The Better Half of Week 4

By Amsinger - September 19, 2006


Picking games is a true talent. Unless you're picking week four of the 2006 college football season. If you read my first blog this week, you noticed my picks from the Big Ten, SEC, Big East, CUSA, WAC, Sun Belt and my allma mater Lindenwood University. Of all those games, just one upset special!

What's the deal?

The games aren't very tough to call. With that said, I love being right...so let's move on and inflate my record even more. Here you have my picks from the Pac-Ten, ACC, Big 12, Mountain West, MAC and the Independents.


And, we're off!

PAC-TEN CONFERENCE: 6-2 last week, 18-8 overall in this league.

Arizona State - 21
CALIFORNIA - 31

*The Sun Devils may be undefeated coming in, but Cal is still playing for redemption after opening the season the way it did against Tennessee. ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter didn't look sharp last week in the Devils first road game of the season against Colorado and the atmosphere in Berkeley will be even more intense. RB Marshawn Lynch is dealing with a sore ankle - which could be a good thing if you look at last week's numbers. 6 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown. Watch out Sun Devils, the Bears are back!!!!

Washington St. - 24
STANFORD - 28

UPSET SPECIAL #2

*Finally! I have an upset for you! The Cardinal are going to win this game so their daily hellacious practices for playing so poorly will come to an end. Walt Harris is a drill sergeant by nature. Throw in an 0-3 record and he becomes everyone's worst nightmare. After getting spanked by Navy last week at home, QB Trent Edwards gets the passing game to click against a Cougar secondary that gave up over 250 yards in the air to Baylor last week.

USC - 35
Arizona - 14

*This will be a close game - in the first half. Mike Stoops is getting there. You'll see flashes of a brilliance from his young football team, then the Trojans talent takes over. Watch for another big game from WR Dwayne Jarrett. This guy is becoming a Heisman frontrunner.

UCLA - 30
WASHINGTON - 35

UPSET SPECIAL #3

*Beating Rice by just ten points at home two weeks ago concerns me. On the same note, RB Chris Markey is off to a fantastic start to the season. The Huskies have burned me the last two weeks. I said they'd beat the Sooners and lose to Fresno State. Come on Ty, hook me up!

Idaho - 17
OREGON ST. - 38

*The Beavers are still recovering from getting abused in Boise two weeks ago. OSU faces its' old coach in Dennis Erickson and are thankful he doesn't have a running back like Ian Johnson. RB Yvenson Bernard gets back on track against the Vandals as Mike Riley's team improves to 2-1 and gets ready for Cal.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE: 8-2, 22-8 overall in this league.

Virginia - 10
GEORGIA TECH - 35

*The Cavaliers are falling apart in record speed. Al Groh doesn't have the talent, or the coordinators - to get a big ACC win. The Yellowjackets on the other hand, have confidence and their offensive swagger back with new play-calling and loads of experience at every skill position. QB Reggie Ball and WR Calvin Johnson connect two times in pay dirt.

BOSTON COLLEGE - 24
North Carolina State - 13

*It's gonna be tough for QB Matt Ryan to put up his typical big numbers against the Wolf Pack this week. With head coach Chuck Amato's job all but gone, his players come out and keep it close for three quarters. I must admit, I overlooked the Eagles in the ACC in the preseason. After this win, BC gets Maine at home then prepares for the two biggest games of their season. Virginia Tech in Chestnut Hill and Florida State in Tallahassee.

Wake Forest - 10
OLE MISS - 17

*Sure the Demon Deacons are 3-0 but who did they play? They barely beat Syracuse, DUKE and UConn. The Rebels are due and will give the folks in Oxford something to cheer about. Expect about 125 yards and 2 touchdowns from RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

N. Carolina - 17
CLEMSON - 48

*It's not a good thing when your only win is over Furman by a score of 45-42!!!!! The Tar Heels may be one of my biggest disappointments of the season. QB Joe Dailey never materialized and John Bunting's defense has looked clueless at times. Clemson, meanwhile, is welcomed home after an emotional win in the Bowden Bowl. QB Will Proctor will continue to impress in this one. Expect 23-28 for 305 yards.

Florida International - 10
MARYLAND - 34

*Once again, we're all waiting for Ralph Friedgen's genius offensive brain to come out with the Terps. By looking at the scoreboard - one would think he's up to his old tricks. But watch this team play and you'll see that nothing flows. Eventually Ralph will realize his best player is Lance Ball and he'll stop splitting carries with Ray Lewis' brother Keon Lattimore.

Cincinnati - 9
VA TECH - 27

*Sure, the Bearcats played the nation's top team tough. But the Hokies are not an in-state rival. They're an ACC team that isn't getting their fair share of credit and will be dissapointed that they didn't shut-out Cincy. Frank Beamer's team is for real.

Rice - 10
FLORIDA ST. - 41

*Finally! The Seminoles offense puts points on the board! Bobby Bowden challenges his offensive line to maul the smaller Owls and FINALLY there are holes to run through for Lorenzo Booker and Antone Smith!!! Drew Weatherford doesn't put up extraordinary numbers, but it's enough for FSU to improve to 3-1.

BIG 12 CONFERENCE: 9-3, 28-8 in this league overall.

Iowa State - 13
TEXAS - 37

*The Cyclones couldn't get over the hump against rival Iowa last week, a must-win for head coach Dan McCarney if he planned on coming to Austin and getting the upset of the century. He didn't beat the Hawkeyes and he won't stop the Longhorns.

Ohio - 14
MISSOURI - 23

*The Tigers pull off the second half comeback in Columbia. QB Chase Daniel shows how good he really is in the fourth quarter of this one. RB Tony Temple rushes for 130 yards and both Tiger touchdowns as head coach Gary Pinkel looks very secure in his surroundings with a 4-0 record.

Army - 20
BAYLOR - 34

*The Bears are still upset they couldn't pull off last week's upset on the road. Losing by two to Washington State was tough to swallow. Army is in the same boat, barely losing at Texas A&M. Army QB David Pevoto threw three costly picks against the Aggies and will make a few more mistakes against a really good Baylor defense.

SE Louisiana - 10
TEXAS TECH - 58

*The Red Raiders are going through touchdown withdrawl. How in the WORLD did TCU hold Mike Leach's offense to just three points? QB Graham Harrell throws for over 500 yards in this statement game for the boys of Lubbock.

Colorado - 7
GEORGIA - 24

*Again, the Dawgs don't need to be flashy, just steady. With a dominant defense like they have, freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford wins with another 7-14, 115 yard performance. Mark Richt's three-headed monster in the backfield combines for 200 yards while Dan Hawkins spends more time text-messaging recruits than worrying about this game...he figures the season is a lost cause.

LOUISVILLE - 31
Kansas State - 14

*We may be looking at the national coach of the year in Bobby Petrino. To lose his Heisman contending running back AND quarterback and still find a way to beat teams like Miami and Kansas State is impressive. With his upcoming schedule featuring KSU, Middle Tennesse, Cincinnati and Syracuse - Petrino should stay undefeated leading up to November 2nd when he faces West Virginia. Guess who should be healthy by then? Don't think Brian Brohm isn't thinking that. As for the game, George Stripling and Kolby Smith dominate between the tackles. They combine for 215 yards while freshman quarterback Hunter Cantwell manages the game well and begins the early competition with high school senior Matt Simms as the Cards starter post-Brohm.

S. FLORIDA - 28
Kansas - 27

*The Bulls showed me a lot last week in Orlando. They came out and played one of the more physical games I've seen all season and held off a pretty good UCF club. The Jayhawks are fresh off a road loss to Toledo where they squandered a late lead and lost in overtime. Freshman USF quarterback Matt Grothe could be the Big East's next star. Watch this kid...he's good!

Oklahoma St. - 24
HOUSTON - 30

*Sure the Cowboys are in the Big 12 and they're one of four undefeated teams left in the conference but they haven't played ANYONE! Missouri State, Arkansas State and FAU don't have a quarterback like Kevin Kolb at Houston. The irony here is that the Cougars defense will win the game as they hold off a late comeback from the Cowboys inside the redzone. This one is going down to the wire and you catch it on CSTV Football Nation at 9 pm eastern.

Louisiana Tech - 13
TEXAS A&M - 27

*Dennis Franchione is still in shock his team almost lost to ARMY at HOME!!!! As for the Bulldogs, La Tech begins a brutal three game road trip with Texas A&M, Clemson and Boise State on the horizon. The Aggies could be their upset special. Go ahead Coach Bicknell, prove me wrong!

Troy - 14
NEBRASKA - 27

*I expect a close game in Lincoln!!!! The Trojans have enough talent to scare the big boys, just not enough to actually beat them. Bill Callahan better get his team back on track if they want to be known as the best team in the Big 12 North this year. Watch out for Missouri, the Tigers are looking very good early on.

M. Tenn. St. - 16
OKLAHOMA - 45

*Back in Norman after a disasterous fourth quarter in Eugene, Oregon. We all know Adrian Peterson is great, unfortunately for Sooner fans who love to blast me on this blog, that's all Bob Stoops has to hang his visor on. Paul Thompson plays much better against the lowly Blue Raiders as OU takes a week off to get ready for TEXAS!!!!

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE: 7-1, 19-5 overall in this league.

Utah - 23
SAN DIEGO ST. - 27

UPSET SPECIAL #4

*Chuck Long is due for his first win as head coach of the Aztecs. His schedule has been brutal, opening up at home against UTEP, then on the road against Wisconsin. Ask any coach and they'll tell you the Aztecs are vastly improved despite their 0-2 record. Utah, on the other hand - has been a bit of a disappointment to their fans in Salt Lake City. Losing to UCLA 31-10 to open the season sucked. The Utes followed that poor outing by beating the brains out of Northern Arizona and Utah State. Neither of those teams have the talent of San Diego State. This is a huge loss considering Utah has to host both Boise State and TCU in the following weeks.

Air Force - 20
WYOMING - 21

*What a great game! The Cowboys defense may be the best in the conference right now. The Falcons will have a much more difficult time scoring on WYOMING than they did against TENNESSEE in their first game of the season!!! If Air Force wins that game in Knoxville, I'd go with the Falcons in this one. But since Fisher DeBerry elected to go for two instead of kicking the extra point and sending the game to overtime when Air Force had so much more momentum than the Vols, the Falcons lose. A loss that has completely altered the Air Force season.

Utah St. - 9
BYU - 45

*The Aggies are the poorest team in the WAC. Coming into Saturday's game with the Cougars, they've scored a combined SEVEN points!!! Keep in mind 1AA teams could do better against teams like Wyoming, Arkansas and Utah. As for BYU, the Cougars are one of the best 1-2 teams in the country - better than Miami in my opinion. Expect over 400 yards in the air from John Beck as BYU bounces back from last week's heart-breaker.

UTEP - 35
New Mexico - 17

*Mike Price had a week to get his guys past that heart-breaking loss to Texas Tech. The Miners show up in Albuquerque and dominate from the opening kickoff. No more tipped interceptions for Jordan Palmer in this one. Check this game out as well on CSTV Football Nation, Saturday at 5 pm eastern.

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE: 5-4 last week, 19-10 overall in this league.

Indiana St. - 27
N. ILLINOIS - 51

*The 1AA Sycamores may be the poorest program in America. Seriously, I worked in Terre Haute for two years as a local sports anchor and let me tell you, even the students cringe when talking about ISU football. Second year head coach Lou West is in a bad situation. He's a combined 0-14 going back to last season. Oh yeah, as for NIU, Garrett Wolfe rushes for 235 yards and three touchdowns and continues to make his case for the Heisman.

Kent State - 17
BOWLING GREEN - 28

*Another ugly win for head coach Gregg Brandon. He's 3-1 with nasty wins over Buffalo (48-40) and Florida International (33-28). Now this. Kent State burned my last week by beating Miami (OH) - in Oxford. This pick is a risky one, but I gotta believe freshman phenom RB Freddie Barnes will have another big game at home.

Central Michigan - 14
E. MICHIGAN - 16

UPSET SPECIAL #5

*The Eagles win a game!!!! Playing at Rynearson Stadium for the first time all season (three road games to open up) EMU is due for some good news. Especially after how well they played on the road against Northwestern (losing 14-6). Central Michigan gets a taste of its own medicine, after beating an Akron team that had its' head still in the clouds following an upset over N.C. State - the Eagles come out do the same thing to the Chippewas. Remember EMU beat CMU last year 23-20 in overtime.

North Dakota St. - 24
BALL STATE - 30

*The Cardinals edge a very good 1AA team. BSU is having a good season in my opinion, considering their losses are by one to Indiana, and ten to Purdue. QB Joey Lynch is a solid senior quarterback who doesn't back down despite being out-manned. BSU gets an important win heading into MAC play against Northern Illinois next week.

McNeese St. - 21
TOLEDO - 41

*Turnovers are critical in this matchup. The McNeese State Cowboys know how to take advantage of miscues. They're a very dangerous team for Toledo in my opinion. The Rockets barely got by a solid Kansas team at home last week and are home again ready for two wins in a row. RB Jalen Parmele needs to touch the ball more and if he does, watch out! Toledo showed Iowa State how good they can be.

Temple - 16
W. MICHIGAN - 45

*Ah, the Broncos won the Temple sweepstakes this week!!!! Aside from this blowout victory, WMU is really impressing me. Losing to Indiana to open the season looks much worse since the Hoosiers lost to Southern Illinois last week. Still, beating Toledo easily and going to Virginia and knocking off the Cavs - regardless of how bad they are - is very exciting. The Broncos think they're the best team in the MAC right now. With Akron, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Toledo all stumbling - who can doubt them???

Ohio - 14
MISSOURI - 23

*The Tigers pull off the second half comeback in Columbia. QB Chase Daniel shows how good he really is in the fourth quarter of this one. RB Tony Temple rushes for 130 yards and both Tiger touchdowns as head coach Gary Pinkel looks very secure in his surroundings with a 4-0 record.

Buffalo - 0
AUBURN - 42

*This game is dedicated to the Heisman campaign of Kenny Irons. After not rushing for at least 70 yards in the previous two weeks, Tommy Tuberville hooks up his boy 35 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulls better get ready to see a lot of #23.

Miami (OH) - 21
SYRACUSE - 23

*Two in a row for the Orange! Greg Robinson celebrates his first winning streak in up-state New York after the Redhawks fall to a depressing 0-4. Head coach Shane Montgomery simply couldn't find a replacement for graduated quarterback Josh Betts. This program should be 0-6 before they travel to Buffalo. With the Bulls improving, that's not a given either.

N. Texas - 21
AKRON - 24

*It's really too bad the Zips lost last week. What a downer! After beating an ACC team on the road they lay an egg against Central Michigan. QB Luke Getsy bounces back after throwing three interceptions last week and gets the Zips ready for a strong MAC run.

INDEPENDENTS: 3-1 last week, 9-3 overall picking Independents.

NOTRE DAME - 34
Michigan State - 24

*The Spartans will push the Irish to the brink, but Brady Quinn will not let his team lose to both Michigan AND Michigan State in consecutive weeks. The Irish are out of the top ten and Quinn's dream of a Heisman is all but over, but Charlie Weiss is still a great coach. Notre Dame is ready for the criticism and more importantly, ready for Drew Stanton's Spartans.

Tulsa - 27
NAVY - 31

*The Midshipmen are on fire! After stomping the life out of the Stanford Cardinal - on the road - last week, the Mids return to Annapolis and get all they can handle from a good Tulsa team. Head coach Paul Johnson has a proven star in junior fullback Adam Ballard. Expect this 230 pound bruiser to rush for 120 yards while QB Brian Hampton keeps turnovers to a minimum. The Academy better keep Johnson away from the phone, because bigger programs will be calling for his services after this season. Catch this exciting game on CSTV at 1:30 pm eastern.

Temple - 16
W. MICHIGAN - 45

*Ah, the Broncos won the Temple sweepstakes this week!!!! Aside from this blowout victory, WMU is really impressing me. Losing to Indiana to open the season looks much worse since the Hoosiers lost to Southern Illinois last week. Still, beating Toledo easily and going to Virginia and knocking off the Cavs - regardless of how bad they are - is very exciting. The Broncos think they're the best team in the MAC right now. With Akron, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Toledo all stumbling - who can doubt them???

Army - 20
BAYLOR - 34

*The Bears are still upset they couldn't pull off last week's upset on the road. Losing by two to Washington State was tough to swallow. Army is in the same boat, barely losing at Texas A&M. Army QB David Pevoto threw three costly picks against the Aggies and will make a few more mistakes against a really good Baylor defense.

Posted by Amsinger at 12:31 PM on September 19, 2006
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