Picks for the Weak: Week 9

Written October 29th, 2011 by Eric

"You guys are picking like a bunch of weaklings!"

The picks return to the BBC after the interminable bye-week!

The last time we saw our intrepid pickers, Eric had the lead over Mali by two games. During week 6, our players came out with the following records:
Joe D: 4-6, Mali: 7-3, Jim: 5-5, Joe L: 8-2, Eric: 5-5, Chris: 6-4, Robby: 8-2

With his 8-2 record to tie for the lead in the week, Joe L succeeded in surpassing both Eric and Mali for the overall lead heading into the final leg of the season. The totals stand thus:
Joe L: 38-21, Eric: 37-22, Mali: 37-22, Jim: 33-26, Joe D: 31-28, Chris: 17-13, Robby: 13-7

It should be an exciting final couple of weeks!

This week’s games feature a couple of exciting divisional battles, particularly in the Big Ten race, along with a number of other fascinating matchups. Read on to find our picks!

#11 Michigan State @ #14 Nebraska

Both teams are 6-1 heading into this matchup of Legends division powers. Michigan State currently controls its own destiny, having gone undefeated in its 3 Big Ten games. Nebraska needs a win to get back into the conference race. If Nebraska can’t pull off the win, they have almost no hope of catching up later as Michigan State’s schedule ends with Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana and Northwestern. Talk about a home stretch.

Nebraska could absolutely pull of this win if they catch Michigan State in a down game. MSU, though, is playing some excellent football right now and might be tough to bring down.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby
- Neb Neb Neb MSU MSU Neb

#9 Oklahoma @ #8 Kansas State

In one of the biggest surprises of this season, Kansas State is currently undefeated and ranked higher than an Oklahoma team that was expected to make a run at the National Championship. Of course, Oklahoma’s loss at the hands of the Red Raiders last week basically ended those dreams – at least for now. We’ve all seen teams lose late in the season, only to climb back to the top due to upsets.

Kansas State’s record, however, is a bit of a fluke. The only ranked team they’ve played all season is Baylor and their upcoming stretch of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas is a who’s who murderers row of ranked teams in the Big Integer. It will be interesting to see how Bill Snyder’s team handles this run.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby

#22 Georgia vs. Florida

The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”…or whatever they’re calling it these days isn’t as pretty as it has been in the past. 5-2 Georgia against 4-3 Florida in a game that may have an effect on the outcome of the division. South Carolina currently has the lead with Georgia right on their tails. Florida is 2-3 in conference, and even a win over Georgia wouldn’t come close to getting them a Championship Game spot. But they do still want bowl eligibility, and working towards getting it on top of a win over UGA would make their day.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby

Illinois @ #19 Penn State

After two straight losses, the Illini have to travel to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions. It’s unlikely that this game will turn out well for them either, despite Penn State’s abysmal offensive display thus far this season. It is yet another indication of how much solid defense can do for you.

Surprisingly, the Nittany Lions are 4-0 in Big Ten play so far, and are currently in control of their own destiny in the race to the first ever Big Championship Game. Amusingly, so is everyone else in the Leaders division…except Indiana. It is unlikely that the Nits will lose here, which will effectively knock the Illini out of contention. Though, to be honest, they probably Zookered themselves out of contention when they hired their head coach back in ’05.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby
- PSU Illini Illini PSU Illini PSU

#6 Stanford @ USC

USC is probably one of the best unranked teams this season, having gone 6-1 overall with only a loss to Arizona State blemishing their record. Of course, tough fights against 1-6 Minnesota, 3-4 Utah, and 2-5 Arizona do nothing to make that record seem worthwhile.

Stanford, however, is looking like the best team that will be left out of the National Championship this season. They’ve walloped nearly every team they’ve played, including #25 Washington a week ago. Stanford is clearly the toughest out that USC has had yet, and it will be obvious on the field.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby
- Stan Stan Stan Stan Stan Stan

Baylor @ #3 Oklahoma State

Baylor’s had an ok year this year, so far going 4-2 overall, but only 1-2 in conference with losses to A&M and Kansas State. You can bet they’d love to steal one from T. Boone Picken’s University, but the likelihood of that happening is certainly slim. Baylor will have to be on their A game to pull this one out.

That said, you can bet that this will turn into an old west style shootout. Both of these teams have prolific offenses and good quarterbacks with sub-par defenses. Expect this game to be the pinball match of the week. Hopefully the scoreboard makes the sound effects too.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby

Tulsa @ SMU

Joe always like to throw us off on these picks by calling Southern Methodist “USM” – I even think it’s an intentional attempt to trap us. Things get really interesting when you accidentally confuse the Ponies with Brett Farve’s old team. That’s particularly true this season, with the Mustangs starting to look like a legitimate team for once. They currently sit at 5-2 having lost only to Texas A&M and…hey, funny that, Southern Mississippi.

Tulsa isn’t too far behind, having gone 4-3 this year, but they’ve won all of their conference games to date. Their losses to then #1 Oklahoma, then #8 TBPU and then #4 Southern Idaho State demonstrate that this team isn’t afraid to take one in the chops if it means getting better. This might be more than the Ponies can handle.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby
- Tulsa Tulsa SMU Tulsa SMU SMU

#5 Clemson @ Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech is looking very improved this season under head coach Paul Johnson. After a couple years of under-performing, the Yellow Jackets sit at 6-2 with a shot at winning their division. Unfortunately, they’re also on a two game losing streak to a much improved Virginia squad, and Miami (FL). Wins over Clemson this week, and Virginia Tech next week could help their chances at making the conference championship.

Unfortunately, that’s a tall order with the way Clemson is playing now. The Tigers are unbeaten, having faced ranked matchups with Auburn, Florida State, and Virginia Tech. They’re playing for a shot at the National Title right now, and you’d better believe they know it. They’ll be a tough one to knock out with games against Wake Forest, and NC State on the conference calendar. They may very well be undefeated heading into their game with rival South Carolina to end the season.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby
- Tigers Tigers Tigers Tigers Tigers Tigers

#25 West Virginia @ Rutgers

Looking at this matchup, you might think that West Virginia was near the top of the Big East standings coming into this game. Surprisingly, they’re closer to the bottom, and Rutgers is sitting at #2 behind….6-1 (2-0) Cincinnati. Despite that, this game will still have implications for the conference championship, and the oh-so-desperately desired “easiest BCS bowl invite”.

As for the game, these two teams both matched up with Syracuse already this season. Rutgers pulled out a double overtime victory a couple weeks ago 19-16, while West Virginia got completely man-handled 49-23. Too bad the transitive property doesn’t work in football, or this would be an easy pick.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby

Fordham @ Army

Army tends to have cycles in their program. One year they’ll be respectable and bowl eligible, and then other years they’ll be absolute garbage. This is obviously one of those latter years as the Black Knights have gone 2-5 with their only wins coming over Northwestern and Tulane.

That said, Fordham is perhaps even worse. A 1-AA school, the Rams are a measly 1-6 with their only win coming over Columbia in the second week of the season. It’s not likely that the Black Knights could fall to this opponent.

Joe D. Mali Jim Joe L. Eric Chris Robby
- Army Army Army Army Army Army

1 Comment

  1. TNo Gravatar
    October 29th, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Ohio State: 20
    Wisconsin: 16


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