Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 4 (2011) Predictions

The 4th week is upon us and things are starting to shake out a bit. Some major programs have been exposed, most notably Ohio State and Notre Dame and a couple of surprise teams are moving up. Illinois is now in the top 25 and Florida International has made some strides in putting the Sun Belt on the map. There are some pretty good match ups this weekend and we should have a better idea of who the real players are in the hunt for the BCS "National Championship."

1. UCF vs BYU: This may be a pretty even game between two teams that have a bit to prove. UCF lost to FIU last week in a minor upset and BYU was taken down by Utah as expected. Both teams are well coached and UCF will be in the hunt in CUSA before all is said and done. I expect BYU to be in a bowl game somewhere. Go with BYU in a very close one.

2. San Diego St vs Michigan: This will be an interesting game mainly due to the personage of one Brady Hoke. The SDSU crowd will certainly want to embarrasses him and they may do just that. I would enjoy it immensely but think that Michigan will pull this one out of the hat.

3. Toledo vs Syracuse: Toledo may be one of the better 1-2 teams in the country. Syracuse? Not so much. The Rockets have had a baptism by fire (twice) and, if healthy, should be able to take this one. Go with Toledo.

4. Notre Dame vs Pitt: Both teams are over rated and perhaps just not all that good. I will go with my gut here and pick the Irish to improve to 2-2. They showed a bit of heart in last week's beat down of MSU.

5. Ohio vs Rutgers: A pretty good under the radar game. Ohio may be a factor in the MAC race and Rutgers is still trying to find out if they will amount to anything at all. I will go out on a limb here and pick the Bobcats in a close one.

6. Louisiana Lafayette vs FIU: The Cajuns will suffer their second loss of the season this week. FIU is the best team in the Sun Belt and should scare anyone outside the top 25. Perhaps scare even some that are ranked. Go with FIU here. A Cajun victory would be an upset.

7. Georgia State vs Houston: The Coogs had to come storming back on an average (at best) Louisiana Tech squad last week. Perhaps the Houston team was overconfident? Who knows. At any rate they will best this just up from Division 2 team with relative ease. Go with the Cougars.

8. Florida State vs Clemson: One of these teams will likely be the ACC champion before all is said and done. Of course Virginia Tech may have something to say about that. This game looks to be a pretty even contest and I think that the Seminoles will come out on top. They had a commendable performance against the best team in the land last week and all that Clemson did was expose the Auburn club as pretenders. Go with the Seminoles.

9. Kansas St vs Miami (FL): Snyder's team may or may not be pretty good. Miami is darn good with Harris running the show behind center. Miami should be able to top the Wildcats in this one. Just depends which team shows up to play. That goes for both squads.

10. Arkansas vs Alabama: The Tide has not been tested. The Hogs were tested a bit last week by an always pesky Troy team. Alabama probably has the goods to take this one hands down but I think an upset may just be in the works. A long shot I know, but I will go with the Hogs here.

11. LSU vs West Virginia: Perhaps the top match up of the week. LSU has been tested and is perhaps, outside of Oklahoma and maybe Alabama, the best squad in the land. Time will tell. WVU is a good team and will play in a BCS bowl. How could they not? They are after all in the very weak Big East. That being said it is doubtful that the Mountaineers will be able to handle the Tigers. Their only advantage is that they will not be playing to a hostile crowd. It is hard to beat the Tigers in Baton Rouge and WVU at least escapes that hell. Go with LSU.

12 Louisiana Tech vs Mississippi State: MSU is hands down the best 1-2 team in the land. They need to get things on track quickly though. The Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech blew a huge lead when Houston came calling last week but they likely won't be jumping out ahead in Starkville. Besides MSU is looking to get even. The last time they met Louisiana Tech came out on top. Not this time. Go with MSU.

13. Oklahoma State vs Texas Agriculture: Which team is the better? Hard to say. Both schools have a history of hard luck. The game is in Aggieland which helps the Aggies a bit. I would go with them to win a close, hard fought, battle. Go with Texas Agriculture here. Hope I am mistaken.

14. Rice vs Baylor: This one won't be quite the scrimmage that the Bears had last week but they will come out on top. Rice had a very good win against a Big Ten opponent the other week but Purdue ain't Baylor. Go with the Bears here. May be closer than most people think though. Rice will be ready to play.

15. Colorado State vs Utah State: The Aggies win here their confidence will grow and then I would look for them to be a factor in the WAC. Go with Utah State.

16. Sam Houston State vs New Mexico: This might be a good game. New Mexico is in need of a complete rebuild and SHSU may be a better team than expected. Perhaps even a factor in the IAA Southland race. It will be close and I think that SHSU will win here. Perhaps a bit of a stretch but I have watched New Mexico twice play and they are just not good. A decent IAA squad is fully capable of taken them down.

17. Temple vs Maryland: A good one on tap here to be sure. Temple is a very good football team and Maryland may be pretty good as well. We will see. I think that the Owls will win this one in a minor upset. They just looked like the real deal after the game against Paterno's club. Go with Temple.

18. Georgia vs Ole Miss: Interesting game. Both coaches are probably on the hot seat. Well, in the case of Georgia it goes a bit beyond "probably." If Georgia does not win here then I look for Mark to be gone and I mean gone as in "right now" gone. "Clean out your desk you are done" type gone. I think he will survive another week though. I have glanced at Ole Miss a time or two and they just don't look very good. I pick Georgia to win here.

19. UCLA vs Oregon State: Boy talk about a race to the bottom. This game may go a long way in determining which team is the worst in the PAC 12. Neither has much. I have seen UCLA play twice this year and have seen none of  Oregon State's stellar performances. Which team is the "better?" Probably UCLA. I pick the Bruins in this one although I am not really sure why.

20. Boise St vs Tulsa: Last year this would have been a better game. Tulsa had a decent squad last year and the Bronco's may not have been quite the team they are this season. Maybe. At any rate Boise State certainly deserves a top ten ranking and Tulsa may well struggle just to reach the .500 mark this year. Go with Boise to win easily here.

Picking winners gets a bit harder as the weeks progress. There are still too many question marks at this early part of the season as things are shaking out. There are a few rather long shot picks this week but sometimes one has to go with the gut feeling. Well will see how it all plays out. Have a good week and enjoy the games.



  1. With you pretty much all the way this week, Cabbie, including the SDSU/Michigan game. I won't be able to see my Aztecs, since Cox doesn't carry the "Big 10 Network." Bastards.

  2. That sucks. It would be interesting for Aztec fans to see the possibility of the team taking Michigan and Hoke to the woodshed.