H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Thursday, September 08, 2005

College Football Picks - Week Two

A 2-2 start is not embarrassing, but I was somewhat disappointed in myself for backing inexperienced teams in their opening games. I promise improved performance this week.

This Week's Picks

Marshall +9 v. Kansas State (9:30 a.m. Central on Saturday): It is a revenge game for Bill Snyder's Wildcats, who lost 27-20 to the Herd in Manhattan in 2004. However, I do not believe that last year's outcome was something within the control of K-State. Marshall has been as good as K-State year-in and year-out for several years now, and this game is in Huntington and is kicking off at 9:30 a.m. Manhattan time. Marshall is young, but I think they will do no worse than hang with the Wildcats, proving that last year's outcome was in fact not a fluke.

Vandy +10 at Arkansas (6:00 Central on Saturday): People are doubting the credibility of last week's Commodore win at Wake Forest last week, but I am not one of them. I am a little concerned about the ability of Vandy's D-line to hold up against the Hogs, but I think that Arkansas does not respect Vandy and that the loss of Matt Jones will certainly be noticeable. Jay Cutler and his teammates are on a high right now and will not be fazed by the chants of "Pig Sooey". Trends in this one: the Under is 9-0 following an Arkansas ATS and SU win, and Vandy is 10-1 ATS in games immediately following a close win, such as last week's at Wake.

Nevada +9.5 v. Washington State (9:05 Central on Friday night): Washington State had a difficult time putting away Idaho at home last Saturday, and I doubt that it was necessarily because they were looking ahead to the Wolfpack. Nevada has played the Pac-10 tough in recent years, and this is a "goal-post" game for them. I like the Wolfpack to knock off the Cougars straight-up, so I'll certainly take the points.

Toledo -22 v. Western Michigan (6:00 Central on Saturday): The sun rises in the east, sets in the west, and the Toledo Rockets cover games against conference opponents. Toledo is 9-1 ATS over the past two seasons and 13-3 ATS in all MAC games, including 5-2 ATS against the Broncs. WMU has an inexperienced secondary and has gone 2-10 ATS against "good" teams and 0-6 ATS against "good passing" teams over the past two seasons. This shapes up to be another in the long line of blowout Toledo victories.

New Mexico +9.5 v. Missouri (6:00 Central on Saturday): New Mexico has a Fresno-like approach to their scheduling -- they'll play anyone, anywhere, anytime. As a result, they've developed into an underappreciated football program who has gone 9-2 ATS on the road over the past two seasons. Meanwhile, I'm not completely sold after a home win over Arkansas State that Brad Smith is instantly back to his pre-2004 form, and Mizzou has been 1-7-1 ATS as a favorite over the past two seasons. This one should go down to the wire.


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