The Scout 2.0’s Week #3 College Selections by wesreynolds
September 17, 2010, 8:24 pm
Filed under: College Football, Wes Reynolds

by Wes Reynolds

Last week’s first foray into handicapping on this blog logged a 10-7  (59%) record.

Here we go with  Week #3:

Ball State (+16.5 or +17) @ Purdue – 12 PM Big Ten Network

Ball State comes off a home loss to FCS school Liberty. Liberty?!?!? Like Kansas last week when they upset Georgia Tech as 2 TD underdogs, I tend to take teams off atrocious losses. One thing that ESPN’s and former Notre Dame Head Coach Lou Holtz always says that’s actually a salient point (unlike most of his babble and failing to use punctuation in finishing a thought before going into another one) is that you never have the same team each week. This works in this game. True freshman Keith Wenning won the QB job from Kelly Page.

Purdue is still trying to work their new QB Robert Marve into the flow of the offense.  Purdue beat Western Illinois by 10 last week, but actually got outyarded in the stats (406-402). You don’t take big favorites with mediocre to bad defenses. Purdue is expecting to roll Ball State with no problems, but I think BSU will be focused here. BSU, as a 2-10 club last year, covered at Auburn. The year before when they were 12-2, they won at Indiana. In 2007, they nearly won  at Nebraska and also covered the spread at Illinois. In 2006, they covered the spread vs. Indiana, at Purdue and at Michigan. BSU won’t be intimidated here.

Ohio (+30.5) @ Ohio State and Over 44.5 – 12 PM Big Ten Network

Ohio State comes off their big statement win over the “U” (Miami, FL). Ohio lost at home as 10-point favorites to Toledo.  Ohio played the Buckeyes tough in 08′ when they only lost by 12. All these MAC schools in the state of Ohio have teams full of kids that probably wanted to play for the Buckeyes. OSU may come out a little flat here off their big win last week.

Kent State (+21.5) @ Penn State – 12 PM ESPN2

The MAC versus Big Ten theme continues. Kent State held talented Boston  College RB Montell Harris to 80 yards rushing. They are fairly decent against the run. They will stack the box and force Penn State freshman QB Robert Bolden to beat them through the air. Paterno is never one to run up the score either.

Virginia Tech (-19.5) vs.  East Carolina – 1:30 PM ESPN3

Va Tech comes off the embarrassing loss at home to James Madison, another FCS school. East Carolina is 2-0 and people are starting to think they are better than projected. WRONG. This game will end up being a woodshed. All week the Hokies have been laughed at in the press and looking to beat the hell out of someone. Unfortunately for East Carolina, they are that someone this week.

A wounded animal is usually the most dangerous animal. Virginia Tech may not have their usual great team, but they still have the best entrance in college football. If you can’t get jacked up for Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, then something is wrong with you.

Duke (+24) vs Alabama  & Under 58 – 3:30 ESPN

Duke gave up 54 points at mediocre Wake Forest last week, so #1 Alabama will score a lot more than that, right? That’s public perception in a nutshell. David Cutcliffe, Peyton Manning’s old OC at Tennessee and Eli Manning’s old HC at Ole Miss, is making strides at Duke, even though it’s tough to win there.

USC @ Minnesota Over 53.5 – 3:30 ABC

USC had a Hawaii hangover last week and their game vs. Virginia was a defensive game since both teams run similar pro-style offenses. Minnesota gave up 444 yards to FCS school South Dakota State in a game they lost. Trojans QB Matt Barkley was out of rhythm in the second half last week. He should be able to throw everywhere on this bad Gophers defense. I still think USC’s “Tampa 2” defense has problems and that a spread offense can take advantage. While USC recruits some of the best talent in the country out of high school, the “Tampa 2” isn’t a proven defense on this level. As great as these athletes are, they are not exactly Derrick Brooks, Hardy Nickerson,  Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Ronde Barber, John Lynch or any of the other great former Tampa Bay Bucs defenders.

Eastern Michigan (+10) over Central Michigan – 4 PM No TV

Last year Central Michigan beat down Eastern Michigan, who was en route to an 0-12 season, by a score of 56-8. Central Michigan doesn’t have the horses they used to have with QB Dan LeFevour and WR’s Antonio Brown and Brian Anderson. Eastern is 0-2 out of the gate, but they have played 2 close games with Army at home and at Miami Ohio. The talent gap is closing between these two teams.

UAB (+4) over Troy – 4 PM No TV

Memphis (+4) over Middle Tennessee State – 7 PM No TV

Both games have similar principles here. You have two teams that are 0-2 straight up and against the spread that are small home dogs that nobody seems to want to bet on. Sometimes you have to bet on bad teams to make any money in this racket.

On the Memphis game, the Tigers start a new QB this week (true frosh Ryan Williams), who sparked the Memphis offense last week at East Carolina. He replaces Cannon Smith who was the starter. Smith, by the way, is the son of the CEO of FedEx. The kid’s daddy also happens to be a HUGE Memphis booster. The rest of the team knows that and I think this QB switch may improve morale. Many of these players don’t come from affluent financial backgrounds so they just might be happy on the inside that the little rich boy isn’t starting under center anymore.

Indiana @ Western Kentucky Under 62 – 5PM Big Ten Network

IU has not played since Sept 2nd. That’s a 16-day layoff. In their last game versus Towson, they gave up 392 yards, most of which were accumulated by Towson’s mobile QB. I expect a better effort from the Hoosiers defense here and they have had two weeks to work on tackling drills and not breaking containment on the outside. Western Kentucky has a bad defense  that gave up 482 yards and 63 points at Kentucky last week, but I think this total of 62 is still too high. Keep in mind, the long time off benefits a defense and not the offense.

Bowling Green (+3.5) over Marshall – 7 PM No TV

Marshall had never beaten in-state big brother West Virginia on the football field. They had a 2 TD lead in the 4th quarter and choked it away. I don’t see how Marshall gets up for this game after last week’s gut-wrenching loss.

Mississippi State (+7.5) @ LSU – 7 PM ESPN U

There isn’t a coach at a major college football program that I think is more overrated than Les Miles. I think he is just terrible and he makes countless mistakes in playcalling, clock management, etc. Miss State disappointed last week by losing at home to Auburn, but this program is going in the proper direction.

Clemson (+7.5) at Auburn – 7 PM ESPN

ESPN’s College Gameday will be at this one tomorrow. Clemson is a balanced offense and I don’t like Auburn’s defense, despite holding Miss State to only 246 total yards.

Notre Dame @ Michigan State Under 54 – 8PM ABC

The Irish struggle against dual threat QB’s, but luckily for them they are not playing Denard “Shoelace” Robinson from Michigan this week. They are playing a more true pocket passer in Kirk Cousins. ND’s defense, despite their performance last week, has shown improvement over last year, as has Michigan State’s.

Boise State @ Wyoming Under 53 – 8 PM CBS College Sports

Boise has had a week off from their huge win over Virginia Tech, although it may not be as big anymore in light of the Hokies’ loss to James Madison. A week off usually benefits a team’s defensive unit more than their offensive unit. Boise’s defense is actually very good, despite giving up 30 points to Virginia Tech. The Hokies scored most of their points off of short fields and QB Tyrod Taylor’s running ability. Boise completely shut down both Hokie star RB’s Ryan Williams and Warren Central’s Darren Evans.

Arizona (PK) over Iowa – 10:30 PM ESPN

Iowa destroyed their in-state rival Iowa State last week. Now they come off of a rivalry win and have to go out to face Arizona in the desert heat. Arizona is projected as the Pac-10’s sleeper for a reason. The Hawkeyes are in trouble here.

Happy Handicapping!

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