Welcome back to the San Diego State Sports MBA college football picks segment! We hope you all enjoyed Week 6 of the college football season.
First, let’s see the standings after our Week 6 predictions:
We all tuck our tails between our legs in shame as we all picked SDSU to lose last week. So much for that. Blake apparently knows his Wolf Pack best, as he came away with the Extra Point. Kudos to Blake for unseating Dan as the Extra Point champ for the first time this year! Dan still leads the way, though, with eight weeks to go.
We have some high-powered matchups this week. Click through to see the picks!
After much deliberation, the games we will look at this week are:
(#17)Florida @ (#10)LSU
(#2)Oregon @ (#16)Washington
(#25)Missouri @ (#7)Georgia
San Diego State @ Air Force Academy
Without further ado, here are our picks!
Florida @ LSU
This is one of those heavyweight SEC battles that normally has people talking at the water cooler on Monday. LSU has been tested already, suffering a loss at Georgia a couple weeks ago. Florida, well, has not been tested. QB Jeff Driskel is out for the year with a broken leg, but Redshirt Junior Tyler Murphy has stepped in nicely. Unfortunately for the Gators, this one is at Death Valley, so this geauxs to the Tigers. (See what I did there!?)
The Gators come into this game on a winning streak since losing to Miami in early September. Florida has one of the top defenses in the country but their offense can be anemic at times. I expect there to be some long scoring droughts for the Gators offense. LSU has continued looked impressive in all of their games this season and I can’t see them dropping this one at home. Zach Mettenberger and the offense will be the difference for the Bayou Bengals in this one, and I don’t think it will even be too close.
Florida continues to have problems on offense, even with the impressive play of backup QB Tyler Murphy. Their defense is playing well and keeping them in games, however I think LSU is too well rounded of a team to lose this game.
Florida comes into the Bayou hoping to knock off a strong LSU team with a ton of weapons on offense, which will be a tall task considering their SEC wins to this point have come against the three worst teams in terms of total offense in the SEC. Tyler Murphy, who replaced Jeff Driskel at quarterback, has played well, though he has not seen the likes of an away stadium as raucous as LSU’s.
Oregon @ Washington
Oregon has, once again, traipsed through its early-season schedule. The team mantra of trying to score in under 2:00 per drive has led to some astronomical scores…against some inferior competition. Steve Sarkisian has the Huskies playing well this year. Falling just short at Stanford last week is the only blemish on the season. Washington gets home field here, but I like the Ducks and their incredible fast-paced offense.
Oregon has yet to be challenged as Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota have been wrecking teams up to this point. The Ducks are still extremely fast and I expect Mariota to have another good performance. However, Keith Price showed last week that he doesn’t let the big stage get to him. That was a tough loss but Washington gets to go back home to (new) Husky Stadium this week. Price looked calm and composed last week in a physical battle with Stanford in which the Huskies looked up to the challenge. Sprinkle in a little Bishop Sankey to keep Oregon’s offense off the field and you have your upset. The Ducks still haven’t shown that they can get through a schedule unscathed, and U-dub will be the team to knock them off this year.
Even in a loss to Stanford, Washington gained some respect around college football. While Oregon and Stanford remain the top teams in the Pac-12, Washington has clearly made a statement to be in that next tier. A win against conference powerhouse Oregon on their field would do a lot to strengthen that thought. I think Washington has the running game and defense to pull it off.
Ever since visiting majestic Husky Stadium situated right on Puget Sound, I have been a homer for Washington. However, that won’t entice me to make a crazy pick here. A quick comparison of the leaders in the passing, rushing and receiving categories would make one think that these teams are on similar footing. The numbers mean nothing when you consider that most of Oregon’s starters have the luxury of resting during the second half, with their average margin of victory of over 47 points.
Missouri @ Georgia
Despite Missouri being a relative unknown, this could be the marquee matchup of the week. Yes, the Tigers played Vanderbilt last week, but this will really be their “Welcome to the SEC” moment. How will they react? We know what Georgia can do and there’s no threat of a trap game for them. Welcome to the SEC, Missouri. You may make it close, but those hedges are rarely friendly to visitors.
Georgia is banged up. The Dawgs have injuries all over the offensive side of the ball but Aaron Murray continues to lead his team to late victories. They barely survived one at Tennessee last week but a W is a W. At the time of this writing there will be no Gurley for a second week in a row, and he was missed dearly last week. Missouri on the other hand has looked solid in their wins and their offense is averaging 530 yards per game. The Tigers have had a pretty soft schedule so far this season, but they have handled their business and we will find out a lot more about them this week.
Georgia barely escaped Tennessee this week and should be a lot more focused for this game against Mizzou. Mizzou is undefeated and has 3 straight games against ranked SEC opponents. Mizzou has had 3 dominating wins and isn’t use to playing close games, however this is their first chance to shake things up since joining the SEC. I like them in a big upset.
This football season has been itching for an upset and nearly saw Georgia come out on the wrong end of one last week. The big question heading into this game is how will Georgia respond to their near loss at the hands of a middling Tennessee team. Add in the devastating injuries to Georgia’s top two rushers and receivers and this game cold be ripe for the stealing.
San Diego State @ Air Force Academy
(Editor’s Note: Although the game was played Thursday night, Adam, Dan, and Blake submitted their picks Wednesday. No changes have been made. We are allowing it.)
This is the Thursday night special this week. As of this posting, the game has already finished, but right now I have no idea who will win. Air Force seems to be a Jekyll and Hyde team. They score a ton of points, or very few. There is really no in between. The Aztecs made me bite my tongue last week, and they looked pretty good doing it, so I think I will take the Aztecs this week.
This week the Aztecs head up into the mountains, where the elevation and weather make Air Force a tough matchup for “flatlanders”. The Aztecs ran all over my Wolf Pack last week, breaking off multiple 50+ yard runs. If Air Force has trouble tackling SDSU’s backs like Nevada did, they will be in a world of hurt. The Falcons have been cut up through the air so far this season, so it will be interesting to see if the Aztecs incorporate more pass plays for Quinn Kaehler. The triple option is hard enough to prepare for on a normal game week, and the fewer practices will make it tough on the Aztecs. Air Force will be able to keep this one close but San Diego State may be hitting their stride.
Shouldn’t have picked against the Aztecs last week. The Aztecs have looked much better their past 3 games and may have turned a corner. Air Force has had a rough start to the season, getting their only win against a FCS team. I think SDSU gets an easy win in this one.
As always, here’s a recap for the visual learners:
We look forward to another great week of college football. Thank you again for tuning in and we’ll see you next week!