Coming off his first losing week of the season, BH is looking for a rebound. Meanwhile, Skinny has been taking it on the chin.
On to this week's picks...
BLATANT HOMERISM--Week 5
(Last week: 2-3; Overall: 13-7)
Arizona at Stanford (-14)
Stanford is starting to click. Meanwhile, the betting markets apparently haven’t caught up to the Wildcats, who have dropped off dramatically from last season.
The ‘Zona defense has turned into a soft, mushy mess, and star linebacker Scooby Wright is back on the shelf with a foot injury. The concussion suffered last week by quarterback Anu Solomon won’t make life any easier for Rich Rodriguez.
Even though it’s hard to imagine the ‘Cats getting blown out two weeks in a row, everything else here suggests that’s what’s waiting for them on this trip to the Farm.
The pick: Cardinal, 34-17.
Louisville (+4.5) at North Carolina State
How do I put this diplomatically? NC State is looking awfully fraudulent. While the Wolfpack deserve their props for covering four times against crummy opponents, they’re facing a battle-tested Louisville team this week that needs a win to stay on the path towards a bowl game.
The pick: Back to reality for the 'Pack.
Arkansas at Tennessee (-7)
Having watched plenty of these two squads in the last few weeks, I have little doubt that the Volunteers have the better team from top to bottom. Not to mention, they match up extremely well against the Razorbacks’ power run-based offense.
My only trepidation with this pick is UT coach Butch Jones' lily liver. His fetish for field goals and hesitance to let QB Josh Dobbs throw downfield to the Vols’ talented receiving corps come off as being terrified of making a mistake.
Even so, I’ll take the better team playing at home.
The pick: Lay the touchdown.
Ohio at Akron (+2.5)
Watching Akron and Oklahoma square off in the opening week of the season, it was clear within about five minutes that the Zips’ staunch defense had absolutely no help on the other side of the ball. Terry Bowden rotated his quarterbacks willy nilly, and Akron's scheme had zero cohesion.
Heading into conference play, Bowden has settled on Thomas Woodson as his QB. The O responded in the Zips’ last game with a dominant outing versus Louisiana-Lafayette.
I’m betting Akron has turned a corner and will have something waiting for the Bobcats on Saturday.
The pick: Zips outright.
Ole Miss at Florida (+7.5)
Given the quality of these defenses, I’ll gladly take more than a touchdown.
The pick: Rebels by not enough - if at all.
THE SKINNY--Week 5
(Last week: 1-3-1; Overall: 9-10-1)
Mississippi State at Texas A&M (-6.5)
Alabama (+2.5) at Georgia
Arizona at UCLA (-13.5)
Notre Dame at Clemson (Pick)
Louisville (+4.5) at N.C. State