The Program’s Picks

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Every week the the degenerate gamblers who run this site attempt to pick games for the upcoming college football weekend. We are usually completely and totally wrong, blinded by team allegiance, alumni status, and probably a 5th of Makers. That being the case, we’ve enlisted help of professionals…not for the Makers problem, but for the gambling one. The Geek Sheet experts have decided to set us all straight this season. They’ll be here to give you the winners, blow your mind with high level statistical analysis, and shamelessly plug their own site…which is something we have great admiration for. Be sure to check out their site for more. Now, on to the picks…

Records

The Juice: 15-10

Mike Medallion: 12-13

Bunkie Perkins: 11-14

The Geek: 14-11

Bama -6 ½ @ Ole Miss

The Juice: Ole Miss. The Rebs are better than they have played. I think the Tide isn’t quite as infallible as they’d like you to believe. With a strong game from Snead (meaning different from every other game he’s played this season) I see Ole Miss beating the spread, but falling to the Tide. P.S. This may be the weekend my first place lead crumbles, an epic fail if you will, like Eric Berry’s Heisman Rap, the games are just that tough this weekend, but I have no regrets, it has been a good run. SUCK IT THE GEEK I WILL DEFEAT YOU BEFORE WE ARE DONE!

Mike Medallion: Bama. This was supposed to be a matchup of Top 5 teams, but then South Carolina happened. So can Ole Miss “totally redeem” itself? Probably not. Lord Saban has history on his side too, Ole Miss has beaten Bama in Oxford only twice…though that figure is misleading given that Ole Miss has beaten Bama only 9 times, and one of those was by forfeit.

Bunkie Perkins: Ole Miss.  This series has been close the last few years, as in closer than the 6 1/2.  Ole Miss has had closed practices all week, probably trying to figure out their own offense, but my hope is they are working on a Super Rebel formation that involved John Jerry under center (seriously, if this happens come back here and pat me on the back come Monday).  The Rebels make a game of it to get the cover, but Bama finds a way for a 3 point win in Oxford. 

The Geek: Ole Miss. We aren’t so sure the Tide are all their being cracked up to be, and will call for Ole Miss to really test them here, as everyone still think the Rebels have nothing.  50% of our models have Ole Miss winning out-right, and while we’ll stop short of calling for the Reb winner, it won’t shock us in the slightest.  A lot will be made of the Tide D vs Ole Miss’s O, but I think the key to this game will be how does McElroy and the Tide O handle their 1streal road test against what will probably be the best D they face in their regular season?  Still unproven QB, C, and LT on the road against a very strong front 4 for Ole Miss and my guess is they’ll have their share of problems.  Still $aban is no dummy and I am sure you’ll see a pretty conservative game plan on his part which presuming Ole Miss has any success on O should take this game down to the wire.  We do have on model that calls for only 258 yards for Ole Miss which could lead to a 21/24-10/13 type Tide win, but I think the chances of that are a lot less than a pretty even contest, or even the outright Rebel win. 

Georgia +2 @ Tennessee

TJ: Tennessee. Yeah I just went there. Too many emotional match-ups for UGA this early in the year. I think they run out of steam and drop one they shouldn’t in Neyland this Saturday. Kiffykins has to luck himself into an SEC win sooner or later, this honestly may be his best shot for awhile.

MM: UGA. Free points! Free Points!…Wait a minute, Vegas knows something. They must. How can a team that was boo’ed by their own fans last week be favored at home? How can a team whose quarterback was cheered by the other team’s fans last week (not as bad as Jamie Howard vs. Auburn circa 1994 and 1995, but there were cheers) be favored? I’m just not seeing what Vegas is seeing.

BP: Tennessee. I have absolutely no idea why Tennessee is favored in this game.  Its certainly not on reputation at this point.  Any team that fields Johnathan Crompton as their starter should automatically be a 6 1/2 point dog.  But since Vegas knows something that I clearly don’t Im going to roll with UT and hope that Grandpa Monte has enough tricks up his sleeve to get the win.

The Geek: Tennessee. Stay far…far away from this game, 50% of our models have UT winning by 3-5 pts (of covering by 1-2) and the other 50% has either a tie or a 1 pt UGA/UT victory (so 2-4 pts line variance for UGA).  Simply put UGA runs into one of the better run Ds in UT, who are now +1.6 ypr (or allowing 1.6 ypr less than the average of the offenses they’ve faced this year in their other games).  UGA is only averaging 3.3 ypr, and all our models indicate 2.2-2.6 ypr for the Dawgs.  No offense to Mike Bobo, but going head to head with Monty Kiffin is a huge mis-match, and if they can effectively take away the run, it should be lights out.   On the other side of the ball we get the completely resistible force of the UT offense vs the easily movable object of UGA’s D…UGA did slow LSU some last week, but not enough for me to gain any confidence they can stop anyone, although absent Vandy, if they can’t stop UT I am not sure who they stop…I’ll side with the home team which of the 4 sides at play here (UT O, UGA D, UT D, UGA O), has the only one I feel really comfortable with (UT D).

Auburn -2.5 @ Arkansas

TJ. A-U-B-U-R-N. This game terrifies me. The Hawgs have a knack for knocking our asses off a pedestal once we finally get up on one. The away team has dominated this series as of late. Mallet is the size of Manute Bol, but minus Manute Bol’s basketball quicks. Also Mallet doesn’t seem to look like he has malaria. I have no idea what this has to do with the game. Auburn has to produce pressure. It is capable of it, but has under performed as of late. Look for lots of blitzes that put the game on Mallet’s shoulders. I expect Auburn to score at will and Arkansas to score mostly at will. Difference: Auburn.

MM. Auburn. I’m 4-1 watching Aubren live on the TV (1-0 on radio – Arky 2005). So there’s that. Plus, I think Auburn just outscores Arkansas. Should be a shootout and fun to watch…while eating breakfast. Plus, you get the benefit of watching an SEC game on ESPN at 11 am instead of Indiana vs. Northwestern.

BP: Auburn.  Arkansas is going to ruin someone’s weekend at some point, I just dont think its this weekend.  Gus Mahlzahn returns to the NWA where he led the Springdale High football program to prominence despite being hamstrung by the over abundance of roadside mexican restaurants and gas station shoe bazaars in that area (distractions, people).   Its a pleasant homecoming for Gus as the Tigers stay undefeated.

The Geek: Auburn. This should be a pretty good test for both teams this weekend, as you get 2 of the most potent offenses in all of arena football.  Our math projects a 543-404 offensive advantage for the War Eagles.  That should be good for 32-45 points depending on their ability to convert TDs in the red zone and limit point erasing or creating TOs.  Auburn has shown that more difficult to do of late (See LW @ UT).  Both these teams are still a bit perplexing to me, but I’ll side with the team that at least pretends to play D (Auburn). 

Florida -8 @ LSU

TJ: Florida. I think the Gators come alive with or without “Tibow”.

MM: LSU. The Hat and LSU don’t lose at night in Tiger Stadium. The crowd alone will keep LSU within 8 points…even if they have to throw batteries or other projectiles onto the field at Timmy.

BP: Florida.  True story…I got Tim Tebow’s cell phone number in a text from one of my LSU buddies this morning.  I think Ill call him and tell him I need the Gators to cover.

 The Geek: Florida. This one is pretty simple for me, whether Tebow is 100%, 50%, or doesn’t play.  Simply put, LSU’s offense is horrible and is a near certainty that they will get totally dominated by an unbelievable UF defense.  Our math calls for only 229 yards offense (3.8 yppl), and absent some crazy mad hatter 4&20, fake FGs, onside kicks, etc will be shocked to see LSU get to 20.  Even w/o a healthy Tebow UF is at worse statistically equal to a pretty average LSU defense (probably still better), and I’ll put my money with Meyer (14-3 ATS off the bye in his career).  UF is 6-1 the last 3 years as a road favorite in the SEC, LSU is 3-8 ATS in the last 11 in this series, home team is 5-12 ATS, Miles is 0-11 when playing at home vs a team with a winning record, Miles is 9-23 vs SEC opponents in his career, and LSU hasn’t covered as a home dog since 2000.

BONUS PICKS

Georgia Tech (+3) @ FSU

TJ: Georgia Tech. Either FSU is going to respond for their coach or fizzle under the uncertainty. My money is on Tech if the pregame speech goes this way.

Houston -2.5 @ Mississippi State

MM. Houston. The team is going to rebound in strong way…they may even try to score a bazillion.

Michigan +8 @ Iowa

BP: Michigan.  Michigan isn’t all that great but they stay competitive in all of their games.  Iowa is notorious for allowing other teams to stay competitive in their games (see State, Arkansas).  I like Michigan to hang tight with the Hawkeyes and get the cover.

Arizona (-4) 34 @ Washington 22

The Geek: Arizona. This is one of our recommended plays for the week.  We were 5-0 on our recommended plays last week and now 14-10-1 this season with a lifetime record (5 years) of 63% (221-124-8), including 68% (52-24-1) last year!    We are finalizing our card for this week but it looks like we’ll have anywhere from 7-10 recommended plays on Saturday (including Arizona).  To see our analysis of the Arizona game, click here.  We usually have 3-5 games a week we take a very hard look at but decided to pass on.  You can sign up to receive these plays free of charge by visiting our website, www.thegeeksheetsports.com.

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