Last week I forgot to post my picks. It was a chaotic week and I’ll try not to forget again this season. Here’s a brief summary of the last couple of weeks to catch you up.
Two weeks ago (in week 6) I had my best week of the season. I went 8-2 after successfully picking Texas over Oklahoma, and narrowly picking then #5 Utah over #23 California. I picked Georgia to win, but that became impossible when their star running back was injured on what I believe was the first play from scrimmage. I’ll be hoping the kid can come back soon.
Speaking of people who need a comeback, week 7 was more normal for my picks: I went 6-4 for the second time this season (week 2 was the other) even though it was my second highest point total in ESPN Pick’Em because of how I ranked the ones I was most confident of. I’m now 38-32 on the season.
I got my most confident pick wrong last week as OU came and slaughtered K-State, just down the road from where I write this, 55-0. That game was a perfect storm though, and few but the most rugged Wildcat’s fans probably picked that. OU was coming off a loss to Texas the week prior and was 6-0 under current coach Bob Stoops in the weeks following Red River Rivalry losses. Add in that Texas fans left about 3,000 seats on their side of the stadium empty, and Texas still won, and you had a high probability OU would roll into Manhattan a little pissed the heck off.
K-State, on the other hand, had come off two heartbreaking second-half comeback losses by ranked teams, Oklahoma State on the road and top 5 ranked TCU at home. So when the Wildcats came out flat, and OU came out strong, it’s hard to say I was completely surprised, though I’d never pick against my Wildcats. :). The bottom line though, having watched OU two straight weeks, is that I don’t think they are as good as they showed against K-State, and I don’t K-State is actually as bad as they looked against OU.
K-State Versus Texas Analysis
Now I get a chance to back up my point about picking K-State against anyone, because for the second straight week, ESPN is calling it’s users to pick the winner of a game featuring the Wildcats. This week they go into Austin, Texas to play a Longhorns team some think may be right at the turnaround point in their rebuilding efforts since longtime coach Mack Brown left following the 2013 season and Charlie Strong took over. That win against OU two weeks ago went a long way in securing the fanbases’ faith in Strong, and the coming weeks should give them even more reason to trust the process.
After K-State, they play Iowa State, who is ranked one spot above them in the Big 12 standings. If they win even one of the games against either ISU or KSU, they should blow through their next two games, which are against Big 12 bottom-dwellers Kansas and West Virginia.
As for this week’s game against K-State; it’s an intriguing one. K-State recently seems to have Texas’ number. They’re 7-1 against Texas dating back to 2006 when they injured Colt McCoy and ended Texas’ chances of repeating as National Champions the year after Vince Young’s historic game against USC (which is the best game I’ve ever watched as a sports fan). The Wildcats are also 1-0 against Charlie Strong, beating Texas last year 23-0, and shutting them out for the first time since OU did it in 2004, according to ESPN.
Still, Texas has had two weeks to plan for this one because of a BYE week last week, and after that dramatic win against OU, I’d bet Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is straight up sold-out against a K-State team that fans probably consider very beatable.
Still, I’m picking K-State. Head coach Bill Snyder knows what he has to do. I think K-State will come in and just relax after three straight games where they were underdogs against ranked teams.
So without further ado:
Week 8 Picks 🙂
Wisconsin on the road over Illinois: This is one of those “I know nothing about either team” picks, but Wisconsin did well for me earlier this year when I picked them over Nebraska in week 6, so why not watch them do it again :).
Ohio on the road over Buffalo: How did this matchup even get picked? I don’t think I’ve even heard of either team, but hey, I’ll go with Ohio. We’ll see what happens, but this is probably the pick I’m most likely to get wrong this week.
#23 Duke on the road over Virginia Tech: ….wait, Duke can’t have decent football AND good basketball…it’s against the rules! Meh, I’ll pick them, but I don’t think I quite believe they should be ranked just yet. Just saying…
Arizona at home over Washington State: My first home pick of the week goes Arizona. According to ESPN, they’ve only lost to ranked teams this season: UCLA and Stanford. I have no reason to believe WSU is as good as either.
#15 Texas A&M on the road over #24 Ole Miss: I successfully picked A&M’s loss to Alabama last week, but that wasn’t an indictment on them. I’m a big Kevin Sumlin fan: he’s a good coach and he seems to make a lot of sense when he speaks in interviews. I think he’ll get that team ready, and I think Texas A&M is actually really good, as much as the Longhorns fan in me hates to say it.
#6 Clemson on the road over Miami (FL): This one is simple for me. Miami is good, but Clemson is better. Watch me eat those words later 😛
#3 Utah on the road over USC: I actually picked USC to win last week against Notre Dame, but I don’t think Utah is a big enough rivalry (if it’s one at all) to get them fired up, plus Utah looks good this year. I’m slowing starting to buy their legitimacy. This is the tiebreaker in ESPN Pick’em this week, so I predict a final score of 45-35.
Mississippi State at home over Kentucky: I don’t know much about either team here either, I promise that’s my last one this week lol, but their only to losses came, ironically, to teams each ranked #14 at the time: LSU in week 2, and Texas A&M in week 5. They shouldn’t be ashamed of either loss.
#25 Pittsburg on the road over Syracuse: It’s hard for me to ever know what to do with Pittsburg, but Syracuse just isn’t very good. Still, neither team seems to have played anyone legendary or anything, so this is a hard one to pick.
Kansas State on the road over Texas: I love Austin more than I love any place anywhere, but I think this will be the last chance K-State has to beat Texas while they’re in rebuild mode. So go Cats!!!! 🙂