Another week, another set of picks on six of the most competitive and/or interesting games across the country, with emphasis on the Big 12 in good matchups.
This week gets a little bit crazy, as we?re 1) adding the intern to the weekly picks, and 2) had a confusing eight-way tie atop the ESPN pick ?em league. First, a reminder of how you can guest pick games with us at BON next week. If you?ve NOT yet signed up:
1) Go to the ESPN Fantasy Home Page
2) Join the public group Burnt Orange Nation
3) Enter the password: Longhorns (Make sure you capitalize the 'L')
4) Make your picks
Last week, about 100 of you competed, and eight correctly picked all 10 games. We went to the tiebreakers, and screwed up ? misidentifying the player with the closest final score in the Ohio State-Iowa game. That player, James Gerstmann, will still get to pick with us and still gets his t-shirt, but the actual tiebreaker winner notified us of our error, and we?re happy to bring him for this week as well. Christian Loew, congratulations!
Remember, weekly winner of the ESPN Fantasy Pick ?Em League wins a t-shirt and a guest spot on the blog. Season winner gets a prize yet to be determined; it?ll be something fun.
Before we begin, last week?s and the season standings:Week Three Pick Six Results
On to the games. [PB=me, HornsFan; AW=awiggo; AR=intern; JG and CL are our guest handicappers.]
PB: The numbers all point to Tennessee winning this game, barring an awful game from Ainge. This Tennessee offense is legitimately improved, and the gigantic rushing total allowed to Air Force looks like an option-induced anomaly, rather than the norm. I?m taking the Vols on the road, 20-10.
AW: This line is a little surprising: a road favorite against an undefeated team. Georgia?s offense has yet to show up, and Matt Stafford is still too young to pull this one out. Eric Ainge and Robert Meachem connect a couple of times for scores. Ugly Shade of Orange 18-10.
AR: Joe T comes back to lead a lackluster Georgia offense against Erik Ainge 2.0 and the Tennessee Volunteers. Playing between the hedges keeps it close, but I?ll take the other UT Volunteers 21 ? Bulldogs 14 Let?s go ahead and give Georgia 14 for the third week in a row.
JG: Erik Ainge has the Tennessee offense moving along pretty well, and but for an amazing comeback by Florida would be undefeated. Georgia's offense should get a boost from having Tereschinski back. Georgia's defense has carried the team the last couple games but it won't be enough this week. Tennessee wins ugly, 13-10.
CL: This will be a hard-fought game, but Tennessee after the tight loss to Florida will not go 0-2 in the SEC. Tennessee 24-17
Consensus: Tennessee (5-0)
Missouri +4 at Texas Tech
PB: In Columbia, I take Missouri, whose improvement I think is real. Chase Daniel is no slouch. But I?m not yet convinced that their defense is ready for the Leach Aerial Death Attack. This is an interesting game, but I like Texas Tech at home, 34-31. No cover.
AW: The Tigers haven?t played anyone of consequence yet this season but Chase Daniel is having a great year (13 TDS, only 4 Ints). Tech looked like the Red Raiders of old last week in the first half but was slowed down in the second. Missouri is exposed in Lubbock. Guns Up 32-20
AR: The beefed up Mizzou defense faces it?s first real test as Graham Harrell and the improving Tech offense looks to get back to what they?ve always done, drop 400 yards on every opponent. I don?t think Tech?s all the way back yet, so I?ll hedge, but I think they pull through. Tigers to cover and Raiders to win TTU 30 ? Mizzou 28
JG: I've been impressed with Chase Daniel to this point, he's making good decisions and is a large part of why Mizzou is looking good in the North. Their defense has done a pretty good job of holding (probably crappy) teams in check. But I don't know that they are ready to beat the Mad Genius on his turf. Tech puts it away late 28-17.
CL: After squeaking by A&M last weekend, Tech is about due to be coming back to form and will have an easy one at home. Missouri is not quite the 5-0 team. Tech 35-21
Consensus: Texas Tech (3-2)
PB: The advantages for Cal on defense are too numerous in this game. This is another game where I think home field is my deciding factor. In Eugene, I?ll take my chances with the points. Oregon on the road? Nah, I?ll lay the points - Cal 35-28.
AW: Love the points here and we will see a lot of them. Oregon might be the best team in the Pac 10. Cal was dominated in the opening week but has bounced back nicely. No field goals in this one. Oregon 42-35
AR: Two offenses, no defenses, what a sane football fan calls a shootout, what a Pac-10 fan calls Saturday. Oregon takes their karmic revenge for depriving us of an unbeaten Oklahoma on Saturday. Bears 45 ? Ducks 35
JG: Cal has rebounded nicely from their season opening loss to Tennessee. Oregon might be the luckiest undefeated team left. Both teams have frighteningly balanced offenses. Oregon's defense may be a touch better here and it should be enough to at least beat the spread. Oregon scores last to win 40-38.
CL: Cal looks to be a bit outranked. We?re not quite sure who the Pac 10 officials will be favoring in this one but the Ducks look good to go 5-0. Oregon on top 24-17.
Consensus: Oregon (3-2)
LSU +1 at Florida
PB: In a game where both defenses are this absurd, go with either a) the home team or b) the better coach. Florida?s got ?em both. I?ll take the Gators, 17-13.
AW: A game to decide the second and third best teams in the deepest conference. Don?t expect too many points in this one. Both defenses are outstanding. Even with Les Miles, LSU?s defense will frustrate Leak and Tebow. LSU 13-10
AR: With Deshawn Wynn possibly out, the gators look at the distinct chance that they?re only run game will be that one play that Tim Tebow runs out of the shotgun. LSU has the 2nd best scoring defense in the country, while Florida has the 4th. Look for the opposite of Oregon/Cal. I?ll take LSU even in the Swamp. Let?s say Tigers 14 ? Gators 13
JG: If LSU had scored more than a field goal against Auburn, I'd probably pick them here. Florida's defense probably isn't that good, but their offense is better than any the Tigers have faced so far. LSU comes close, but can't quite pull off the upset in the swamp. Florida wins 16-13.
CL: Even at home, I have a feeling LSU may be a bit more than Florida can handle right now. Close game, but the Tigers come out on top in the end. LSU by a field goal 17-14
Consensus: LSU (3-2)
PB: Pooooooooor Aggies! How devastating was that loss? So much so that I think they won?t be ready for this game in Lawrence, where the Jayhawks play well. The heat under Coach Fran?s ass goes from painful to scorching this weekend. Kansas wins 27-21.
AW: A&M?s secondary is still bad. Kansas can move the ball through the air as long as Barmann doesn?t throw too many balls to the other team. The Jayhawks won?t give this one away at home. Kansas 24-21
AR: Heartbreaking loss in Lubbock leads to a downward slide for the wayward Aggies, who really aren?t worth the rivalry anymore. Kansas 33 ? A&M 30
JG: This game will not be fun to watch. A&M played Tech a lot closer than I expected and Kansas lost to the only two decent teams they played. Fran needs at least a bowl game to avoid the axe, and this game gets them one win closer. TAMU covers 17-13
CL: The Aggies come back from last week?s hardbreaker and take care of Kansas easily. Aggies 31-17
Consensus: Kansas (3-2)
Nebraska -7 at Iowa State
PB: This is a must win game for Iowa State.. Nebraska?s a flawed football team, but I think they?ll take advantage of Iowa State?s defense to win this road game, but it could be close. An upset wouldn?t shock me, so I?m taking the points. Nebraska escapes Ames, 30-27.
AW: Why o why is this game in prime time? Iowa State?s brutal schedule continues even though this one is at home. Nebraska?s defense is far from their ?Blackshirts? days but ISU?s offense isn?t potent enough to take advantage. This one stays close though. Nebraska 27-21
AR: Nebraska is still somewhat of a mystery. Are they the team that beat the hell out of Kansas in the first quarter? Or are they the team that let the Jayhawks back from a 17 point deficit twice before finally sealing the deal? That said I?ll take the Huskers for the win, but the Cyclones to cover. Huskers 27 ? Cyclones 24
JG: Nebraska's pass defense isn't very good. Iowa State's passing game is. This series continues to be controlled by the home team. Iowa State wins outright 24-10.
CL: The game I care not to think about. Sitting in the Cotton Bowl this weekend, why would I? Nebraska has not shown much this year and Iowa State had Iowa on the ropes for most of the game. Iowa State in a close one at home 28-24.
Consensus: Iowa State (5-0)
For a nice look at how the ?experts? around the country are picking games, by all means, visit here for complete coverage.