9-23-09: 2009 College Football Picks: Week 4

Hello again everybody...

I promise I won't keep hammering you with Equinox updates, but it is one of my favorite times of year. Fall brings a crispness to the air, good sleeping weather, the promise of playoff baseball and the early portion of the college football season.

Is it any wonder I'm a fan?

A quick Twins update before we move on: the race for the AL Central is on. The Twins and Tigers both won last night, so the deficit remains at 2.5 games. Remember, the two clubs play four times next week, so if the Twins can keep that margin under 3, then three of four in Detroit gives them at least a tie for the division lead. The Twins try to sweep the White Sox tonight. The Tigers continue their series with the Indians.

Moving on...

Week 4 of the college football season is nigh, so it's time for more picks. I've had a good week, a not-as-good week, and a .500 week. So Week 4 has to be the first repeat of one of those, right? I'm sure you all have your opinions as to which one of those is more likely. And I'd like to say thanks to those of you who seem to have no trouble whatsoever telling me exactly what their opinion is.

But for future reference, if you could do so without that “number 1” hand gesture, it'd be much appreciated!

All kidding aside (mostly), I've got four more games for your consideration, so let's get to the pickin'!

”It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.”
Aeschylus (525 BC – 456 BC), ancient Greek playwright

You see? Even if you think my picks sometime foolish, you don't know for sure if I'm actually a fool, or if I'm wisely playing the fool for your entertainment!

Or maybe you do know... who am I kidding?!

«Read More...»

Whichever it is, I'm not stopping any time soon! So with that, it's time to bring you my...

2009 College Football Picks: Week 4

First up, a couple of games I looked at, but passed on...

Arkansas +15 @ Alabama (2:30pm, CBS): This seems like a lot of points to give a team that scores as much as Arkansas does (see: Georgia 52, Arkansas 41 just last week). But this is Alabama's SEC opener, and they're at home in Tuscaloosa. Betting a road underdog is always dangerous, so I'm going to take a pass on this one.

Washington State +44.5 @ USC (9:15pm, FSN): So what happens the week after a difficult loss on the road? Yes, USC probably crushes. But 44.5 points? And since I made my picks, the line has actually gone to 45! That just doesn't seem quite right to me. I know the Cougars are awful. I know they've lost to Stanford and Hawaii and have squeaked by SMU. But if 30 points was too much to give Florida in a revenge game, can anyone really give 44.5 to a team that just lost to Washington?! But again, a road underdog, plus a Trojan offense with a lot of potential. Something doesn't feel right. I'm going to pass.

Miami -2.5 @ Virginia Tech (2:30pm, ABC): If I made 5 picks each week, this one would've been my fifth. Scott in Eau Claire thinks that bettors are over-rating Miami, and that VA Tech's defense is so stout that Jacory Harris will struggle to put up the kinds of numbers he has for the 'Canes so far this season. Personally? If you're going to bet this game, I think you have to take Miami. But Scott's caution was enough to talk me off of making this game one of my four picks.

So which games am I picking? Glad you asked!

As always, were I to have the wherewithal to make a worthwhile wager, these are the games I'd be betting on...


Florida State -14.5 vs. South Florida (11am, ESPNU): The Seminoles are 2-1 (0-1 in the ACC). South Florida is 3-0 (0-0 in the Big East).

Florida State's been a little up and down, but with each successive Miami victory, that loss looks better and better.

South Florida may be undefeated, but they've lost their quarterback Matt Grothe, and things are about to change. Grothe is South Florida's offense. Without him, they'll struggle, especially on the road.

Tallahassee will be ready to root on their 'Noles Saturday morning. So I've got no problem giving the 14.5. I'll pass on the tomahawk chop however.


Nebraska -26.5 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (6pm, FSN-PPV): The Cornhuskers are 2-1 (0-0 in the Big 12). The Ragin' Cajuns are 2-1 (0-0 in the Sun Belt).

What can I say? Clearly Husker Nation needs me! So here I come to the rescue.

One of my favorite Husker fans asked where my Nebraska pick was last week. While I thought Nebraska/Virginia Tech would be a great game, I didn't have any idea how it would shake out. As it turned out, Nebraska covered the spread. But it was such a close game, I just couldn't pick it.

But don't worry Husker fans, I'm back with you this week. And no Flier Pick here, I'm picking you straight-up!

The Ragin' Cajuns are set to take on their second Top 25 team on the road after getting worked 31-3 by LSU last week. I'm sure it'll be a nice payday for the Cajuns, but they're due for another whacking, this time at the hands of Nebraska.

I've got no problem giving the 26.5 here as Nebraska returns home to Lincoln to take out their frustration over last week's loss. Sorry Louisiana-Lafayette. But thanks for playing!


Purdue +7.5 vs. Notre Dame (7pm, ESPN): The Boilermakers are 1-2 (0-0 in the Big Ten). The Irish are 2-1.

This is a game where the odds-makers are trying to sucker you into taking Notre Dame.

Yes, Purdue lost to NIU last week. Yes, the Irish beat Michigan State. But Notre Dame's number one wide receiver, Michael Floyd, broke his collarbone and will be out for the rest of the season. Plus, quarterback Jimmy Clausen has a foot injury that will likely limit his mobility on Saturday. I know Charlie Weiss is coaching to keep his job, but when your top guys start getting dinged-up, there's only so much help coaching can provide.

Purdue is two weeks removed from giving Oregon a scare on the Ducks' home turf. Clearly they've been inconsistent, and that loss to NIU is nearly inexcusable. But they've got anger at that loss to feed off of, and everybody gets up for playing Notre Dame. And don't think that hosting a wounded Irish club in West Lafayette won't influence the outcome of this game.

I like Purdue to keep this close, and maybe sneak the upset. So I'll take the 7.5 and hope to hear a lot of that train horn on Saturday evening.


Washington +7 @ Stanford (8pm, Fox): The Huskies are 2-1 (1-0 in the Pac 10). The Cardinal are 2-1 (1-0 in the Pac 10).
(*)- This game is this week's Sports Take Flier Pick of the Week

I took a flier on Washington last week, and I'm right back with them this week.

Sure, this game sets up for a huge let-down for the Huskies after their emotional win last week. They're on the road, without the home support that helped carry them past USC. And we all know that a big win like that can take a lot out of a team.

But it can also light a fire under a team. It can give a team confidence and convince them that they're actually capable of playing at that level every week.

I love Jim Harbaugh as a coach in Stanford. And I respect the Cardinal program immensely. It won't surprise me a bit if they win. But their two wins have come against Washington State and San Jose State. In their one test against a legit team, Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons beat them 24-17.

We really don't know yet how legit Washington is this year. But they've got an experienced quarterback and a defense that stood up to a Trojan offense that's supposed to be one of the best in the country.

I think this game is close and Washington will have a chance to sneak a road win in the closing minutes. So we'll take the seven points and see if Washington's our new darling team!

So there you have them folks. Four picks for your consideration. If you have any thoughts, queries, quibbles, or complaints, I encourage you to attach a comment below and let us all know!

I'll be back on Friday with your weekly hit of the DFTU!

Until then, thanks for reading.


  1. Two dogs, and one is a road dog!

    That's the kinda imaginary wagering I like to see!

  2. You just love that I'm returning to save Husker Nation! ;)