Must Bounce Back in Week 5!

By Amsinger - September 25, 2006


43-15? 43-15? Very disappointed. I was expecting 8 or 9 losses in week four. While I had my fair share of solid picks (Washington over UCLA, UConn over Indiana and Nevada over Northwestern), I practically bombed all the "iffy" matchups.

THANKS TO KICKERS!

Seriously, from Leigh Tiffin at 'Bama, to Navy's PAThetic PAT, to Boston College's lack of confidence in its' kicker late in the game against N.C. State and going for it on 4th down up 15-10!!!

My overall record this season in Division 1A football stands at 197-60.

Go easy on me.

Like I do each week, I'll look back and run through the games I goofed, followed by my (improved) picks for week 5.

1.) Minnesota over Purdue. Give Joe Tiller's team some credit, they beat a decent Golden Gopher squad that can run the football as good as any team in the Big Ten. Amir Pinnix still racked up over 170 yards but the Boilermakers played mistake-free-football and won the game. QB Curtis Painter is a super athlete and just a sophomore. Throw in fellow soph RB Kory Sheets (who has 8 TD on the season) and Purdue may be contending for a Big Ten title in the next few years...just not this year.

2.) Alabama over Arkansas. Come on Leigh Tiffin! Make...something! I said the 'Bama defense would give Hog QB Mitch Mustain fits and it did (97 yds and 3 picks). The Tide "should have" won...but instead, Leigh "Tiffed-up" my pick.

3.) Ole Miss over Wake Forest. I remember saying transfer QB Brent Schaeffer would make an immediate impact on the Rebel offense. Boy, was I wrong. This was a terrible showing in Oxford in front of the home fans. Ed Orgeron should be concerned.

4.) UAB over Mississippi State. Don't take this the wrong way Watson Brown, but I've never been so thrilled to be wrong. Sylvester Croom needed this one. What a great overtime victory! With LSU and West Virginia next up for the Bulldogs...this win was crucial.

5.) South Florida over Kansas. I said USF would win by one and in the waning moments of the game the Bulls trailed 13-7 with the ball and freshman QB Matt Grothe threw a pick at the Jayhawks one yard line with just 8 seconds left. I was close...but a loss is a loss.

6.) Tulsa over Navy. I had the Mids winning by four and a victory looked good after QB Brian Hampton connected with O.J. Washington on a 25 yard touchdown in overtime. Then, Navy missed the extra point. The Mids had all the momentum! But again...I must improve my picks in the PAT department.

7.) UTEP over New Mexico. Not only did I say the Miners would win this game, but I said in the preseason that UTEP would finish the season ranked 16th in the final AP Top 25 Poll. To do that, they could NOT lose to a Lobo team that has two losses - at home to the likes of Portland State and Missouri. I still like Mike Price's club winning CUSA, but a ranking of #16 isn't gonna happen. Double-whammy for me.

8.) Stanford over Washington State. Wow. I didn't know how BAD Walt Harris' team really is. I'll never pick the Cardinal again this season until they prove me wrong and show some life.

9.) Boston College over N.C. State. I did say the Wolf Pack would come out and play well for their head coach Chuck Amato. I didn't expect a fluke Hail-Mary at the end of the game, neither did the Eagles. Tough loss, knocking B.C. out of the Top 25! If you count the missed PAT's - now this...3 games that should have gone my way!!! Sorry, just whining.

10.) Baylor over Army. A lot like Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State, it's easy to root for Bobby Ross at West Point. Very impressive road win for the Black Knights, on the other hand - WHAT HAPPENED BEARS? I could see Guy Morris' club handing Colorado its' first win of the season October 7th. Back to Army, keep in mind the Knights lost to Texas A&M just 28-24...Bobby Ross is getting the job done.

11.) Wyoming over Air Force. Believe it or not, this was the most difficult game for me to pick last week. I thought about it for awhile and the Falcons performance against Tennessee really impressed me. But, with a week off and on the road against a Cowboy team that lost two tough games to Virginia (by 1 point) and Boise State (by just 7) - I gave the edge to Wyoming. It was a good game, but once again...I was wrong.

12.) San Diego State over Utah. While Ute fans love ripping me for picking against them (I said Utah would lose to UCLA...and they did), I really thought Chuck Long's team would play better at home after such a competitive start to the season against teams like UTEP and Wisconsin. I never expected the Aztecs to turn the ball over 5 times! Utah proved me wrong, but SDSU will never play this poorly again this season.

13.) Bowling Green over Kent State. The Falcons may be most disappointing team in Division 1A college football this season! Who cares if their record stands at 2-2, Bowling Green's only wins are against BUFFALO and FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL!!! A combined 1-7 record between them. Losing by a score of 38-3 at home, against a Kent State team that was shutout by Minnesota (44-0) and lost to Army is more than concerning for head coach Gregg Brandon.

14.) Eastern Michigan over Central Michigan. Another classic between these two rivals. I thought EMU would get its' first win of the season in OT against the Chippewas, instead - CMU won in overtime. I won't lose any sleep over this pick.

15.) Ball State over North Dakota State. The Cardinals were up 24-16 in the 4th quarter and simply couldn't stop NDSU quarterback Steve Walker who threw for over 450 yards! BSU gave up a whopping 535 yards of total offense to the Bison. I don't know if I'll ever be in the business of picking the Cards again after getting burned like this.

There you have 'em...my 15 goofs. Two weeks in a row with 15 incorrect picks. That number is going DOWN!

Here you have my predictions from the Big Ten, SEC, Big East, Conference USA, WAC, Sun Belt and my Lindenwood University. On TUESDAY, the same will come your way from the Pac-Ten, ACC, Big 12, Mountain West, MAC and the Independents.

And, we're off!

BIG TEN CONFERENCE: 6-1 last week, 34-6 overall in this league.

OHIO ST. - 21
Iowa - 12

*Expect the Buckeyes to control the game with their solid running game and surprising defense. Iowa trails 21-6 going into the 4th quarter when Drew Tate makes a play and the Hawkeyes see their upset bid fade with a missed 2-point conversion. RB Antonio Pittman is becoming the MVP of this national title heavyweight.

MICHIGAN - 30
Minnesota - 24

*The Wolverines will trail by one in the 4th quarter when Mike Hart takes over. Expect a huge game from Hart, who may be the biggest challenger to Troy Smith for the Heisman. Minnesota will come out strong and RB Amir Pinnix will dominate the first half on the ground. The Gophers can taste the upset, but Michigan's season momentum will be too much in the end.

Purdue - 28
NOTRE DAME - 41

*The Boilermakers are a dangerous team if they don't make mistakes. They simply don't have the defensive talent to overcome miscues by the offense. Last week, the Boilers didn't turn the ball over once and beat a team better than them. There is NO WAY the Irish lose this one after what happened in East Lansing. South Bend is rocking all over again thanks to that incredible comeback. The Irish put away Purdue in the second half and get ready for a light scrimmage next week against Stanford.

N'western - 20
PENN STATE - 28

*This game is still an after-thought compared to last week. The Nittany Lions come out slowly and slug their way to an ugly victory over a resilient Wildcat team. QB Anthony Morelli needs to have solid game this weekend to keep a stranglehold on the PSU quarterback position. Fans are restless after watching him chuck three picks against the Buckeyes.

Illinois - 27
MICHIGAN ST. - 45

*The Illini run into a highly pissed off football team in East Lansing. The Spartans try to make up for a devastating loss against Notre Dame by racking up over 500 yards of total offense. Unlike last week, John L. Smith runs the ball in the 4th quarter with the lead.

WISCONSIN - 34
Indiana - 6

*Wisconsin has one of the most solid programs in the nation. A constant winner. Solid showing last week in Ann Arbor, showed a lot of character. Head coach Bret Bielema is a future star in the Big Ten. The Badgers enjoy a cakewalk in Bloomington where RB P.J. Hill Jr. gets back on track with 175 yards rushing.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE: 7-3 last week, 32-6 overall in this league.

Alabama - 10
FLORIDA - 27

*The Gators get revenge after being blown out in Tuscaloosa a year ago. This isn't the same Tide defense and it's not the same Chris Leak. Florida comes out strong and reminds us that the Gator defense may be the most overlooked in the country. Kenneth Darby has another frustrating day on the ground for head coach Mike Shula and is putting together a poor senior season.

GEORGIA - 30
Ole Miss - 9

*Joe Cox shines in Oxford as the Rebels continue to struggle. This was supposed to be a "breakout" year for Ed Orgeron's program. Instead, Ole Miss is back to its' Ole tricks...losing badly. Brent Schaeffer will start and struggle. Seth Adams comes in and takes the starting QB job away from Schaeffer for good.

C. MICHIGAN - 24
Kentucky - 21

UPSET SPECIAL #1

*The nail in the coffin arrives in Lexington for head coach Rich Brooks. The Chippewas are having a good season if you take into account their win over Akron - one week after the Zips upset N.C. State, last week's overtime victory over rival EMU and losing by only seven against Boston College to open the season. Oh yeah, their other loss came in Ann Arbor. CMU lost by 24 to Michigan. Notre Dame lost by 26...at home!

AUBURN - 17
S. Carolina - 7

*Sidney Rice catches another touchdown after snagging FIVE last week! Unfortunately, the Auburn "D" shuts the door after that. The Tigers get Kenny Irons back and he leads the offense with 100 yards on the ground. Nothing spectacular, but another win. You have to wonder if the unspectacular will hold the Tigers back from playing January 8th in Glendale, Arizona.

Miss. St. - 3
LSU - 23

*The Bulldog offensive explosion (45 points in the last two games combined) comes to an end in Baton Rouge. The Tigers offense struggles against a pretty good MSU defense, but Les Miles walks away with a two game winning streak.

Temple - 0
VANDY - 35

*The Commodores win the Temple sweepstakes and enjoy a lovely evening in Nashville. Bobby Johnson's defense continues to play well as QB Chris Nickson proves he is the future of the program offensively. Nickson gets the job done in the air and the ground as the Commodores improve to 2-3.

TENNESSEE - 31
Memphis - 27

*This could be the game of the day! The Tigers give a sold-out crowd at the Liberty Bowl something to cheer about! Memphis come back after being down 21 points in the second half and eventually falls to a Tennessee team that isn't back to normal yet. Beating Air Force by one - now this...Phil Fulmer's hair can't get any grayer.

BIG EAST CONFERENCE: 7-1 last week, 24-6 overall in this league.

WYOMING - 31
Syracuse - 30

*Last second field goal decides this one! The Cowboys win a much needed game for head coach Joe Glenn who was feeling down on his team after three competitive losses to Virginia, Boise State and Air Force. As for Greg Robinson, sorry - I don't think this Orange team has turned over a new peel after beating Illinois and Miami (OH)...a combined 1-7.

NAVY - 24
UConn - 14

*Paul Johnson doesn't need an extra point in overtime to beat the Huskies, despite UConn playing at home - with plenty of momentum after beating Indiana in Bloomington last week. The Midshipmen should be 4-0 heading to Storrs, since they lost a game they should have won, Navy comes out and sets the tone early.

Rutgers - 24
S. FLORIDA - 26

UPSET SPECIAL #2

*I really don't want to see the Scarlet Knights lose this game, I just think the Bulls have the edge in this one. After USF's offense didn't play well in Lawrence last week, freshman quarterback Matt Grothe gets the job done at home. The Bulls commit to the running game and do a good job of keeping the Rutgers offense off the field. For the first time since he's started for USF, Grothe will NOT lead the Bulls in rushing attempts. On the other side, Ray Rice gets around 100 yards but is contained overall. Fans in Piscataway won't like this pick, but I'm going with it anyway.

Toledo - 17
PITT - 38

*The Panthers loss to Michigan State looks much better after the Spartans "almost-but-should-have" beaten Notre Dame last week. QB Tyler Palko is drawing a few NFL eyes with his impressive stats so far this season. 12 touchdown passes in four games? Expect that pace to continue against a below-average Toledo defense.

Miami (OH) - 14
CINCINNATI - 34

*Playing top-notch competition like Ohio State and Virginia Tech in consecutive weeks and NOT getting destroyed impressed me. Head coach Mark Dantonio is turning things around for the Bearcats. Akron better watch out next week! The Redhawks are off to an unimaginable 0-5 start.

CONFERENCE USA: 6-3 last week, 27-12 overall in this league.

S. Miss. - 17
UCF - 27

*George O'Leary can't be happy with a 1-2 start. Losing to USF at home is still burning him. Senior QB Steven Moffett isn't playing well at all right now. His two interceptions against the Bulls were high school level mistakes. Really bad. He's much better than that, and expect Moffett to roll against a Southern Miss team that's feeling pretty good about itself after beating N.C. State at home.

RICE - 29
Army - 21

UPSET SPECIAL #3

*Take note! An upset special and Army LOSES!!! Oddly enough, this is a compliment for Bobby Ross. The Rice Owls couldn't have played a better schedule. Houston (4-0), UCLA (2-1), Texas (3-1) and Florida State (3-1) is brutal. BUT...it means the Black Knights will look like a J.V. squad in comparison on Saturday. What a fun game between two programs on the up-and-up.

Houston - 14
MIAMI - 35

UPSET SPECIAL #4

*Hahahaha!!!! Hey, the Cougars are 4-0. Miami is just 1-2 and was blown out by Louisville. I'm making this an "Upset Special" just for fun! Kevin Kolb's Heisman run comes to an end thanks to the Hurricanes revved up defense. Larry Coker has his guys ready to go and their intensity will overwhelm the untested Cougars. QB Kyle Wright adds to his whopping ONE touchdown pass on the season.

SMU - 13
TULANE - 17

*The Mustangs can't score on the road. At home, they average 50 points per game. Phil Bennett doesn't know what to expect on Saturday. I expect Tulane QB Lester Ricard to play like he did against Mississippi State - except not as many touchdown passes (he had 4 in that game).

New Mexico St. - 17
UTEP - 34

*The Miners let me down last week against New Mexico. My preseason prediction of UTEP being ranked 16th in the final AP Top 25 Poll for the 2006-07 season is scrubbed. The offense struggled mightily against the LOBOS, but will get it done at home against the Aggies. QB Jordan Palmer needs to make a big play early to get the fans excited about him again.

Troy - 10
UAB - 21

*The Trojans last three opponents have been ridiculous. Florida State, Georgia Tech and Nebraska won't help your win column. As for UAB, the Blazers are still heart-broken from last week's overtime loss to Mississippi State. If Troy was the home team in this matchup - I'd take the Trojans. But they're not...therefore the Blazers are my pick.

TENNESSEE - 31
Memphis - 27

*This could be the game of the day! The Tigers give a sold-out crowd at the Liberty Bowl something to cheer about! Memphis come back after being down 21 points in the second half and eventually falls to a Tennessee team that isn't back to normal yet. Beating Air Force by one - now this...Phil Fulmer's hair can't get any grayer.

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: 6-0 last week, 24-5 overall in this league.

Colorado St. - 20
FRESNO ST. - 31

*Beating the Bulldogs at their place isn't easy. Oregon had to play a nearly perfect ballgame to get past FSU 31-24. After losing to the Washington Huskies, head coach Pat Hill will have his troops ready for a solid Colorado State team.

SAN DIEGO ST. - 24
San Jose State - 23

UPSET SPECIAL #5

*FINALLY!!! Literally, the only reason I'm going with the Aztecs is because the Spartans beat Stanford by just one point earlier this season. Any team that has issues with the lowly Cardinal...has issues. Chuck Long wins his first game...finally.

Louisiana Tech - 13
CLEMSON - 51

*The Tigers are ready to make a run at an ACC Championship! RB James Davis is on fire after 4 touchdowns last week. Add three more to his resume, cuz Death Valley is having fun Saturday night!

IDAHO - 17
Utah St. - 10

*Utah State is as bad as it gets. After four weeks, the Aggies are averaging 1.75 points per game this season. Dennis Erickson lands his first road win of the season and is 2-3!!!

Boise State - 24
UTAH - 27

UPSET SPECIAL #6

*The fans in Salt Lake win this game. The Utes have bounced back in such a big way after losing to UCLA on the road to open the season. Since getting blasted by the Bruins, Utah has outscored Northern Arizona, Utah State and San Diego State a combined 131-14. Boise State's BCS busting bid is all but over.

NEVADA - 42
UNLV - 28

*The Wolf Pack win their third straight against a Rebels team that had so much promise after week two. UNLV lost at Iowa State by just six, but was destroyed in Hawaii 42-13. QB Rocky Hinds hasn't had the opportunity to shine in his first season as the Rebels starter. With four starters back on the offensive line, just two touchdown passes this season as a team, is a big disappointment.

E. Illinois - 14
HAWAII - 55

*The Warriors are legit. Despite a 1-2 record, Hawaii can hang with the big boys. For example, losing by just seven at Boise State and eight points in Tuscaloosa. Get ready WAC, June Jones may have a darkhorse contender in the WAC.

New Mexico St. - 17
UTEP - 34

*The Miners let me down last week against New Mexico. My preseason prediction of UTEP being ranked 16th in the final AP Top 25 Poll for the 2006-07 season is scrubbed. The offense struggled mightily against the LOBOS, but will get it done at home against the Aggies. QB Jordan Palmer needs to make a big play early to get the fans excited about him again.

SUN BELT CONFERENCE: 7-0 last week, 24-4 overall in this league.

Arkansas State - 16
FL. INTERNATIONAL - 24

*Aside from Rice and "maybe" Colorado - the FIU Golden Panthers are the best 0-4 team in the nation. Losses to Middle Tennessee St. (7-6), USF (21-20), Bowling Green (33-28) and at Maryland (14-10) have head coach Don Strock praying for a break. He gets it thanks to a 125 yard rushing performance from sophomore RB A'mod Ned.

M. Tenn. State - 10
NORTH TEXAS - 20

*The Mean Green is finally home after a tough two game road trip where they lost to Tulsa and Akron a combined 61-16. North Texas controls this game with sophomore RB Jamario Thomas who racks up 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. NTU stays unbeaten at home and gets ready for an improved Florida International team.

Eastern Michigan - 17
LA. - LAFAYETTE - 28

*I know I picked EMU to beat rival Central Michigan last week and the Cajuns aren't as good as the Chippewas, but they're also not a rival. EMU falls back to their old road ways - which equals turnovers, poor defense and more importantly - losses. Expect another big game from Lafayette's sophomore stud RB Tyrell Fenroy.

Florida Atlantic - 14
LA. - MONROE - 31

*I'm going to start calling it the FAU sweepstakes! Seriously, Temple could beat this team! What's the deal with the nickname "Owls"??? Rice, Temple and FAU are a combined 0-12 so far this season. RB Calvin Dawson runs for a cool 200 against this really, really bad Owl defense. Another bad day for the Owls...Who?...Who?...Who...cares.

NAIA GAME OF THE WEEK: 0-1 last week, 1-3 picking my alma mater.

Lindenwood U. - 21
WILLIAM JEWELL - 27

*My Lions won't hook me up! I finally pick against them and they win! Did I forget to sign my name on my donation check? Anyway, I said the Lions would lose to Graceland at home and they won 38-21. This week the Lions hit the road to face a William Jewell Cardinals team that is 2-2 and lost its' last two games in overtime. What's the deciding factor for going against my Lions? It's parents day at William Jewell. In NAIA football - that's a big deal.

There you have my picks for the Big Ten, SEC, Big East, Conference USA, WAC, Sun Belt and my Lindenwood University. Check out my next blog for the same on the Pac-Ten, ACC, Big 12, Mountain West, MAC and the Independents.

Thanks for going "Off Prompter!"

Posted by Amsinger at 12:59 PM on September 25, 2006
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