Thursday

ST Top 10 Poll #2 & 2008 College Football Picks: Week 6


Hello again everybody...

The baseball playoffs are underway and fall temperatures abound here in Minnesota. You know what that means? Yep, time to talk more college football!

Today I bring you the second-ever Sports Take Top 10 College Football Poll. Obviously there's some serious shake-ups after last week. And I like it! Then it's time for my Week 6 college football picks. I've gone 3-1 in two of the last three weeks. I'm not being cocky, just hoping to sustain the roll. So let's get to it...


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After 5 weeks of college football action, here are the Top 10 teams according to Sports Take pollsters:

Rank) Team (First Place Votes) - Total Points - Last Week's Ranking

#1) Oklahoma (6) - 96 - 2

#2) LSU (1) - 83 - 5

#3) Alabama (3) - 82 - 8

#4) Missouri - 73 - 6

#5) Texas - 65 - 7

#6) Penn State - 47 - NR

T#7) USC - 25 - 1

T#7) BYU - 25 - 10

#9) Texas Tech - 19 - NR

#10) Georgia - 9 - 4

Others Receiving Votes: Ohio State 8, Florida 4, South Florida 4, Vanderbilt 4, Utah 2, Wisconsin 2, Connecticut 1, Oklahoma State 1

I checked the math multiple times to make sure LSU really edged out Alabama (they did) and that USC and BYU were actually tied (they were).

Very interesting results. Obviously the voters thought very highly of Alabama's victory at Georgia. What's even more interesting to me is that USC didn't drop out of the Top 10 after their crushing loss at Oregon State. As much anti-USC venom as I heard after the first poll, I thought for sure the voters would punish them for that lack-luster effort. But that's not the case.

So here's your chance to comment. See something you think is out of whack? Post a comment below and let us know.

Thanks once again to all who participated in the poll. If you'd like a chance to vote, please send me an email at: dcook93@yahoo.com and I'll give you the details!

Next up it's time for my 2008 College Football Picks: Week 6!

I'm 12-8 on the year so far, let's see what happens this week. Again, were recreational gaming legal and were I to have the wherewithal to make a worthwhile wager, these are the games I'd be betting on:

Illinois +2.5 @ Michigan (2:30pm) The Illini are 2-2 (0-1). The Wolverines are 2-2 (1-0).

Are people in Vegas smoking something?! Look, it was a nice comeback by Michigan last Saturday versus Wisconsin (I'll suck it up and talk about it more tomorrow). But did you see that first half?! 5, count them, 5 turnovers by the Maize and Blue in the first half. That's brutal. It was only Wisconsin's woeful offense that kept Michigan close enough to make that comeback possible.

Illinois is coming off a road loss at Penn State. Yes, they got fairly well handled, but the Nittany Lions are the odds-on favorite to win the Big Ten. Illinois still has all kinds of weapons on offense, starting with junior quarterback Juice Williams.

If I'd guessed the line in this game before seeing it, I'd have said Illinois -3. So when I see that they're getting points? Well, that's an automatic. We take Illinois plus the 2.5 points and figure they'll win it outright!

Next...

Arizona State +9.5 @ California (2:30pm): The Sun Devils are 2-2 (1-0). The Bears are 3-1 (1-0).

I think Cal's probably the better overall team between these two. But I can't see them giving another team 9.5 when their running back is dinged up and suddenly there's an open competition at quarterback.

I know, I know, 2 road underdogs in a row is a good way to cost yourself some cash. But these are the two lines that most clearly appear to be out of whack to me. So there you go.

We take the 9.5 and shout for the devils!

Thirdly...

Ball State -7.5 @ Toledo (6pm): The Cardinals are 5-0 (2-0). The Rockets are 1-3 (1-0).

Yes, this makes 3 straight road teams. But at least this one's a favorite! I say when you find a good thing, you keep rolling with it. Ball State destroyed Kent State last week and have scored 40+ points in their last 3 games. I don't see Toledo stopping that streak.

The Rockets have lost 2 straight home games to Fresno State and Florida International, surrendering a total of 90 points. Not exactly the kind of defensive effort that's set up to stop the Ball State offensive juggernaut.

So give the touchdown-plus and we'll take Ball State to go 6-0!

Finally...

USC -16 vs. Oregon (7pm): The Trojans are 2-1 (0-1). The Ducks are 4-1 (2-0).

This is this week's Sports Take Flier Pick.

Yes, that loss last weekend at Oregon State was devastating to USC's national title hopes. But I think that's all the more reason to think that USC is going to lay one on Oregon this week. In order to get the voters' attention, USC is going to have to run it up a bit on the lesser competition they'll face in the Pac 10. And even with Oregon's good record, that needs to start this week.

Oregon's down to their third-string quarterback. One of the dirty little secrets of the spread option offense is that it exposes your quarterback to take some hard shots. And the law of averages has slapped the Ducks around like the proverbial red-headed step child this year. Don't let last week's 63-14 crushing of Washington State fool you. WSU is terrible. That played a larger role in that score than Oregon's talent.

I'm not going to be floored if Oregon covers. That's why the "Flier Pick" exists after all. But I'm stepping out on a limb and proclaiming the return of the Trojans!

So there you go. 4 picks for you to ponder over the weekend. Enjoy all the action! I'm back tomorrow with my 2008 Major League Baseball Awards. Until then, thanks for reading!

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