Week 7 NCAA Football Game Picks

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst IOctober 14, 2009

My week 6 picks worked out much better than previous weeks. Auburn was the only game I was way off on, and my bonus pick of LSU did not deliver. I have improved my record ATS to 6-10 and picking winners I am 10-6.



Week 7 Picks



(20) Oklahoma vs. (3) Texas


@ Dallas (Neutral Site)


12pm on ABC


Line: Texas -3



Texas comes into this game controlling its own destiny on its path to the National Championship game, while Oklahoma, already having lost twice, controls its own destiny to a Big 12 Championship, but has all but played its way out of the National Championship picture.



On paper, it looks like Texas is the far superior team. They are 5-0 and ranked 3rd in the nation, while The Sooners are 3-2 and ranked 20th in the nation. The Sooners have lost at home to BYU and on the road at Miami, both are teams that ranked higher than any team Texas has faced all season. I believe having had these tests will help the Sooners deal with playing their 3rd ranked team of the season. Texas had a slight test against Texas Tech, but not on par with what Oklahoma has faced.



I believe the Oklahoma defense will keep them in this game and force Colt McCoy into some key mistakes. Texas has shown that they are a finesse team and has not been able to establish much of a run game outside of Colt McCoy. This may result in some offensive issues against at stout Sooner defense.



The key to this game will be how the Texas defense contains an Oklahoma offense that has been pretty inconsistent this season. Bradford is back, but he is not the same guy who won the Heisman last year. Texas has shown that they are susceptible to allowing some points, so Oklahoma will have to take advantage early.



This game has the makings of an evenly matched game and should be much more defensive than last years match-up. Expect the Sooners to expose some of the Longhorns weaknesses, especially in their lacking run game.



Sooners win 27-24



(11) Iowa @ Wisconsin


12pm on ESPN


Line: Wisconsin -3



Iowa comes into this game riding high as the only undefeated team in the Big Ten, and controlling its own destiny to a Big Ten Championship, a Rose Bowl birth, and with some possible help, maybe even more.



Iowa is a team that plays solid defense, avoids mistakes and capitalizes on the oppositions mistakes, which has been key in their 2 big wins. Iowa had 10 total takeaways against Penn State and Michigan resulting in two wins on a national stage.



However, both games were close games until late in the fourth quarter. What this shows is that Iowa is a team taking advantage of its mistakes by their opponents, however we are not really sure how good this Iowa team really is at creating its own opportunities.



One thing we know for sure is Iowa has an extremely big and strong defensive line that has caused problems for opposing quarterbacks.



As for The Badgers, up until last weeks visit to Columbus, Wisconsin was a team that also avoided mistakes. However, against Ohio State, it was mistakes that killed them and resulted in a lopsided loss.



Getting Iowa at home should help Wisconsin bounce back. Wisconsin has a very well balanced attack averaging 200+ yards of passing and rushing a game.



Expect Iowa's run to come to a halt in Madison and really open up the Big Ten race.



Wisconsin wins and covers 21-17.



(6) USC @ (25) Notre Dame


3:30pm on NBC


Line: USC -10



This is Jimmy Clausens chance. He has talked a big game since he arrived in South Bend, and now he has his shot. He is a junior and is having his best season thus far and maybe this will be his coming out party on national TV, against the best program of this decade.



Clausen should look to the USC @ Washington game where Jake Locker threw for 237 yards against this USC defense, while the run game was shut down by USC, and Washington still managed to win.



Clausen will have to be near perfect to keep up with this USC offense, that will be facing an Irish defense that is allowing over 400 yards per game.



In a recent interview with Pete Carroll on ESPN Radio's The Herd with Colin Cowherd, he was asked about holding his freshman quarterback back in order to prevent any mistakes. Carroll's response was that they are out of the early part of the season and are ready to play football.



That is a dangerous response if you are a Notre Dame fan, or a Notre Dame coach.



Look for Matt Barkley to be unleashed in this game and show off his arm strength and accuracy. This is the time of the season where Pete Carroll knows it's time to impress the voters, and over the last several years, he is the best in the business at doing so.



Notre Dame's offense will be forced into a one dimensional passing offense in order to keep up with USC and will not have the fire power.



Pete Carroll's annual loss to an inferior team already happened, and it will not happen again.



USC wins big, 38-17.



Bonus Pick:



South Florida (+3) at home beats Cincinnati on Thursday Night and knocks The Bearcats out of the ranks of unbeaten.