Damn, I seem to be making a habit of doing these late Friday night.
Not a fun slate of games this weekend. As Jared emailed me:
Dave...how could you do this to me...Nick Saban? Mike Stoops? You are a bastard...
I agree. I am a bastard.
Onto the (crappy) games:
Arkansas at Alabama
This may be the asshole coach matchup of the year. I know that Rick Neuheisel and Mike Stoops aren't the classiest guys out there, but Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino are lying sacks of crap without a shred of integrity. Not that it has anything to do with the game, but I thought I'd throw it out there. The big difference is that Alabama has a ton more talent, a coach who is a genius, and is at home. Roll Tide.
Arkansas is not a good football team. They have stuggled with both poor teams they've played. Now, they run against a good defense. This one shouldn't be close.
Arkansas may be undefeated, but has actually trailed at halftime to both of their previous opponents (W. Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe) before winning by a combined margin of five points. They will struggle against Alabama in their first legitimate test of the season, and the Crimson Tide defense will shut them down. This one won't be close.
Arizona at UCLA
Some games are hard to predict because both teams are really good. This one is hard to predict because both team are not. However, injuries have decimated UCLA, and this game will put the screamer just three wins shy of bowl eligibility.
Do we really know anything about either one of these teams? Arizona imploded at the first sign of trouble last week. UCLA got incredibly lucky against Tennessee and then got absolutely obliterated when a team took advantage of their mistakes. UCLA will continue to make mistakes, and Arizona will have a better offense than Tennessee. As long as Arizona's D isn't totally pathetic, they can win this on the road. Holy hell...I'm picking Mike Stoops on the road. Please, shoot me now.
Both teams coming off bad losses last week. UCLA has actually looked bad all year, though they have played two top-25 teams. Arizona looked great the first two weeks against over-matched competition. I'll give the nod to the Wildcats in this one as I have a lot more confidence in Tuitama rather than Craft.
Wake Forest at Florida State
Dave: Wake Forest
Damn ACC games. At least there's only one this week. I refuse to research ACC games, but I do know that the Demon Deacons (one of the best mascots in the NCAA) have been much more consistent over the last few years than the Seminoles.
Jared: Florida State
Hey! 2 ACC teams whose schedules and results tell us very little! Thanks Dave! I'm going with Florida State because Wake barely beat Ole Miss, while FSU's offensive coordinator's name is Jimbo.
Nick: Florida State
While we may know very little about FSU this season after they have completely dominated two vastly inferior teams, I am not sold on Wake Forest. In fact, I actually tried talking myself into picking them, but it didn't take. As long as FSU protects the ball, they should win at home.
LSU at Auburn
When you only put up three on Mississippi State, your offense is very bad. As good as Auburn's defense is, LSU can match them. But LSU is light years ahead on the offensive side, which is why the Bayou Bengals will take this one.
As much as the 3-2 score sucked for Auburn, their defense is very good. They are giving up a 3rd down conversion rate of 6.5%. But, their offense has not faced one real defense, and they have still sucked. I'm not convinced that LSU is a great team, but until Auburn's offense actually does something, I can't pick them.
Auburn's offense has been mediocre this year, highlighted by last week's 3-2 victory over Mississippi State. An interesting matchup will be LSU's running game (led by Charles Scott) against Auburn's rush defense (53 ypg) and scoring defense (15 total points allowed). However, I think this game ultimately comes down to whether or not LSU can score 10 points, which may be enough given Auburn's ineptitude on offense. I think they can.
Georgia at Arizona State
I tried to talk myself into picking ASU. I wanted to think that Georgia would be overconfident, or that ASU would be looking to prove something, or that Dennis Erickson had something up his sleeve. But, I just came back to one thought: their defense sucks. Badly. And that thought just led to images of Knowshon Moreno dancing in the end zone.
Hey, an easy pick! Thanks Dave! I would have picked Georgia anyway, but ASU went and made it really easy by letting last weeks game give a blueprint of how they can be beat. This game could stay close if ASU learns to play some defense, but I don't expect that. Also, I look forward to seeing Georgia play outside of the South.
Easiest pick of the week.
Ugh. Glad I picked Wake Forest, or all our picks would have been the same. How boring.