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September 17, 2009
Ketch's Fearless Weekend Predictions
The Big Three
1. Tennessee (1-1) at No.1 Florida (2-0) - Florida is favored by 30
Ketch says: The outcome isn't in question, only the final margin. Look for the Vols defense to put up a fight against Tim Tebow and Co., but the Vols offense probably doesn't have a fighting chance against a fantastic Gators defense. I'm not sure that the Gators will boat-race the Vols by historic proportions, but I do think they'll send the message they want to send to Lane Kiffin.
Score: Florida 38 Tennessee 6
2. No.19 Nebraska (2-0) at No.13 Virginia Tech (1-1) - Virginia Tech is favored by 5
Ketch says: I'm not convinced that the Hokies are better than the Huskers, but it's probably asking too much for Zac Lee to lead an upset in his first career road start. He'll likely be in bus driver mode on Saturday and I'm not sure you can win at a place like Virginia Tech with a bus driver at quarterback. The Huskers put up a fight, but don't have enough experience to pull it off. Plus, at some point don't you have to stop picking Big 12 teams in these cross-sectional match-ups?
Score: Virginia Tech 29 Nebraska 17
3. No.3 USC (2-0) at. Washington (1-1) - USC is favored by 20
Ketch says: Everyone's hot pick is Washington. The Trojans are playing the back-up quarterback. They've struggled in Pac-10 openers in the past. They are coming off a huge win at Ohio State. They'll be whipped from all of the travel in the last week. Well, color me crazy, but I think Aaron Corp upgrades the short-term quarterback play for the Trojans and I expect them to flex some muscle against "Sark".
Score: USC 38 Washington 10
Other National Games
North Texas (1-1) at No.4 Alabama (2-0) - Alabama is favored by 40
Ketch says: The Mean Green are an improved team, but they are facing a physically dominant Alabama without their starting quarterback (Riley Dodge). Look for the Tide to suffocate the UNT offense, while former Todd Dodge protégé Greg McElroy has a career day.
Score: Alabama 44 North Texas 6
Temple (0-1) at No.5 Penn State (2-0) - Penn State is favored by 31
Ketch says: Penn State hasn't exactly been an offensive juggernaut through the first two games of the season and it has everything to do with a stagnant rushing attack that ranks 95th in the nation. The Owls have played once this season and they lost by three at home to Villanova. This match-up screams Joe Pa doing everything in his power to force the running game with Evan Royster.
Score: Penn State 34 Temple 10
Florida State (1-1) at No.7 BYU (2-0) - BYU is favored by 9
Ketch says: I'm not buying Florida State at all. On the other hand, BYU showed us last week that they are mature enough to put a massive win behind them and move on to the next week. The Seminoles are making a rare road trip West of Tallahassee and I don't expect this to be end well for them. In fact, I think this game could get ugly.
Score: BYU 34 Florida State 16
No.8 California (2-0) at Minnesota (2-0) - California is favored by 14
Ketch says: I'm a Tim Brewster guy, but his team's record could easily be 0-2 against the likes of Syracuse and Air Force. The Bears have been flying high all season, but this is their first road game and with a road trip at Oregon looking next week, they might sleep on the Golden Gophers enough that this thing stays close for a half before they break things open.
Score: California 44 Minnesota 20
La-Lafayette (2-0) at No.9 LSU (2-0) - LSU is favored by 27
Ketch says: LSU hasn't looked like a top ten team through the first two games of the season and La-Lafayette is coming off a two-point home win over Kansas State. The Tigers are going to win this game fairly easily, but it could be somewhat close for a few quarters.
Score: LSU 34 La-Lafayette 14
Tulsa (2-0) at No.12 Oklahoma (1-1) - Oklahoma is favored by 19
Ketch says: Call me crazy, but this game plays closer than anyone is expecting. The Sooners once recruited G.J. Kinne as a linebacker. On Saturday he proves that he might be better than their current starting quarterback.
Score: Oklahoma 31 Tulsa 20
No.17 Cincinnati (2-0) at Oregon State (1-1) - Oregon State is favored by 2
Ketch says: I don't want the points, I don't need the points, but I'll take the two points and watch Mardy Gilyard do his thing. Upset alert! I said it last week and I'll say it again this week, nobody wants to play Cincinnati in a BCS game this year.
Score: Cincinnati 31 Oregon State 25
Other Big 12 Games
Duke (1-1) at No.22 Kansas (2-0) - Kansas is favored by 24
Ketch says: Todd Reesing and Co. will lay a beat-down on a team that is two weeks removed from getting beaten at home by Richmond.
Score: Kansas 48 Duke 13
Wyoming (1-1) at Colorado (0-2) - Colorado is favored by 7
Ketch says: The Buffs have to win a game at some point, right. Call me crazy, but Darrell Scott runs for two touchdowns and the Buffs finally get themselves a W.
Score: Colorado 27 Wyoming 23
U.Conn (1-1) at Baylor (1-0) - Baylor is favored by 10 ˝
Ketch says: The Bears have too much offense for the Huskies. After a slow start in game one, Robert Griffin explodes this week.
Score: Baylor 44 U.Conn 21
Utah State (0-1) at Texas A&M (1-0) - A&M is favored by 19 1/2
Ketch says: The Texas version of the Aggies will win this game by two scores, but this game could stay close for a while.
Score: Texas A&M 34 Utah State 19
Kansas State (1-1) at UCLA (2-0) - Bruins are favored by 12
Ketch says: The Wildcats are not good. They might not even be good enough to be bad.
Score: UCLA 31 Kansas State 3
Rice (0-2) at No.16 Oklahoma State (1-1) - Oklahoma State is favored by 34
Ketch says: The Cowboys are going to take out some pain this week on a terrible Rice squad. The line isn't high enough.
Score: Oklahoma State 58 Rice 10
If you're a gambling man
Every week I'm going to pick five games and declare them as my top five ATS plays of the week. These are the games I would play if I was a betting man:
California (-14) over Minnesota
UCLA (-12) over Kansas State
Texas (-18) over Texas Tech
Kansas (-24) over Duke
Cincinnati (+2) over Oregon State
Last week's Top 5 ATS record: 2-3
Season record: 6-4
Correct picks: Bowling Green (+20) over Missouri and Florida (-36) over Troy.
Incorrect picks: Marshall (+19) over Virginia Tech, Notre Dame (-3) over Michigan and North Carolina (-4) over U.Conn