“Slower Than He Looks:” Picks and Predictions for Week Eight

Dan BurgesContributor IOctober 21, 2009

Before we begin, a word of caution. Last week in my picks league, in selecting games against the spread, I got last place…dead last…as in there’s no recovery…as in an eighth grade cross country meet getting blown out in the last quarter mile as my dad walks up to the coach and says “Daniel” (as I was known back then) “has surprising speed… he’s slower than he looks.”

My therapist has told me to let it go, but clearly I have not. So be forewarned, if you don’t like my picks and want to tell me I don’t know sh…er, poo…about picking games, well, you’re right, I don’t, but here it goes just the same.

No. 19 Ohio State clings to whatever season they have left as they host the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Coming in a 4–3, the Gophers have wins over Air Force, Northwestern and Syracuse under their belts, and they even beat Purdue, which is common for everyone else, yet elusive for the Buckeyes.

With the Rose Bowl all but forgotten by OSU, it will be interesting to see if the Buckeyes man up and play some ball, or wallow is self pity and become another warning of “don’t let this happen to you” for other teams to take note.

In the Big East, 5–1 (yet unranked) South Florida, whose only loss was the No. 5 Cincinnati (yet again, the rankings make total sense this year, as a 3–3 OU is ranked in the AP poll yet the Bulls are not), travels to No. 20 Pitt (6–1).

Pitt’s loss came to NC State (3–4), so clearly the Panthers are far more deserving of that ranking than the Bulls are. I could go on and on, but I won’t…I’ll just let South Florida do the talking for me on the field. Bulls win 35–21.

The preseason hype surrounding Ole Miss is now a mere echo as the Rebels continue to have the pressure relieved as the losses start to build.

Arkansas (and their fan base), on the other hand, are at a boiling point after last week’s felony assault by the ref crew in broad daylight on national television, and I have little doubt that the Rebels will be the ones to pay. Hogs win 41–25.

Lane Kiffin always has something to b***, I mean, complain about, as Alabama said “no” to his request for the Volunteers to wear their home jersey’s during this weekend’s game in Tuscaloosa. New NCAA rules allow for both teams to wear their home jerseys if the conference and the home team agree.

The SEC said okay, Alabama did not. While I think the home jersey thing is great for the UCLA v. USC game, no one wants to see that ugly orange color any more than is necessary, and apparently Nick Saban agrees. Bama win 38–10.

Rich Rodriguez put a hand full of numbers on a board and has been tossing darts at them all week trying to let the fates determine how many losses the Wolverines will have this year.

Sitting at 5–2, Michigan is entering the heart of their season, with Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Buckeye killer Purdue waiting for the chances against the Maize and Blue (sorry about that rhyming).

7–5 seems about right, but with some effort, I’m sure Rich-Rod can pull off a 6–6. I know he’s got it in him, and this weekend will be a great step in that direction. Penn State wins 24–14.

No. 3 Texas couldn’t be in a better position, especially for a team that has failed to dazzle anyone this year. All the Horns have to do is win and they are in the BCS title game. No one will jump them…just win.

This week they travel to Mizzou to face the Tigers, a team that’s shown promise destined only to be broken.

With an 0–2 record in conference, the Tigers have slipped into “rebuilding” mode as they try and figure out where things went wrong this year and why Iowa State is ahead of them.

Texas wins because that’s what they need to do. It won’t be pretty, but it doesn’t have to be. 38–17.

No. 1 Florida plays at Mississippi State this week. They won’t get the zebra bump they got last week against Arkansas, but they won’t need it – correction, they shouldn’t need it. If they do, should they really be No. 1?

Oklahoma travels to No. 25 Kansas. The Sooners are 0–3 outside the state this year (and have the same record as Baylor and Texas A&M), and this weekend will be no give-me as the Jayhawks continue to beg their students not to leave early, yet cling to the fleeting hope of winning the Big 12.

That being said, the Jayhawks haven’t really played anybody this year. Iowa State have the best record of their opponents thus far this season. Logic and tradition says Oklahoma wins, and with the stadium half-empty, that’s probably a good call. Sooners by 3.


Games to Watch

Oregon State (4–2) has made it a tradition of late to ruin USC’s shot at a national title. Granted it’s a home tradition, but the Beavers look to take their show on the road as they head south to take on Pete Carroll and crew.

The Trojans (5–1) are in their familiar position of needing others to fail so that they can succeed, with Florida, Bama, Texas, Boise, Cincinnati, and Iowa all ranked ahead of them in the BCS, but for USC, a loss would be costly.

Not only would they kiss their dreams of another crystal football goodbye, but a second conference loss before facing Oregon, ASU and Arizona could send the Trojans to the Holiday Bowl. SC by 18.

No. 8 TCU heads to Provo (home of the most polite fans in college football) to play in a no-win game for BYU. If the Cougars win, the Mountain West has zero chance of reaching a BCS bowl game this year.

If the Cougars lose, well, it’s a loss and it knocks them out of the conference title hunt and out of the Top 25. For TCU, this game is everything as they look to climb the slippery slope of the BCS Top 10. Horned Frogs with by a touchdown.

Aggies, let’s talk. Francioni was horrible, so you made a change, not a very good change (normally you want to hire successful coaches), and now you’re realizing that. But honestly, 62–14 against Kansas State?

Now you’re faced with an interesting dilemma. Firing Sherman just for the sake of firing him isn’t a good idea unless you have a great replacement lined up, but in order to get one of those, your team has to be marketable… and that, my friends, has been declining rapidly.

A program that outspends 11 of the 12 teams in the conference (no one outspends Texas) yet is arguably the worst team in the conference is inexcusable.

And now you travel to Lubbock, to play little ole Texas Tech, who, by the way, has a nasty habit of scoring a bazillion points, unlike the team that you just gave up 62 points to.

It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be ugly, and it’s going to be embarrassing. Tech wins 63–17.



    Report: Ducks Dismiss Senior LB Fotu Leiato

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Report: Ducks Dismiss Senior LB Fotu Leiato

    via DuckTerritory

    Murray's Baseball Career Must Concern Riley

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Murray's Baseball Career Must Concern Riley

    via NewsOK.com

    Podcast: Does UT Have a Tom Herman QB on Its Roster?

    Texas Longhorns Football logo
    Texas Longhorns Football

    Podcast: Does UT Have a Tom Herman QB on Its Roster?

    via Vsporto

    Brief History of Ohio State's Offensive Innovation

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Brief History of Ohio State's Offensive Innovation

    Land-Grant Holy Land
    via Land-Grant Holy Land