Friday, October 1, 2010

College Picks, Part 1

The Hammer Speaks went 3-2 with its college picks last week to take the overall record to 7-3. Combined with a 7-2 record in the NFL we are off to a pretty good start. Here is what I like this week, again heavily on the chalk. (This is Part 1, as I want to get it out for the 1:00 blast. There may be more games posted on the blog by noon Saturday. Check back frequently or follow on Twitter.)

Oklahoma St. -2.5 vs. Texas A&M (Thursday Night)
Both these teams have fared better than most anticipated and come into this initial Big 12 South meeting with identical 3-0 records. The Cowboys have played three bad defensive teams and lit up the scoreboard, leading the country with an average of 596 yards of total offense per game. A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson is the more experienced of the two signal callers in this nationally televised game, but the conference preseason offensive player of the year threw interceptions of four straight possessions to open the second half last week against Florida International. Johnson was able to rally the Aggies back from a 20-6 fourth quarter deficit to get the win, and I expect him to play better tonight. I also expect this to be a shootout. But, I like the home team. Look for Ok St. to cover by a touchdown or more.

UPDATE: Tweeted this pick (and emailed a few loyal subscribers last night). Crazy game, but got a W. As always you can follow me on twitter @hammerspeaks.

LSU -16 vs. Tennessee
Yesterday I wrote a rant about how NFL coaches make bad decisions a shocking amount of the time. It's amazing that a multi-billion dollar industry puts up with such incompetence. But it isn't just NFL coaches. Last year Les Miles made possibly the dumbest coaching decision of the season against Ole Miss and then denied it--after completely mismanaging the last drive. Unfortunately for Les it was all caught on video. That was just one blunder in a career filled with them. Les is living on borrowed time. That national title is getting further and further away. The Tigers have had no offensive plan since JaMarcus Russell left the bayou and started hittin' the purple drank. All of which of course means I'm all over LSU this week. Tennessee is young and bad. This is their first game on the road. LSU does have a great defense and Patrick Peterson is Charles Woodson redeux. Tennessee might not hit double digits. Lay the points.

Georgia Tech -10 at Wake Forest
Okay, I'm a little nervous about this one. I've crucified Wake's defense the past two weeks and they have come through with flying colors--giving up 99 points. On the other side Georgia Tech has been hugely disappointing. First they lost to a terrible Kansas team and then last week 8-point dog NC St. chewed 'em up and beat 'em by 17. But, Paul Johnson is a good coach and his spread-option offense will be hell for Wake to handle. I expect Tech's defense to tighten up and 30 from the O should prove to be enough to get it done.

Maryland -8 vs. Duke
Duke has given up at least 27 points in each of their four games. Enough football. In much more interesting news go to Deadspin and check out the article about the Duke co-ed's "thesis" on her sexual exploits during her time at the esteemed University. Duke students keep covering themselves in glory. Fortunately for them UNC has taken to just outright paying their football players so they get to share the headlines in the Triangle. Maryland is good enough in this one and will take their home record to 4-0. Lay 'em, so to speak.

Check back later for more picks, but I'll tell you I'm leaning Oregon, Bama (at 7 or less), Wisconsin and Iowa but have more work to do before I pull the trigger.

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