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9/29/11-10/1/11


FEATURE PICKS ARCHIVES
Week 1: 9/1-9/5
Week 2: 9/8-9/10
Week 3: 9/15-9/17
Week 4: 9/22-9/24
Week 5: 9/29-10/1
Week 6: 10/6-10/8
Week 7: 10/13-10/15
Week 8: 10/18-10/22
Week 9: 10/25-10/29
Week 10: 11/1-11/5
Week 11: 11/8-11/12
Week 12: 11/15-11/19
Week 13: 11/22-11/26
Week 14: 12/1-12/3
Week 15: 12/10-12/10
Week 16: Bowls
Past Season Archives: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 |

EASY PICKINS:
The computer likes the favorite with room to spare.
2011 Regular Season: 31-8 SU (.795), 21-18 ATS (.538)
This Week: 6-3 SU (.667), 3-6 ATS (.333)
PAST RECORDS

Saturday, October 1
EASTERN MICHIGAN (-6.5) by 10.92 over Akron - The computer's projected margin of victory for EMU has risen 2.74 points from the preseason to now. The computer is 4-0 SU, 2-0 ATS with Eagles games. It's 4-0 SU and 1-2 ATS with Akron but both losses occurred when the computer margin was less than the line which is not the case here. The teams haven't played since 2009 and Akron is on a 3-win series streak.
Eastern Michigan won 31-23. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Texas A&M (-3) by 5 over Arkansas (at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington) - The computer projected margin of victory has risen 2.19 points since the preseason. Arkansas has won both meetings since this series was renewed in 2009.
Arkansas won 42-38. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

VIRGINIA TECH (-7) by 10.93 over Clemson - The Hokies have won 5 straight in the series by 17+ points. The computer is 4-0 SU, 3-0 ATS with Virginia Tech, but is 3-1 SU and 0-3 ATS with Clemson.
Clemson won 23-3. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Texas Tech (-12) by 18.56 over KANSAS - Texas Tech has won the last 4 meetings since the Jayhawks' 2001 triumph. However, the Red Raiders were a projected 10.49-point winner last week at home vs. Nevada and only came out ahead 35-34.
Texas Tech won 45-34. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

LSU (-27.5) by 28.91 over Kentucky - This game was an expected rout in the preseason when the computer had LSU winning by 23.42. Now it's an even larger an expected rout. The computer is a combined 7-0 SU with these teams and 5-2 ATS.
LSU won 35-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.

MTSU (-18.5) by 23.29 over Memphis - I'm 3-0 with Memphis games this season and won't stop picking them until I'm wrong at least once. Memphis has lost its 3 games vs. FBS opponents by 45, 44 and 42 points in that order. However, MTSU was Memphis' only win last season as it beat the Blue Raiders for the first time (1-2).
MTSU won 38-31. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

MICHIGAN (-19.5) by 21.64 over Minnesota - This has certified blowout written all over it, but the computer is just 1-3 SU with Minnesota which was expected to beat New Mexico State and North Dakota State and lose to Miami, Ohio. It did the opposite in all three games. The computer is 2-1 ATS with the Golden Gophers. It's 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS with the Wolverines.
Michigan won 58-0. The computer won SU, won ATS.

TULSA (-23) by 26.80 over North Texas - The Golden Hurricane have won each of the last three meetings by at least 25 points. The computer is combined 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS with the teams.
Tulsa won 41-24. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

UTAH (-6.5) by 7.13 over Washington - Utah is already 0-1 in the conference (loss to USC) while Washington is 1-0 (win vs. Cal last week). The Huskies are 6-0 all-time vs. the Utes, but these teams haven't met since 1979.
Washington won 31-14. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.





HOLD YOUR HORSES:
The computer likes the favorite, but by fewer points than the oddsmakers.
2011 Regular Season: 29-4 SU (.879), 13-20 ATS (.394)
This Week: 10-2 SU (.833), 6-6 ATS (.500)
PAST RECORDS

Friday, September 30
BYU (-13.5) by 11.64 over Utah State - Utah State snapped a 10-game losing streak in the series with last year's 31-16 win. BYU has been offensive-challenged, thus its two victories over Ole Miss and UCF have been by a total of 8 points and its home loss to Utah was by 44. Utah State is coached by former Utah DC Gary Andersen who is in his 3rd season in Logan.
BYU won 27-24. The computer won SU, won ATS.

Saturday, October 1
ARMY (-11) by 4.27 over Tulane - The computer is 2-2 SU and ATS with the Black Knights. It's 3-1 SU, 2-1 ATS with the Green Wave with its only miss coming in the upset blowout of UAB in Birmingham. The all-time series is 9-8-1 in favor of Tulane and the Green Wave won 17-16 the last time the game was played at West Point two years ago, but Army has won 3 of the last 4 meetings overall. The Black Knights rank 100th in total defense and 95th in scoring offense.
Army won 45-6. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

SOUTH CAROLINA (-10.5) by 9.43 over Auburn - Overall, Auburn leads the sparingly played series 8-1-1 with the only Gamecocks victory coming in 1933, but they never met from 1934 through 1995 and have only played 6 times since then with the Tigers winning all 6. Auburn swept South Carolina last year, winning the regular season game 35-27 and the conference championship game 56-17. Those were the first meetings between these schools since 2006. The computer's PMOV (projected margin of victory) has only changed by 0.09 points since the preseason. The computer is 4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS with the Gamecocks. It's 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS with the Tigers.
Auburn won 16-13. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

BOISE STATE (-29) by 20.23 over Nevada - Boise State hasn't defeated any team this year by more than 25 points. The last 4 games in this rivalry have been decided by no more than 11 points after a 7-meeting string of blowouts which the Broncos won by 35 points or more. Boise State will be seeking to avenge last year's upset loss in Reno that squashed its BCS Championship game hopes. The former WAC rivals finished the year as co-champions of that conference, along with Hawaii. Nevada has clearly missed the presence of graduated QB Colin Kaepernick and RB Vai Taua. However, Mike Ball ranks 12th nationally in place of Taua and ripped Texas Tech for 139 yards last week in a heartbreaking 35-34 fall-from-ahead loss. Cody Fajardo could replace Tyler Lantrip at QB. Fajardo was 4-of-6 for 59 yards and a TD last week while adding 139 rushing yards and 2 TD's. Lantrip has just 122 yards rushing and O TD's in 3 games, eliminating the dual threat that made it so difficult to defend Kaepernick.
Boise State won 30-10. The computer won SU, won ATS.

WEST VIRGINIA (-21) by 16.37 over Bowling Green - The computer's PMOV (projected margin of victory) has dropped over 7 points on this game since the preseason. The Falcons were projected to go 1-11, but have won 3 of their first 4 games as opponents Idaho and Miami (O.), in particular, haven't lived up to the computer's expectations. BGSU's lone loss was a 1-point setback to a much-improved Wyoming team. QB Matt Schilz leads the nation in TD passes with 14 and has thrown just 4 INT's. West Virginia ranks 34th in pass defense, 37th in total defense and 24th in total offense. The Falcons rank 22nd in total defense and 21st in total offense.
West Virginia won 55-10. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

TENNESSEE (-27.5) by 20.68 over Buffalo - The computer's projected margin has been pretty much on the money with the both of these schools so far this year and it has trended slightly in the Bulls' favor.
Tennessee won 41-10. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

CONNECTICUT (-8) by 2.69 over Western Michigan - UConn has been a major disappointment in Paul Pasqualoni's first season as head coach, though the defense has been solid. Western Michigan nearly pulled off the upset of unbeaten Illinois last week.
Western Michigan won 38-31. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

North Carolina (-8) by 3.36 over EAST CAROLINA - The computer is a combined 7-0 SU and 6-0 ATS with these teams in 2011.
North Carolina won 35-20. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

ILLINOIS (-7) by 3.01 over Northwestern - The computer is undefeated SU and ATS with the Illini, but is only 1-2 SU and 1-1 ATS with the Wildcats as they've been playing without Dan Persa at QB. That is set to change this week as Persa is scheduled to return after rupturing his achilles tendon while throwing the game-winning pass against Iowa last November 13.
Illinois won 38-35. The computer won SU, won ATS.

LOUISVILLE (-11) by 7.60 over Marshall - Marshall has won all 3 meetings since 1987 but the teams haven't played since a 38-15 Herd win in the 2002 GMAC Bowl. The computer is 3-1 SU and ATS with Marshall It's 2-1 SU and 1-1 ATS with the Cards, losing only the Kentucky game in which it forecasted the rival Wildcats to win by more than a TD (Louisville won 24-17).
Marshall won 17-13. The computer lost SU, won ATS.

Notre Dame (-14.5) by 7.69 over PURDUE - 14.5 is expecting a lot of the Irish for a rivalry game on the road, especially when three of their four games this season have been decided by 4 points or less and they are only carrying a 2-2 record into West Lafayette. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 54-26-2, but Purdue is 4-3 in the last 7 meetings at home.
Notre Dame won 38-10. The computer won SU, lost ATS.

SOUTHERN MISS (-14.5) by 11.83 over Rice - The computer is a combined 6-1 SU with these teams and 4-2 ATS. The Owls are 2-0 all-time vs. the Golden Eagles with the only meetings occurring in 2007 and 2008.
Southern Miss won 48-24. 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.
2011 Regular Season: 10-18 SU (.357), 13-15 ATS (.464)
This Week: 3-6 SU (.333), 3-6 ATS (.333)
PAST RECORDS

Friday, September 30
Usf by 3.25 over PITTSBURGH (-3) - The Bulls face their first road test after winning 23-20 at Notre Dame in the opener. The Irish beat the Panthers 15-12 in Pittsburgh this past weekend. USF is the only remaining undefeated team in the Big East. Pitt has won the last three meetings.
Pittsburgh won 44-17. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Saturday, September 24
Air Force by 1.89 over NAVY (-3.5) - This is the first game in the annual round-robin competition between Air Force, Army and Navy for the Commander-In-Chief's trophy. The Falcons ended Navy's 7-year grip on the prize last year and will, no doubt, be out for revenge.
Air Force won 35-34 in OT. The computer won SU, won ATS.

MIAMI, OHIO by 0.06 over Cincinnati (-13.5) - I don't buy into this one for a minute. Miami was supposed to take a run at a repeat MAC East title but finds itself winless (0-3) and averaging less than 19 points per game. Cincinnati is 3-1 and coming off an impressive 44-14 win over N.C. State last week.
Cincinnati won 27-0. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Mississippi State by 2.5 over GEORGIA (-4.5) - Mississippi State faces an opponent nicknamed 'Bulldogs' for the second straight week. MSU needed overtime last Saturday to shrug off Louisiana Tech 26-20. The Starkville Bulldogs ended a 9-game losing streak to Georgia in last year's game at home, but haven't won in Athens since 1956.
Georgia won 24-10. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE (-0.72) over Georgia Tech (-6) - The computer favored N.C. State by 12.02 in the preseason, but that has dropped to a scant 0.72 points now. That leads me to believe the computer just hasn't completely adjusted to how awful the Wolfpack have been or how well the Yellow Jackets have been playing
Georgia Tech won 45-35. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

LOUISIANA TECH by 1.47 over Hawaii (-1.5) - A close call either way. The Bulldogs are 2-2 at home vs. the Warriors since 2003 and the two losses have been by 1 point (2007) and 3 points (2003). Led by 17-year old freshman QB Nick Isham, Louisiana Tech fell 26-20 in overtime at Mississippi State last week and has now lost three games (Southern Miss, Houston and Mississippi State) by a total of 9 points. Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz threw 7 TD passes in the FIRST HALF of last week's 56-14 home rout of FCS member UC-Davis.
Hawaii won 44-26. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Michigan State by 0.55 over OHIO STATE (-3.5) - These teams haven't met since 2008 which is just one reason I am opposed to conferences having more than 10 teams. The Buckeyes have won the last 7 meetings and the Spartans haven't won in Columbus since 1998. Michigan State was routed 31-13 at Notre Dame in its only other road trip this season.
Michigan State won 10-7. The computer won SU, won ATS.

SYRACUSE by 3.25 over Rutgers (-1) - The Orange are living a charmed life at the Carrier Dome where they've defeated both Wake Forest and Toledo in overtime after comebacks. In the last game against the Rockets, they also happened to have the dumbest officials in the world on their side as they mistakenly called a crucial PAT good when it clearly wasn't. How do you blow a freaking extra point call?!
Rutgers won 19-16 in 2 OT. The computer lost SU, lost ATS.

Toledo by 0.12 over TEMPLE (-5.5) - I can see this happening. Toledo has been the hard luck team that keeps losing close road battles to schools from the "Big 6" conferences. And in last week's game at Syracuse, they had a moron of an official probably cost them the game. Now they face one of the best teams in the MAC in what could be a preview of the conference championship game. The Owls are coming off a dominating 38-7 win over Maryland so it's possible the Owls will be caught feeling a little too proud of themselves.
Toldeo won 36-13. The computer won SU, won ATS.