OK well I procrastinated and missed my deadline on last week's picks so here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna go through and, as honestly as possible, I'm going to talk about what teams I would have picked last week (believe me, I can already see quite a few I'd have picked wrong and I'm gonna own up to that). Then I'll do the rest of the column like I normally would.
Two Weeks Ago
Highlights: Absolutely NAILED wins by FIU, Texas, Arizona State, and Michigan. Also 2-0-1 on the spreads (USC/Utah was a push)
Lowlights: Pretty much the only lowlight was the upset pick. Guess I overestimated Jordan Wynn and the Utah offense.
The Rest: Thought Alabama and South Carolina would win more comfortably than they did.
No. 3 LSU at No. 25 Mississippi State -- ESPN -- Thursday, September 15th, 8:00pm
Definitely would have picked LSU in this one (as evidenced by the fact that I have them #1 in my Top 25)
No. 21 Auburn at Clemson -- ABC -- 12:00pm
I really thought Auburn was going to continue improving and take this one.
No. 15 Michigan State at Notre Dame -- NBC -- 3:30pm
No doubt I would have taken Michigan State in this one. I fucking hate when Lou Holtz picks them as the underdog and they win.
Tennessee at No. 16 Florida -- CBS -- 3:30pm
I would have wanted to pick Tennessee here but I don't think I would have been able to...although I would have thought it would be closer than it was...
UPSET OF THE WEEK
No. 17 Ohio State at Miami (FL) -- ESPN -- 7:30pm
I really did have this as my UOTW before the game was played. Not hard to imagine considering what a UM homer I am.
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 5 Florida State -- ABC -- 8:00pm
No way FSU was winning this one. I could barely put them in the top ten of my Top 25 before this game was even played. Although it would be interesting to see this game play out with E.J. Manuel playing all of it.
Highlights: The only real highlight for this week would have been nailing another upset pick.
Lowlights: overestimating Auburn and Michigan State
Last week: 4-2
Upset of the Week: 2-1
-For me, the story of the week was the Georgia Tech offense. The Jackets rushed for 604 yards and 7 touchdowns on 50 carries--an NCAA-record 12.1 yards per carry. Their top 3 rushers? 5 carries, 157 yards. 5 carries, 110 yards. 4 carries, 72 yards. These three guys rushed for 339 yards on 14 carries. That's over 24 yards per carry. I just...I don't know what else to say about this...
-I went to another FIU game. This one against UCF and much more competitive than the last one. Also a much bigger turnout (over 20,000 in the stands) this time with UCF filling their section and almost contributing to a sellout. FIU proved they can win with defense with T.Y. Hilton sidelined most of the game. If T.Y. gets healthy again soon, this team has a real chance at a special season. They've even started garnering Top 25 votes after the UCF win.
-Will the real Notre Dame please stand up? I don't know if Brian Kelly should be encouraged by a huge win over a top 15 team or panicked about his team's incredible inconsistency. The QB guru has been getting pretty inconsistent play out of both Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees although it might be a bit much to expect him to turn Notre Dame into Cincinnati in just a year (I know, I had to read that sentence again too). If Notre Dame is going to have to rely on their defense to win games all year, they're gonna have a real hard time just staying above .500 but if Rees can cut out the mistakes, they could win 8 or 9 games.
-How bout them Canes? Actually, how bout Lamar Miller? At least I think that's his name because I've never really been able to read the back of his jersey quick enough. 303 yards in two games on just 44 carries (that's nearly 7 yards per carry)--and this is against Maryland and Ohio State, not FAU and UAB. This guy could make a serious run as a dark horse candidate for Heisman. He's got games against Kansas State and Bethune Cookman to pad some stats before a tough trip to Blacksburg.
North Carolina at No. 25 Georgia Tech -- ESPN -- 12:00pm
This should be an interesting battle for positioning in the ACC Coastal division. We're not really sure who either of these teams are yet but we'll find out today. North Carolina better hope they're ready for a Georgia Tech offense fresh off of setting an NCAA record for team rushing yards per carry (12.1) against Kansas--a BCS team. I don't know if they'll be ready for this attack. Maybe if they had a couple extra days to prepare but not today.
Hobbitcore sez: Georgia Tech
No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama -- CBS -- 3:30pm
I really think Alabama is getting picked off sometime this season, maybe even twice. I really like Arkansas's offense under Bobby Petrino but they're gonna be running into a buzzsaw in Alabama's NFL caliber defense and Bama's offense will shred a mediocre Arkansas defense.
Hobbitcore sez: Alabama
No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia -- ABC -- 8:00pm
This should be an interesting matchup as West Virginia's dynamic offense slams headfirst into another NFL caliber defense. Oregon had a hell of a time running the ball on the Tigers but they got a few good chunks through the air so I don't think LSU will blow the Mountaineers away but they should still win by more than a score in the end.
Hobbitcore sez: LSU
UPSET OF THE WEEK
No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson -- ESPN -- 3:30pm
OK, this is a grey area. The opening line was FSU by 3 and now it's at Clemson -2.5 so it's a little sketchy. However, FSU is ranked ahead of Clemson in all polls INCLUDING the Vegas Insider Top 25 so I'm going to go ahead and count this as an upset. Clemson has historically not been able to handle success but this is different. They have never and will never have a problem getting up for beating FSU at home and that's exactly what they'll do.
The Upset Hobbit sez: Clemson
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M -- ABC/ESPN2 -- 3:30pm
It is seriously INSANE how many phenomenal games are going to be going on at 3:30 but this one is the one you should watch if you only watch one. Two very exciting Big 12 offenses and two very hard hitting defenses. They may not be the two sexiest names on the marquee today but if you like ESPN Top 10 plays, watch this game. I like A&M for their defense in this one but it should be a shootout.
Keys to the Game
-Protect Brandon Weeden!
-Find creative ways to get the ball in Justin Blackmon's hands (especially quickly against the blitz)
-Keep Ryan Tannehill in the pocket (keep a spy on him...someone big enough to tackle him)
-Don't take unnecessary chances on defense
-Unleash Tannehill (move the pocket and loosen the middle with designed runs)
-Get pressure on Weeden
Hobbitpick: Texas A&M 34, Oklahoma State 32
-Georgia (-10) over Ole Miss
-Oregon (-15) over Arizona
-Portland State over TCU (-45)
My Heisman Ballot (if the season ended today)
1. Russell Wilson
2. Denard Robinson
3. Robert Griffin III
ACC: Florida State over Virginia Tech
Big East: South Florida
Big 10: Wisconsin over Nebraska
Big 12: Oklahoma
Pac 12: Stanford over Utah (although USC will win the division, they'll be ineligible for the title game)
SEC: Alabama over South Carolina
BCS Championship: Oklahoma over Wisconsin
Fiesta: LSU over Texas A&M
Sugar: Alabama over Boise State
Orange: Florida State over South Florida
Rose: Nebraska over Oregon