Welcome back to the San Diego State Sports MBA college football picks segment! We hope you all enjoyed Week 9 of the college football season.
First, let’s see the standings after our Week 9 predictions:
Logan gets into the Extra Point column, narrowly edging out Dan. Dan was the only one to boldly predict a South Carolina upset, so good on him. He once more widens the gap to first place.
Let’s get to this week’s games. Click through to see our picks!
After much deliberation, the games we will look at this week are:
(#21)Michigan @ (#22)Michigan State
(#18)Oklahoma State @ (#15)Texas Tech
(#7)Miami (FL) @ (#3)Florida State
New Mexico @ San Diego State
Without further ado, here are our picks!
Michigan @ Michigan State
This is my game of the year (barring Big Ten Championship game or Rose Bowl). I make no bones about it when I express my disdain for the Michigan Wolverines. These feelings run far deeper than football, but that is another discussion entirely. So, let’s talk about Saturday. Well, first off, it is a road game for the Wolverines. Good news for them: under Brady Hoke, they are an astounding 4-10 on the road in the Big Ten, with their marquee win being over Northwestern! Great job! More good news: When MSU wins 8 games in a season, Michigan is 3-11 against them. Guess what? Michigan State has 7 wins and plays some easy games down the road. Sounds good! But I digress. Here is the real story. The Spartans have a stifling defense, holding their opponents to only 60% of their average yardage this year. Michigan has a potent, but rather one-dimensional offense, and State has done a great job over the last 4 years dealing with Michigan’s dual-threat quarterbacks. Michigan’s defense is absolutely putrid. For most of the season, Michigan State’s offense has been, as well. This game was a 12-10 bore last year. I do not expect the score to be THAT low this year, but it will be a struggle to get to 20. If the weather gets bad, which is possible, according to the forecast, the team that runs the ball best should take this. I like State’s run game and think we have an excellent offensive line for the first time in nearly a decade. Come on…did you really expect anything else? Go Green, Go White! Victory for MSU!
For me this game is a toss up. The Wolverines are very inconsistent but have the ability to score in bunches. The tandem of Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon will need to have huge games against one of the best defensive units in the country. Michigan State only gives up 12 points a game, albeit against some below average offenses. Still, Michigan State has some tremendous playmakers on that side of the ball, and East Lansing will be rocking for this rivalry game. Michigan has been a sieve on defense and the Connor Cook-led Spartans have not looked quite so inept on the offensive side of the ball lately. So I will roll with Sparty in this one.
Should be one of the more exciting Big Ten games. Seeing Michigan’s offense go against MSU’s defense will be one of the more exciting matchups of this game. I expect Devin Gardner to power the Michigan team to a win.
I have to put out the disclaimer that I am a huge Brady Hoke fan. I knew he was a steal when he came to guide my Aztecs to their first bowl game in decades and, though it hurt to see him go, I knew he was destined for the big time college football scene. That said, his teams have had inconsistent quarterback play, with starting quarterback Devin Gardner passing for 13 touchdowns but also 10 interceptions and taking 11 sacks. This Michigan State defense is a monster, having allowed only 439 rush yards THE ENTIRE SEASON. Look for them to load up the box, forcing Gardner to throw. I hate to say it, but Sparty comes out on top.
Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech
Texas Tech really impressed me last week in their loss to the hands of Oklahoma. Their offense is serious, and I love it. The Air Raid offense is one of the more exciting offenses in college football. Unfortunately, their defense does not have the same pop. Okie Light has not yet truly proven themselves, as they have not played a ranked team. Sure, they are 6-1 and look like a nice team, but this week we get to learn if they actually are nice or if they have just been pretending. Their loss to West Virginia really looks like a stinker, and they give up some good points, even to lowly opponents. This game is in Lubbock, so I am giving the ‘Pokes very little chance of coming out on top.
41-27 Red Raiders
The Red Raiders and their prolific offense lost a close game on a wet, sloppy field last week against the Sooners. The rainy weather conditions slowed the Air Raid just enough, but Oklahoma State won’t be so lucky. Freshman QB Davis Webb has thrown for at least 385 yards in the past 3 games. He needs to do a better job preventing turnovers, but the offense has a knack for making big plays. The Cowboys’ quarterback position appears to be in flux, and even though my favorite coach-“Over 40” man Mike Gundy says that Clint Chelf will start, I would not be surprised to see J.W. Walsh if Tech jumps out early. The ‘Pokes want to run the ball coming off their 342 yard rushing explosion last week. This plays right into the Red Raiders’ hands as they are much more susceptible to the pass. A victory for the Red Raiders in Lubbock!
38-28 Texas Tech
Texas Tech hit the tough part of their schedule and it resulted in a loss last week to Oklahoma. I expect the trend to continue this week going against Oklahoma St., but it should be a close, high-scoring game.
In this battle of identical twins, fans of high scoring games are the winners. Both teams have only one loss and that loss has come on the road. Oklahoma State averages 38.9 points per game while allowing an average of 19.6. Texas Tech scores 39.8 while allowing 21.1. Both teams run Hal Mumme’s Air Raid system, looking to speed up the tempo and create easy, fast reads for their quarterbacks. The determining factor in this game will be how well OK State’s defense has learned from their loss to fellow Air Raider Dana Holgerson’s West Virginia team.
48-39 Red Raiders
Miami (FL) @ Florida State
Here we go, folks. The “matchup of the week.” (Even though it is not, in my book) In one corner, weighing in at 7-0, from Miami, Florida, the C-A-N-E-S Canes! And in the other, also weighing in at 7-0, from Hueytown, Alabama, Heisman frontrunner Jameis Winston! Oh, the rest of the Seminoles will show up, too, I am sure. This game might get out of hand. I think the Hurricanes are a fraud. They are coming off last-minute wins over North Carolina and Wake Forest – two powerhouse programs, right!? No? Oops! Why were those games that difficult, then? Meanwhile, the Seminole hype train keeps on rolling, and with good reason. Their demolition of Clemson in Death Valley two weeks ago was nothing short of astonishing. They have never been threatened this year, and I expect nothing to change this week. Try as Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson may, this team does not resemble the vaunted Canes teams of the past. This week, it is definitely not all about The U.
Another big game in the Atlantic Coast Conference this week, and we all hope that it will be more competitive than the last one. However, this might not be the case as “Famous” Jameis Winston and the ‘Noles have continued to impress by pummeling every team that they have faced. Jimbo Fisher knows that the strength of his conference will hurt his team’s National Championship hopes, so he will continue to run up the score all year long. Florida State’s defense is only allowing an average of 13 points a game, and it will be hard for Miami’s Duke Johnson to find any room to work. I do think Miami is better than they have shown the past couple weeks, and they will at least make it competitive for a while in this rivalry game.
38-24 Florida State
I cannot pick against Florida State after what they did in Clemson. They are so strong on both sides of the ball. Miami may be able to put up a few points with Stephen Morris at QB, but they do not have the skill on defense to stop FSU.
31-17 Florida State
Though both teams come into this rivalry game undefeated, Vegas significantly favors the home team, to the tune of a 21 point favorite. The Seminoles deserve a lot of credit for their wins to this point, throttling Clemson in Death Valley two weeks ago. However, the ‘Noles have not faced a defense as tough as Miami. The Hurricanes, with their own prolific quarterback in Stephen Morris, are still glowing from the recent ruling that they will not serve a bowl ban. With apologies to our classmate Rich Davis, I think this is the week the Seminoles slip up.
New Mexico @ San Diego State
Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you this week’s Ineptitude Bowl! Our Aztecs had an absolute heartbreaker last week, taking Fresno to overtime but ultimately coming up short. If only that kick was not blocked… Good news for the Aztecs this week: New Mexico gives up heaps of points. I think the SDSU offense is coming around. Last week was a great sign for the team and I think they keep it going this week. The only worry here is a bit of a letdown after an emotional loss. I think our guys overcome that, though, and come away with a W. Fight on!
I was a couple blocked kicks away from my upset pick last week, I do not know how the Aztecs found a way to lose that game. After missing the short kick at the end of regulation, State has to be reeling and thinking of what could have been. I would have them on upset watch this week if they weren’t playing New Mexico. The Lobos are incredibly one-dimensional on offense as they have the 3rd best rushing attack in the nation, gaining 322 yards per game. The Aztec defense stepped up and held Fresno in check, they should handle New Mexico. Look for the Aztec running back combo of Muema and Pumphrey to break off some long runs on Saturday.
SDSU was so close against Fresno last week. If they can bring even close to the same level of play this week they should be able to roll over a weak New Mexico team.
The Aztecs have been covered extensively throughout this season. The Aztecs have been more consistent on offense since switching to Quinn Kaehler full time at quarterback. Their defense found their stride, playing solid against a highly ranked Fresno State team, before eventually relenting in overtime. Let’s hope for no Fresno State (or Halloween) hangover for this game.
As always, here’s a recap for the visual learners:
Thank you for tuning in. Enjoy this week’s slate of college football games. Check back here next Friday for more fun and the picks!