Friday, 23 September 2011
NCAA College Football Picks Week 4
Picks after the jump.
Home Team listed second in CAPS
vs = Neutral Site game
(*) = Line Differential
[*] = National Ranking
N.C. State (+7.5) at Cincinnati
San Diego State (+10.5) at  Michigan
Notre Dame (-6.5) at Pittsburgh
 Florida State (+2) at  Clemson
 Oklahoma State (+4.5) at  Texas A&M
 Arkansas (+11.5) at  Alabama
Vanderbilt (+16) at  South Carolina
Missouri (+21) at  Oklahoma
 LSU (-5.5) at  West Virginia
 USC (+2.5) at Arizona State
Chris picks: Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida State, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, West Virginia, USC
I pick: Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, LSU, USC
It's probably a bad idea to pick these road teams on a Thursday night. Cincinnati absolutely pasted the Wolfpack to the wall, it was fairly embarassing. I apply similar logic to San Diego State's visit east. I feel as though Michigan is vulnerable but I don't trust a gaggle of college kids from an inferior conference flying out 4 hours on a plane. Notre Dame finally showed me who I thought they were last week and I expect them to build on that performance at Pitt. Rees is still error prone but I don't think the Panthers will be able to keep up.
Clemson had a good showing finishing off Auburn's winning streak last week but I don't think they're good enough to overhaul Florida State in whichever confusing division of the ACC they're in. However, the Seminoles are preparing their backup QB with EJ Manuel possibly out. If he's in, I'll feel a lot more uneasy with my pick but I think the Noles defense should be able to hold out. There won't be much defense in College Station where I expect the OK State Cowpokes to come out on top over Big 12 villains A&M in an extremely fun to watch shootout. They've had the edge in recent contests and if they are able to set the early pace I could see them running away with it.
Arkansas is highly touted but I gotta trust Alabama to handle them even with a double digit spread. One thing I'm trying to learn is not to get cute with picks. If I'm confident a favorite will win, just pick them regardless of the line. That's my rationale with picking Oklahoma giving 21 points. Missouri pulled the upset last year but this time they're in Norman and the Sooners usually wax them.
South Carolina are nothing if not unreliable to start the season and 16 points feels like too much Vandy's opposition hasn't been great but the Gamecocks are in some weird rut right now. USC was in one but I get the feel as though they're starting to climb out of it. ASU has struggled to put away teams they should beat and I believe they will come a cropper at home against a theoretically more talented team.