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FEATURE PICKS ARCHIVES
Week 1: 9/2-9/6
Week 2: 9/9-9/11
Week 3: 9/16-9/18
Week 4: 9/23-9/25
Week 5: 9/30-10/2
Week 6: 10/5-10/9
Week 7: 10/13-10/16
Week 8: 10/21-10/23
Week 9: 10/26-10/30
Week 10: 11/2-11/6
Week 11: 11/9-11/13
Week 12: 11/16-11/20
Week 13: 11/23-11/27
Week 14: 12/2-12/4
Week 15: 12/11-12/11
Week 16: Bowls
Past Season Archives: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 |

EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2010 Regular Season: 5-1 SU (.833), 3-3 ATS (.500)
This Week: 5-1 SU (.833), 3-3 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, September 2
UTAH (-3) by 3.83 over Pittsburgh - Utah crushed Pitt 35-7 at the Fiesta Bowl (2004 season) in only other meeting. The Utes are 3-0 in last three home games vs. BCS conference teams.
Utah won 27-24 in OT. The computer won SU, lost ATS (we don't recognize tie picks).

Saturday, September 4
ALABAMA (-38) by 42.75 over San Jose State - Computer's No. 4 team plays computer's No. 117 team at home. The Spartans lost last year's opener at USC 56-3, and lost 62-7 at home to Nevada. Alabama's 2009 Heisman Trophy-winning running back RB Mark Ingram is a scratch, but neither USC or Nevada had Ingram on their side last year.
Alabama won 48-3. The computer won SU, won ATS

BYU (-3) by 13.37 over Washington - As with Utah on Thursday, this is another MWC team that is only getting home field advantage in a home-opener versus a BCS conference opponent. BYU is ranked 16th and Washington 53rd by Congrove's power ratings system.
BYU won 23-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.

OKLAHOMA STATE (-14) by 25.78 over Washington State - How Washington State is only a 14-point road dog is beyond me. The Cougars have lost 9 straight overall and 11 straight road games. They are 1-16 in their last 17 journeys away from Pullman. They lost all five road games last year by at least 21 points and an average of 34.
Oklahoma State won 65-17. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Texas (-28) by 33.84 over Rice (at Reliant Stadium) - The Longhorns have won each of the last 4 meetings with Rice by at least 41 points. This is the first time since 1999 that Texas doesn't open against a Sun Belt team.
Texas won 34-17. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Monday, September 6
Navy (-6) by 12.70 over Maryland (at Baltimore) - Though the teams are located just a half-hour apart, their 2005 meeting was the first since 1965. My insertion of this game is really just a matter of the disparity between the computer margin of 12-plus and the oddsmakers' spread of only 6.
Maryland won 17-14. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.




HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2010 Regular Season: 8-0 SU (1.000), 2-6 ATS (.250)
This Week: 8-0 SU (1.000), 2-6 ATS (.250)
PAST RECORDS

Thursday, September 2
Usc (-19) by 12.52 over HAWAII - USC has a new coach and an opening game in Hawaii as the first game of its probation period. This just doesn't feel like a Trojan cakewalk. The computer was 9-3 ATS with Hawaii games last year.
USC won 49-36. The computer won SU, won ATS.

OHIO STATE (-28) by 24.52 over Marshall - Over the last 7 seasons, Ohio State has won its first game against an FBS school at home by margins of 4, 12, 18, 23, 20, 21 and 19. Of those 7 games, 4 were against MAC schools, 1 vs. CUSA, 1 vs. PAC-10 and 1 vs. Independent.
Ohio State won 45-7. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

SOUTH CAROLINA (-14) by 12.62 over Southern Miss - Southern Miss has never lost a road game by more than 14 points in the two years of Larry Fedora's regime.
South Carolina won 41-13. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Friday, September 3
Arizona (-14) by 10.22 over TOLEDO - Arizona is 3-4 in its last seven road games and none of the three victories were by more than 4 points. The Rockets are 5-1 at home in their last six home games vs. BCS conference schools.
Arizona won 41-2. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, September 4
AUBURN (-30) by 21.73 over Arkansas State - Arkansas State lost last year's opener at Nebraska by 29, won the previous year's opener at Texas A&M by 4, and lost the '07 opener at Texas by 8.
Auburn won 52-26. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Colorado (-10.5) by 9.78 over Colorado State (at Denver) - This game has been decided by 7 points or less in 7 of the last 8 years. Colorado was a 13-point oddsmakers' favorite in last year's game and the Ram's won 23-17.
Colorado won 24-3. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Kentucky (-5.5) by 1.91 over LOUISVILLE - This will be the first game for both head coaches - Louisville's Charlie Strong and Kentucky's Joker Phillips. Strong is the highly respected former defensive coordinator at Florida, and Phillips was the head coach-in-waiting in Lexington. Kentucky has won 3 straight in the series after losing 4-in-a-row to the Cards from 2003-2006.
Kentucky won 23-16. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

Wisconsin (-17) by 12.84 over UNLV - Wisconsin escaped with a 20-13 win the last time it went to Vegas in 2007, and Oregon State made it out of the desert with a 23-21 win last year.
Wisconsin won 41-21. The computer won SU, lost ATS.




UPSETS:
The computer likes the underdog as the outright winner. I don't select the games in this category. Instead, we list every upset projected by the computer.
2010 Regular Season: 1-2 SU (.333), 1-2 ATS (.333)
This Week: 1-2 SU (.333), 1-2 ATS (.333)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, September 4
Connecticut by 6.65 over MICHIGAN (-3) - UConn has quickly become known for its running backs and the school produced two 1,000-yard backs last season. Andre Dixon is gone but Jordan Todman returns. The Wolverines ranked 92nd in rushing defense last year. The Huskies enter 2010 on a 4-game winning streak that includes road wins over Notre Dame and a bowl defeat of South Carolina. UConn returns 16 starters from a unit that was 20 points away from going undefeated last year.
Michigan won 30-10. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

North Carolina by 4.89 over Lsu (-1) (at Atlanta) - The NCAA investigation continues into possible improper contact with agents by some UNC players, and the investigation was recently expanded to possible academic misconduct. Unspecified violations of team rules will keep others out, as well. Missing from this game will be several defensive starters and no fewer than 3 of UNC's main offensive weapons. Don't expect to see DT Marvin Austin, DE's Michael McAdoo and Linwan Euwall, S's Brian Gupton, Da’Norris Searcy and Jonathan Smith, CB Charles Brown, top RB's Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston, and leading receiver Greg Little. LB's Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter were cleared Friday night. I was already cautious of this game pick without the distractions and it would only be fair to eliminate this one from the picks, but we have always included every outright upset pick from the computer. This is the 3rd year of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic and SEC representative Alabama won the first two over Clemson and Virginia Tech. LSU leads the all-time series 5-1 but the teams haven't met since a 30-3 LSU win in 1986. UNC's only win came in the first meeting in 1948.
LSU won 30-24. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Sunday, September 5
EAST CAROLINA by 3.86 over Tulsa (-6) - The Ruffin McNeill era begins at East Carolina as he fills the shoes of Skip Holtz who left for USF. Meanwhile, 4th-year head coach Todd Graham looks to help Tulsa rebound from a 6-win drop-off from '08 to '09. ECU has won the last two meetings and 4 of the last 6.
East Carolina won 51-49. The computer won SU, won ATS.