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GoSooners College Football Picks For Week #1

GoSooners College Football Picks For Week #1

GoSooners college football picks for week # 1

My favorite time of year is finally here.. What makes it especially sweet this year is Pezgordo and I are getting to make our own college football picks on our own site without getting lost in the clutter of ten thousand other people doing the same. And being able to make our own rules as we go. Like I did in the RX Forum, I’m looking forward to getting imput and comments from you guys on these games.

As I’ve been doing for almost the last 10 years, I’ll be doing the star system to rate the strength of my plays. Two stars ** is my average play, and the one you will see me make the most. A three star play *** simply means I feel it is a stronger play. And a rare four star **** (Best Bet) is my strongest play. Out of the 129 plays I made last season, only 21 of them were 3 star plays, and only 3 of them were 4 star plays. The rest just being 2 stars. This season I’m also going to approach my betting a little different than I have in the past. Although the strength and opinion about each pick will differ from game to game, my bets will all be the same 1 unit for each game.

I’ll be starting my thread on Tuesday of each week. And I’ll be putting in my plays as the week goes. I’m going to follow what I did last season with the number of games I play each week by trying to keep my number of plays at around 7 each week. If I can’t find 7 plays in one week, I won’t force a play just to get to that number. I was much more selective last season, and it paid off with a nice profit. I hope I can do the same this year. Best of luck guys. Let’s crack some nutts and make ’em apologize!


Kentucky (+13.5) over Louisville **

First, I’ll say I wasn’t that fond of this game when I first looked at it. Mainly because I’m not a fan of UK head coach Joker Phillips going up against Charlie Strong. But, I also look at UK this way, they couldn’t get any worse on offense than they were last year, yet they still pulled out 5 wins. Plus they’ve unearthed some playmakers at WR that should make UK more of a threat this year. Especially against the non-elite teams of the SEC and the teams on their non-conference schedule. I also think UK’s win on the road over Tennessee in the last game of the season had to revitalize this program at least a little going into this season. When I look up and down their rosters, I basically see two teams with about an equal amount of talent. And when I look at Louisville, I’m seeing a team who is getting hyped by the media to win the Big East (is that saying much?) coming off a 7-6 season in which they overachieved while also losing two games at home to both FIU and Marshall. If these two teams schedules were reversed, I doubt seriosly if Louisville would have had any better of a record than UK. Louisville also beat only two teams last year by this spread, Syracuse and Murray State. Beating a home state rival in the first game of the season by a couple touchdowns is maybe asking too much. I prefer to ride with the SEC team. You don’t get DD very often going against this conference. Especially from the Big Easy. I’ll roll the dice with the Cats.


California (-10.5) over Nevada **

Cal is a team I very nearly put on my spread beating teams list. I think they could be both underestimated this season by the linesmakers and a little better, especially on defense than people think. Nevada on the other hand might be a little overhyped this season. And a second place finish to Boise in the MWC might be ambitious thinking. Especially since Nevada will be breaking in new coordinators on offense, defense and special teams. The revenge factor will be alive and well for this game. Cal will certainly remember the embarassing beating Nevada gave them on national TV a couple years ago. Cal will also be playing for the first time in a year in their new refurbished digs in Berkeley. So even though this is a laid back tree hugger fanbase we’re talking about, I believe the excitement factor should be much higher than normal for this game. And da Bears will actually feel like they have a homefield advantage. Granted, Nevada’s Pistol offense gave Cal all kinds of fits back in 2010. But part of the problem there was Cal being on the road with their first Pac-12 game on board the next week. This time instead of a week they’ve had the summer to prepare for the Pistol, with no significant game on board the next week. Expect a fired up Cal to take it to Nevada, who historically is not known for playing good defense on the road in these early tilts against BCS teams. I can see more of the same happening here.


Michigan State (-6.5) over Boise State **   

I’m getting the line now because I’ve seen a few 7’s pop up. Bookmaker still has it at 6.5. Which is important in a game like this where I don’t anticipate a lot of scoring from either side. The bottom line for me with this game is the difference between perception and reality. The perception is Boise will be, well Boise this season. And I don’t believe that to be true in any sense of the word. For one thing, they lost 7 first team all conference picks, including Kellen Moore, who was the winningest QB in NCAA history. And have only 7 starters back from last year. In fact, to give you an idea of the job Peterson will have to do, he had 20 starters back in 2010, 14 starters back in 2011, and now just 7 back. Boise isn’t the experienced team going on the road that we’ve seen the last 2 years against Virginia Tech and Georgia. This is a true rebuilding year for Boise. If nothing else, I ask you guys to think about one thing in this game. How many teams have lost very talented 4 year starters at QB and have come back a strong offensive team the next season? Ask Texas how well it worked out for them when 4 year starter McCoy graduated. Or with Houston and Case Keenum, who broke all kinds of NCAA passing records. Houston went 10-4 in 2009, then Keenum got hurt for all of 2010 and they went 5-7. Then he came back last year and they went 13-1. The great QB in modern day football is a valuable commodity. That’s what Kellen Moore was to Boise. Boise will have just two starters back on defense. Even though I don’t think their defense will fall as far as people think, the problem in a game like this against a BCS team will be depth. Boise lost all 4 starters up front. While MSU  has 4 starters back on the OL. The trenches is where I think the game will ultimately be won. I think it’s going to be one of those typical Big 10 wear-down jobs after Boise puts up a good fight. And Sparty will end up on top.


Florida International (+3.5) over Duke **

Normally I don’t look for many situational angles in the first week of the season, nor do I put a lot of weight on injuries unless they are key injuries to the QB or other important skill players. But with this game if you combine both of these factors I’m thinking it could be a problem for Duke. First we have the revenge angle. Normally I don’t take this angle too seriously. But the way FIU lost their game to Duke last year after outplaying them all over the field but the scoreboard, it has to be a bit of a thorn in the side. Especially given that almost everybody is back off that team. The other factor here are the injuries to Duke. Like I said, normally I don’t take it too seriously unless it is an important skill player.. But the problem here are the numerous injuries that we have with Duke. If you get out your Phil Steele or other preseason mag you’ll find 17 starters back for Duke. If you count the injuries to their starters since that mag came out, we’re talking about the Dukies being down to just 12 returning starters. Barely half of their team. I think this is going to be a problem for Duke in these early games. Especially given the fact that these players are out for the year.  Although they are a BCS team, I find it hard to believe that a school like Duke has much in the way of quality depth below these starters. But the thing that put it over the top with me are the numbers. FIU simply had better offensive and defensive numbers than Duke last year. Now I know being in the conference like the Sunbelt their numbers are usually going to be better because of the weaker competetion. But in FIU’s case, they are much better. I won’t bore you with the stats. I’ll just say FIU is a much more balanced team on offense, And a big selling point with me is they are much better in rush defense than Duke. And with this, just keep in mind Duke returns just half their team off of their poor defensive numbers. FIU returns their entire defense intact from their bowl game. Medlock takes over the QB duties for FIU, but keep in mind that Cristobal saw a lot of upside with this kid last year, and started him in two games in place of first string QB Carroll, but probably would have started him in the last 4 games if he hadn’t gotten hurt. I don’t see  as much of a  dropoff with FIU’s offense as I do Duke’s defense with their injuries. This was the difference for me. I’ll happily take the points.


Texas (-31 -120) over Wyoming **

Of all of the mismatches this week, I think this could be one of the biggest in this first week. At least on paper. These two teams played a couple years ago in a home and home, and Texas won by 31 and 27 points. But remember that Texas last win came when the offense was struggling mightly and they went 5-7 that year. With 9 starters back I expect the Horns offense to be greatly improved this year from those previous teams. Especially in the run game. And this is where Wyoming has had their troubles on defense giving up a nations worst 247 ypg rushing in 2011. Texas should be able to have their way with them on the ground, which should open up the pass game for Ash. I expect Mack Brown to play both QB’s. Although Ash is the designated starter, I still feel Texas has a QB battle. So I don’t expect Texas to let up on offense when McCoy comes in for a possible cleanup role. On the other side of the ball Wyoming loses two of their best backs, which were the only strength of this Wyoming offense last year. They also have just two starters back on the O-Line, so I expect them to drop a notch or two in 2012. This isn’t good since the strength of Texas defense is their D-Line with two of the best DE’s in the country in first team All-American Okafor and Jeffcoat. When Texas isn’t stopping the run (96 ypg LY) I expect them to be chasing Wyoming QB Scott around for his life. Wyoming simply isn’t a very strong team. They are even weaker than last season’s team who benefited from +12 in turnover margin and a schedule in which 7 of their 8 wins came against teams with a losing record. They won’t be that fortunate this year. Just a bad matchup overall for Wyoming. I expct Texas to show much more offense in this game and roll here.


Florida (-14) over Bowling Green Second Half Play **

Hoping Bowling Green will wilt in the Swamp in the second half


40 Responses to “GoSooners College Football Picks For Week #1”

  1. Doug says:

    Thanks in advance and Best of Luck to ya as Always!!

  2. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Thanks Doug, and BOL to you this season.

  3. Doug says:

    Thanks. I failed to mention how much i enjoy reading yours and Pez comments you guys are very good at research for sure.
    Looking forward to all that goes on here.

  4. GoBears says:

    Good writeup on Cal. I can tell you first-hand that the fanbase is excited about getting back to Memorial after playing across the Bay in SF. I noticed the spread moved down from -11 and was holding out hope that it gets to -10, but that’s probably too much to ask for. I’m also going to look at playing Nevada under the TT, as I agree that Cal’s D is underrated. BOL

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      GoBears, half-point calculator has buying down from 10.5 to 10 at -119.5, so you could just buy the 1/2 point to 10 (-120) for a little extra security (push probability is almost 4%). That is what I did.

      Of course if in fact it does go down to 10 it is a complete waste of an extra 10%, but I think this one heads back up to 11+.

  5. SoonerBS says:

    I like both of these plays. You have to go back 4 years to find a winning margin more than 7 points between Kentucky and Louisville. This is a lot of points and I think it is largely based on hype since a lot of prognosticators have chosen Louisville to win the Big East this season. This is normally a closely played rivalry game.

    I will not be playing the Cal/Nevada game myself, but I sure see the reasons for a Cal play. The only thing you have going against you is the fact that the TOUT newsletters are rolling out and several have Cal as a big play this week. 🙂

  6. Lonnie says:

    GoSooners….As always great write ups and good luck this year. I’ve been following you on the rx since 2006. Great to see you with your own site.

  7. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    GoBears…It probably wouldn’t hurt to wait for a 10 if it comes. But if it’s like SoonerBS says, if Cal is one of the top picks by the touts this week, the line will probably stay the same or go up. I seriously considered taking the under 55.5. I think Cal will be ready for them on defense. By the way, I’ve been to Berkeley many times. It’s a great atmosphere for college football around there.

  8. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    SoonerBS…My only concern about the Cal/Nevada game is Cal’s ability to score. Hopefully Maynard has shaken off his growing pains from last year, and will put up some better numbers. He actually cut way down on mistakes in his last 4 games last season, but I would like to see him improve on his 57% career completions. That will be the gamble that me and I guess the touts are taking here. After facing Texas defense in their bowl, you would think Nevada’s D will look much more inviting.

  9. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Lonnie…Thanks for the kind words, and welcome to the TSE. It should be a fun year without all of the RX clutter. BOL this season!

  10. GoBears says:

    By all accounts Maynard has looked infinitely better both in spring ball and now in camp. If some of the young receivers can step up and help Keenan Allen and the OL can do a decent job, Cal’s offense might show glimpses of the early Tedford years. My biggest fear in this game is that Pendergast, while a great D Coordinator, has struggled with stopping the Pistol (see not only Nevada in 2010, but also UCLA last year). He’s got to figure it out sometime…right?

  11. Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

    Nevada’s last 4 road openers vs BCS schools: 20-69 @ OR, 0-35 @ ND, 17-69 @ Mizzou, 10-52 @ Neb …. I’ll give Cal a shot.

  12. xyzky says:

    NV was pretty much rebuilding the offense last year. It will click this year, but, you are right the D will be down.

    1. Cal will have an tuff time pulling away in this game.
    2. NV will eat clock and move the chains.

    FG either way, but, if it lands w/CAl winning by 11 we will both be happy campers.

  13. stevofrog says:

    GS – been following you on rx for a few years. Thanks for posting good w/u’s and congrats on your own website. BOL this year and hope to see you in FW on Dec 1!

  14. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Thanks Stevo. I’m looking forward to OU playing both TCU and WV this year. In this first season it’s going to feel more like an out of conference game with these teams. BOL this season.

  15. Xmas32 says:

    Hey GS, really like the new site and continued success as usual. Wanted to get your insight on a couple games. Wazzu +13 @ BYU, part of me wants to take the wait and see approach to see how the Cougs are reacting to Leach’s new system. On the other hand, Wazzu has some legit weapons on the offensive side of the ball that I don’t think BYU has answers for. With the volume of passes that Wazzu will throw, the backdoor is always there.

    Also, thoughts on Oregon/Arky State O66? Malzhan is the guy there now replacing Freeze but their offenses are pretty similar IMO. Aplin is a really nice, scrappy QB who does it all. Even with Oregon’s new approach to defense, I still think Arky State can get 24-27 which means we ‘only’-lol need 42 out of Oregon’s breakneck offense to hit.


  16. Lonnie says:

    GoSooners, I have not heard much about the Spartans QB, Andrew Maxwell. Even though it is his first start, he has been with the team for 3 years. If any, what impact could this have on the game? Much like Boise, do you expect any drop off from Cousins?

  17. Lonnie says:

    I played Oregon/Arky St Over 66 on Monday. The Ducks should be good for at least 49 (I hope). I did read that 2 of Arky WR’s have been suspended however.

  18. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Lonnie, i always expect somewhat of a dropoff from a QB who passed for over 9,000 yards. But the one good thing with MSU this year is I think they’ll have a better rushing team. Expect to see a healthy dose of rushing and for the TE to get a fair share of dump passes. I think the under is also a good play here

    With Oregon/ASU I expect that game to go over the number. If and when the game starts getting out of hand, I expect backup QB Bennett to come in and show what he can do with the offense. Remember, Bennett almost transferred out when he didn’t win the starting position. If he gets his opportunity, I’m sure he’ll be coming into the game with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Oregon can probably put up a half a hundred by themselves in this game.

  19. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Xmas…I prefer to play a wait and see with Wash. St. Leach has his QB and WR’s in place. But he doesn’t have a great line to work with, which could make it tough facing a good BYU defense in this first game. Leach’s wide-split blocking schemes aren’t usually something that’s learned overnight. So there will be some growing pains there when they face the good defenses. WSU also allowed 32 ppg last year. So they need to show a lot more improvement on D. And they rushed for only 85 ypg. Even in Leach’s scheme they’ll have to run the ball much better than that to stay on the same field as BYU. With this line going down, I have a lean to BYU.

  20. alkimyst says:

    Sooners, I always enjoyed following you on theRX. Thanks for the insights. I don’t know much about the Pac-12, as I am a BIg Ten guy living in the south now, but I really like your analysis on the other two games. LVL-KEN is usually a fairly close game. Getting that many points, I think Kentucky is the play as well. Louisville may be getting too much hype this pre-season. As for MSU, I hate fading Boise, as they seem to usually cover in big spots. I know Boise wasn’t that great against the number last year, as they were often DD faves, howeveer they lost a TON of talent, so they may be scrambling early on this year. That being said, I think Peterson is a great football mind and a solid recruiter who finds kids in places that most coaches fail to look.So, it;s often hard to gauge where his new guys will perform when they get their opportunities. I won’t be playing this game, but good luck to you on all your plays.

  21. plaz says:

    Nice website, very well done!

  22. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Alkymst, looking back at the Boise/Michigan State line, my biggest regret is I didn’t go ahead and get the early under total when it was set at over 50. It might still be good, but if it’s anything I hate it is getting in late on a total after it’s crossed key numbers or already made it’s run. I probably wouldn’t have played the game at all if it was 7 or higher. I just think this game is going to be a slugfest that will be played in the trenches. One thing that is guaranteed is Boise will give a 100% effort for 60 minutes. My feeling is MSU will wear them down. But the MSU QB will HAVE to make a play or two in this game for Sparty to cover. BOL this season.

  23. Rowdy says:

    GoSooners, great to see your write ups again and best of luck to a profitable season. Curious if you had any opinion on Vandy +6, I think this is a good spot for them. With the exception of Bama, they played the better teams in the SEC tough last year.

  24. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Rowdy, I’m leaning more to South Carolina in this game. Especially with the line being under a TD. It’s true that Vandy played everybody tough last year. But was anybody really expecting them to do what they did after coming off a 2-10 season? I know I wasn’t. The problem is this season they won’t be sneaking up on anybody. And SC has had a summer to prepare for them. Plus I still remember the game from these teams last year. SC really frustrated Rodgers and the Vandy offense. They simply couldn’t do anything that night. Now I know every year is different. But i don’t think the strength of these two teams have changed all that much from last season. Vandy will have to much improved on offense to keep this close. What it comes down to for me is SC is simply the more talented team. And with this first game being an important conference game, I think they’ll go into Vandy very focused.

  25. Doug says:

    Is this your final card? Will there be others?
    Thanks in adance as Always

  26. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Doug, I’m going to be looking at a few more games tonight. I might have one or two more plays IF some of these line movements go my way. But to be honest, I don’t have a strong feeling about any of the games this weekend. Which is unusual in the first week. But I feel the linesmakers have really set some tighter lines in this first week than they have in the past. And since 8 out of 10 people bet the favorites, it makes it even tougher. I don’t usually bet many totals like Pezgordo, but I’m looking at a few. Right now I’m kind of liking the Oregon/ASU over. But it has moved a full 5 points off of the opening number.

  27. Doug says:

    As you have mentioned, there not much room for error there. What makes it even worse the number, the real number is long gone. I myslef “like” that total also, but i missed the number. BOL if you partake into that.
    I remember when you first started at the Rx. You seemed to have a handle on the Big 12. Sinse you have sorta branched out i notice. I also notice that when Conan zeroed in on the West Coast he had a Killer year. Both y’all on the Cal side which i do like very very much.

    • GoSooners GoSooners says:

      Doug…I would love to do just the Big 12. But the problem is it’s no longer the same conference. And it doesn’t even have 12 teams. It’s hard to zero in on a league that has two teams going out one year, then two more teams the next year, then two more teams coming in the next year. The reason Conan is good at what he does in the Pac-12 is because he’s basically had the same teams to work with all these years. And through time he’s got to know their tendecies. I have no idea how these new teams are going to do coming into the Big 12. In other words, there is no longer any history with the Big 12. It’s for all practical purposes a new conference because very few of these teams have a long history with each other. It has also been a very inconsistent conference to try to cap the last couple of years becausei t’s in transistion. Which is another reason I branched out to other conferences.

  28. Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

    GS, Sparty was the right side. Complete domination, but those turnovers kept Boise in the game. Sparty D and Bell were impressive. Maxwell not so much.

  29. Doug says:

    Turnovers Turnovers they killed what chance Michigan State had in the game to cover.

  30. The Falcon says:

    Any thoughts on Ohio St covering 24 in Urbans first game? Thanks, this is SSI btw, dont know if u remember me… nice site..

  31. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Falcon…I guess I’m one of the few who like Miami, Ohio in this game. I’m just not sure if Braxton Miller is the right player for an Urban Meyer type spread offense. I question his passing ability. And I also have questions about OSU’s receiving corps. They have very little experience there. The 3 WR’s who came out of the spring as starters have a combined 31 catches. Plus i think people could be underestimating Miami’s defense a little. They have a veteran senior heavy defensive line, and some key defenders back who ranked third in total defense in the MAC last year. They’ll be one of the top units in that conference this year. My feeling right now is this will be a low scoring game. But Miami does have a QB who could keep them in the game. Dysert threw for 3,500 yards and 23 TD’s last year. I think the 90% of the people who are on OSU just automatically think Urban Meyer is going to snap his fingers and they are going to come out and blow teams away. I’m not so sure about that.

  32. The Falcon says:

    thanks for the comments, didnt get to catch the game, looks like Urban did ok in the opener, ill be checking u out,

    best wishes
    Falcon (SSI)

  33. Trentmoney says:

    goes to show you how bad the gators are…muschamp is in over his head…mark it down

  34. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    I agree Trent. Florida didn’t look good on either side of the ball. They remind me of Texas last year. They have two QB’s that can’t read a defense and complete a pass over 5 yards.

    • Trentmoney says:

      14 penalties…can’t make a decision on choosing a qb…team played uninspired…coming off a 6-6 regular season…it’s not going to end well…the chorus is gonna start to get louder…just watch

  35. Doug says:

    Lets hope it gets Better, Real soon.

  36. Doug says:

    Louisville number came right back to the opener of 14. GO Kentucky!! Strange first weekend looks to me like. I suppose i should be used to strange things happending on saturday just like they do on sunday.


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