Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vegas Rundown - Week 7

I warned you, once conference play starts, choosing winners gets much more difficult. Then adding in the component of trying to beat the spread, it really gets challenging. When you look at the big losses on the year so far, you will see that several high ranked teams with National Championship aspirations have lost already. However, the point I want to make is that most have lost those games to conference opponents, not the high profile out of conference games (with the exception of Michigan, which should probably just make it policy not to travel south of the Mason-Dixon Line). Three top five teams have went down in defeat to conference foes, USC, FSU and LSU and we are only at the half way point of the season. However, there are a lot more games to play and anything can happen, especially when playing within conference. So if your team has lost an early game, don’t lose hope.

In 1998 the Seminoles lost at Carter-Finley Stadium early in the season, thank you by the way ESPN for showing clips of that game in the third quarter this year, and that team ended up playing for a national championship (“thank you” Texas AM). My advice is to just enjoy the season and not get too wrapped up in one win or loss.

Although, I feel compelled to mention some of the boneheads that call themselves college football fans. I know this happens with most major programs, but some of the FSU fans were completely out of control and to be honest, pretty embarrassing last Saturday night.

The situation I am referring to is not the fans at the game or most watching at home, but the one’s that feel empowered by going to the their computers and publicly blasting coaches, players and anything else they can think of. Some of the things put online were childish and the folks writing them should be ashamed of themselves. One in particular was more funny/sad than offensive, this guy pronounced to an online community that he was now going to withhold his booster contributions until there were changes in the coaching staff. Really?!?!?! I think FSU will be alright without your $75 bucks each year, Loser. They lost one damn game and could finish the season with double digit wins and BCS Bowl game victory, but I guess that is not good enough for him. If some people’s lives revolve around whether a bunch of kids win or lose a football game, then it is time for some self evaluation.

Anyway, enough of the soapbox, I am in too good a mood after Raul Ibanez’s two homers to propel the Yanks to a 2 games to 1 lead in their playoff series with Baltimore to dwell on online tough guys who embarrass their university. So here are my picks and as always take them or leave, I still don’t care.

Idaho Vandals v. Texas State Bobcats (Tex St -2.5, O/U 52.5) 

I have to admit that I have not watched either of these teams play this year. However, the less than a field goal line caught my attention. Texas State defeated Houston earlier in the season and played everyone the schedule tough with the exception of a blowout loss at Texas Tech. If this game was in the feared Kibbe Dome then I might go with Idaho to cover, but this game is somewhere in Texas, if it was not late and I was not so lazy I would look it up, but anyway Texas State is at home so I am going with the Bobcats. I know this one is not exactly a pick built on solid analysis, but the other game I was going to put in this spot was Kansas State v. Iowa State and since one of my fellow scribes is traveling all the way to the Cornfield to see this one, I thought I should just keep my opinions to myself. The Pick: Texas State -2.5

Texas Longhorns v. Oklahoma Sooners (OK -3, O/U 60.5) 
The air sure has been let out of this game, thanks to Kansas State and new Big 12 member West Virginia. However, Big 12 Title or not, this is still one of the best rivalries in college football. I really liked Texas start to the season, but their defense has just not lived up to the hype. They have already given up over 30 points three times this season and with veteran QB Landry Jones leading the Sooners I think they may give up over 30 again this weekend. On the side of the coin the Sooner defense has not let an opponent score over 30 the entire season. I am going to go with defense in this one and that favors the Sooners. The Pick: Sooners -3

Michigan Wolverines v. Illinois Fighting Illini (MI -23, O/U 49) 
I think the Wolverines are back on track and will probably lay waste to the rest of their schedule until the big showdown with the Buckeyes the last week of the season. Most teams in the Big 10/12 don’t have the athletes to contain Denard Robinson and the Illini have given up more than 30 points four time already this season. If Penn State can cover 23 against the Illini on the road, I don’t think the Wolverines should have any problems of doing the same in the friendly confines of the Big House. The Pick: Michigan -23

West Virginia Mountaineers v. Texas Tech Red Raiders (WV -3.5, O/U 77.5) 
Here we go again. Whoever has the ball last in this game is probably going to be the winner. So, I have to give the nod to the Heisman frontrunner and his talented group of wide receivers to win this one. West Virginia went on the road last week and beat a talented Texas Longhorn team in Austin. I think they make a return trip to the Lone Star State and once again get to enjoy a victorious trip home to the Smokey Mountains. The Pick: WV -3.5

South Carolina Gamecock v. LSU Tigers (LSU -3, O/U 39.5)
South Carolina played the game of their life last weekend. Don't expect lightning to strike twice. I think that Coach Miles will have his squad ready to go on Saturday and being in the SEC they know that they are defiantly not out of the National Championship hunt, they just need to win. I expect the Tigers to come out fired up for this game and for the defense to play extremely well. You could bet this game a couple of different ways, either the under or the Tigers, but giving up points. I prefer taking the Tigers to win this game. The Pick: Tigers -3

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