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Friday, September 22, 2017

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Four

Nothing short of a trainwreck last week for JR
It's that time for conference play to hit full stride and there are a lot of great matchups this week.  One thing about conference play is that you have to go on the road for half of 'em.  So teams that have played solely within the friendly confines of their own stadium or a neutral site (e.g. Michigan, Southern Cal, Alabama) will find themselves venturing into hostile territory for the first time.  Teams with one early loss such as preaseason Top 5 Ohio State and Florida State will work to rebuild their resume, as a conference championship for either will likely end up in a playoff berth.

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets


1) The SEC game of the week on CBS continues to produce crazy finishes.  You can't script it any better.
2) Nebraska is in a free fall.  It's hard to believe how quickly the program has fallen from elite.
3) The Pac 12 had a high rate of road victories last year in big games.  Will that continue?  Division favorites Southern Cal and Washington will face tough road tests
4) Mississippi State and Georgia appear to be the most likely teams to unseat Alabama in the SEC.  This weekend one will emerge.  I guarantee a Bulldogs win.
5) Oklahoma State and Oklahoma appear to be on a collision course for perhaps a Bedlam game, then rematch one week later in the Big 12 championship game. The Big 12 is deep though, with TCU, West Virginia, Texas (taking USC to the end), Kansas State, as well as Texas Tech and Iowa State looking good early. Because of the round robin of 9 games, maybe the toughest schedule to navigate.
Bulldog Babe just keeps nailing games correctly
And now for our picks.

This blog will typically pick the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default.  Texas has a bye, but Georgia most certainly is a game of interest.  Last week we only had four games due to the Florida State vs. Miami matchup being rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.  We might sneak in a six game week later.  So for this week's five games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison.

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan Bulldog Babe (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo) as a guest expert.

Last week
JR: 1-3 S/U, 0-4 ATS
BDB: 2-2 S/U, 3-1 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 7-7 S/U, 7-7 ATS
BDB: 8-6 S/U, 10-4 ATS

Both JR and BDB missed Louisville and LSU winning straight up.  Both got USC correct, with BDB adding a Florida win.  JR was absolutely miserable only getting USC as a winner, but missing the Texas cover

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports





Game 1: North Carolina State (+12.5) at Florida State (Noon EDT)

JR Ewing:
It's a bit of a slow week in the ACC in terms of ranked teams playing each other.  This matchup is the most intriguing with Florida State having not played since the opening weekend due to Hurricane Irma and having lost their starting QB for the season.  It will be interesting to see if they're rusty.  Meanwhile North Carolina State comes into the game 2-1 having lost to a South Carolina team that might be better than we think.  That being said, Florida State wins this one, but within the spread. 
Florida State 28, North Carolina State 20


Bulldog Babe: 
Honestly NC State and Florida State isn't really a good competition because I think Florida State is the stronger team and they have more charisma than NC State does. Give me the 'Noles in this one.
Florida State 34, North Carolina State 17



Game 2: Texas Christian (+12.5) at Oklahoma State (3:30 EDT) 

JR Ewing:
A big conference matchup early in the Big 12 will help sort out the pecking order.  Oklahoma State's spread offense has looked tough to stop as they rang up 49 points in a half last week at Pittsburgh.  TCU struggled early against SMU, but bounced back for an easy win.  This will be high scoring and closer than the final score indicates, but Oklahoma State wins by two TD. 
Oklahoma State 42, Texas Christian 28

Bulldog Babe:
TCU and Oklahoma State are two great teams, with their own strengths on each side of the ball. TCU dominated last Arkansas and I think that if they keep up their winning ways, they'll be in serious talks to be in the playoffs in my opinion. I think they'll win over OKST.
Texas Christian 30, Oklahoma State 20




Game 3: Mississippi State (+5) at Georgia (7:00 EDT)

JR Ewing:
I might be looking forward to this game more than any this weekend.  Georgia was so impressive with a win on the road using their backup quarterback, now they come home between the hedges to open conference play against a strong opponent.  I was a Mississippi State doubter but they manhandled a good LSU team to win their opener.  This will be a physical matchup of athletes.  Georgia wins by a TD. 
Georgia 28, Mississippi State 21


Bulldog Babe:
Mississippi State and Georgia is gonna be another enjoyable game. Mississippi State is coming off a strong win against LSU and Georgia is coming off a dominant victory against Samford. Although everyone seems to be hyping Mississippi State, I think their offense won't be able to handle the strong Georgia defense, they will get after the quarterback and make sure the offense stays off the field. Give me Georgia in this one! 
Georgia 27, Mississippi State 20



Game 4: Notre Dame (-3) at Michigan State  (8:00 EDT)

JR Ewing:
Notre Dame lost a key game to Georgia earlier in the year, but bounced back well against a mediocre Boston College team to win the next one.  Michigan State is coming off a bafflingly bad 2016 campaign and looks pointed in the right direction.  They always play the Irish tough at home.  I think they win a squeaker. 
Michigan State 31, Notre Dame 30

Bulldog Babe:
Notre Dame came out last week after a tough loss to Georgia and completely ran over Boston College. I think Notre Dame is one serious team and they have the chance to go undefeated, I think they'll steal the win this week. 
Notre Dame 37, Michigan State 20




Game 5: Washington (-11.5) at Colorado (10:00 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
Washington was the playoff team everyone thought shouldn't have been in the playoffs last year.  Part of it due to the late kickoffs that media don't necessarily watch before rubber stamping a Big 10 or SEC team instead. But I digress, this is a rematch of the Pac 12 title game which should be closer than people think.  Colorado can be tough to play at altitude and an improving team.  Washington escapes, but barely. 
Washington 31, Colorado 28

Bulldog Babe:
Washington and Colorado is an interesting matchup. I think after Washington was able to sneak their way into the playoffs last year, they're a force to be reckoned with. Give me the Huskies. 
Washington 31, Colorado 14





BDB and JR want to offer their prayers for the victims of the earthquake in Mexico City and fellow Americans in Puerto Rico who were devastated by Hurricane Maria (as well as others still recovering from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma).  It's hard to celebrate too much these days with people suffering.  You are not forgotten.

Enjoy your football Saturday, America!

- JR and BDB

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