Welcome back to the San Diego State Sports MBA college football picks segment! We hope you all enjoyed Week 3 and all the craziness that came with it.
First, let’s see how we are stacking up:
Everybody did well last week. Only Adam dropped a point, as his blind Big Ten faith let him down. Dan sits atop the leaderboard with 7 points while Blake and Adam are just a point behind. With a few more performances similar to last week, Logan will get caught up in no time, despite missing Week 2. No SDSU game last week, so no extra point.
This week we break tradition, a bit. Click through to see the games and predictions!
We are going to do five games this week for no apparent reason. The games are the following:
Arizona State @ Stanford (Not only one of the best games on the schedule, but also a special fan request!)
Michigan State @ Notre Dame
Utah @ BYU
Missouri @ Indiana
Oregon State @ San Diego State
Here we go!
Arizona State @ Stanford
ASU comes off the most bizarre win I have ever seen (despite the fact that I believe Joe Stave committed a fumble instead of going to the ground.) This matchup features two of the most imposing defenses from last year. I was not particularly thrilled with what I saw from ASU last week and this one is at Stanford. Give me the Cardinal.
I am still getting over the fact that the Sun Devils are undefeated and ranked thanks in large part to a referee blunder. There are going to be some good matchups in this game: 1) Shayne Skov and Stanford’s physical defense vs. solid running back in Marion Grice and 2) One of college football’s best defensive linemen in Will Sutton vs. Stanford’s power running game. I give the Cardinal the edge on both counts. Stanford rarely loses the physical battle in the trenches and as long as they don’t look past ASU they will win this one.
Stanford came into the season with high expectations but has been underwhelming thus far. This is their first real challenge of the season so they have a chance to make a statement. ASU is better than people give them credit, but not quite good enough to stand up to Stanford.
Arizona State takes on Stanford in our only ranked vs. ranked matchup this week. Arizona State is riding (moderately) high after an upset victory over then-ranked Wisconsin on a controversial game-ending play. Stanford comes in at a disadvantage after playing Army’s option attack last week while Arizona State got to tune up against Wisconsin. Upset Special #1.
Michigan State @ Notre Dame
My Spartans actually managed to put offensive points on the board last week. Bad news: it was against FCS squad Youngstown State. This is a rivalry that has produced some magical moments, including what some think was the best game ever played – a 10-10 tie in 1966. Notre Dame did not blow the doors off Purdue last week, but I think they will put up a better effort at home this week. However, I simply cannot go against my Alma Mater.
Both teams play good defense and have lackluster offenses. But wait, Sparty put up 55 points last week…against the Penguins from Youngstown State. Michigan State’s offensive issues are real, as they let USF and Western Michigan hang around with them. Notre Dame should be ready to go following a lackluster first half against Purdue. Expect a low scoring affair with Tommy Rees outplaying Spartan sophomore Connor Cook, barely. The Battle for the Megaphone goes to the Irish.
21-17 Notre Dame
If you like defense this is the game to check out this week. MSU has one of the best defenses in the Big Ten and one of the worst offenses, which matches up pretty closely with ND. I think MSU causes a few big play turnovers to win the game.
Though it is a simplistic argument, Notre Dame allows just under 24 points on average per game while Michigan State averages scoring 34 points per game. Though Tommy Rees is a seasoned veteran, his play has been consistently inconsistent with Brian Kelly constantly berating him on nationally televised games. Upset Special #2.
Utah @ BYU
The Fighting Jimmer Fredettes host a Utes team that….oh, wait…this is football? Well, shoot. The only thing I know about either team is BYU ran for over 500(!) yards against Texas last week. Are they that good? Is Texas that bad? Utah seems to have put up a lot of points this year, but they have also given up their fair share. I sense a track meet. Apologies to our cohort’s resident Utes.
This is an intense rivalry game as our two Ute classmates have pointed out. Utah’s offense has looked really good at times this year with solid play from their QB Travis Wilson; but it is their defense that has let them down. BYU’s quarterback Taysom Hill is not a premier thrower of the football just yet, but is a dynamic runner. Utah will put up points against BYU this game, but the Cougars are riding some momentum following their win against Texas at home.
I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this game. I would not be surprised by a blowout from either team or a close game. We know both teams can score, its just a question of who can make a play or two on defense. I am going to give BYU the edge since they’ve had two weeks to prepare and play at home. My apologizes to Steve and Walter.
In the “coin flip of the week” matchup, Utah travels to BYU for the Holy War. BYU opened the season with a loss to underwhelming Virginia and followed that with a victory against over-ranked Texas. Utah, playing their fourth game in the state of Utah to start their season, will face their first road test. Their offense has put up big number under Offensive Coordinator Dennis Erickson but their defense has not been able to contribute, giving up 51 points in a loss to Oregon State last week. BYU will be fresh coming off of a bye week.
Missouri @ Indiana
This is one of those games where we really do not know anything about either side. Indiana has put up some stellar numbers but against vastly inferior competition. The same can be said of Mizzou. Indiana managed to drop a game to Navy at home. I would like to think that wunderkid Dorial Green-Beckham and the Tigers are a little better than the Midshipmen. Plus, I saw last week how blind conference faith can bite me.
I will not act like I know much about these two teams because I do not. I do know that this matchup will be fun for a few of our classmates whose alma maters go head to head this week. Indiana has blown up opposing defenses, but struggled against Navy and the triple option attack. This isn’t basketball, but I will take the Hoosiers in a scoreboard-lighting firefight! (Sorry, Brian Heying)
Is this really one of the four best games of the week? Neither team has taken on a strong team yet so it is difficult to gauge how good they are but I would lean toward the SEC in this one. If you watch this game and are looking for an exciting player, keep an eye on Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham.
In my weekly “mail it in” pick, one team will score more than the other. From the looks of it, both of these teams score a lot and, against any reasonable competition, do not stop other teams from scoring.
Oregon State @ San Diego State
Oregon State is averaging 43 points per game this year. That is not good news for the Aztecs, considering they give up 41 points per game. There is no reason to believe the Aztecs change course this week, having already surrendered a blowout loss to Ohio State and a shocker to FCS squad Eastern Illinois in week 1. I do not think there is much risk of this being a trap game for Oregon State, either, so this one could be a repeat of the first two for the Aztecs.
These two teams that fell to FCS opponents at home in week 1, so both are looking to save some face. Oregon State torched Utah last week and their offense scores in bunches. San Diego State has looked porous on defense so this is a terrible matchup for them. The Aztecs are making a change at quarterback change coming out of their bye week and we will see what he can do against the Beaver defense with an extra week to prepare coming off of the bye.
Oregon State showed they can put up points against Utah last week. However SDSU hasn’t been able to put together much of an offense lately. This may be their chance to finally put some offense together and get rolling but I don’t think they’ll quite have enough.
Look for the Aztecs to be well rested this week after coming off a bye week. The offense should show a renewed energy with new starting quarterback Quinn Kaehler. Kaehler, a junior college transfer from Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area, is known to throw the rock all over the lot. He threw for over 4,000 yards and 38 touchdowns last season at DVC. Oregon State is averaging 37 points allowed per game this year. Look for a sloppy, up and down game. Fight on ye Aztec men!
As always, here’s a recap for the visual learners:
I am sure our resident Utes, Walter Franco and Steve Fuller, will be none too pleased with our predictions for their game. Look on the bright side, gentlemen. If we are all wrong, you have bragging rights!
Enjoy this week’s college games. Thank you, as always, for tuning in. We will see you next week! Go Aztecs!