Archive for the ‘Big 10’ Category

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College Football Picks – Week 2

September 11, 2009

Week 2 Final: 11 – 4

Week 1 Final: 10 – 4

Hey Football Fiends!

Another weekend, another full slate of college football games. My Trojans travel to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes at the Horseshoe. Honestly? I am not worried at all. USC will beat them with their speed.

USC over Ohio State

Penn State over Syracuse

Stanford over Wake Forest

Tennessee over UCLA

Georgia over South Carolina

Oregon over Purdue

Notre Dame over Michigan

Oklahoma State over Houston

LSU over Vanderbilt

Utah over San Jose State

Oregon State over UNLV

South Florida over Western Kentucky

Florida over Troy

TCU over Virginia

Pitt over Buffalo

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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CFB Picks Week 10: One Unbeaten BCS Team Will Fall

November 7, 2008

Hey Football Fiends!

Mark my words: One of the Unbeaten BCS teams will go down this weekend. It’s not Utah, they’ve already won. Will it be Texas Tech in a hangover from last week’s last minute victory over Texas? Will it be the Crimson Tide when they go on down to Baton Rouge? Or will Penn State’s Nittany Lions get surprised by that team from Iowa?

To tell you the truth–I am not sure. I think Texas Tech will lose either this week or next week against Oklahoma. Bama and LSU–damn. I’m not impressed with LSU this season in the same way that many are not impressed with USC. Yes LSU is a good team. But they just aren’t firing on all the cylinders they need to be to win the SEC.  The two games the Tigers have lost (Georgia and Florida) they’ve lost big. And Bama has already beat the Bulldogs.

But who am I underestimating? The Red Raiders? The Cowboys? The Tigers? The Crimson Tide? Or is it the Nittany Lions who will finally prove fallible?

God I love College Football!

Any Given Saturday. That’s what I keep telling myself. So without further editorializing, my CFB Picks for Week 10.

UTAH over TCU 13-10

USC over CAL

Wisconsin over Indiana

Ohio State over Northwestern 45-10

Florida over Vanderbilt 42-14

Georgia over Kentucky 42-38

Oregon State over UCLA

Arizona over WA State

Texas over Baylor 45-21

Minnesota over Michigan

Nebraska over  Kansas

Mizzou over K State 41-24

Michigan State over Purdue 21-7

And the 3 Unbeaten Teams left:

Oklahoma State over Texas Tech

Bama over LSU

Penn State over Iowa 24-23

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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CFB Picks Week: Halloween & USC Homecoming

October 31, 2008

13-3 on the day!

Hey Football Fiends!
Here are this week’s College Football Picks.
You know the drill. 16 games. 32 teams. 16 winners. 16 losers.

Fresno St over LA Tech

Notre Dame over Pitt

USC over Washington

Oklahoma over Nebraska

Cal over Oregon

Texas Tech over Texas (If anyone’s going to upset the Longhorns this year it’s Tech)

Michigan St over Wisconsin

LSU over Tulane

Utah over New Mexico

Oregon St over ASU

Alabama over Arkansas St

UVA over Miami

Illinois over Iowa

Wake over Duke

Mizzou over Baylor

Mississippi over Auburn

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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CFB Picks week 9

October 23, 2008

Week 9?!!! How’d it get to be weeek NINE already, Football Fiends? WOW.

You know the drill. 16 games. 32 teams. 16 winners. 16 losers.

Here are my College Football Picks for Week 9:

Auburn over WVU

Boise State over San Jose State

Illinois over Wisconsin

Texas A&M over Iowa State

Florida over Kentucky

Ole Miss over Arkansas

BYU over UNLV

Vandy over Duke

Cal over UCLA

USC over Arizona (now we all know this is exactly the type of game in which my Trojans have a tendency to stumble. Only they won’t. USC by 3 tds, y’all)

Bama over Tennessee

Oklahoma over Kansas State

South Florida over Louisville

Nebraska over Baylor

Mizzou over Colorado

Ohio State over Penn State

ETA: I’ve been asked “What about Texas-Oklahoma State?” I pondered this and left it off for a reason. I think Oklahoma State will win it. And am not sure if it is because I am Hater or because I truly feel OK St has a shot.

-Your Gridirion Goddess

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College Football Week 3 – Picks

September 12, 2008

WRAP UP: 13-3

hey Football Fiends!

It’s the BIG WEEKEND for the Trojans and Buckeyes and I’ll definitely have some thoughts on that before kick off tomorrow.

But for now, here are your picks. 16 games. 32 teams. 16 winners. 16 losers. You know the drill.

USC over Ohio State

South Florida over Kansas 37-34

Mizzou over Nevada-Reno 69-17

BYU over UCLA 59-0 (HAHAHAHAHAHA)

Georgia over South Carolina (Is it just me or is So Car shaping up to be 2008’s bipolar team? So FL was 2007’s) 14-7

Oregon State over Hawaii

Fresno State over Wisconsin

Michigan over Notre Dame (is anyone outside of Ann Arbor and South Bend even interested in this battle of the bad?) 35-17

ECU over Tulane 28-24

LSU over North Texas (way to schedule those tough games LSU!)

California over Maryland 35-27

Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech 20-17

Penn State over Syracuse

Oregon over Purdue

Auburn over Mississippi State

Iowa over Iowa State (that one’s for my pal Tracy) 17-5

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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CFB Week 2 Picks

September 6, 2008

WRAP UP: 14-2

Hey Football Fiends-

And here are your Week 2 CFB picks. Personally, I’ll be glad when the cupcake opponent portion of the season is behind us.

Thursday

South Carolina over Vanderbilt

Saturday

Boston College over Georgia Tech

Ohio State over Ohio

Michigan over Miami-Ohio

Illinois over Eastern Illinois

BYU over Washington

Wake Forest over Ole Miss

Georgia over Central Michigan

Penn State over Oregon State

Notre Dame over SDSU

Oregon over Utah State

ASU over Stanford

Florida over Miami (FL)

Missouri over Southeast Missouri State

South Florida over Central Florida 31-24 OT

California over Washington State 66-3

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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Your 2008 Pac-10 Preview

July 24, 2008

Your 2008 Pac-10 Preview

by Amy Lamare of www.gridirongoddess.net

I can make this real quick football fiends: USC will win its 7th straight Pac 10 championship and head to a BCS bowl game.

And that concludes your 2008 Pac-10 Preview. UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona and Arizona State – all y’all might as well stay home. Rey Maualuga, Mark Sanchez, Joe McKnight and the boys have got this one sewn up.

In all seriousness though, the Pac-10 does not back down from a challenge when scheduling its non-conference games. This year teams in the Pac-10 face: Ohio State, Georgia, Tennessee, BYU, Boise State, Oklahoma, Penn State and Purdue, just to name a handful. No 1-AA cupcake rivals here!

ARIZONA WILDCATS:

It’s do or die time for Coach Mike Stoops. He’s going to have to get his Wildcats to win 6 games to at least have a shot at keeping his job. If he can do this, Arizona will get to Bear Down for their first bowl game since 1998. I’m betting in Stoops’ favor since his non-conference lineup is fairly easy with games against Idaho and Toledo and at New Mexico.

Senior QB Willie Tuitama is going to have to step it up and generate some scoring this season for the Wildcats to be competitive in the Pac-10. The defense returns only 3 starters, and that’s not the only bad news for the Wildcat D. Their most experienced defensive lineman, Jonathan Turner, was suspended from the team’s summer practices after being charged with sexual assault last spring. He is awaiting his trial.

Junior college transfer Nick Booth hopes to boost the Arizona running game. This 225 pound running back joins Nic Grisby, Xavier Smith and true freshman Keola Antolin on the Wildcat depth chart.

Arizona‘s Non Conference Schedule: Idaho, Toledo, New Mexico

Arizona reports to pre-season camp on August 4th

ARIZONA STATE SUNDEVILS:

ASU was picked to finish 2nd behind USC in the pre-season Pac-10 poll. The Sun Devils are prepping for their second season under Coach Dennis Erickson and they have one MAJOR issue: The Offensive Line. They don’t have one. Seriously, last season QB Rudy Carpenter spent so much time on his back that I started to wonder if those were not linemen lined up in front of him, but rather, Fatheads.

Dennis Erickson is incorporating a quick release spread offense this season to help Carpenter’s protection. A good portion of his 55 sacks last season were due to him holding onto the ball too long. Five players have left the team since the conclusion of spring practices, including tight end Dane Guthrie. (Academic reasons for former defensive end Guthrie.)

ASU plays a doozy of a non conference game when it faces Georgia on September 20th. If the Sun Devils do not solve their offensive line woes before then, they will not get out of that game alive. Ditto for their conference games against USC and Oregon.

If Carpenter gets the protection he needs either from his O-Line or the new offense, look out Tempe, your Sun Devils could crack the AP/USA Today top 10 with potentially their only losses coming at the hands of Georgia and USC. A Holiday Bowl berth, or should USC play for the BCS title, a Rose Bowl berth is yours for the taking.

ASU’s Non Conference Schedule: Northern Arizona, UNLV, Georgia

Arizona State reports to pre-season camp on August 4th

CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS:

Last season Cal went from #2 in the country to losing six of its eight final games to end up 7-6. A QB controversy rages in Berkeley, and it’s looking at the moment like we have a Sam Keller/Rudy Carpenter ASU flip flop of QBs brewing.

At the Pac-10 Media Day, Coach Jeff Tedford said:

“We’ll pick a starter probably the week of the first game… It may take both of them to help us reach our goals…They are both going to get some game time.”

Really Tedford? Look I know Longshore flailed around a lot in the second half of last season while he battled his ankle injury. And Kevin Riley lit it up in your Bowl Game. Against Air Force. Air Force. Is Riley really the guy you want facing USC and Oregon, or is seasoned senior Longshore your guy? Just remember Arizona 2006, Coach Koetter, Sam Keller and Rudy Carpenter and what a mess that whole situation was.

It seems from all I’ve heard and read that Tedford is leaning towards Riley. And sure, he knows things we do not know. Whoever gets the nod as QB has a whole new group of WRs to throw to. Juco transfer RB Javid Best comes with hype, but he’s also undersized.

Tedford and Co have a lot to address offensively. That said, they should finish in the top ½ of the Pac-10s final standings.

Cal‘s Non Conference Schedule: Michigan State, Maryland, Colorado State

Cal reports to pre-season camp on August 4th

OREGON DUCKS:

Oregon lost their star QB Dennis Dixon to the NFL, but expect to reload quickly with new QB Nate Costa.

Oregon has a powerful defense with one of the best secondaries in the nation. Last year, Oregon ended up 9-4, largely due to Dixon’s season ending injury against Arizona, sending the Ducks into a 3 game losing streak.

Three Ducks are recovering from off season knee surgeries and are expected to be good to go by the first game. (QB Costa, TB Jeremiah Johnson, LB John Bacon) Tight End Na’Derris Ward, a UGA transfer joins juco transfers Jeremiah Masoli (QB) and Ellis Krout (WR) as new Ducks this season.

Oregon’s secondary is scary. Three Ducks are on the Thorpe Award Watch list: Patrick Chung, Walter Thurmond III, and Jarius Boyd.

Oregon was voted #3 in the Pac-10 pre-season poll. Look for them to challenge ASU for #2 behind USC.

Oregon‘s Non Conference Schedule: Utah State, Purdue, Boise State

Oregon reports to pre-season camp on August 4th

OREGON STATE BEAVERS:

Oregon State’s program has put up an impressive 19 wins in the past 2 seasons, including a 2006 upset of USC. Their strong defense has been the key to their success of late. The Beavers face a challenge going into this season as they have to completely rebuild the front seven on their D, including S Brian Payton. Payton left the program this summer with no explanation. Beavs and Trojans alike may remember him as the player who had the key interception in the Beavers 2006 upset of Troy. So, good news for Trojans! (Like we need more good news, eh?)

Big things are expected of true freshman WR Jordan Bishop from West Salem (OR) H.S. Ditto to DE and juco transfer Simi Kuli, he is being touted as the key to making the new D-Line gel.

Good news for the OSU Squad: Guard Jeremy Perry is expected to be ready to play by the start of the season. He is one of, if not the best guards in the Pac-10. Perry missed most of 2007 with a broken leg and is recovering from knee surgery this spring.

The Beavers have a tough schedule, not only do they face conference rivals USC, ASU and Oregon; they have a rough non-conference schedule this year as well. I expect the Beavers to finish near the middle of the Pac. (Pun intended)

OSU’s Non Conference Schedule: Penn State, Hawaii, Utah

Oregon State reports to pre-season camp on August 1st.

STANFORD CARDINAL:

Yes I know. We were 41 point favorites. Yes I know, biggest upset in college football. (but? Really? Michigan-Appalachian State comes to mind as being a bigger upset.) But I point out that John David Booty should have sat out when he broke his finger, not thrown 4 interceptions.

Bygones.

The Cardinal has some questions in this second season under showboating Coach Jim Harbaugh. Sure they return a conference high sixteen starters from last year’s squad, with seven of those on offense, but who is their QB? And let’s not forget that despite their (fluke) upset of Southern California, this is the offense ranked last in its conference in yards and points per game. So yeah, the Cardinal, he has some questions to be answered. Such as will injured starters Allen Smith (OT, kneecap) and Jim Dray (TE, knee) be ready to play at some point this season. Cardinal blogs report that we may not see either of these players in 2008.

Notre Dame transfer Konrad Reuland is expected to take on the Tight End duties this year; Oct 4 should be interesting for him. (Stanford faces the Fighting Irish on this day.)

The QB slot is a three man battle between Tavita Prichard, Jason Forcier and Alex Loukas, but highly touted freshman recruit Andrew Luck could be the man the Cardinal needs at QB.

This program faces an uphill battle with the high academic standards required just to achieve admission to Leland Stanford Junior University. Can Harbaugh bring wins to Palo Alto? Sure he can-but he’ll need several years of recruiting to do it. After all, he’s not just looking for explosive athletes, he’s also looking for exceptional academics as well.

Look for Stanford to finish 7th or lower in the Pac-10.

Stanford’s Non Conference Schedule: TCU, San Jose State, Notre Dame

Stanford reports to pre-season camp on August 1st.

UCLA BRUINS:

High up in the hills of Westwood, offensive to the lumberjack’s eyes, Lies the Cal extension campus known as Westwood High. Fight! Fight! Fight! Home of all the Bruin bear cubs, UGLY is its name. The student body’s vile, The campus is a pile, and the football team’s a shame! Fight! Fight! Fight! U. G. L. Y, UGLY Eat my shorts!

At least that’s the way we sing it at USC. In all seriousness though, this is not looking like a good year for those Bruins who wear the powder blue jerseys. It could be considered a successful season if UCLA is bowl eligible at season’s end.

I mean, what are you going to do without a QB or an Offensive Line? Or, more accurately, a just coming off his umpteenth injury QB and no O-Line? Norm Chow may be the guru that helped Coach Carroll resurrect the storied tradition of Trojan football, but you’ve got to have PLAYERS to build a football team.

I am biased, that is not a secret. There is not a lot of love for the Bruins from this Trojan. So let’s just look at some of the facts.

  • They have the 10th ranked offensive line in the Pac-10
  • Both Ben Olson and Patrick Cowan were injured on the same day in Spring practice. Patrick Cowan is out for the season with his injury.
  • Olson is insanely injury prone himself.
  • Rick Neuheisel is in his first year as Head Coach in Westwood. Norm Chow is in his first year as Offensive Coordinator in Westwood (traitor!). Much of the rest of the coaching staff is brand new.
  • The pitiful O-Line needs to replace 4 starters from last year’s so-so squad.
  • Projected starting RT Sean Sheller is out for the season with injuries sustained in an ATV accident. That’s 5 Offensive Linemen needing replacement now.
  • Junior tailback Christian Ramirez will miss the season because he did not meet NCAA eligibility requirements.
  • If QB Olson somehow remains healthy all season and makes it to the USC game, he will most assuredly be Maualugaed.

Do I need to go on? Neuheisel, Chow and co. walk into a bit of a mess over there in Westwood. Do they have the chops to turn it around and return UCLA to glory? Yes, they do. It’s just not going to happen THIS year.

UCLA’s Non Conference Schedule: Tennessee, BYU, Fresno State

UCLA reports to pre-season camp on August 5th.

USC TROJANS:

Look for USC to meet Georgia for the BCS Title. We were anointed the pre-season #1 at the Pac-10 media day today and we are a favorite to win the Nat’l Championship. Not only do we face formidable conference rivals Oregon and ASU but we’ve got a September 20th date with the Buckeyes of Ohio State at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum too.

Do it better than it’s ever been done before and never stop competing. Win Forever. Always Compete.

These are but a few of our team mottoes.

Consider these facts. Under Pete Carroll, USC has:

  • Six Consecutive Pac-10 titles
  • A record Six straight BCS bowls
  • A record five BCS bowl wins
  • Three Heisman Trophy Winners
  • Two National Championships
  • A Nationwide high 10 players drafted into the NFL in the 2008 Draft
  • An NCAA record of 63 straight games scoring 20 or more points
  • A national record of 33 straight weeks as the AP #1
  • Six consecutive AP finishes in the top 4.
  • A 76-14 (84.4%) record

The question is not: Will USC be good? The question is: Can USC be beat? And if so, how?

Mark Sanchez, the 6’3″, 223lb junior takes over as QB this year. Coming out of high school in 2004 he was everybody’s All American. One Pac-10 coach said Sanchez was the best QB he’d ever seen on film.

Now he gets a chance to show the Nation how good he is.

Folks, not much needs to be said about my Trojans. We will dominate if we stay focused. And focus is not something Pete Carroll’s teams lack.

In Pete We Trust.

Fight on!

USC’s Non Conference Schedule: Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame

USC reports to pre-season camp on August 6th.

WASHINGTON HUSKIES:

Tyrone Willingham is another Pac-10 coach on the hot seat. He meets his former team, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame on October 25th at Husky Stadium but the discomfort of that is nothing compared to the November 15th date the Huskies have with the Bruins. See, Rick Neuheisel is the Anti-Christ to Husky Nation. His very existence reminds U Dub fans of how elite their program once was and what his role was in dismantling it.

Washington has been slow in improving under Willingham’s tutelage. And slow is not what Husky fans want. They want a return to the days of glory. To winning the Pac-10-which they haven’t done since Rick Neuheisel’s second season in 2000. To winning the National Championship-their last was in 1991. Not to another 4-9 season and bottom of the Pac-10 finish.

This is the program Neuheisel destroyed in the eyes of Husky Nation. I hope he has bodyguards for the November 15th game in Seattle.

Look at it like this: Willingham is going into his third season and is 9-16 overall. When Pete Carroll ended his second full season at USC, he was 17-8 overall and coming off an 11-2 season and top 4 AP finish. In his 3rd season USC won a share of the National Championship with a 12-1 record.
This is the sort of thing Husky fans expect from their Coach. Miracles.

For Willingham to be successful at retaining his job-which we’ll define by a 6 win season and bowl berth-he will have to instill confidence in his squad. He will have to imbue them with the will to win. That’s going to be hard to do if he starts off 0-3 which is very likely considering the first three teams the Huskies face are Oregon, BYU and Oklahoma.

Ouch.

On the one hand, you’ve gotta respect a guy with a program trying to battle it’s way up from the doldrums of the conference who goes out and schedules BYU and Oklahoma as two of his team’s three non-conference games. (The third being his date with Notre Dame.)

On the other hand, you’ve got to wonder if he’s drinking some spiked Kool-Aid that makes him think his 2-7 in the Pac-10 last year team can post a winning season with these kinds of odds stacked against them.

It’s going to be interesting to sit back and see how it unfolds this season. Husky fans, you have my sympathy-after all, USC Football in the 1990’s was very painful, I know how it feels.

Washington‘s Non Conference Schedule: BYU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame

Washington reports to pre-season camp on August 4th.

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS:

41 year old Paul Wulff is new to the Wazzou coaching job. He’s inheriting a team with issues up the Wazzou. (pun intended.) What Cougar fans will like is that Wulff is a former Cougar player himself. He played offensive line for the Washington State Cougars from 1986 to 1989.

The Cougar’s have a stellar receiver in First Team All Pac-10 senior Brandon Gibson. They have a new QB in 6’7″, 233lb Gary Rogers. And Coach Wulff is bringing a new offense to Pullman. Will Gibson and Rogers be up to Wulff’s no-huddle attack? We’ll know soon enough.

Wulff also has inherited a team with a bunch of off-field issues. They lost eight scholarships when they failed to meet the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate Standards. 25 Cougar players have been arrested in the past 18 months. Safety Xavier Hicks is spending 45 days in jail, and missing the first 3 games of the season after pleading guilty to 2 gross misdemeanors. Defensive lineman Andy Roof’s troubled past has left his fate as a Cougar player up in the air.

But signs of change are already apparent. Coach Wulff cut QB recruit Calvin Schmidtke from the team because of a number of controlled-substance violations.

With the kind of problems this team faces, a former Cougar may just be the man to clean up the face of the program while steadily improving the team. The Cougars were 5-7 last year. I don’t expect much of an improvement this year, though it could be said that maintaining a 5-7 record would be an improvement with all the changes that need to be made and questions that need to be answered in Pullman.

Wazzou’s Non Conference Schedule: Oklahoma State, Baylor, Portland State

Washington State reports to pre-season camp on August 5th.

And that concludes Your 2008 Pac-10 Preview my football fiends. Next up is the Big 10. Give me a couple of days, this one took 2 days to do. (I’m betting because it is MY conference. I’m HOPING because it is MY conference. And because it is over 3,000 words maybe?)

-Your Gridiron Goddess