Dame
Paul: The Boys in Blue are in trouble in this one, even at home. Notre Dame rolls in this one by double-digits. Pick: Notre Dame
Duke at Army:
Jared: This game really does make me sad. But I think Army will be playing with some fire, and Duke is just terrible. Pick: Army
Nick: It seemed like so much fun to select this matchup between two terrible teams. Sort of like the Apple Cup last season, except I don't know much (or really care about) either team. I'll go with the home team. Go Black Knights! Pick: Army.
Dave: Both of these teams are really bad. Duke did lose to a 1-AA school, but Richmond was the 1-AA national champions last year. Army beat the worst team in the MAC. Duke has a proven coach and more talent than Army, and I can't believe that they are going to lose to the Black Knights. Pick: Duke.
Jeremy: Technically, this is a pick-em game, but any Duke win has to be considered an upset. You know you suck when beating Army is an upset. Pick: Army
Dominic: Both teams aren't great and show very different styles. Duke is more of a passing team with Army running the ball with abandon. As a Duck fan, you have to take Army, if for no other reason then their camouflage helmets. Pick: Army.
Paul: I know nothing about either of these teams, other than that Duke is atrocious. Go Army! Pick: Army
UCLA at Tennessee:
Jared: I'm not liking Pac-10 road teams that are going through growing pains. UCLA will struggle in a very tough stadium against a team that has a lot of talent, and is playing hard under a new coach. Pick: Tennessee
Nick: As much as I would love to for UCLA go to Knoxville and trounce Lane Kiffin's team, I just don't it see it happening. Kevin Prince was underwhelming in a home win against San Diego State. They won't have near offense to keep up with the Vols. Pick: Tennessee.
Dave: Easiest call of the year. Going to Knoxville with no QB? Tennessee in a romp. Pick: Tennessee.
Jeremy: Tennessee is favored by 9 at home. Those points are tantelizing if I'm betting...thankfully I'm not, cause that rarely goes well for me. I would love for UCLA to beat the Vols again. UT's Bryce Brown rushed for over 100 yards and a TD last week. Watch for him to start making himself a household name with another big game, this time against a decent defense. Pick: Tennessee
Dominic: This is a revenge game for Tennessee after coming out to UCLA last year and getting upset. The Bruins are rebuilding fast but I don't think they have progressed faster than Tennessee. Lane Kiffin is looking for a big win to energize their fan base and a victory against a UCLA team, even though they're down, would be a big step for his program. Pick: Tennessee.
Paul: I went with Stanford, and I'm making up for it here by taking the Bruins. I know I'll be wrong, but it's principle! Pick: UCLA
USC at Ohio State:
Jared: OK, so USC is no UCLA. They are more talented than Ohio State, have the best O-line in the nation, and will have a defense that is set up to contain Terrelle Pryor. This could be close, but USC will control the ball and pull out a win in the 'shoe. Pick: USC
Nick: As talented as Terrelle Pryor is, he is not nearly enough. OSU's offensive line had problems against Navy -- playing against USC's defensive front is only going to make them look worse. Look for USC to run away with this game. Pick: USC.
Dave: Second easiest call of the year. OSU in a big non-conference matchup? Pick whoever they're playing. Pick: USC.
Jeremy: USC opened the season firing on all cylinders. Ohio State? Not so much. Is tOSU in a drop-off year or did they just get caught looking ahead to this game? It's hard to say, but even in The Horseshoe I don't think tBuckeyes can score enough points on USC's defense. Besides, USC only loses on the road in conference. If freshman QB Barkley avoids costly turnovers USC gets a nice win. Another nice win...over the Big Ten...ugh. USC wishes they were playing a high profile SEC team instead. Pick: USC
Dominic: Ohio State is the type of team USC is built to destory. USC looked amazing in their opener against San Jose State while Ohio State struggled with Navy. I think tOSU has major questions on their offensive line as well as their defense. I also don't think Pryor is far enough along in his development to exploit USC weaknesses. Pick: USC.
Paul: USC's defense is too good for an Ohio State team that barely hung on to beat Navy last week. Despite starting a true freshman with only one start under his belt, I think the Trojans roll up 40+ on the Buckeyes. Pick: USC