Thursday, November 5, 2009
Non-AQ picks, Week 10
Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson
I can’t believe it’s Week 10. Where does the time go? We’re getting down to crunch time for a lot of teams that are still trying to get six wins for bowl eligibility. Of the 54 nonautomatic qualifying schools, just 11 have six or more wins. It’s time for a lot of teams to step it up.
I’m 65-27 after going 7-3 last week. I only have one real upset this week, though I’m holding out hope for Navy, which is why I picked against the Mids.
Virginia Tech 27, East Carolina 20: Neither one of these teams have really lived to the hype they came into the season with, but this is still an intriguing game because of ECU’s upset a year ago. However, the Pirates haven’t shown that same magic this season against some of the better opponents they’ve played.
Boise State 44, Louisiana Tech 10: Louisiana Tech is one of the most beaten-up teams in the WAC right now, and if top players Phillip Livas and Daniel Porter don’t play, this could get ugly in a hurry. This game might be close early, but the Bulldogs don’t have the horses to stay with the Broncos.
UAB 38, Florida Atlantic 21: I’d like to say the Owls will rally around new starting quarterback Jeff VanCamp, but I don’t see it happening. The Owls have had multiple opportunities to turn their season around and for some reason things haven’t clicked consistently. FAU is going to have a tough time controlling UAB quarterback Joe Webb.
BYU 31, Wyoming 23: There’s no telling what BYU’s mindset will be after its loss to TCU a couple of weeks ago, but Wyoming will be fired up to try to exploit any hangover that could be remaining. Unfortunately for Wyoming, it doesn't have the talent BYU has, which will pull the Cougars through in the end.
Notre Dame 34, Navy 14: I think I have to pick against Navy. While it didn’t work last week, I'm blaming it on the double jinx with Temple wanting me to pick against it, too. This week, maybe the Mids will pull the upset. But it won’t be easy with Michael Floyd returning to the Notre Dame lineup. I’m eager to see what quarterback Ricky Dobbs can do after two weeks on the shelf.
Air Force 41, Army 13: The Commander-in-Chief Trophy games are always fun, but Army hasn’t been especially competitive in many of them of late. This is a much better Army team than the one that has shown up the past decade or so, but the Falcons have been playing well and are a game away from bowl eligibility.
TCU 28, San Diego State 10: This could easily be a trap game for the Frogs if they start looking ahead to next week’s key game against Utah. San Diego State has been playing well and will be motivated to stop TCU’s run. It is important to note that TCU held San Diego State to just 98 yards of total offense last season.
Houston 41, Tulsa 30: Tulsa is going to be eager to avenge last year’s 70-30 shellacking, but the Golden Hurricane are coming off a couple of bad loses to UTEP and SMU. Houston, behind quarterback Case Keenum, has started to turn it on the past couple of weeks and he should be able to do even more damage against the Golden Hurricane’s porous defense.
Utah 45, New Mexico 22: The Jordan Wynn legend begins at home against a winless team. Wynn showed some of what he can do against Wyoming last week and should be a little more settled into his role this week. New Mexico has been able to do little this season, and even though Utah defense hasn’t been spectacular, it should be able to control the Lobos.
Idaho 33, Fresno State 30: This is the upset special of the week. Idaho’s come-from-behind win over Louisiana Tech got the Vandals believing again. Yes, Ryan Mathews will probably run for 200-plus yards, but Idaho’s offense will put some major pressure on the Bulldogs' defense, and this game will be an entertaining shootout.