Thursday, November 1, 2007

Guest Column: College Football Picks by William Jones

This week looks to pick up where we left off last week when we went 2-1 (Texas A&M went down the tubes, taking their coach with them!) with a three-play of picks.

Kansas State (-14) @ Iowa State - The numbers indicate K-State to be a 34.5 point favorite in this one with I-State giving up an average of 32 points per game. Since upsetting rival Iowa in week 3, I-State has lost all their conference games. K-State, coming off a last second loss to Oklahoma State two weeks ago, drubbed Baylor by 38 this past Saturday, a Baylor team that beat it's I-AA opponent while I-State lost to theirs. K-State covers no problem vs. a team with nothing left to win.

LSU(-7) @ Alabama - OK, we know LSU is, most likely, the best team in the country. But this game will hinge on one thing and one thing only...Saban gets to play his first game against LSU after leaving them to go to the Dolphins in 2005. This will be the first and only time some of his former recruits (class of 2009) at LSU will get a chance to show up the man who promised them the moon and then left for Miami. I'm sure, given a do-over, each and every one of the players he recruited would still have picked LSU but they have to feel some level of betrayal. Interestingly, media pieces quoting Alabama players discussing the LSU game have been plentiful, but LSU player quotes are in scarce supply. Hmmmm. Last time I saw this in a rivalry game, UCLA upset USC last year, killing any shot the Trojans had of getting to the Championship Game. Take the grudge, LSU's battle to regain a BCS championship berth and the fact that they are a statistical 11 point favorite and the Tigers will get their revenge on Saban. Go with LSU.

The UPSET SPECIAL OF THE WEEK!!! Georgia Tech (-2.5) v. Virginia Tech (Thursday Nov.1) - Both teams have been going up and down the polls this year for different reasons. GT had a storybook season last year, but lost superstar WR Calvin Johnson to the NFL. VT, a perennial ACC favorite, entered the season reeling from the tragedy that occurred there. Both teams have adjusted nicely, with GT leaning on stud RB Tashard Choice and VT easing into a groove after a bad early loss to LSU. Both teams are near equals statistically, with the math working GT out to be a true 2.5 point favorite. The x-factor to this game will be Choice and his #1 backup sitting out this game with injuries. The third option has a better yard per rush average and as many TD's as Choice, but we'll see if he can carry the load. After thumping their last two opponents (Clemson and Duke) by 18+ points each, VT was ready to prove they were emotionally ready to take hold of the ACC. They went up to play BC in the rain and let their guard down in the final two minutes after dominating a sloppy, run oriented game. They won't take their foot off GT's throat this week. VT wins outright!

We've been 2-1 but this week's slate had so many generous games, I'm thinking we should go 3-0.

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