Have been on a really good run in 2012 and hopefully everyone has enjoyed it. As I’ve mentioned before, as the season progresses, so does how you handicap games. You can’t disregard stats or motivation. Below are my Week 9 College Football Picks. If you don’t see a game you’re interested in, please leave a comment and I will give you my thoughts. I have done my best to address everyone’s comments and questions. I also respond quickly on twitter.
Clemson -12 vs Wake Forest
Will not be going as in depth on this one due to the fact that my man JimmyShivers has a really good write-up on this game too. With this being one of the mid-week games, it was one of the first games I put in my system. I was blown away by the stats here. I just don’t get this one at all.
The only thing that seems to be in Wake Forest favor is the fact that they are home. Literally, out of every stat that is correlated with scoring points and winning, Wake Forest is only better in one, and that is sacks (which is toward the low end of the spectrum). Not only is Clemson better, they rank very highly amongst the NCAA in alot of them.
Clemson is better on first downs offense and defense, better on third downs offense and defense, better in the red zone, etc. They have an advantage on every single position I can find. Clemson has also played a harder schedule. So the question is, does Clemson show up?
I think they do. First of all, its a mid-week game on national TV. If playing on ESPN doesn’t get 18-22 year old guys excited, then I don’t know what does. They are coming off a short week, and this Clemson offense that has been playing together and clicking should be able to roll here, and easily cover less than 2 TDs, even on the road.
Clemson 41, Wake 17
Ole Miss +6 vs Arky
This should come as a surprise to no one, but I am just puzzled. Ole Miss is not a bad team by any stretch of the imagination. They have beat every team they are supposed to beat and have won the game against a strong A&M team. On top of that, their offense has put up the most points on Bama than anyone and their defense has stepped up. Chizik threw the kitchen sink at Ole Miss and couldn’t walk away with the W. I don’t know if the rest of the public or the books are still living off last years team, but it is a world of difference.
There is exactly one reason why I can see Arky being favored here: Tyler Wilson vs. Ole Miss Secondary. TW is a very good QB on a not so very good team. Everyone assumes because Ole Miss secondary got torched early in the year (when starters were out) that they are not up to snuff. Tyler Wilson will struggle here, and here is why.
Even in the past two games Arky has played against the SEC doormats, they really haven’t gotten much going on the ground. This allows Ole Miss to be more aggressive on the defensive front. They can play over the top and shadow Cobi, the one huge threat. On top of that, Ole Miss is 33rd in INT, 8th in TFL, 21st in sacks, and 21st in turnovers caused.
I do think TW gets it going a bit, but Arky is terrible in the RedZone, terrible on 3rd down, only completing 55% of passes and can’t run. If Ole Miss can score, which I believe they will, I think they walk away with a win here at Arky. Arky’s D is not good. Look at the last team that Arky played that runs a similar offense to Ole Miss…it was A&M and Arky got smacked.
One thing sinks Ole Miss here, and thats Bo turning it over. Did I mention according to my ranking system, Hugh Freeze is twice as good of a coach as JL? Freeze has let one win get away, I don’t see him letting 2. My numbers have Ole Miss by about 10 here, and I adjust that down to around 7 for playing on the road. I keep saying this, but maybe after this one, Ole Miss gets some love.
Ole Miss 31, Arky 24
Vandy -32 vs UMass
UMass is in the running for one of the worst teams in the country. They have played a tough set of games, but they are just brutal. Now they travel from Mass to Tennessee to take on a middle of the pack SEC team that is hungry now to get to .500 and the possibility of a bowl in sight with games against UK, Tenn, Ole Miss and Wake following.
Vandy played a pretty brutal schedule to start the year and I think that’s part of the reason why we haven’t really seen their offense click and why they are underrated. They played SC, UGA, Mizzou, Florida, Auburn and a solid Northwestern team. I think Vandy gets it going here for the sheer reason of getting to beat down on someone.
UMass this season has averaged losing by 28 points, and I think Vandy is better than all of their opponents besides Michigan (and that’s even arguable) who beat them by 50. If Vandy remotely shows up, they kill UMass.
Finally, UMass even has players tweeting IN THE MIDDLE OF GAMES. This is from last week:
“IM OUT HERE BALLIN’…2nd half bouta qet started time too qet mo’ money !!!”
Cmon bro (he actually played well atleast).
Vandy 52, Mass 10
Pitt -6.5 vs Temple
Pitt is not the same team we saw at the beginning of the season. They had a new coach, with a new system, and I think they are finally starting to figure it out. They are coming off of a tough trip picking up the W at Buffalo while Temple is off of a brutal 2nd half performance and choke job against foe Rutgers. They have to now travel to Pitt, who typically has a good homefield advantage.
Pitt is led by 40 year old QB Tino Sunseri. As Tino goes, Pitt goes. Tino is blessed to have Ray G and stud frosh Russell Shell in the backfield. Pitt has had some tough losses, but I think this is a good bounce back game for them. They have a very good statistical advantage over Temple and I think they have the skill players as well. Temple has been trying other QB options in practice, obviously, because of how bad their offense is.
Temple is a run first offense. They are the worst team in the NCAA at obtaining first downs. That stems from the fact that they are almost the worst in picking up third downs. If they aren’t picking up 6+ yards on their first down, they are at an 8% chance of picking up a first down. Thats LESS THAN ONE IN TEN TRIES. Once Temple gets in the Redzone, they do a good job of scoring, but they don’t get there often.
Pitt has an advantage in all of the top 5 stats that correlate with winning and scoring, by a huge margin. If Tino limits turnovers, I could see them grinding out this win here at home and covering the spread.
Pitt 34, Temple 17