We have college football every night of the week this week form last night forward and with the season winding down, we may as well enjoy it.
I'm not sure why ESPN feels the need to show Temple so many times, but I guess we can be thankful that at least they are off of their Ohio University kick for a week.
While I think it's nice to get exposure to some of the smaller conferences, maybe just once a year or so gets it done. In fact, Temple has had more national games at this point than USC, Penn State, or Oklahoma. At least we have an alternative game in Northern Illinois and Central Michigan which is usually a very entertaining match up.
Speaking of entertaining, I sent out the games last night for my free picking contest so if you haven't received them just shoot me an email and let me know. For those not signed up, there is still plenty of time to enter and it's free and easy to get involved.
Last night, we also had another milestone event as we hosted our first in game chat ever in the history of the site. While I wasn't too good at spreading the word because I wasn't sure I would be able to get it set up in time, we had a handful of people show up and chat which was enough to know it works. This, like everything else, will be a growing experience and as we had over 7,000 unique visitors last Saturday, my guess is it will grow pretty quickly.
There are links in the forums and I will post every time we are going to have one which should be during any weekday games, all day Saturday, or really anytime there is a game on.
It will be especially fun on days when there are multiple games so we can get updates from people all over the country. My goal is for next year to host handicapping chats as well, so we can talk about what we are looking at, those will probably be just like a Monday or Tuesday thing though. I am looking into just making those moderated conference calls with Jordan and myself, things are growing fast. More on this to come.
Speaking of games and chats, here are my picks and analysis of tonight's games along with more picks as we continue on with week 12 in college football.
Temple -1 at Kent State (Wednesday 11/12/08, 8 EST) 3 out of 10
This is a horrible game and if it wasn't on a Wednesday night I wouldn't waste the time writing this as my attention span watching this one will be shorter than it takes me to get to the end of this sentence.
What we have are 2 teams with five combined wins and nothing at stake as they play out the string. It is a battle of ineptitude as Temple's offense can't move the ball or score and Kent State has a hard tome stopping anyone, on the other side of the ball it's a case of solid mediocrity.
Kent State comes in at 2-5 against the spread on the season while Temple is at 6-2-1 against the number. Kent State is 1-9 against the spread in their last 9 at home and 3-13 against the spread in their last 16 conference games.
Temple is 13-3-1 against the spread in their last 17 conference games and are 5-1-1 following a bye week. I think that even though their record doesn't show it, Temple has had a season to build on and they continue to build by beating Kent State.
Northern Illinois -3 1/2 Vs. Central Michigan (Wednesday 11/12/08, 8 EST) 4 out of 10
This is a match up that a lot of my friends give me a hard time about as I always have a pretty strong opinion about it and while I'm usually on the right side of it, it's the game two years ago where Northern Illinois beat a very good Central Michigan team where I considered the Chippewas a "lock".
That was the last time I used that term to refer to one of my picks.
As always, this game gives us an interesting match up as Central Michigan is 7-2 straight up and winners of five in a row and Northern Illinois were the kings of the cover earlier this season, but haven't covered in either of their last two times out.
Northern is favored in this one primarily because of their power running game and the match up against Central Michigan's questionable defense. On the other side of the ball Norther Illinois has the 16th ranked defense in the country and Central Michigan's offense is somewhat one dimensional as they are reliant on the passing game.
The trends are squarely in the Huskies favor as they are 7-2-1 against the spread in the last 10 meetings between these 2. The favorite is 5-2-1 against the spread in the last eight meetings and the home team is 5-0-1 against the spread in their last six meetings,
Finally, Central Michigan hasn't covered in their last five trips to Northern Illinois and while I was originally leaning CMU I am going to do an about face and go with NIU.
Go here for the rest of Mitch's week 12 part 2 college football picks abgainst the spread