FROM NECESSARY ROUGHNESS
We are finally beginning to enter conference play and we have some great games this week that will begin to help us see where teams are headed.
Miami @ Virginia Tech
3:30pm on ABC
Line: Miami -3
Miami travels to Virgina Tech and tries to continue its rapid climb through the rankings. They have broken into the top ten after just 2 wins, but both were impressive wins against ranked opponents. The Hurricanes seem to be the only team in the nation who have proved anything up to this point. I expect them to continue their climb, now into the top five when they face a defense that ranks 77th in the nation. The Hokies usually have stingy defenses, but this year that does not seem to be the case.
Last week against Nebraska, Virgina Tech allowed 343 total yards of offense, but luckily was able to squeeze out a win because they only allowed 15 points.
I believe The Hokies will not have as much luck keeping the Hurricanes out of the end zone and expect Miami to easily cover the 3 point spread.
Miami wins this game 38-20 and will have the inside track to the ACC Championship. This should also move Miami up around the top 5, maybe even inside the top 5 depending on how other games play out.
Cal @ Oregon
3:30 on ABC
The Line: Cal -6
Cal running back Jahvid Best has made an early case to be a Heisman Candidate with 9 total touchdowns and a 7.8 yards per carry average. Quarterback Kevin Riley has been extremely efficient completing 64.8% of his passes and is yet to throw an interception.
Traveling to Oregon is always tough, and Chip Kelly seems to have his offense back on track. However, the offense has been very one dimensional. In Oregon's win over over Utah, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli completed just 4 of his 16 pass attempts and did most of his damage running the ball. Masoli is obviously a very elusive runner, however I do not think this one dimensional attack will be enough to keep up with Cal.
Cal has proven that they can shake off a scare on the road last week when they lost a big lead to Minnesota, but held on to win the game. Although Oregon is a much tougher place to play than Minnesota, I believe Cal will be able to pull away late in this game and win by 2 scores and cover the spread.
Cal wins this game 31-21 setting up a potential Pac Ten Championship game at home next week against #12 USC.
Texas Tech @ Houston
9:15 on ESPN2
The Line: Pick
In a game that even Vegas doesn't know what to expect, one thing is for sure, this game will be a shootout. Both teams love to throw the ball and the 2 quarterbacks have combined for 19 total touchdown passes in just 5 total games (Texas Tech 2-1, Houston 2-0).
Houston comes into this game off of a bye week following their impressive win at Oklahoma State. The Houston crowd should be pumped for this game and will be very confident in this team.
Texas Tech comes into this game off a 34-24 road loss at Texas, however they were pretty impressive considering how many stars they have lost from last years win over Texas.
Do not expect too much defense in this game as each team has the ability to score on anyone, and Mike Leach is a mastermind offensive coach for Texas Tech.
I expect a close, arena football style game, with just a couple stops being the key to winning this game. The over/under has not yet been set (as of Thursday, Sept. 24th) but expect it to be over 70.
I am going off on a limb and picking a third road team to win this week. Texas Tech wins this game 48-41, dropping Houston out of the top 25 and getting Texas Tech into (or just outside) of the top 25.
I am 3-4 (6-1 just picking the winning team) on the year against the spread. I expect to get over the .500 mark after this week.
Look for me at the Iowa @ Penn State game at 8pm on Saturday night on ABC. I'll be the one wearing white!
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