Brent Baver

2017 Predictions

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2017 Weekly Picks
Week 7
(For Entertainment Purposes Only!)
Brent Baver
Last Week:  Another week, another great performance by the Ohio State offense. The fans are enjoying one of the best scoring Buckeye teams in history. JT continues to look good and the running game has been solid.  With a healthy Mike Weber, they could really start to make things happen. The defense only gave up 66 yards, the 6th lowest total every in a Big Ten game. Unfortunately the special teams was not so special, but I am sure Urban will give that it's necessary attention this week in practice. The 62-14 win over Maryland keeps OSU in the hunt for the East division crown. Nationally, there are now only 13 unbeaten teams, and only 21 with one loss.  I like to follow this as the season unfolds as you can assume that your 4 playoff teams will come from that group. From our predictions, Mark and Stefan finished with a perfect parlay, and everyone else did pretty good as well. But Brett's 4-1 showing puts him on top leaderboard after week 6.
This Week: There are no ranked teams playing each other this week so we could see a lot of chalk, or maybe this is the week we finally start seeing some season shaping upsets. Ohio State hits the road yet again this week to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  This will be their 4th conference game, three of which have been away from the 'shoe.  OSU is 4-1 against the this team with such a rich tradition, the only loss coming in Lincoln in 2011. Since then, the Buckeyes have scored 63 and 62 points over Nebraska, can they generate this kind of offense once again?  ....  How long has it been since Texas has been a factor in college football, this will be the 5th year in a row the Longhorns have entered the Red River Showdown as an unranked team. Somehow they have managed to give Okahoma fits though, can they do that again this year?  ....  In the SEC, it appears it is down to three teams; Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. The Tigers head to Baton Rouge in a key road contest to face LSU. The Bayou Tigers have had a disappointing season but managed a win over the Gators in the swamp last week. Was that a turnaround game, or just testimony that the conference is down once again this year?  ....  The ACC is still wide open for the conference title and both Georgia Tech and Miami are in that mix.  Miami has looked strong in a weather shortened season and may finally have the form everyone expected to see since they moved over from the Big East over a decade ago. The Yellow Jackets are still unbeaten in conference play and come at you with that triple offense  ....  Out in the west coast in the games that people apparently don't watch according Coach Petterson, USC will host the Utes in what is for sure a playoff elimination game. The team most hungry will probably win this one.    
Guest Buckeye: Our web site continues to show that former players are still in touch with the college game, and Vaughn Broadnax proves that each week with his great analysis.
Here are our Week 7 Picks, Good Luck to all - Gregg
 (9)Ohio State  @  Nebraska
(Favorite: Ohio State  - 24 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Ohio State - The Buckeyes continue to bury bad teams because the overall talent differential between Ohio State and the Rutgers of the world is huge. But can they do this against good teams? The offense was atrocious against good defenses last year and against Oklahoma this year. But does Nebraska qualify as a good team? Probably not. Judgement Day is October 28, 2017. In the mean time, the Buckeyes will have their ups and downs against Nebraska and should still win by 3 TDs-plus. Can they cover a 24-point spread? Probably, but it's early in the week as I am typing this - will give that part some more thought, but the Bucks get a W in Lincoln, and will likely not be a close game come 4th quarter. 

Cory:  Normally a trip to Nebraska is cause for concern for any team, Ohio State included, but the Cornhuskers likely won't provide much of a challenge for the Buckeyes this week. Nebraska is 3-3 but a look at their schedule shows how weak their wins are. The Cornhuskers struggled to beat Arkansas State and Rutgers. One of the biggest problems for Nebraska is inconsistency on offense. Buckeye fans may whine about their team's offensive inconsistencies, but for Nebraska it's so much worse. The Cornhuskers have 11 touchdown passes to 10 interceptions, and their running game is incapable of breaking big plays. Nebraska likely will be out of the game by the third quarter unless the Buckeyes completely implode.   Ohio State 42, Nebraska 14  

Dave:  Ohio State 42 – Nebraska 21

Gregg:  Ohio State learned three things last week against Maryland. This offense can be really good, the defense is getting better, and the special teams is not championship caliber. All three aspects need to improve if the Buckeyes want to continue their climb back into the playoff picture. The Bucks have scored 50 or more points in three straight games, the record is 4 set in 2014. They will not need that many points to win this one but it sure would be nice if they could manage to reach that mark once again. JT Barrett continues to spread the ball around. His numbers are continuing to get better and that is in spite of the fact that he has not played much in the second half the past three games. He should be in for this entire game and I expect the running game to get split between both Dobbins and Weber. I want to see how the injury to Bowen effects an offensive line that has been playing well of late, The visiting team is 0-5 in this series but I see the Buckeyes breaking that trend this week.   Ohio State 52  Nebraska 17  

Jason:  I asked the question last week “How good is Ohio State?” Well, they may not have faced a murderer’s row of opponents, but they are just dismantling everyone in their wake and there is no reason it won’t continue this week. Nebraska is coming off a game in which they battled well into the second half but ran out of gas as Wisconsin went into Lincoln and left with the comfortable win. Now they welcome a defense that gets after the QB and leads the nation in TFL’s and held Maryland to just 66 total yards a week ago. For the Huskers, who have shown a propensity to turn the ball over that could spell disaster. Quarterback Tanner Lee has thrown a Big Ten-worst 10 interceptions, and the Huskers once vaunted Black Shirt defense has been anything but dominant as evident by their mediocre 3-3 record, including a home loss to Northern Illinois. Coach Mike Riley’s seat is getting warmer and warmer and frankly it’s getting rather hot but a win against a top 10 Buckeye team would cool it off significantly for the moment. On the other hand, another dominating Buckeye win may just end his reign as the Husker head man. If things mirror last year’s Buckeye 62-3 destruction, Riley may not make it through the bye week. The Buckeyes roll into Lincoln led by QB J.T. Barrett as the number one total and scoring offense in the conference and rank second in rushing. The speed and weapons the Buckeyes put on the field never ends and it seems Barrett has found a rapport with his entire WR group, utilizing a variety of targets. Not all is rosy in Columbus however, as they have the task of replacing starting right guard Brandon Bowen suffered a leg injury that ended his year. It will be interesting to see how the line, who has played well, can overcome that big loss. In addition the special teams has been nothing short of disastrous all year and crescendoed last week with a number of gaffes that against a better team could’ve come back to haunt them. We’ll see if they can make some progress in that area on Saturday. Bottom line for this one though, Nebraska will come out flying high behind their home fans, but Urban Meyer teams have thrived on that in his tenure, losing only once on the road at Ohio State. The Buckeyes will take the Husker Sea of Red out of the game early and roll to another convincing win as they head into the bye week to prepare for payback when Penn State visits Columbus in two weeks.   Ohio State 45 Nebraska 14  

Joe-S-U:  OSU over Nebraska - Spent a glorious week in Gatlinburg, deep in the heart of SEC country. Wearing my Indians hat and socks.....yes, socks, don't judge.....didn't work, so hoping all the OSU gear I wore will pay off. And it'll pay off if OSU covers the 27.....just sayin'.....  

John:  xxxxx  

Josh:  I honestly did not expect Ohio State to play as well as it did, and I am hoping that the performance against Maryland is more of a normal and not a blue moon game for the growing defense. Special teams need help, and fortunately we are going into a potential hostile environment that should be another easy win to get us practice for our special teams before the bye week. JT Barrett has been great and silencing a lot of the "bench JT" shouts, but I think that is also a result of the competition we have been playing. Each team has been better than the last, but we won't know how good this Buckeye team really is until we play Penn State. Nebraska is coming off a big loss to Wisconsin, and I expect our balance running and passing game to be too much for the Big Red defense. Nebraska’s quarterback has thrown just as many touchdowns as he has interceptions. Although we will be a DB down in this one due to the targeting penalty, I expect our no fly zone to pick off a pass or two to keep the Cornhuskers in check. 4 50 point games in a row? Yes. Book it. A easy win to lead into our two week preparation for the last half of the schedule.   Ohio State 56 - Nebraska 7  

Dr. Mark:  OSU 35-21  Bigger test this week since Huskers will at least match up ‘size – wise”. Nebraska avg 5+ yds per rush- need to stop the run.  

PJSBuck:  Wow! We scored 62 with all those mistakes?? I personally was extremely mad and embarrassed over the 2nd targeting call against Arnette. It was totally uncalled for and I hope they run his ass into the ground at practice this week. Looking to this week, Nebraska fans are some of the best in the country and I know they are all upset and disappointed at their 3-3 record. Even though this is at home for Nebraska, Ohio State needs to prove things and I don't expect them to go easy against the Cornhuskers. Though, I was kind of impressed Nebraska scored 17 points against Wisconsin last week!?? I look for the Bucks to work more on the run game with strategic passing. Cornhuskers have been weak against the run.   Prediction: Ohio State 45 Nebraska 15

Pia Pete:  15 members of TBDBITL will be in the stands to help bring home a victory.   OSU 54 – NU 20  

Coach Rick:  After firing the AD, Nebraska has looked better. Not sure why they are playing better losing an AD, but after this game will they need to find a new head coach? I think so being I have OSU winning 56 to 14.

Steven:  I had the pleasure of watching the Nebraska-Wisconsin tilt with a couple of really knowledgeable Huskers fans who provided some insight into the state of the team. Their observations were that the transition to the 3-4 defense has not been without its troubles. They cited the personnel is not suited to the scheme and thin due to injuries. As we saw against the Badgers, they wore down in the second half so much they gave up the most yards ever by a Nebraska team to Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor. I'm pretty sure that between Weber, JT and JK Dobbins, Ohio State can beat that. The team is behind Tanner Lee, who didn't play poorly against Wisconsin, but at 3-3, could it be time to try The POB, (RS freshman Patrick O'Brien) at quarterback? The word is that he's erratic in practice, but has a lot of potential. If the Huskers get down early, don't be surprised to see an early switch to hopefully spark the offense. I'm not sure it will matter much. OSU is on a roll and if Kevin Wilson is worth his weight in pigskin, we should run all over Nebraska. JT has a lunch pail game and barely eclipses 200 yards in the air. The 90 or so he gets on the ground will be the most important of his yards.  OSU grinds out a good win 37-17. 

Trout:  Although they will be a step up from the disaster of a team that Maryland was last week, the Cornhuskers are not winning this game. Ohio State is starting to hit their stride both offensively and defensively, and I don't believe that Nebraska will have personal to beat them. I think it will be close at first. The Cornhuskers have a passionate fan base and it will loud in Memorial Stadium. And I think the players will feed off that and challenge the Buckeyes early. But once, the Buckeyes get into a rhythm, Nebraska will have a hard time keeping up. It won't be a complete blowout like last week, but I see the Buckeyes winning this game comfortably.   (Ohio State, 42- 21)  

Vaughn:  Will visit Memorial Stadium ion Lincoln for only the second time in history. Our last visit there resulted in a disappointing loss after Braxton Miller was injured. The only thing that made that loss even palpable was the warm and welcoming Nebraska fans. I would not underscore the level of emotion a night game at Memorial Stadium can infuse to a struggling team. Fortunately, for the Buckeyes I don’t see Urban taking them for granted.   Buckeye defeat a game Huskers 45-17.  

​Final Score:  Ohio State 56   Nebraska 14
                          (5-1)             (3-3)
 Texas  vs.  (12)Oklahoma
(Favorite: Oklahoma  - 8 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Oklahoma - Not sure how the Sooners lost at home to Iowa State, but we know they are better than that. And although Texas has gotten better, I think I will still go with what appears to be the better team here.  

Cory:  Oklahoma is likely out of the playoff after losing to Iowa State last week. The Sooners have to turn their attention to this week's game with Texas in the Red River Rivalry game. The Longhorns have looked pretty good since their loss to USC, beating Iowa State two weeks ago and Kansas State, in overtime, last week. The big question for Texas is, who is going to start at quarterback? Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger are listed as co-starters this week on the official depth chart. Ehlinger played well against Kansas State this week, and Buechele should be mostly recovered from his ankle injury. I believe that Texas will give Oklahoma a game regardless of which quarterback starts, but expect the Sooners to rebound with a win following their disappointing loss.   Oklahoma 38, Texas 24  

Dave:  Oklahoma 28 - Texas 14

Gregg:  For this year's OU-TX game I have only one question.  Which Sooner team will show up, the one that faced Ohio State or the one that prepared for Iowa State? I am now convinced Bake Mayfield returned for his senior year only to exact a revenge out on the Buckeyes by winning in Columbus. They opened with Texas El Paso who is so bad they have only scored 86 points all year and their coach quit. I am convinced the Sooners worked the entire off season to win one game, the one against Ohio State. Now that they secured that win, they were too immature to play the rest of the season like a champion. How do they follow-up their Columbus success?  First they struggled to be the Baylor Bears 49-41, the only Power 5 team in the country that is winless. Then they lost to Iowa State, a team that has already lost 17-10 to .... say it with me .... Texas. Also, in the last nine games that OU and Texas have met when Oklahoma was ranked and Texas was not, the Longhorns won six of those nine games. Does any of that matter for this week's games?  No, but I do think Coach Herman has a way of getting ready for these challenges and with some luck, they can be victorious this week.  Hook'em Horns!   Texas 38  Oklahoma 35    

Jason:  The Red River Shootout, err, Rivalry takes center stage in the Big 12 this week as old friends Texas and Oklahoma renew acquaintances. Before the egg laid by the Sooners last week in Norman to Iowa State, this outcome looked to be a foregone conclusion. Now, the Sooners have a chink in the armor that the Longhorns will try to exploit. Texas has a little better mood in the locker room, entering after a Double OT win over Kansas State a week ago and sporting a 2-0 Big 12 record. Not many people around the country would have thought the Sooners would be looking up in the standings to Texas. Newly minted starting QB, freshman Sam Ehlinger is coming off a game where he put up nearly 500 yards of offense himself, throwing for 380 and rushing for another 107 a Longhorn freshman record. With limited tape on Ehlinger, the Sooners will have to prepare for a little bit of everything with the mobile QB running the Tom Herman spread offense. Meanwhile in Norman, they are calling last week’s loss at home to Iowa State as the worst loss in program history, entering as a 30 point favorite and falling off the rails in the second half of the shocking loss. The loss also may have cost the Big 12 the opportunity to put a team in the playoff but don’t count the Sooners out quite yet. Texas has had a couple nice wins of late but they will be facing an angry Sooner team and one in desperation mode. Texas usually has Oklahoma’s full attention due to the rivalry, but that focus is now ramped up exponentially. I expect to see the Sooner team refocused and more resembling the one who won on the road in Columbus.  Oklahoma 42 Texas 21  

Joe-S-U:  Oklahoma over Texas - As long as it isn't by more than 9....As my fiancé put it as I finished my picks over breakfast at the Log Cabin Pancake House, the jukebox should be playing "The Gambler"  

John:  xxxxx  

Josh:  Texas has been slowly getting better, but still not reaching the success that Hermon reached at Houston his first season. I expect Oklahoma to come into this game with a bit of a chip on their shoulder and nothing like a loss to sort of put things in perspective. In a way, we need Oklahoma to lose one more, and then when out, and this might be the game it happens. However, I don't think this is the game they lose. Baker Mayfield will want to cap off his Oklahoma career with a winning record against the Longhorns, and this Cotton Bowl classic will if nothing else be entertaining. I expect Texas to put up a fight and keep this close, as they were able to beat Iowa State earlier in the year.   Oklahoma 35 - Texas 31  

Dr. Mark:  OK 33- 24    Sooners have to be angry- top offense in country but a bad loss- Texas not good on the ground  

PJSBuck:  Great game to watch or tape. I will be rooting for Texas as I am a Tom Herman fan but I think the Sooner's get their act back together. This could be a dogfight.   Prediction: Oklahoma 35 Texas 27

Pia Pete:  OU takes out last week’s loss on Texas.   OU 42 – Texas 17  

Coach Rick:  I would like Texas to win because of the head coach, but after Oklahoma's bad play last week, I think they will be on fire this week in a big blow out win.  I have OU 49 to 21.

Steven:  Oh man, do you want to be Tom Herman this week, with an angry Sooner team coming in? Certainly you won't get the fat, happy and lackadaisical team that got upset last week. After the Sooners beat Ohio State in Columbus, it seemed they were on cruise control. It certainly seemed like everyone from the coaches on down took Iowa State lightly. There was no urgency on either offense or defense. When Oklahoma finally saw the writing on the wall that the game really was on the line, the entire team suffered from vapor lock. Nothing worked. Can the 'Horns keep it close enough to rattle Sooner QB Baker Mayfield and the rest of Oklahoma? The Sooners are fighting to get back into playoff consideration which should lead to Mayfield going nuts. As we've seen, when he's on and motivated, he's a tough out.  Sooners bounce back big 34-27. 

Trout:  I think the Sooners rebound this week. Although I think Texas is continuously improving this year, Oklahoma is still the better team. Baker Mayfield should be able put up some points on a weak Longhorn defense. I believe eventually, Tom Herman will have Texas back to its former glory, but for now, they are not in the same league as the Sooners. I think both teams will put up some points early, but I see Oklahoma dominating the second half of the game and winning by a large margin.   (Oklahoma, 56-28)  

Vaughn:  Oklahoma fans are reeling from the loss to Iowa State. However, the Texas State Fair and the Red River Rivalry is where a rivalry is the biggest ticket. Texas is starting to mature into Tom Herman’s offense, but the talent is not quite there on the Texas team.   Oklahoma edges Texas in score fest 45-42.  

GameDay:  Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit feel the Sooners return to the form that enabled them to beat the Buckeyes. Corso picks Texas in the upset.

​Final Score:  Oklahoma 29   Texas 24
                          (5-1)             (4-3)
 (10)Auburn  @  (30)LSU
(Favorite: Auburn  - 7 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Auburn - Ed Orgeron survived Florida, but they won't survive the visit from Gus' boys.

Cory:  I have really struggled to predict SEC games this year. Aside from Alabama and Georgia, every game feels like a crapshoot. I have doubted Auburn multiple times this year, and it's not going to continue this week. LSU picked up a win over a ranked Florida team last week, only because the Gators missed the game-tying extra point late in the fourth quarter. So far Auburn's only loss was to Clemson, and they kept it close. Jarrett Stidham is coming into his own at quarterback, as he's completing over 70 percent of his passes, and the Tigers feature a terrific running game led by Kerryon Johnson and his 12 touchdowns. Expect the Tigers to earn another good SEC win this week.   Auburn 28, LSU 13  

Dave:  LSU 32 - Auburn 28

Gregg:  Sun Belt participant Troy lost to South Alabama this week. Why does that matter for this game. The Jaguars have not had a winning season this decade and are only 2-4 this year. Yet they beat the 'other' men of Troy, a team that beat LSU just two weeks ago. The SEC as a whole is bad, LSU is bad.  Auburn is not going to look at this as a rivalry game, they are  coming to town to take care of business. I don't even see this one as being close.   Auburn 32  LSU 10   

Jason:  The same thing applies to Auburn as Ohio State…how good are they? They are rolling through their early season schedule with the exception of the defensive battle with Clemson, but the season starts this week for Auburn. They start a run of three straight road games, then finish the year with Georgia and Alabama so we will find out soon. LSU bounced back from the embarrassing loss to beat Florida in the Swamp which is never easy. 

Running the football has been the staple of the Auburn offense, led by Kerryon Johnson, who has scored 11 TD’s in the last 3 games and rushed for 116 and 204 yards against Mississippi State and Ole Miss and faces an LSU defense that has allowed 285 and 206 yards on the ground to Mississippi State and Troy. LSU has individual talent but as a unit has failed to live up to the expectation. Could this be the week they put it together? They have 20 sacks on the year and can make life difficult for opposing signal callers, but if they struggle to fire the gaps and slow the Auburn run game, it will be a long day for the Bayou Bengals. Auburn may not run the ball as effective as they have in prior weeks but they will be effective enough and LSU will struggle to move the ball on the Auburn D. I look for Auburn to dominate from the outset, imposing their will on defense which will lead to 3 and outs and tire out the LSU D. Auburn wins big on the road.   Auburn 41 LSU 10  

Joe-S-U:  Auburn over LSU - Didn't get any grief or catcalls from anyone in G'Burg wearing their SEC gear, even from the 'Bama contingent. I think it's finally getting through their whiskey-soaked brains that their conference sucks  

John:  xxxxx  

Josh:  LSU had a "big" win against Florida last week thanks to a missed extra point and looking to try and salvage a season of blunders. Auburn has been strong since being defeated by Clemson in week 2 of the season, and took care of business against an Ole Miss team who might be just as good as Baylor. (For those who can't read the sarcasm, I am saying both teams are really really bad.) I expect Auburn to win this one on the road and upset the Tigers in Death Valley. Hopefully, they are also able to run the table leading up to the Iron Bowl.   Auburn 42 - LSU 21  

Dr. Mark:  Auburn 24-14   I haven’t done well when I pick Auburn in the past but LSU seems worse than there 4-2 record- LSU may play well at home but Auburn had good running game.  

PJSBuck:  This will be a fun game to watch also. LSU is a nuts place to play so look for fireworks.  Prediction is LSU 27 Auburn 24

Pia Pete:  Auburn keeps pace with the best of the one loss teams.   Auburn 27 – LSU 13

Coach Rick:  I think in most cases I would go with the home team in a game like this, but I will go against the home team and take Auburn to win by 10 points.  

Steven:  LSU may have save Ed Orgeron's gig by beating Florida on the road Saturday. Don't expect the Tiger faithful to be pleased for long. If Les Miles couldn't make you happy, Orgeron isn't going to do much better. A new coach doesn't instantaneously change the landscape of the SEC. Saban is still at Alabama and as long as that is the case, everyone else is playing catch-up. If either of these teams bubble up to challenge Alabama, it will be a surprise. That being said, my level of antipathy about this game may be beyond human technology's ability to measure.   Auburn 24-17. 

Trout:  Auburn should win this game. Currently they are the better team. LSU is a team in flux. Having lost to Troy and barely squeaking by a bad Florida team. He is in year one, and there is already rumblings that fans want Ed Orgeron out. The Auburn Tigers have a really good offense. 4 out of the 6 games they played, they have score 40+ points. Auburn should be able to continue that trend and put up a lot of points on LSU. The only advantage the LSU Tigers have is that the game is being played in Baton Rouge. Auburn wins this game in a blow out, and LSU sinks deeper.    (Auburn, 48-10)  

Vaughn:  Auburn has been the only team to hold Clemson’s offense in check. Even the roar of Death Valley will not be able to resurrect LSU for this game.  The Auburn Tigers beat the LSU Tigers 34-10.  

GameDay:  Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit all go with the Tigers  ... of Auburn.

​Final Score:  Auburn xx   LSU xx
                          (x-x)          (x-x)
 (26)Georgia Tech  @  (11)Miami
(Favorite: Miami  - 6 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick​: Miami - I have to take he Canes here, but this isn't a good spot for them. Could be interesting.

Cory:  It's hard to determine how much Miami's win over Florida State last week matters. On one hand, it's a huge step for the Hurricanes. On the other hand, Florida State has really been struggling this season following the season-ending injury to quarterback Deondre Francois in the opener. Miami's other wins this season are not too impressive so it's hard to fully buy into the Hurricanes yet. Georgia Tech enters this game on two weeks of rest, and with Miami coming off an emotional win last week there is a big risk the Hurricanes suffer a hangover this week. A lot of people will be riding Miami following their big win last week, but I am going with the Yellow Jackets in this one.  Georgia Tech 28, Miami 24  

Dave:  Miami 38 - Georgia Tech 28

Gregg:  Miami continues to rule, sets their sights on a Coastal title and a shot at Clemson. Tech does not go quietly though.   Miami 27  Georgia Tech 24  

Jason:  Miami erased the losing streak a week ago against Florida State but it was costly, losing star running back Mark Walton to a season ending ankle injury that will require surgery. Just as Miami was becoming a real player not only in the ACC to potentially challenge Clemson, but in the College Football Playoff conversation as well. How well they can overcome the Walton loss will largely determine their season destiny. The Jackets are on a bit of a roll after stumbling late in the season opening OT loss to Tennessee, they have found a bit of a rhythm. Junior QB Taquan Marshall has led a Tech offense that has put up nearly 400 yards per game running the triple option, good for second in the nation in that category. Not only is it a difficult defense to prepare for, the game is shortened significantly with the majority of the snaps being running plays. If Miami can’t take advantage of the limited opportunities on offense and turns the ball over a time or two then Georgia Tech may be able to make enough plays to steal the upset win. This game is difficult to predict due to the unorthodox offense Tech runs but in the end Miami just has a bit too much and will be able to get enough stops to win a close one.   Miami 31 GT 28

Joe-S-U:  Miami over Ga. Tech - Did anyone honestly think at the beginning of the year that Gregg would put this game on our list? I will honestly admit that, due to travel, I'm sending Gregg these picks late Friday night, so to answer his question (with the benefit of a Syracuse upset in the bag)...uh, both teams could, apparently . 

John:  xxxxx  

Josh:  I discussed this game with my dad as a possible 5th spot game due to the style of play Georgia Tech plays. Miami defeated Florida State last week on a final drive in the 4th quarter and have looked better this season. Georgia Techs triple option is always awkward to defend and plan for, so we shall see if Richt has his team prepared. His background at Georgia should help them prepare for this Yellow Jacket rush heavy attack. I think the Hurricanes find a way to win this game, and continue their undefeated season.   Miami 24 - Georgia Tech 21  

Dr. Mark:  Miami 38-20  Will stick with the Hurricanes’ after last week- tech has good running game and could win if they slow Miami down  

PJSBuck:  Weekly who gives a sh(*^? t game of the week.   Miami wins.

Pia Pete:  Miami squeaks by GT.   U 21 – GT 17

Coach Rick:  Miami remains undefeated on the season with a win over Georgia Tech.  I have Miami 27 to 13.   

Steven:  Tech is so fun to watch. Like the service academies, the Yellow Jackets run the triple option. They just run it better most of the time. It makes you wonder why the rest of college football doesn't layer in a bit of it as a change of pace. Of course, installing an entirely new blocking scheme for just a few plays a game is pretty crazy. The read-option is the rest of the football world's answer. The triple option is then relegated to those who are able to dedicate 100% to its implementation. There is no doubt the Jackets can keep up with Miami offensively. Tech is just not where they would like to be on defense. If Miami can control the ball and limit GT's possessions, they should win easily. Expect a late surge to wear out the Tech defense and Miami to put it away in the 4th quarter.   The U 31-20. 

Trout:  I think the Canes win this game, but it will be close. Georgia tech is always a weird team to figure out. With their triple option offense, you never know how teams will play against them. However, with that offense, they are limited in their passing ability and I think Miami will take advantage of that. I think it will be a low scoring, sloppy game, with Miami doing just enough to get by the Yellow Jackets. It won't be easy, by the Miami Hurricanes remain undefeated.   (Miami, 17-14)    

Vaughn:  After Georgia Tech collapsed losing to Tennessee, it showed how fragile a lead can be. Miami is playing with confidence and will be able to stack the line against GT’s running attack. Miami beats Georgia Tech 35-17.  

GameDay:  Desmond Howard thinks the Canes continue to roll at home.  Lee Corso, David Pollack and Kirk Herbstreit have faith in the Tech running a game and think they will come out on top.

​Final Score:  Miami 25   Georgia Tech 24
               (5-0)               (3-2)
 (29)Utah  @  (13)USC
(Favorite: USC  - 13 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: USC - Gotta go with the more talented team here....and the one playing at home. If I'm playing against the Vegas line though, I think I'm on the Utes getting 12.5.  

Cory:  USC responded to their disappointing loss to Washington State win a solid win over Oregon State last week, yet, it's hard to have much confidence in the Trojans. Quarterback Sam Darnold still looks off, as he's got nine interceptions to just 12 touchdowns. Utah is hoping for a shot at the playoff but the rest of the Utes' schedule is brutal. It starts with USC this week and includes games with Oregon, UCLA, Washington State, Washington, and Colorado. Utah's offense is just OK so if USC gets ahead early the Utes will likely struggle to win this one. I am hesitant to pick the Trojans but I believe the level of talent on that team gives them the edge this week.   USC 31, Utah 17  

Dave:  USC 32 -Utah 21

Gregg:  USC was a favorite in the Pac-12 pre-season and for some even nationally.  Sam Darnold has been solid but has not put up the Heisman worthy numbers, however he has plenty of time to stay in that race.  This game would be a great opportunity, as this will be an elimination game for the loser.  USC brings a balanced attack and gets the much needed victory.   USC 42  Utah 33    

Jason:  The Utes will be looking to bounce back after losing 23-20 against Stanford for their first loss of the season. USC is trying to hang around the College Football Playoff conversation coming off a dominant performance in a win over Oregon State a week ago. Quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 316 yards with 3 TD’s and a pick to lead the Trojans to victory despite 3 total turnovers. Overall though, USC has been one of the most disappointing teams in the FBS and Darnold hasn’t quite lived up to the hype struggling to gain any momentum and showing the propensity to throw the ball to the defense. Utah can play some defense, nearly shutting down a fierce offense in Stanford with the exception of a couple of big plays. The Utes will play well on D and may even force Darnold into a mistake or two, but he will make plays late and enable USC to escape with a big win.   USC 28 Utah 24  

Joe-S-U:  USC over Utah - About the only two teams I didn't see anyone representing in Gatlinburg  

John:  xxxxx  

Josh:  Utah is a good team, and although USC had a big win last week, they are still a so so team. I think USC has the momentum back since the loss to Wazzou. Darnold will make some plays and the USC defense slow down the Ute rushing attack,   USC 38 - Utah 24  

Dr. Mark:  USC- 35-31  Darnold and USC not too impressive so far this year- maybe too much preseason hype- 9- interceptions but should beat Utah  

PJSBuck:  This is a must-win game for both. I am going with USC only because my cousin Mark did post-graduate work there and likes it?????????   USC by 5

Pia Pete:  USC will not lose to Utah.   USC 35 – Utah 24  

Coach Rick:  I have USC all over Utah in this game.  I have USC 42 to 7.

Steven:  Although the season hasn't been the coronation of the Trojan program that some predicted, there is still potential for Samwise Darnold to make noise out west. While the defenses will probably set the tone for this one, Darnold should be able to out-duel Utes QB Tyler Huntley. In a de facto knockout game, USC should rise to the occasion. Don't let the high last too long, boys. A trip to South Bend is right around the corner.   USC 24-20. 

Trout:  Utah seems to be be a decent team this year, but I don't believe they are good enough to beat the Trojans. Although USC has played sloppy and uninspired at times, they are still a very talented team. I see the Utes keeping it close until the very end. They will challenge USC both offensively and defensively, But, I think USC's superior talent will get them other the hump. Trojans win in a hard fought , close game.    (USC, 28-24) 

Vaughn:  USC has been a challenging team to dissect and I haven’t had an opportunity to see Utah. The Trojans beat the Utes 27-10

GameDay:  Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit feel the home Trojans win this in a close game. Utah has note won in LA since 1916.

​Final Score:  USC 28   Utah 27
                      (6-1)     (4-2)
27 - 8
26 - 9
26 - 9
25 - 10
24 - 11
23 - 12
23 - 12
23 - 12
22 - 8
22 - 13
22 - 13
22 - 13
22 - 13
22 - 13
21 - 14





Brent Baver ***
Rick DeSutter ***
Jason Harris
Josh Watson
Gregg Watson **
Cory Steger
Pete Quint *
Vaughn Broadnax
John Siebert *
Joe Hylton *
Mark Triffon
Stefan Armintrout
Dave Culver *
Pat Steger
Steven Smith

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