Big Jeff's
Picks

10/10/97
Weeks of 10/3/97 9/25/97 9/19/97
9/12/97 SEC Commentary '96 Bowl Games

Maybe I've finally got the kinks worked out the old pickin' machine. Went 16-1 last week after going 11- 2 the week before. This week there are a bunch of good games, as well as plenty of match-ups between ranked teams. That just means that I've got my work cut out for me.

On to the picks:

Northwestern
vs.
Michigan
Here's two teams who are headed in opposite directions. N'western has really struggled this year and is showing to be a really mediocre team. On the other hand, the Wolverines got a shot at the Big-10 (er, 11--whatever) title. This one should be over early, but Lloyd Carr's bunch better not be looking past 'em.

Prediction: Michigan 37 - N'western 17



Boston College
vs.
Va. Tech
After last weeks smokin' at the hands of Miami (the other one, the one in Ohio, you know, where there are tornados but not too many hurricanes) the Hokies are really smarting. Even though BC has pulled off some big games this year already, don't look for one this week.

Prediction: Va. Tech 28 - BC 10



FSU
vs.
Duke
Can you say mismatch? I knew that you could. The Blue Devils (why are they so blue, Prozac may help!!!) aren't even in the same universe with the Seminoles much less do they have a chance to beat 'em.

Prediction: FSU 52 - Dookie 3



N.C. State
vs.
Ga. Tech
This one could actually be a good game. I'm going with the home team on this one. If the game were being played in Raleigh, I might have to pick the Pack, but...

Prediction: Ga. Tech 21 - N.C. State 18



Kentucky
vs.
S. Carolina
Wow. Who'd a thunk it. Do they practice the "block the field goal and run it back for a touchdown" play? This is a Kentucky team that if the breaks go their way, and they win out, could end up playing in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. Oh, what? I'm sorry, I was dreaming. But I wouldn't be bit surprised if the Wildcats make a run for a bowl game this year, which is a whole lot better than the Lamecocks can do.

Prediction: Kentucky 38 - USC 34



OSU
vs.
Penn State
Best game of the day. Had to think long and hard about this one, and I'm still not too sure of my pick. Last week Mr. Katzenmoyer (as good as he is and as big as he is, I'm gonna call him Mr. for sure) basically shut down Tavian Banks from Iowa by hisownself. This week he gets to call on Curtis Enis. PSU is going to have to rely on McQuery to really have a good day at QB and since they are at home...

Prediction: PSU 24 - OSU 21



Georgia
vs.
Tennessee
Second best game of the day. This is also my upset special of the week. Georgia has looked really good so far this year even though they haven't played the caliber of teams that Tennessee has, but with Bobo having the kind of year he is, and with his confidence up, I'm going with the upset. Look for Manning to be running all over the field trying to get away from the rush, and I'm sure he'll get his yardage, but it won't be enough.

Prediction: Georgia 31 - Tenn 30



Virginia
vs.
Clemson
Another one where I'll have to go with the home team. This game will probably determine the #3 team in the ACC. With the Tigers running game, I think they may have just enough to pull this one out.

Prediction: Clemson 21 - Virginia 14



W.Va
vs.
Maryland
This one is probably not going to be as close as the score indicates. Amos Zereoue is gonna be running all day long on this defense that averages giving up 364.1 yds/game. Zereoue is averaging almost 150 yds/game by himself. Look for him to up the average on Saturday.

Prediction: W.Va 38 - Maryland 21



Wake Forest
vs.
UNC
Another titanic battle between those powerhouses in the ACC. How many points do you think UNC's defense will score? Probably almost as many as the offense.

Prediction: UNC 44 - Wake 9



Mich. St.
vs.
Indiana
The Spartans have put themselves together a pretty good year so far. And with OSU, PSU, and Michigan all coming to East Lansing, they may have a good shot at the Big-10 (er, 11--whatever) title. All of their road games this year are against teams they should beat and Indiana's definitely one of them.

Prediction: Mich. St 42 - Indiana 7



Vanderbilt
vs.
N. Illinois
After blowing the game last week against LSU (excuse me, but you kick the extra point and put the game in overtime. You don't screw around trying to go for 2 and get 2 delay of game penalties). Vandy is looking to take out some frustration on NIU. And they probably will. Hope Lionel Richie's team enjoys it 'cause when they get back into conference play, their offense won't be able to score on many.

Prediction: Vandy 28 - NIU 15



Iowa St.
vs.
Tex A&M
The running game of the Aggies gets to put it in overdrive this week. The Cyclone defense is absolutely the worst in the Big-12 (well, give it a toss up between them and Baylor), and the statistics won't be any better after Saturday.

Prediction: Tex A&M 45 - Iowa St. 7



Illinois
vs.
Wisconsin
Once again, the Illini get to find out just how bad they really are. In their spring game, the offense could earn points by getting 3 consecutive first downs. The defense won 50-0. Ron Dayne should have a field day.

Prediction: Wisconsin 31 - Illinois 14



Colorado
vs.
Okla. St
Once again this year, the Big-12 was way overrated. Teams like Colorado and Texas got the big preseason hype and bumble and stumble their way through the season. This is a must game for the Buffs. After losing to A&M last week even though the Aggies fumbled the ball seven times, they get to travel to Stillwater and face yet another good running attack. The Cowboys have started the season 5-0 and look for them to get their sixth.

Prediction: Okla St 28 - Colorado 21



Washington
vs.
Cal
Another one of those games that the Huskies must win in order to make it back to the Rose Bowl. Berkley is always a weird place to go (even if you're gonna play football), but the Purple Swarm should take care of business

Prediction: Washington 35 - Cal 17



Oklahoma
vs.
Texas
The Red River war is here again. Time was, this was one of THE games of the season. Lately though, it seems that one or both of these teams have been on really hard times. Even though my gut says that UT will put it together this week, until they prove they can...

Prediction: Oklahoma 21 - Texas 15



Southern Miss
vs.
E. Carolina
Probably one the best games this weekend that nobody is going to hear much about or see. This game will probably determine the C-USA winner. I'm going against the trend here and picking the visiting team (but this could be because I just like USM better).

Prediction: SoMiss 24 - E. Carolina 17



Notre Dame
vs.
Pitt
Can ND maybe win one? At the beginning of the season, I looked at this one and said "easy win for the Irish". Now I'm not so sure. Pitt has one of the better young coaches in Walt Harris and he'll definitely have the Panthers up for this one. The question is, will it be enough for the University formerly known as Pitt???

Prediction: ND 14 - Pitt 10



USC
vs.
Ariz St.
Arizona State still has a shot at repeating a trip to the Rose Bowl even after the loss to Washington last week. But to do it, they are gonna need to win every other Pac-10 game they got. Starting this week. They way the Trojans have been playing this year, this could be John Robinson's farewell trip to Tempe.

Prediction: ASU 31 - USC 17



Florida
vs.
LSU
You can't stop 'em, you can only hope to slow 'em down. And that's exactly what the Tigers are gonna try to do Saturday night in a nationally televised match-up. Cecil "the diesel" Collins broke his leg last week against Vandy and is gone for the season, so that just makes it that much harder for Dinardeaux's boys to keep up. But, they still have Kevin Faulk and Rondell Mealey. However, the only way LSU can keep up with the Gators is for Doug Johnson to have one of his worst days throwing the ball and the Tigers must get at least +2 in turnovers. Don't expect that.

Prediction: Florida 35 - LSU 21



Nebraska
vs.
Baylor
Easily the ugly game of the week. The Big Red machine travels to Jerusalem on the Brazos this week to tangle with a bunch of really tame Bears. Wonder if they know how to roll over and play dead.

Prediction: Nebraska 66 - Baylor 3



NE Louisiana
vs.
Miss St
Last year, NLU went into Starkpatch and put a whuppin' on Sherrill and the Bulldogs. After last week's debacle at Georgia, don't expect State to let 'em do it twice in a row.

Prediction: MSU 21 - NLU 7



Stanford
vs.
Arizona
Don't let anybody fool you, this is a good Stanford team. The Redwood Trees (well, that's what their mascot is!!! Hey, maybe that's why Chelsea went there--she wants to be a good tree-hugger just like dear old Uncle Al!!!!!) have been putting up some really good numbers all over the place. Chad Hutchinson may just be the 3rd best QB in the conference (and when you're behind Ryan Leaf and Brock Huard, that's saying something) and he'll put a pounding on the Wildcats.

Prediction: Stanford 42 - Arizona 28



Air Force
vs.
Navy
This week is sink or swim at Annapolis. The USAFA (I still think that looks weird) flies in this weekend to try and keep their unbeaten streak alive. After last year when Navy and Army both went to bowl games, everybody thought that the race for the Commander-in-Chief's cup was up for grabs. The way all of these teams have been playing this year, it looks like the Falcons have just about grabbed it.

Prediction: Air Force 35 - Navy 21



Had a whole lot of games this week, some good and some bad, but I know, I just know, I've picked 'em all right on the money!!!!!!!
Th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks!!!!!!