Welcome back to the San Diego State Sports MBA college football picks segment! We hope you all enjoyed Week 11 of the college football season.
Thanks to Stanford pulling the upset and his picking up the Extra Point, Adam is now tied for the lead. Blake has fallen back a bit but there are still three weeks to go. It is going to be tough stretch run for the title. We have one correction to make to last week’s picks. Logan actually picked San Jose State, but was marked down as selecting SDSU thanks to a comedy of errors. Sadly, as a result of this, he will receive an L for that game.
For kicks and giggles, we go completely off the board this week. Click through to see our unusual picks!
After much deliberation, and much contention, the games we will look at this week are:
(#12)Oklahoma State @ (#24)Texas
Memphis @ South Florida
Central Michigan @ Western Michigan
San Diego State @ Hawaii
Without further ado, here are our picks!
Oklahoma State @ Texas
Okie Light comes into this matchup 8-1, with their only hiccup a loss at West Virginia. Their offense is clearly clicking on all cylinders right now, handling a good Texas Tech squad two weeks ago and dismantling Kansas last week. Texas needed overtime to defeat West Virginia last week, heavily relying upon Case McCoy and the passing attack in the comeback win. Oklahoma State does not defend the pass well, which could be trouble this week. Expect this one to be a shootout, with Texas taking the home edge.
The final sprint for the Big 12 Championship is going to be really fun to watch, as it seems that all of the teams in the hunt are playing each other the last three weeks of the season. Oklahoma State has been thumping teams of late and they will head to Austin highly ranked on the offensive and defensive side of the ball (14th and 20th in points per game, respectively). The Longhorns have rattled off six straight wins after losing in back-to-back weeks against BYU and Ole Miss. The Longhorn defense is much improved from their early season loss to BYU where QB Taysom Hill ran wild, but I expect Cowboy quarterback Clint Chelf to have a lot of success running the football. This should be a high scoring affair that will be very exciting to watch.
All of those ‘Fire Mack Brown’ chants seem to have awakened Texas, as they are in the middle of a six-game win streak. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, comes into the game with only one loss, but has three straight games against ranked teams coming up. With this game being in Texas, I will give them the edge.
An injury depleted Texas squad plays host to one-loss Oklahoma State with the outcome carrying major weight in the Big 12 Championship race. Texas, who has won six straight conference games after starting 1-2, will be without the services of starting running back and leading rusher Jonathan Gray. With their offense being led by the younger representatives of the McCoy and Shipley families, expect a solid passing performance by the Longhorns. Just when he seems to be on the ropes, Mack Brown finds a way to stick around. Longhorns win in a close one.
Memphis @ South Florida
The first of two games about which I know absolutely nothing. Let’s face it…the American Athletic Conference has been a dud to this point. Both teams come in with a 2-6 record. Memphis has wins against Arkansas St. and Tennessee-Martin. South Florida has wins against Cincinnati and Connecticut. I actually saw USF play earlier in the year, as my Spartans took them out easily in a week 2 matchup. I was not impressed then, nor am I likely to be this week, but they seem to be putting up more points than Memphis. This could be a case of ‘whoever has the ball last wins.’ Bulls in a close one.
Both of these teams struggle to put points up on the scoreboard, as neither of them are ranked in the top 110 FBS schools in scoring offense. I watched a lot of the South Florida’s last game against Houston, which was freshman quarterback Mike White’s first career start. The Bulls almost knocked off Houston in that game and the young QB made a couple mistakes but competed against a stronger team. South Florida is coming off of the bye and has the home-field advantage. Memphis fans have already turned the page to basketball season. I will take the Bulls in a race to four touchdowns.
28-17 South Florida
The only player on either team that I am familiar with is South Florida’s DE Aaron Lynch (Notre Dame transfer) who has been a disappointment so far this season. Memphis does not look to have much of a passing game, but seems to bring solid defense, as they have been close in a few games this season. South Florida does not seem to have any offense at all. I am going Memphis in a punter’s dream.
In the UFO pick of the week we find a battle of two-win teams, though the quality of wins stand in stark contrast to one another. Memphis’ two wins came against Arkansas State and University of Tennessee at Martin. In contrast, the South Florida wins have come against UConn and Cincinnati. Look for Memphis to stay winless within conference, possibly in a rout.
36-9 South Florida
Central Michigan @ Western Michigan
In this battle from my home state, there are likely to be no losers. Everyone involved is sure to have a good time at the pre- and post-game tailgates, and the football game should be rather inconsequential this weekend in Kalamazoo. My Spartans played Western in week 1 and took care of business. Actually, the game was much closer than it should have been. Basically, the Broncos were not good then and appear to be worse now. The Chippewas are statistically better across the board, in addition to having the better record. So…what have we learned? Nobody knows what will happen this week at Waldo Stadium. If it seems close, I tend to go with the home squad. I will take the Broncos for the upset.
24-17 Western Michigan
Nothing like a little intra-state rivalry to make a “big game” out of two teams with four combined wins. The Chippewas are just happy that they can put their last two games against Ball State and Northern Illinois behind them. I do not know much about either team except that neither of them get in the endzone, so this game should be low scoring. I would expect the Broncos to come out and defend their home field, but they have not won at home yet this year! I amm rolling with the Chippewas, in large part because of their nickname.
21-13 Central Michigan
The directional Michigan game of the week! Both teams have had rough seasons, which makes this game primarily about which team is more motivated to play. If Central Michigan can win their final three games (and they should be favored in all of them) then they are bowl eligible. Motivation!
The host Broncos come into this in-state rivalry game off of a bye week. With only one win and their pride on the line, look for all sorts of trickeration. The visiting Chippewas are coming off back-to-back losses to the top two teams in their division. The Chippewas boast Cooper Rush at quarterback, who has 12 TDs this season and is on pace to eclipse 2,000 yards passing in this game. Look for Rush to light up the Western defense that ranks near last in every statistical category.
39-18 Central Michigan
San Diego State @ Hawaii
Our Aztecs travel to Aloha Stadium in beautiful Honolulu this week. Man, that is a trip I would love to be on. Of course, this is a business trip, and the Aztecs should have no trouble taking care of business. Hawaii is a winless team that can take solace only in the fact they play teams tougher at home. Unfortunately for them, the Aztecs have a better road record. The Warriors’ only shot here is that the Aztecs take too much advantage of the scenery and fail to focus on the game. If their offense hits at even an 80% clip of its 432 yards-per-game average, this should make for a happy flight home. SDSU will become bowl-eligible for the fourth consecutive year on Saturday.
The Aztecs hold the personnel advantage in this game, but as someone who has personally seen a Colin Kaepernick-led perfect season come to an end in Honolulu, I can tell you that this game will be closer than it should be. Hawaii plays everyone tough at home; Do not ask me why that is just how it is. However, the Aztecs seem to have some serious mojo at the moment, as their comeback against the Spartans last week was improbable to say the least. It obviously does not hurt that the winless Warriors are 113th in the country in scoring defense. Expect Adam Muema to stay hot and rack up some yards in this game as the Aztecs keep it closer than we would expect when playing a team that has not won a football game this year.
While it is nice that Coach Long is trying to talk up the Hawaii team, they are not leaving with a win. Fun fact about SDSU, only three games have ended with more than a one-score difference; Ohio State, Eastern Illinois, and New Mexico State. Basically, SDSU plays close games and plays them well. I do not think this one stays close, but SDSU will not run it up too much.
I have learned my lesson about picking against my squad. They are a talented group and are starting to play with the edge of a Rocky Long-coached team. The surging Aztecs will head to beautiful Hawaii to take on a winless Warriors team. Though the host will be wearing gorgeous throwback uniforms, the Aztecs will overcome history and beat the Warriors to earn their sixth win and become bowl eligible.
As always, here is a recap for the visual learners:
Thanks for checking out this week’s edition of the picks. We enjoyed picking these off-the-map games just as much as we hope you enjoy watching them. Be sure to check back next week!