I still can't get past the schedule for this week in college football.
When we looked at the schedule before the season started, we had certain games that we thought would be some of the better matchups of the year. While we may have been right on a lot of them, there are always those games that become more and less important as the season rolls on.
We see both of those types of games this weekend, starting with tonight's matchup between Auburn and West Virginia. Before the season there were many who thought either one or both of these teams would be undefeated coming in. While we have a nice matchup, it isn't quite the epic battle we thought it might be.
We also have games like tomorrow night's San Jose State-Boise game, which we would have never thought much about, but it turns out to be a huge game not just in deciding the WAC, but really in the BCS as well.
Of course we have Ohio State-Penn State and LSU-Georgia, which for the most part have lived up to their billing, and we have a few other big games we'll be sure to talk about before the games actually get here.
While I am excited about all of the games, I am also excited about the free picking contest, which kicks off this week. There is still time to enter, and even if you don't get in this week, it isn't cumulative so it starts fresh every week. It takes about 20 seconds to be eligible to enter, and I've already seen a good amount of interest, which is growing every day.
More than likely I'll be picking a lot of those big games tomorrow and of course in the newsletter, but let's get on with tonight's games and a few others.
Auburn +3 at West Virginia (Thursday, Oct. 23, 7:30 EST): 5 out of 10
While I think this game has lost a lot of its luster because of the lackluster performance on the field by both of these teams, I still think it's a pretty good and interesting matchup for a Thursday night.
While Auburn's offensive problems have been well documented, their defense is still fierce and ranks in the top 15 in the country in most major categories. On the other side of the ball, the Mountaineers have struggled but still come in at 4-2 straight up.
The reality of it is that while both of these teams are loaded with athletes, neither team seems to score much and both have pretty good defenses, so this one should be a low-scoring game.
Both teams have been miserable against the spread, as both have been favored a bunch and more than often by a lot of points, but as we know, when your offense isn't moving the ball, it makes covering a big number next to impossible. Auburn is 1-6 against the spread, and WVU is 1-5.
It looks as though Auburn is going to hand the ball to Kodi Burns at QB this week, though Burns has yet to throw a TD pass this season. Pat White is expected to return from injury, though even with White under center, the once-potent Mountaineer offense has struggled.
I really feel Auburn is the better team here, and at worst the teams play a really close one in which case I like to take the points, which in this game leads me to Auburn.
Click here for the rest of Part Three, Week Nine of Mitch's College Football Picks and Predictions.