Well, it's time to start building a reputation for reliable picks, and with half the season under my belt, I think I've got a real good sense for where most teams are. Let's have at it, and where better to start than with the lock-rock-solid-SAM pick of the week...man, that doesn't really roll off the tongue.
BYU -1 @ TCU
The Horned Grogs had to eke out a win @ CSU last week 13-7. They can't kick a field goal from 40 yards and out, which doesn't bode well in a close game. BYU has a much better defense than CSU—and yeah, their offense is OK too, led by senior Max-Hall. It would be somewhat of a shock if TCU doesn't lose by more than seven.
Pac-10 Power Picks
AZ +3 vs. CAL
Every time Tedford and the Bears sneak into the rankings, they seem to fall out twice as fast. A night game in Tucson can get rowdy, and UA should be fired up after losing in the final seconds last week @ Stanford.
Cal has played two decent offenses this year: They gave up 31 to Michigan St. and 35 in the loss to Maryland. Zona's defense at home won't give up more than 28 to the Bears, however, and AZ should win by seven.
USC -42 @ Wazzu
Cal, Oregon, and Oregon St. all covered that spread against the Cougs. Is there really someone that wants to tell me USC won't? 66-10 Trojans.
Stanford + 1 @ UCLA
Stanford is the better team, plain and simple. More importantly, they are one of the most physical teams in the conference, and UCLA's lone conference win was an unimpressive one over Wazzu. Stanford wins easy, 31-20.
Oregon State @ Washington: Under 60
Washington has no offense without Locker, but their defense is slowly improving. Moevao showed he can implode on any defense, throwing four picks to the Cougs in the second quarter, and I don't see the Beavs getting more than 40 points in Seattle. Really, this should be quite easy.
Take These to the Bank
LSU -3 @ South Carolina (5 units)
Michigan +24 @ Penn St. (1 unit)
Duke +5 vs. Miami (3 units)
UConn -1 @ Rutgers (5 units)
Georgia Tech -2 @ Clemson (3 units)
Virginia Tech +3 @ Boston College (1 unit)
Troy -7 @ FIU (3 units)
Arkansas +10 @ Kentucky (3 units)
Ohio St. -3 @ Michigan St. (1 unit)
Vanderbilt +15 @ Georgia (1 unit)
Each unit $100.
Be sure to check back next week for another Lock-Rock-Solid-Sam pick, and to see how this week fared.