|Extended Pigskin Picks|
|Friday, November 01, 2013 8:40 PM|
Most of us did a decent job last week.
Guest Picker No. 1, Marc Smith, crushed us all into 1 million corpuscles with his 11-1 stretch (6-0 college, 5-1 pros).
Regular Dave Boninsegna was next at 10-2 (5-1, 5-1) to improve his mark to 55-41 (27-21, 28-20).
I continue to piddle around and get nowhere at 8-4 — 3-3 in college (OK, I threw away the Stanford and Texas A & M games!) and 5-1 in the pros for a putrid 55-41 (28-20, 27-21).
Regular Bob Weber was 7-5 (5-1, 2-4) and now stands at 62-34 — 35-13 and 27-21.
The other GP, Nancy Spencer, ended up 5-6 (3-3, 2-3).
The GPS now stand at 102-76 (51-38, 51-38).
Due to a technical glitch, I will only have one GP this week: you know him as Larry Heiing, correspondent for The Herald, but we know him as Larry Heiing!
Here are the Games:
College: Michigan at Michigan State; Georgia vs. Florida at Gator Bowl; Oklahoma State at Texas Tech; Miami at Florida State; Arizona at California; Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech.
NFL: Atlanta at Carolina; San Diego at Washington; Baltimore at Cleveland; Chicago at Green Bay (Monday); Tennessee at St. Louis; Philadelphia at Oakland.
MICHIGAN STATE: Two teams that despise each other. It comes down to turnovers: Michigan has them and Sparty doesn’t. Wolverines may move the ball but crucial turnovers, especially against a very tough defense, will cost them in East Lansing.
GEORGIA: Two disappointing teams that had higher hopes to start 2013. Georgia starting to get people back after a rash of injuries; Gators getting more beat up, making a once-fierce defense less so. Not good news against Murray and Company.
TEXAS TECH: Could be 150 points scored in this one — only half-kidding. Turnovers could be determining factor but since this game is in Lubbock, give rising Red Raiders the edge.
FLORIDA STATE: A smart friend of mine (who wants to be nameless; like I wrote, a smart friend) says pick Seminoles in this one but ’Canes in the rematch. Good enough for me! Actually, it’s just a smart pick given the Seminoles have returned to the national elite since the hey-day of one Bobby Bowden. Miami has the weight of the NCAA off its shoulders but is not quite back to its Jimmy Johnson snarling ways — yet.
ARIZONA: Golden Bears are struggling — seriously? — and can’t score consistently. Not a good thing in this day and age. The Wildcats seem on the rise. Could be a good one but go with the roadies as Golden Bears’ struggles continue.
GEORGIA TECH: Threw this one in to disrupt people, win friends and influence people! Pittsburgh always seems on the verge before they fall by the wayside. Rambling Wreck’s triple-option offense is hard to defend with only a week of preparation, so they get the home win.
CAROLINA: Disappointing Falcons — on both sides — invade rising Panthers. Without two Pro-Bowl wideouts in JULIO and Roddy White and Steven Jackson on creaky legs, trend continues in Carolina Sunday. Cam Netwon is moving up the board of elite QBs.
SAN DIEGO: Will the real RGIII — the one from the last half of last season — step up? Probably not, especially since Shanahan has been distracted by the ridiculous rantings of one Albert Haynesworth Is Philip Rivers for real? Yep. Of course, that means he will now fall apart. Just not this week.
CLEVELAND: Maybe Jason Campbell is not that bad under center for the Browns; once he got his feet settled last week, he was fine against a good KC defense. Browns’ defense certainly makes life tough for Mr. Flacco, who is finding that while he got his billions after a hot streak in the playoffs last year but lost a lot of weapons, he can’t do it by himself.
GREEN BAY: Once tough Bears’ defense is depleted by injuries; so is offense. McCown is starting under center? Ouch. Packers — with their own injuries but seemingly a lot more depth and a Bad Man at QB — win in nasty Monday-Nighter against hated arch-arch-archrivals.
ST. LOUIS: Rams’ scared bejeebers out of Seahawks Monday night and, quite frankly, should have won. I have been touting that defense all year and they are now proving it. Tuxedoes aren’t nearly as good as ’Hawks and that is not good news to a returning Jake Locker. I think he is a legit NFL starter; it just will take him time to knock the rust off his game.
OAKLAND: Are Raiders actually not that bad? Yes. Or is it no, they aren’t as bad as we all thought at the start of the year? Philadelphia is a mess because of musical chairs at QB and Terrelle Pryor is growing as an NFL signal-caller. Raider Nation is a nasty group to play in front of, especially when Raiders playing better.
Michigan: Michigan heads into East Lansing on the tails of a bye week. Should be as big of a rivalry as the Michigan vs. OSU game but isn’t. Much as I hate it, Michigan gets the win in the “big brother vs. little brother” game.
Florida: Georgia is a mess; Florida will roll in this one.
Florida State: No longer the big game. Florida State well above Miami; they dominate on Saturday.
Arizona: This should be no contest for Arizona; they go into Cal and POUND.
Georgia Tech: Tech is on a 2-game winning streak after dropping three in a row; Pitt is back and forth. Tech coming off big win over Va. Tech; they get win number three in a row.
Carolina: Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are rolling; the same can’t be said for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Panthers have won three in a row and make it four on Sunday.
San Diego: The Chargers and the Red ... whatever they are going to be called (Editor’s Note: Doesn’t political correctness ... stink?); the San Diego Chargers emerge from a bye in search of their first 3-game winning streak in almost two years Sunday when they visit Griffin and the struggling Washington Redskins. The Chargers beat a struggling ‘Skins team.
Baltimore: If the Baltimore Ravens are to continue their dominance of the Cleveland Browns, they must return from their bye week playing better than they did heading into it. Hoping to avoid a third straight defeat, the visiting Ravens try for a 12th consecutive victory over a Browns team that looks to end a 3-game slide Sunday. The Ravens have beaten the Browns 11 games in a row and 12 after Sunday.
Green Bay: The Chicago Bears haven’t been able to beat the Green Bay Packers with quarterback Jay Cutler or linebacker Lance Briggs on the field in recent years. Prepared to play without two of their leaders, the Bears try to end a 6-game losing streak to their archrivals and deny the Packers a fifth consecutive victory Monday night at Lambeau Field. The Packers beat the quarterbackless Bears.
St. Louis: Having had some extra time to recover from his injuries, the Tennessee Titans feel confident Jake Locker can play a key role in their bid to end a 5-year playoff drought. Although both teams are battling, I am taking the Rams to win at home.
Oakland: The Oakland Raiders are hoping to make a push toward the playoffs, though it won’t come easy if their offense continues to vanish after halftime. Thanks in part to their instability at quarterback, the Philadelphia Eagles are having trouble producing any offense at all after a hot start. Now the Eagles will turn back to Nick Foles, who will try to make the most of another chance Sunday against a Raiders team seeking its third straight win at the Coliseum. The Raiders should be able to beat Foles and the Eagles.
MICHIGAN STATE – One team (Wolverines) can score points but give up just as many. The other team (Spartans) struggle to score but teams also struggle to score against them. Anytime I can root against the Maize and Blue – I will.
FLORIDA – Gators will prevail with their defense.
TEXAS TECH – Looking for the Red Raiders to bounce back from their recent loss to the Sooners.
FLORIDA STATE – The Seminoles may be the best team I’ve seen this year and QB James Winston is having a great year.
ARIZONA – California can’t stop anyone on defense.
GEORGIA TECH – My son plays for the Yellow Jackets (Defiance), so I’m going with Georgia Tech and the Yellow Jackets.
CAROLINA – I’m probably going to be wrong here but I’m tired of picking the Falcons and them losing.
SAN DIEGO – Phillip Rivers is just performing at a higher level right now than RGIII.
CLEVELAND – Can I have both teams lose (Editor’s Note: they can tie!!)? The score may end up 6-3; however, going with the home squad in this one.
GREEN BAY – Simply Monday Night Football and Aaron Rodgers – Packers will prevail.
TENNESSEE – The bad week for St. Louis teams will continue Sunday.
OAKLAND – The Eagles are a mess and the Raiders continue to find enough offense behind Pryor to win some games this year.
Michigan State: I hate even thinking about the team up north, let alone 2 of them (EN: Agreed!)! Michigan will be well rested after beating Indiana 63-47 two weeks ago. Michigan will be without bruising tight end A.J. Williams, which will hurt the offense, plus Michigan State has only allowed 3 points in its last two games. Michigan State by 17.
Georgia: Both teams have had disappointing seasons so far. The Bulldogs are averaging better through the air and the ground than the Gators. Georgia by 10.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are averaging 412 yards passing per game this season. Oklahoma State doesn’t have impressive offensive numbers but have only turned the ball over 10 times this
season. Their ground game may have found the answer in Desmond Roland gaining 219 yards in his first start. Pick passing over rushing-Texas Tech by 20.
Florida State: Game of the weekend-the #3 Seminoles vs the Miami Hurricanes at #7. Last week, Miami needed 2 fourth-quarter scores to defeat Wake Forrest. Meanwhile, Florida State has won its last 3 games by 63, 37 and 32 points. Florida State continues to roll by 21.
Arizona: California has only one win this season and have failed to score 20 points in their last 3 games. Injuries have taken their toll on the offense. Arizona by 24.
Georgia Tech: Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled during the 2013 season. Marion Local’s Adam Bertke can’t get there soon enough! Georgia Tech’s defense is giving up less than 20 points
per game. Defense wins again-Tech by 28.
Carolina: Cam Newton and the Panthers are on a roll. Carolina has won 3 games in a row while scoring at least 30 points in those 3 victories. Meanwhile, the Falcons are 0-3 on the road this year. Matt Ryan has lost leading receiver Julio Jones for the season. Carolina continues to roll by 21.
San Diego: Phillip Rivers has the best completion rate in the NFL this year at 74%. RG3, on the other hand, is only at 59%. Got to admire RG3 for coming back so fast after the injury he suffered in the playoffs but he may want to take some more time off. Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan doesn’t have a John Elway to lead his team to victory. The score will be ugly with the Chargers winning by 24.
Cleveland: As a Browns’ fan, I have to go with Cleveland. Hopefully, Jason Campbell can play as well as he did against Kansas City but anything is an improvement over Weeden. If Davone Bess can catch a few passes this week and not fumble, the Browns will beat their rival Ravens by 10.
Green Bay: Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field. The Packers seems to bring their A-game when playing under the national spotlight. The one stat that stands out is that the Cheeseheads have won 20 of the last 22 games against NFC opponents. Green Bay wins by 14.
Tennessee: The Rams lost Sam Bradford for the season and as a result didn’t score a touchdown on Monday Night Football last week. But the St. Louis defense did hold the high-powered Seattle offense in check. Jake Locker’s passing game ranks near the bottom of the NFL for yards per game. The Titans will be wearing patches to honor their former owner — Bud Adams — who passed away. The inspired Titans win by 3.
Oakland: The up-tempo offense of the Eagles seems to have been figured out by all the other defensive minds in the NFL. Michael Vick has been nursing a sore hamstring all season and his backups aren’t making the offense click. Former Ohio State QB Terrell Pryor doesn’t have the greatest arm in the league but his legs can scramble for huge gains. Raiders run all over the Eagles by 14.