The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012


September 15, 2007


Central Michigan @ Purdue — Preview

Purdue sits at 2-0, after a 52-24 blowout over Toledo, and a 52-6 blowout over FCS-division Eastern Illinois. While they’ve looked good in both of those games, it’s clear that they haven’t yet been tested. Today may, or may not, be that test.

Central Michigan started their season at Kansas, and got absolutely destroyed 52-7, following that up with a trip to Toledo, where they beat the Rockets by a score of 52-31.

So if one thing is clear today, it’s that one of these teams is scoring 52 points.

Central Michigan is a talented team, led by a very capable quarterback, and can both run and throw the ball quite well. That QB, Dan LeFevour, wanted to come to Purdue, but didn’t get a scholarship offer, so he has a bit to prove. This is quite clearly the best offense that Purdue has faced all year long. They laid an offensive egg against Kansas, but it’s possible that Kansas is a pretty good defense, based on their second game of the season.

Thankfully, though, I think it’s quite possible that this is the worst defense that Purdue has faced all season. They’re currently giving up over 500 yards per game, and gave up more passing yards to Toledo than Purdue gave up total yards. Purdue’s offense will shred CMU’s secondary, and should have a choice to beat them on the ground or in the air.

This game can go two ways. If Purdue jumps out to an early lead like they did against EIU, this game will be very ugly. CMU has a pretty solid offense, but if we can force them due to game situations to become a one-dimensional passing team, I think we can shut them down. On the flip side, though, if Purdue makes a few mistakes early, or CMU keeps it close, CMU’s balanced offense can keep them in the game all the way down to the wire.

There is one intangible here as well. CMU’s poor showing was AT Kansas, and their win against Toledo was at HOME. They come to Ross-Ade stadium in West Lafayette today, so it’s possible they may be out of their element.

Prediction:
Purdue will dominate this game, it’s just a matter of how early they put the Chippewas out of commission. Barring turnovers, I think it’s decided early. If Curtis Painter has his first interception or two of the season, or Purdue puts the ball on the ground, I think it might remain in contention early into the second half. I’ll call this one in the middle, and it gets decided early in the second quarter. I’m thinking 21-10 at the half, and then Purdue runs away with it.

Central Michigan 20, Purdue 48

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September 8, 2007


Eastern Illinois @ Purdue — Preview

Normally, I’d say that since EIU is an FCS (formerly I-AA) team, this isn’t worth previewing… After all, a I-AA team can’t hope to compete with a team like Purdue, right? Well, after last Saturday, that’s no longer the case…

But, EIU isn’t App State. They shouldn’t keep this game close, except for two factors:

Distractions: On Thursday night, charges were filed against 3 Purdue players for an incident that occurred back in March. This includes one of our starting receivers and one of the team captains on defense. At the moment, the stories are full of holes, and coach Joe Tiller has decided to wait until the legal system passes judgement before he disciplines the players. I don’t think I agree with his decision, but right now I’m most concerned with what it might mean to the team. Purdue’s got the talent to blow EIU off the field, but as we saw with Michigan, if your team doesn’t have their head or heart in the game, anything can happen.

EIU’s Passing Game: The last two years have been ugly for Purdue’s defense, particularly their ability to defend the pass. EIU has a very talented, accurate QB, and one very talented receiver. Which sounds similar to what App State brought to the game last Saturday.

However, Purdue has a few major advantages. First, they saw the App State / UM score last Saturday, and they know that they can’t take EIU lightly. Second, EIU is starting 4 completely fresh players in their defensive backfield this year, and Purdue’s deep and talented WR corps should be able to get open at will. Third, Purdue should be able to line up and run the ball straight at EIU without EIU stopping them. And last, EIU’s rushing attack is not anywhere near the threat of their passing game, so Purdue should be able to force them into being one-dimensional.

If Purdue is ready to play today, this game will be ugly. If not, this game should still be a win, but the first half might be rather close, but Purdue has too many weapons on the field to let the game finish close.

Prediction:

Eastern Illinois 13, Purdue 51

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September 1, 2007


Purdue @ Toledo Preview

Well, I’m still planning to do a Big Ten preview, but considering how Wyatt has affected my “plans”, we’ll see how well that works out. Either way, he’s sleeping and there’s still 4 1/2 hours to kickoff, so let’s break down Purdue @ Toledo.

First, one has to give Toledo their respect. They’re 38-4 at home since 1999, and have a history of knocking off Big Ten teams opening their season in the Glass Bowl (3 in the last decade, including Purdue in 1997). They had a rough season last year, but they’ve got a strong defense, an excellent running back, and the attitude of a players in the MAC, that they should be playing in the Big Ten.

That’s coupled with a Purdue team that’s coming off a tough (but winning) year, with a porous defense and an inconsistent offense. Against a tough team in a road opener, this game smells of a trap.

Breakdown:

Purdue Offense vs. Toledo Defense:

As mentioned, Toledo’s got a pretty stout defense for a MAC team. Purdue, though, returns an offense that finished in the top ten in yardage last year, and looks to be even stronger this year. Senior receiver Dorien Bryant used to be the only game-breaker Purdue had, but now with Dustin Keller at tight end, and bookend 6′4″ 200+ lb burners Greg Orton and Selwyn Lymon on the outside, Purdue can stretch the field against anyone. Last year, there were consistency issues regarding receivers running incorrect routes, but another year of experience should halt that, and Curtis Painter has another year of work with these guys, so the only thing that can stop Purdue’s passing game is Purdue. On the ground, Purdue has two very capable backs in Kory Sheets and Jaycen Taylor, and 2nd year OC Bill Legg is implementing something Purdue hasn’t seen in many years: a fullback. I was a big fan of the spread option, but it really hasn’t panned out. The addition of a true power running game may bring the Boilers the ground threat and unpredictability of offense that they’ve been lacking.

All that said, Purdue definitely has the edge here. They have more talent and more experience all over their offense, and should be able to control the game. Purdue can only be beaten by their own mistakes.

Purdue Defense vs. Toledo Offense:

The Purdue defense is widely considered weak, if you pay attention to the pundits. I don’t agree, but we’ll get to that in a later post. The real question is whether Toledo has the horsepower to exploit them. Toledo is starting an untested QB against a veteran Purdue secondary, so I doubt they’ll be putting up a lot of yards in the air. Trying to force a ball into coverage is a mistake with cornerbacks like Terrell Vinson, who has an excellent nose for the football and will be quick to get a pick. Where Toledo may have an edge is in the running game. Purdue last year fielded a few defensive tackles who were simply not physically ready for the game. The word is that they’ve bulked up and gotten there physically, but it’s impossible to know. With the loss of 1st-round pick Anthony Spencer at defensive end, the line may suffer. The linebackers are another question mark, due mostly to the fact that nobody knows whether they’ll be any good as a unit. There’s talent there, but both 1st and 2nd string MLB’s have had injury issues, and the only proven player is Stanford Keglar (who is a strong run-stopper, but not great in pass coverage). Toledo will need to establish a ground game against the Boilers, and their starting RB is capable enough to do it.

Defensively, if Purdue can handle Toledo on the ground, this will be ugly for the Rockets. The secondary should be able to contain them in the air, so if the defensive tackles can stuff the middle, and the linebackers plug the holes, Toledo will be in trouble. To do that, Purdue’s tackles and linebackers needs to be mean, nasty, and swarm the ballcarrier. Again, the word from practice is that these guys are playing with an enormous chip on their shoulder after the last two years, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Special Teams:

When it comes to kickoff coverage, Purdue is solid. The same goes for punt coverage. Purdue’s returners (Bryant for kickoffs and punts, and Sheets for kickoffs) have the ability to break a long return at any time. However, Toledo also look solid on their coverage teams. I’ll give Purdue a slight edge there.

Where Purdue has an enormous question mark is their field goal kicker. Chris Summers, as a freshman last year, went 8 for 20, and that’s simply unacceptable. Purdue was forced into going for it on 4th and long in opponents’ territory, because we couldn’t trust the kicker to make anything. Summers was always great in practice and choked in games, so I’m not believing anything I’ve heard about his abilities in practice over the off-season. Toledo, to my knowledge, has no FG woes, so I’ve got to give Toledo a big edge in that department.

Prediction:

Purdue 31, Toledo 13

I think Purdue’s offense SHOULD put up more than 40 points, but I really think they might get off to a slow start, and have at least one drive end in no points due to a missed FG. But I’m going to go out on a limb and believe the press clippings about Purdue’s defense. I expect to see them come out with an attitude. I expect to see swarms of Boilers making tackles, and a blitzing-attacking style of defense that we’ve lacked the last two years (as our LB’s had to play pass coverage to make up for injuries to the DB’s).

I’m guessing Purdue will lead 10-3 at the half, with 1 missed field goal and a defense that bottles up Toledo. In the second half, Purdue scores a few offensive TD’s, and the defense contributes either it’s own score, or gets a big turnover in good field position to give the offense an easy score. As the game progresses, Toledo puts up a fight, but can’t hang with the Boilers for 60 minutes.

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January 8, 2007


The National Championship

#2 Florida (12-1) @ #1 Ohio State (12-0)
Vegas Says: Ohio State -7.5

Well, my predictions of the bowl games that so far have been pretty weak. I knew I should have picked the LSU/ND game, even though I was traveling that day, because that one was pretty much a lock. ND was (again) overrated, and they got what was coming to them. I hate to say it, but they weren’t a bad football team. Yet they were never as good as advertised.

So with my bad record, I’m going opposite what I originally thought. With a 7.5 point line, I normally would look at two teams like this and say Ohio State would win, but not cover, much the same way they did against Michigan. But I don’t think that’s the case. I’m picking OSU to cover tonight.

Against Michigan, Ohio State had 3 mistakes (two fumbled snaps and an interception), while Michigan has basically no offensive mistakes. That was an oddity in a game of this magnitude that I doubt will be repeated tonight, and even with those mistakes, Ohio State managed to ride Cool Hand Troy to victory.

For Michigan, mistake free, power offense is the name of the game, and they play it to perfection. Florida isn’t quite the same. They’re a big-play offense, and they’re lead by a QB, Chris Leak, who isn’t known for his coolness under pressure. They’re showing up against a defense as good as any they’ve seen all year, and an offense better than they’ve seen all year.

For Ohio State to Cover: Don’t have the mistakes you had against Michigan. You can move the ball and score on this Florida defense. Play a solid game, but if you are -3 in the turnover ratio, all hell may break loose. As Kirk Herbstreit said on ESPN last night, keep Florida in front of you. They can make it happen with the big play, but the more chances you get to force them into 3rd down, the more you force them to earn their points rather than beating you big over the top.

For Florida to beat the spread: Reggie Nelson has to watch Cool Hand Troy, and disrupt his passing game (hopefully getting a couple interceptions in the process). You need to pressure Troy without blitzing too heavily, and even then you can’t expect to sack him. But you need to pressure him into throwing the ball while keeping good coverage. I know, easier said than done. And Chris Leak has to have the game of his career. Chris Leak has all the talent he needs, and can make all the throws. But Florida’s been intercepted 14 times this season, and they need to win the turnover battle to beat the spread.

Prediction: Ohio State covers
Predicted Final Score: OSU 38, Florida 27

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January 1, 2007


Rose Bowl Prediction — Michigan vs. Southern Cal

Purdue (Big Ten #2, 11-1) @ USC (Pac-10 #1, 10-2)
Vegas Says: Michigan -2

It seems to me that Vegas seems to know something that us bettors don’t. The line opened as a Pick’Em, and has slowly moved towards Michigan. It’s now ranging from Michigan -1.5 to -2.5, but most bettors think Michigan will take this one away.

And I’m among that crowd. For the USC/UCLA game, I said that the key for UCLA would be harassing John David Booty, but that I didn’t think they’d be able to get it done. Well, they did so, they stuffed the run, and they got to the QB. Michigan’s front seven is much better than UCLA’s, so I expect them to do so even more. USC hasn’t been able to run against strong defenses, and while they’ve got two incredible receivers, I don’t think they’ll have quite the passing success on Michigan that Ohio State was able to have.

On the opposite side of the ball, USC has a pretty decent defense, but I don’t know if they’ve faced an offense as complete as Michigan’s. Michigan is likely to ride the back of Mike Hart to control the game, and then go up top to Manningham once USC is focusing on stopping Hart. It’s worked all year, it worked against OSU, and it can work against USC.

I don’t think Michigan will have quite the lopsided success they had against ND, but I don’t see USC being able to keep this competitive. I see the game going roughly the same as what I had predicted for the Purdue/Maryland game, and I’ll be highly, highly surprised if I’m equally wrong.

Prediction: Michigan covers
Predicted Final Score: Michigan 31, USC 17
Final Score: USC 32, Michigan 18
Prediction: WRONG

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December 29, 2006


Champs Sports Bowl – Purdue vs. Maryland

Purdue (Big Ten #4, 8-5) @ Maryland (ACC #4, 8-4)
Vegas Says: Pick’Em

This is a tough one. Purdue has enough offensive firepower to roll right over Maryland, and Maryland doesn’t have enough offense to keep up. But then, when you look at Purdue’s season, we haven’t seen a defense stop Purdue all year long, despite the fact that Purdue has laid a few offensive eggs this year. Most games where the Boilers sputtered on offense came down to bad execution by Purdue, not overwhelming defense. Even Purdue’s two worst offensive performances, scoring 3 points against Wisconsin and being shut out by Penn State, those defenses were aided by 25-mph gusting winds that completely disrupted Purdue’s passing attack.

But when Purdue’s offense is rolling, anything on the tracks ahead of them is destined for obliteration. Purdue may only be averaging 27 points per game this year, but they’re 6th in the nation in passing ypg, and 12th in total offensive ypg (including Div I-AA schools). Due to offensive miscues, Purdue didn’t score in the first half at Hawaii. When they hit a rhythm in the second half, though, they racked up 35 points in a hurry. With a stable of incredible offensive receivers, and enough of a rushing attack to keep a defense on their toes, the only enemy of Purdue’s offense is Purdue’s offense; Maryland’s defense is a non-factor.

So it all comes down to the first half. If Purdue can hit an offensive rhythm and get out to an early lead, they can play loose and confident, and can blow the doors off this game. Purdue’s defense isn’t exactly “stout”; in fact it’s atrocious. But the same label can be applied to Maryland’s offense. The bad against the bad will result in some Maryland points, but if Purdue’s offense can keep the pressure on, they can force Maryland into mistakes.

Ahh, but there’s the question. If Purdue’s offense sputters, Maryland has a history of winning close games all year long (thankfully, so does Purdue). If Purdue doesn’t get out to an early lead, this could easily be an ugly 17-15 game like the Purdue/MSU game earlier this year. Maryland has experience and confidence in close games, and that may be too much for Purdue to overcome.

And then there’s the preparation. Maryland’s coach has prepared his teams the last two years for bowl game routs, while Joe Tiller has— in the past— treated bowl games like a vacation for his players. Tiller has stated publicly that he’s not going to do that this year, and the team traveled down to Orlando before Christmas to get ready for business. Preparation will determine a lot of how the first quarter goes, and thus may determine the whole tempo of the game. Maryland is going to want to keep this a low-scoring affair, while Purdue wants a shootout.

Personally, I think Purdue got a bit of an advantage with the Hawaii game. That is a bit of a bowl game, with distant travel and a different climate. They started slow, but they got rolling in the second half. If they can carry that offensive success into the early stages of the bowl game, this one isn’t close. If they don’t, though, all bets are off.

Prediction: NO OFFICIAL PREDICTION (but as a Boiler Fan, I’m personally picking them to win)
Predicted Final Score: Purdue 31, Maryland 17

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December 2, 2006


How Correct Analysis Leads to Wrong Results

When you start a 5-game pick 0-3 on the day, it really doesn’t make you feel very good. I did so, and it makes me wonder how good my analysis skills are doing… But I’ve looked at these games, and the analysis was sound. I correctly saw what the teams could do to each other, and what they needed to do to win. Where I was wrong is my prediction of whether they’d take care of that business.

1) Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech

I said Wake would have an offensive letdown against GT. I further said that wake had a good rush defense, and that GT would need to exploit Wake’s pass defense to win the game, and if they could do so, they’d win easily. Wake’s offense was inept against GT’s defense. GT’s rushing attack didn’t do much against Wake’s defense. I said that if Ball and Johnson could hook up, they could run rampant on Wake’s pass D. So what did they do? Ball threw for a 31% completion rate and 2 interceptions. They had the talent to beat Wake, they just didn’t execute.

2) USC @ UCLA

My pick was that UCLA would score a mere 17 on USC’s defense. They underperformed slightly, scoring 13. I said the key to the game would be UCLA’s defense rattling John David Booty, and that I didn’t think they could do it (due to the low number of sacks and interceptions he’s thrown). So what did they do? Prove me wrong with several sacks, generally keeping him “hearing footsteps” all game long, and throwing a pick.

Really, even with UCLA doing what I expected, I still didn’t think they’d win it. But this is a rivalry game, and these things happen. I can’t wait to see the uproar in the BCS, though… Fodder for blog posts for the next month!

3) Arkansas @ Florida

I said Florida would need to stop Darren McFadden, and that since nobody else had done so, they wouldn’t either. They proved me wrong, and held him to 99 total yards. Without McFadden, Arkansas had to rely on their passing game, which I said would have to be average, and they couldn’t afford interceptions. So they threw for under 50%, 182 yards, 3 TD’s and 3 INT’s.

Florida’s defense stepped up, taking Arkansas’s offense out of their gameplan. Add 4 turnovers, and Arkansas had basically no chance of making the upset.

4) Rutgers @ WVU

Well, you don’t get more right than this. I said this game would come down to a 25-24 score in favor of WVU. In regulation, they tied 23-23. That’s pretty close. I said Rutgers would have decent success running the ball. It wasn’t a huge game, rushing for 137 in regulation, but it was enough of a game to take some pressure off the passing attack (which then did some damage).

Once you get to overtime, all bets are off. But Rutgers kept the game close (and in the general scoring totals I had thought) to force an overtime, and that’s a pretty good job when you’re a 10.5 point dog on the road.

5) Nebraska @ Oklahoma

They’re into the 4th quarter as I’m heading to bed, with Oklahoma up 21-7 on Nebraska… So far it looks like Oklahoma’s defense is taking care of business, and Oklahoma is scoring at a decent rate. Unless something crazy happens in the next 9 minutes of football, this is looking like a fairly solid pick.


The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 14
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2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 14

Ahh, the final week of the regular season. How did it come so quickly? It seems like just yesterday, I was sitting in Maui with a sad case of jet lag at 3:30 AM, eagerly awaiting the start of College Gameday at 4. According to my calendar, that was September… And three months have passed? I must really be getting old!

Not too old for my mind to still work, though, judging by my record. Heading into this week, I’m 51-30 on the year, for just under a 64% winning percentage against the spread. Since you need to win greater than 55% (actually, slightly less on some online betting houses) to beat the juice, I’m doing pretty well. If I had been betting $100 a game (which I think I’ll start next year), I’d be up $1800. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

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Below The Beltway linked with Greg Schiano: Coach Of The Year
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November 25, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 3

Well, thankfully Friday helped me get over my wrong pick from Thursday. That puts me 3-1 on the week against the spread (oddly 1-3 straight up), and I’m now 48-28 on the year.

There’s only one true game of consequence today, and that’s Notre Dame @ USC. It’s going to be a game of consequence in the Warbiany household as well, since the wife is From Southern Cal but grew up a Notre Dame fan. She actually wants to watch this game, and I think we’re going to be rooting for opposite teams.

Then, I need to figure out how to either watch or listen to the Purdue @ Hawaii game. Purdue is now a 19-point underdog, so I’m thinking I really don’t want to pay the $10 to order it and watch it online. So that might be internet radio all the way…

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November 24, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 2

Well, Boston College let me down yesterday, which is no way to start a weekend. Thankfully, I have two full days of college football to make up for it. Since I gave in and went shopping, I should have enough husbandly-duty-credit with the wife to watch quite a bit of these games too!

I’ll break this out into two posts… One for each day of games. This should be a particularly good week, too, as it’s Rivarly Week!

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The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 3
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November 23, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 1

As you can see, I’ve been busy today. So I’m going to make a pick in tonights’ Boston College/Miami game, and will get to the other games of the weekend later…

#18 Boston College (9-2, 5-2) @ Miami-FL (5-6, 2-5)
Vegas Says: Boston College -3.5

This is an odd one. You have Boston College, a team going through an absolutely great season, with only close losses to NC State and Wake Forest. Then, you’ve got Miami who has been an emotional basketcase, and has lost several blowout games. Somehow, though, the line started around 4.5 and has been trending downwards late to 3.5… It’s almost like someone out there really believes Miami will put it together in this one.

Statistically, BC is scoring a good 10 points more per game, and allowing 1 less. So I don’t see a reason to think they won’t be capable of covering, even factoring in Miami’s home field advantage. BC has only scored less than 20 in their two losses, and I don’t expect them to do it tonight. Miami has had trouble scoring more than 15 in their six losses, and I doubt they’ll do it today against BC’s defense.

I don’t know why these lines are trending downwards, but I think BC covers easily.

Prediction: Boston College covers
Predicted Final Score: Boston College 27, Miami 13
Final Score: Miami 17, Boston College 14
Prediction: WRONG

UPDATE: Wow, the Miami defense played lights-out today. Boston College never got it going on offense. Truthfully, neither did Miami. Three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, really hurt them today. They really didn’t sustain long drives, but they had a couple of big deep shots that got them just enough to get the lead, and then the defense took over.


The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 3
The Unrepentant Individual linked with 2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 13 part 2
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November 18, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 12

oldoakenbucket
Ahh, the biggest week of the year. The one that is always important, regardless of the record. That’s right, it’s the Old Oaken Bucket game! Every year, Purdue and Indiana play for this traveling trophy. Each year, the winner gets to hold the bucket for the next year, and a “P” is added to the chain for a Purdue win, an “I” for an Indiana win. In the case of a tie, an “IP” is added. Since the trophy was created, there have been 52 “P”s, 25 “I”s, and 3 “IP”s. Mark it down, there will be 53 “P”s on the chain come tomorrow.

Of course, that’s the appetizer. Even as a die-hard Purdue fan, tomorrow’s main course is the Michigan/Ohio State game. There’s something to be said for a rivalry between two storied programs, that is widely considered one of the biggest rivalries in sports, being played when the teams are ranked #1 and #2, both undefeated. We’re talking here about THE game. And we’re talking about two schools whose fans have had a pleasant hatred for decades.

When it wasn’t possible to get any bigger, it was reported that Bo Schembechler passed away the day before the game, and the significance impossibly grew. Bo, say hi to Woody for us up there when you’re watching this one!

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Below The Beltway linked with Four Hours And Counting
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November 11, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 11 part 2

The drain of a long season has got to be wearing on a lot of players by now, especially since the NCAA added a 12th game to the schedule. It’s wearing on me, as well, as I’m finding these picks harder to generate each week. This week is an especially tough week, as I have vowed not to pick Michigan State games (too inconsistent), I can’t objectively pick Purdue (as a fan), and between two games I would normally pick this week (Wisconsin/Iowa and Tennessee/Arkansas), three of the 4 starting QB’s probably won’t be playing.

But that’s enough whining for today. Purdue doesn’t have a bye week on their schedule this year, so I’m not going to take one either!

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November 9, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 11 part 1

Again, we’ve got a big Thursday night matchup. Again, it involves two undefeated Big East teams. And again, there’s a lot at stake. If Louisville wins this game, they’ve got easier sailing the rest of the way to the MNC game (although it is three teams with winning records). Rutgers is not getting any love from the rankings, but if they get by Louisville, the rest of their schedule, and West Virginia to close out the year, they could prove themselves worthy of a shot at the MNC game as well. This game is not getting the hype last week got, which is a shame, since it’s more due to the polls dissing Rutgers than anything else.

GAME OF THE WEEK

#3 Louisville (8-0, 3-0) @ #15 Rutgers (8-0, 3-0)
Vegas says: Louisville -7

Rutgers hasn’t been getting a lot of credit this year, but only one game so far has been close. They even blew the doors off Navy, and if they can contain the Navy rushing attack, they may have a shot at slowing down West Virginia. But that’s only relevant if they can get by Louisville, and Rutgers are 7 point dogs at home.

Looking at the game, Rutgers has one of the top scoring defenses in the country. They’re allowing a mere 9.1 ppg, 227 ypg, including a miserly 135 ypg in the air. They’re top ten in those three categories, and top 25 in rushing ypg allowed. Of course, that’s up against a team, Louisville, whose offense is scoring 39.4 ppg, gaining nearly 500 ypg and 300 in the air. That’s top ten in all three categories, with a top 25 rushing attack thrown in. Louisville has a strong defense, but they gave up quite a bit of yards and points to West Virginia last week. Rutgers, of course, doesn’t have anywhere near the offense WVU has, so Louisville’s strong defense should be able to hold them to a lot less production than WVU could gain.

This isn’t quite the same matchup as Louisville/WVU. But in that matchup, Louisville needed both defensive and special teams touchdowns to put it away. WVU was not good at securing the football, and made enough mistakes to get themselves out of their gameplan. And that was Louisville at home, they’re on the road for this one. Rutgers hasn’t quite played anyone to give them the tests Louisville has faced so far, the only test they’ve had is a close 22-20 game at South Florida. That was a Friday night game, so hopefully it prepared them for the rigors of dealing with a Thursday night game.

In the end, I think to be 7 point dogs at home is a big spread. Further, Louisville is coming off their biggest test of the year, so they might be ripe for a letdown. Last, Rutgers has a defense even more suited to containing Louisville than any they’ve probably faced this season, including Miami. I’m really expecting Rutgers to come up big in this one. I don’t know they’ll be able to win this game, but I don’t give this one to Louisville by more than one score. To be sure, a Rutgers upset wouldn’t really surprise me, because their defense has picked off a few passes this year, and a few turnovers for either team could really blow this one apart.

Prediction: Rutgers beats the spread
Predicted Final Score: Louisville 30, Rutgers 27

Final Score: Rutgers 28, Louisville 25
Prediction: RIGHT

UPDATE: So that gets me to 35-22 against the spread, 41-16 straight up. Rutgers has blown the doors off Louisville’s MNC hopes, and now they need to win out to have any chance of living out their own MNC fantasy. Regardless of BCS hopes, Rutgers played a great game. Down 25-7 at the half, they battled back to win the game 28-25. Excellent stuff…

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 6:00 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, Predictions


November 4, 2006


2006 NCAA Football Predictions — Week 10 part 2

Well, after Louisville’s victory, I’m now 30-19 against the spread, and 38-11 straight up. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve got people e-mailing me for picks, which is a bit of an honor… So I’ve got a question this week. Has anyone actually been betting my picks and making money? I might have to become one of those guys from Two For The Money, and start taking a cut of your winnings :-D

This week, we’ve got some really great-looking games. Some have some rather wacky lines (I’ll get to that later), and quite a few close ones. So this should be a fun week to watch football…

Read more of this entry… »

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:10 am || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, Predictions

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