With all of these weeknight games this week, I am trying squeeze in my Saturday write-ups as well.
As I have already stated, next year the plan is to write up every game every week, but this year we're just going to continue what we're doing. We've added Jordan and his picks, which have been a welcome addition, as well as adding his insight to games and picking games I can't decide on.
I think most will agree we've been a good complement to one another. It's totally unplanned and not discussed as to whom is picking what game and never talked about which side either of us is taking, so each of us is getting the information from one another just as you get it. It makes for truly objective opinions.
Last night's chat was a little more active than the first, but still not an overwhelming turnout. It was nice because some of the people in the room didn't have access to ESPN 360 while others did, and we were all able to stay up to date with everything going on in the Temple-Kent State game.
We'll be continuing the chats throughout the rest of the season, and you just need to register for the forums to be a part of it. As is everything, it's been a work in progress and will grow and develop over time.
There is also still time to register for this week's free game picking contest against the spread, and while I am already receiving entries, it has been something that has grown every week and there is still plenty of time to get involved this week. It's a little different than most, and I haven't seen any complaints yet about the free contest with decent prizes.
In any event, we have three games tonight and a lot to cover for Saturday still, so let's get to it.
Miami -4 Vs. Virginia Tech (Thursday, Nov. 13, 7:30 EST): 6 out of 10
Well, I've gone just about the entire season without taking a Miami game and taking every weekday game, whether it was a game I would normally play or not. All of that goes out the window this week as the Miami Hurricanes play at home on a Thursday night against one of their many rivals, the Virginia Tech Hokies.
While first I am always a fan of the game, it's just tough for me to be objective about this one. I know Virginia Tech always plays Miami tough and usually beats the Canes as of late.
I also know that this Cane team is something special. I have seen this all before a few times now, where at one point in one season everything starts to click and all of a sudden there is a roster loaded with 4.4 40 guys who are playing as a team. It's truly something to see.
It's truly an exciting time to be a Canes fan, and I will go out on a not so very far limb and say to be expecting another National title or two in Coral Gables within the next two to four years. These Canes play more freshmen than any team in the country and have all of the size and speed of a future champion.
For those who haven't seen the Canes since early in the season when they played Florida, you are in for a treat and a surprise. Now that the youngsters have had a few weeks of playing time, you can really see the development, and this team is going to be scary good in the not so distant future.
I think you know I could go on and on about my Canes, but I'll spare you and just say they win big in a building block game.
On a side note, while you are looking at the future of the NFL draft and the announcers are gushing over the Miami receiving corps, pay special attention to the Miami linebackers. This is a group that rivals the D.J. Williams-Jonathan Vilma class and even the Bermuda Triangle of Jesse Armstead, Michael Barrow, and Darrin Smith.
You'll have to read my other picks if you want my truly objective stuff.
Buffalo +3 1/2 at Akron (Thursday, Nov. 13, 7 EST): 5 out of 10
I have been on Buffalo all season, and they have been one the best performers on my "teams that don't stink anymore" list. Akron has been flying under the radar, and both teams come in at 5-4.
This matchup looks pretty even. I would say that Buffalo has a slightly better offense with an edge in the passing game, where they rank 36th in the country, but a claim could be made for Akron as they run a more balanced attack and statistically rank consistently in the high 30s and low 40s in most categories.
Defense is even as well, as both teams rank near the bottom in most categories, but Akron's deficiencies have them allowing more overall yards and points.
Buffalo comes in at 5-3 against the spread, while Akron is 6-3 against the number. Both of these teams have been asked to step it up against a fairly high level of competition this year, and neither has embarrassed themselves, as the bulk of both teams' losses are in the six points or less category.
The Bulls have gone a spectacular 6-0 against the spread in their last six road games, 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 conference games, and 4-0 against the spread in their last four following a straight up win. Akron is 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games against teams with a winning record and 8-3-1 against the spread in their last 12 overall.
This game is pretty even, and in that case I usually take the points. This game is no exception as I'll take the Bulls.
Go here for the rest of Mitch's Week 12, Part Three college football picks against the spread.