Last Week: We started out very strong the first week as our staff went 88-8 with our predictions. Things certainly leveled off during week two. Today, the media is calling the Pac-12 wins over the Big 10 upsets, ESPN believes the Wisconsin loss is even bigger than Arkansas losing to UL-Monroe. Time will tell if those were truly upsets or if the west coast squads were simply under-rated. At any rate, our staff put a lot of faith in the Big Ten and paid the price in our seasonal records. Brent and Pete both have managed 8-2 records going into this week. Our guest picker Greg Miller moved to 7-3 and is back for another week of the fun.
This Week: A few years back, when this game was scheduled, Cal was upsetting USC and challenging for the Pac-10 crown. Now they are working to find an identity. Yet the Buckeyes are looking for their own identity and this is a good week to do that. Not only do they need to broaden the offensive game but the Big Ten could use a confidence boost against the Pac-12 after last week's humiliation. We normally would not look at a game featuring Louisiana-Monroe but after their upset victory in Fayetteville last week, we are sharing our thoughts for their chance to catch lightening twice. Can they pull another improbable victory against an Auburn team two years removed from a national championship? Alabama and Arkansas looked like a great match-up back in the spring. Since then the Razorbacks have lost their coach, their pride and maybe their quarterback, at least for this game. Will the Tide roll big again this week? USC has been playing in the backseat in the Pac-12 since they have been under NCAA punishment, will they step back on top the pile on the road against Stanford? The Big Ten needs a ratings and image boast. Every team plays at home this week and all should win going away but the Spartans. They have a tough bout with the Irish, will Sparty do us proud or knock out another unbeaten in the conference?
Here are our Week 3 Picks - Good Luck to All - Gregg
@ Ohio State
Bbaver: Pick: OSU - Hard to figure Cal out; they struggled last year but still almost beat Stanford. OSU looking good as long as
they can keep Braxton healthy….but can't see that happening if Meyer continues to run him as much as he has in the first
two weeks. OSU 34 Cal 16.
Gregg: Urban Meyer promises to run Braxton Miller less this game. This does not say anything to me for if Miller runs more than
27 times this week, we have bigger issues than a broken promise from the coach. I think it is time to get our passing game
going finally. The Cal Bears are 92nd in the nation in points allowed, it is time to drop them out of the top 100. Expect
Jordan Hall to be added to the offense and for an increase in the vertical passing game.
The Buckeyes score big with a 46-13 win over the Bears.
Joe-S-U: OSU over Cal- With Carlos Hyde out, this game got a bit scarier. Is Brionte Dunn ready enough to handle 15 or so carries
to take the heat off Braxton? Cal's pass defense isn't exactly stellar, but can Braxton find open guys and have any consistency?
Are opposing QB's going to continue 3-step drops and quick passes to neutralize the line? OSU should hold serve at home, but
I don't think a roster of guys that has played in the Rose Bowl, the Coliseum and at Eugene is going to get too overly
intimidated by the 'Shoe. Hopefully if Jordan Hall gets a few touches, he'll provide a spark.
Dr. Mark: OSU over Cal by 17. Cal will match up size- wise with Bucks –not sure about team speed.
Hope running backs play a bigger role in game receivers showed good improvement last week
PJSBuck: This is going to be a fun game to watch. Cal has struggled this year, mostly due to self-proclaimed inconsistency. They played that powerhouse from the southwest, Southern Utah (?) 50-31. It was close until mid-4th quarter when special teams got Cal going. Their first week? Cal lost to Nevada. What to expect this Saturday? I think Cal is schizophrenic at this point, so who knows what will show up this weekend. Being a PAC 12 team they are not going to be a pushover. HOWEVER; we could see OSU put things together
this week. I am really concerned about having a limited running attack and how this will affect execution AND play calling. Buckeyes certainly win this but it could be 48-10 or 21-17. No matter how it shakes out, this will be an extremely interesting game to watch because of the sub-plots we have with our offense. DVR this game and watch the many off-field things that go one.
Official prediction: Ohio State 35 Cal 21.
Pia Pete: Can OSU stop the secondary from hemorrhaging? If not Cal will roll.
I'm thinking there will be plenty of opportunity for interceptions.
Bucks 31 - Cal 18
Rick: What a road ahead for Cal, with their 1st top 25 team and many to come. I think they will be focusing on next game
with #2 USC to worry about this game. I think OSU will find a quality healthy running back this weekend and win by 24.
Steven: I’m beginning to see flashbacks of Denard Robinson’s first season in the way OSU has handled Braxton Miller. This has me, (and probably the rest of Buckeye Nation), rightfully concerned. Coach Meyer has been saying all along that the Buckeyes need to
find playmakers on offense. Right now, if we don’t find one, and we lose Miller for any extended period, it could derail a season.
Luckily, for the next two weeks we’ve got a schedule that sets up well for us to search for that elusive playmaker. This week’s opponent, Cal, comes in as a potential bottom feeder in the Pac 12. It has been a long time since the Marshawn Lynch days.
I expect the butt kicking from the coaching staff lasted all week for the Buckeyes. If they can’t hand the ball off correctly
this week, you may never see another called run again, (Miller runs 50 times/gm?). Let’s hope they’ve learned their lesson.
Guest Picker - Greg Miller: OSU still need more than Braxton Miller to be successful against good teams
but Cal is not a good team this year.
FINAL: Ohio State 35 California 28
UL Monroe @ Auburn
Bbaver: Pick: Auburn - So much for the Nat'l title in 2010; Auburn fans now calling for Chizek's head.
But ULM won't see lightning strike twice.
Gregg: The Warhawks opened up with an upset win over the Razorbacks. Is it possible this perennial NCAA bottom feeder could
actually start out 2-0 with road wins over two SEC schools? This would really make a statement to the depth of the darlings
in the SEC. Unfortunately I do think they caught the Razorbacks looking ahead to their game with Alabama this week, and
that combined with the injury to Arkansas's quarterback in the game was a recipe for upset. Auburn will be ready
for ULM and will win in a close game.
Joe-S-U: Auburn over UL-Monroe- I just got back from Vegas, so for parlay reasons, I only need Monroe to keep it under 16 1/2.
Can they pull another upset? Oh, I wish they would. I hope Auburn loses every single game this year. Hope you enjoyed that
NC and Heisman you bought 'cause the NCAA was too chicken to pick at you like they did us.
Dr. Mark: Auburn by 14 don’t know much about either team although ULM could surprise again.
PJSBuck: Would otherwise be my weekly “Who gives a S$#@&? Game” but I am going to bite with UL Monroe’s upset last week.
I think Auburn will be too much, especially at home but think this will be a closer game than would otherwise think.
Prediction: Auburn 31 UL Monroe 28.
Pia Pete: UL-M will not do it again. AU 28 - ULM 10
Rick: News flash, moon shine prices spike in the south as the partying has gone on for days. With that being said,
UL Monroe season is over and will not care what happens in this game. Auburn wins by 28.
Steven: ULM’s QB Kolton Browning is getting some hype for Heisman due to his win over Arkansas. Let me see him do it again and I’ll become a believer. I’m not really impressed with Auburn this year, but given last week, I don’t think they will be caught looking past the Warhawks. Look for Auburn to win a close one at home. 20- 17
Guest Picker - Greg Miller: While Auburn is still a bad team this year, this isn’t the NCAA tournament where Cinderella’s win and go
on a run. The Warhawks are still a 4 win team from last season and even blind squirrels find a nut once in a while. Auburn by 10
FINAL: Auburn 31 UL Monroe 28 (Overtime)
Alabama @ Arkansas
Bbaver: Pick: Alabama - This would have been an interesting game with Petrino and Tyler Wilson. Instead, Tide rolls.
Gregg: This game had the making of a top ten match-up and upset threat for Alabama at one time. But without Petrino and the question mark around the starting quarterback for Arkansas, the game has changed. If UL-Monroe could rack up points on this Razorback defense you know that Tide will 'Roll all over them.
Joe-S-U: Alabama over Arkansas- Alabama- #1 alphabetically of all 50 U.S. states. #1 in the current college football polls.
Heck, even the band Alabama had enough #1's that they put out a full album called "#1 Hits", didn't they?
#1 will still be #1, at least in the 2012 college football polls, easily after this one.
Dr. Mark: Alabama by 24- don’t see the Razorbacks shutting down the Tide offense.
PJSBuck: I am going to predict a surprisingly hard fought game. Arkansas has everything to prove, and Alabama should take them lightly. The fact this is in Arkansas will only make it that much closer than one might thing. Prediction” Alabama 35 Arkansas 30.
Pia Pete: Bama is the #1 and will remain. Bama 44 - Arkansas 10
Rick: Coaching 101, play each game in order on the schedule. My question is, did Arkansas watch anything on UL-Monroe last week or take 2 weeks to get ready for this game? I think this is going to be a lot closer than the current points as Bama wins by only 10.
Steven: Arkansas is going to be rightly miffed after being beaten at home by Louisiana Monroe. Unfortunately for them, being angry doesn’t make you a better football team. Nor does it breed confidence., especially when staring down the Crimson Tide. Halfway through the first quarter, the chink in the Razorback’s psyche that started with losing last week will turn into a full-on crisis of confidence. I look for the Hogs to wilt under the pressure. With such a fine coach as John L. Smith leading the way, I expect
nothing less. Hogs are fitted with the cone of shame. ‘Bama 42-20.
Guest Picker - Greg Miller: Alabama rolled against Michigan and W Kentucky. No reason to believe the
Tide stops rolling here against a stunned Arkansas team.
FINAL: Alabama 52 Arkansas 0
USC @ Stanford
Bbaver: Pick: USC - USC plays their best game of the year and takes to the Cardinal.
Gregg: The SEC still dominates the top of the ESPN poll in spite of the Arkansas loss. USC is playing for the National championship
and they will need statement wins. They get their first one this week as they remind Stanford who the king of the conference
really is, and it is not the 6-6 UCLA team that went to the conference championship last year. Matt gets his first win over
the Cardinal as the Trojans win big.
Joe-S-U: USC over Stanford- I get the impression just checking out USC that their offense feels they can turn it on and turn it off when necessary. Now, if anyone in the PAC-12 played defense, that might bite USC. I took the Trojans and gave the 8 for parlay purposes. 'SC always manages to lose 1 or 2 that they shouldn't, but this won't be one of them.
Dr. Mark: USC will be good game but Trojans TOO POWERFUL THIS YEAR USC 31-17.
PJSBuck: This shouldn’t be close but I think it will be. Stanford seems to save their best for USC.
Look for a lot of offensive fireworks. Prediction: USC 48 Stanford 35.
Pia Pete: USC needs a big win to stay legitimate in the polls. Without Andrew Luck, Stanford is in trouble.
USC 31 - Stanford 17
Rick: The only good news for Stanford is they will be playing at home. I really do not see this being a good game
even with both teams in the top 25. USC by 24 in this one.
Steven: Both USC and Stanford have feasted on the weak their first two games, so gauging how good they are may be a bit tough. That being said, there is no doubt that USC QB Matt Barkley is the real deal. The Cardinal defense will have its work cut out for it
trying to contain him and his favorite target, Marquise Lee. Conversely, if the Trojan defense lives up to expectations, they
should make it very tough on first year Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes, (who isn’t too bad - statistically neck and neck
with Barkley). USC should win this one, but it will be tight until the second half. Trojans 34-31.
Guest Picker - Greg Miller: Josh Nunes may be a good quarterback but he is not Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley.
USC returns to the victory column against Stanford now that Luck is gone
FINAL: Stanford 21 USC 14
Notre Dame @ Michigan State
Bbaver: Pick: Michigan State - As usual, this will be a tight one. Dantonio and Sparty prevail.
Gregg: Not only do I believe Michigan State will win this game, they HAVE too. The Big Ten needs to show the
teams at the top of the conference can compete nationally. Go Green Go White
Joe-S-U: Michigan State over Notre Dame- I'm not sold on Notre Dame, although you would think if any outfit could succeed in a foreign land, it would be the Navy. It's usually pretty entertaining when these two tangle, and it probably won't be any different Saturday. But with OSU and PSU out of the picture, and Wisconsin's hiccup last week, Sparty should be smelling blood to be the class of the Big Ten. Does that mean I'll pick them over OSU in two weeks? Stay tuned...
Dr. Mark: Mich State by 10 Spartans still have a lot to prove to be king of the hill.
PJSBuck: This is going to be another fun game to watch. Coach Kelly at ND needs to win this to “officially” label his team as “back in contention.” ND is on a roll and MSU has questions. These two teams are always a classic. I am going to predict an “upset” by picking Notre Dame in a squeaker, perhaps OT. Prediction: Notre Dame 24 Michigan State 21.
Pia Pete: I'm just going to get this off my chest. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THE BIG TEN!!!!???
Seriously Wisconsin/Nebraska/Illinois/Iowa? Are you going to let the Big Ten rely on Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern and a bowl ineligible Ohio State be the cream of the Big Ten. I only give a partial pass to Michigan since they lost to the #1 team in the country (albeit badly). At least Sparty is representing. Go kick those Irish in the pot-o-gold for me boys! GO GREEN!
MSU 24 - ND 21
Rick: Notre Dame is looking pretty good this year, but I think MSU has too much power for them.
I think it will be a great 1st half, then MSU pulls away in the 2nd half.
Steven: Can the B1G finally step up and show the Irish who’s boss? I have faith in Sparty this week. As long as they don’t get mesmerized by Notre Dame shuffling quarterbacks, they should be fine. The Spartan defense is better than anything the Irish
have faced this year. Spartan defensive end William Gohlston needs to have a statement game this week. Keep pressure on
the QB and all will be OK. Off topic question of the day: What’s with a DE wearing #2? A little odd in my book.
Anyway, MSU wins another classic, 29-27.
Guest Picker - Greg Miller: Michigan State – Notre Dame is eternally overrated and MSU appears
to be the only Big Ten school to get off to a strong start this year.
FINAL: Notre Dame 20 Michigan State 3
(For Entertainment Purposes Only!)