There needs to be more female guest pickers.
Leslie Fox, last week’s guest picker, was the first female guest picker we had and she went 6-2 to jump into a tie for second place, two games behind David Starcer, CU Independent’s men’s basketball beat reporter. If you want to be a guest picker next week, next month or even next year, send us an e-mail and we’ll be happy to oblige.
As for this week, we’re going back to the male specie with junior film major David Merrell.
Guest picker this season — Overall: 41-23, Last week: 6-2
David Merrell – junior film major
Missouri 24, Colorado 10: Missouri started out strong this year but the Tigers have fallen on hard times since beginning their Big 12 Conference schedule, losing three straight games to Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Texas. Unfortunately, I see them rebounding this week in Boulder. Colorado’s defense will keep them in the game until the fourth quarter, but a lack of offense and poor special teams play will keep the Buffs on the wrong side of this matchup. Unless CU head coach Dan Hawkins can get spectacular quarterback play out of either Cody Hawkins or Tyler Hansen, the Buffaloes lose again at home.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 31, North Carolina 6: Virginia Tech’s national title hopes are all but vanished, but the Hokies are still a great team with the potential to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. North Carolina should only be a speed bump in VT’s road to the conference championship game as they have not beaten a strong opponent all year. Look for Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor to have a highlight reel performance against a far inferior team.
South Florida 28, No. 21 West Virginia 24: I put West Virginia on upset alert this week against a South Florida team who, after a strong start, has been destroyed by mistakes and poor defensive play the last two weeks. West Virginia will have to rely on running back Noel Devine’s playmaking ability, but the Bulls’ well-coached defense will not allow many big plays, paving their way for the offense to pull off the upset at home.
No. 4 Iowa 20, Indiana 7: Although Iowa is undefeated, they have had close calls against Northern Iowa, Arkansas State, Michigan and Michigan State. While I see Iowa faltering somewhere down the road, it will not be at home against a 4-4 Indiana team. Though Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi showed last week against Michigan State what clutch a player he can be by leading the Hawkeyes to a final-second win, he will only have to keep his mistakes to a minimum as the Hoosiers have allowed a fair amount of points in nearly every game they have played.
No. 1 Florida 17, Georgia 6: While I would love to see Florida knocked out of the No. 1 spot in this Southeastern Conference rivalry game, I see their relentless defense giving the Bulldogs a hard time. QB Tim Tebow, who has struggled since his concussion, has been showing signs of improvement and will give the Gators what they need to win – though not much more. Florida’s defense will shut down Georgia’s running game and force at least one interception from struggling QB Joe Cox.
No. 12 Penn State 35, Northwestern 31: Despite their second dethroning loss in a row to Iowa, I still see Penn State as the most impressive team in the Big Ten Conference. That being said, Northwestern is no pushover. I see Penn State building on their momentum since the Iowa loss and winning a shootout at Northwestern. While I do not think Penn State can make it back into the national title picture, they do have an excellent chance at the conference if Iowa slips on its way there.
No. 3 Texas 38, No. 14 Oklahoma State 17: QB Colt McCoy is back on track after surviving a rough couple of weeks against Colorado and Oklahoma. While Oklahoma State has an opportunity to upset the Heisman Trophy candidate and the third-ranked team in the nation, they are perhaps overrated at 14th. They have beaten no ranked teams aside from disappointing Georgia, the preseason No. 13, and have beaten only the bottom of the Big 12. Texas can smell the roses in Pasadena, Calif. and are determined to play what looks like Florida or Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
No. 5 USC 28, No. 10 Oregon 17: USC goes into every season thinking they should be the national champion, and with good reason. They are well coached, have talent and have depth. That being said, they are consistently overrated and show their weaknesses early on in the season. I see the Trojans winning a close game in Eugene, Ore. largely because they believe they should win. The Ducks will play well and stay in the game, but they will be outcoached and outplayed, ending their upset dreams.
Cheng Sio — sports editor — Overall: 40-24, Last week: 4-4
Colorado 22, Missouri 20: All I can say is I still have hope, especially if Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert’s right ankle is still bothersome.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 31, North Carolina 17: Obviously by now, we know Virginia Tech isn’t national championship worthy. But they are nowhere near as disappointing as the Tar Heels. After blowing a 24-6 lead last week at home to Florida State and staying winless in the ACC, I’m laying a turd on North Carolina by going with the Hokies.
No. 21 West Virginia 40, South Florida 21: The Bulls have lost their last two games and are making their usual mid-season dip after a scorching hot 5-0 start. They started 6-0 and 5-0 in 2007 and 2008, respectively; 3-4 and 3-5 finishes afterwards. Need I say any more? Go West Virginia.
No. 4 Iowa 17, Indiana 6: I don’t even know how the Hawkeyes are still here. If a cat has nine lives, then Iowa must have like three left after last week’s game-winning touchdown as time expired beat Michigan State 15-13. Of the team’s eight wins, four have been by a combined eight points and two of those opponents were Northern Iowa and Arkansas State. Who? The Hoosiers shouldn’t pose a threat this week, shouldn’t being the operative word.
No. 1 Florida 32, Georgia 7: Uh oh, Tebow, aka the reincarnation of God, is frustrated because his Gators aren’t scoring in the red zone and are allowing sacks and committing turnovers. The last time Tebow was unhappy, he made a promise and that promise turned into “The Promise” plaque because they won a national championship.
No. 12 Penn State 31, Northwestern 29: The only Big Ten school Penn State can’t beat the last two years are the Iowa Hawkeyes. Northwestern is no slouch. They will keep it close with QB Mike Kafka leading the conference in passing yards, but they aren’t the Hawkeyes, Penn State’s kryptonite.
No. 3 Texas 27, No. 14 Oklahoma State 20: It took a while, but Bevo and Co. woke up last week when they thrashed Mizzou 41-7. It’s the most points Texas has scored since hanging 64 on UTEP on Sept. 26. Sorry Longhorns fans, but getting 38 on the Buffs doesn’t constitute as high-scoring when the offense accounted for just 17 of those points. Texas’ offense doubled that total against Mizzou. Yes, I know Stillwater, Okla. is a scary place to play at night, especially on Halloween, but the Cowboys’ offense doesn’t look right with wide receiver Dez Bryant suspended for the season?
No. 10 Oregon 28, No. 5 USC 21: Here’s one word for USC: Overrated. Here are two names USC will get to know real well if they haven’t already: QB Jeremiah Masoli and RB LaMichael James. The duo spearheads the Ducks 14th-ranked rushing offense. Here are three words I have for USC’s defense, who have surrendered 63 points in its last two games after yielding 43 in its first five: Where are you?
Ron Knabenbauer — sports editor — Overall: 37-27, Last week: 5-3
Colorado 31, Missouri 27: The snow must be making me delusional because somehow, I think Colorado is going to win this game. It’s not going to be pretty, but it will be another win for Hawk and the gang.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 28, North Carolina 23: I think the Tar Heels are going to be competitive in this game, but not enough to beat the Hokies.
No. 21 West Virginia 24, South Florida 13: The Bulls are still the up-and-coming team in the Big East Conference, but they just won’t have what it takes to topple the Mountaineers.
No. 4 Iowa 32, Indiana 17: Iowa is one of the surprises in college football this season. They should win easily against Indiana.
No. 1 Florida 42, Georgia 37: This game will actually be closer than many people think. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, No. 1 will stay on top for another week.
No. 12 Penn State 27, Northwestern 13: I’m not saying Northwestern has no chance at winning this game, but let’s face it, they are not going to beat a far superior team in Penn State.
No. 14 Oklahoma State 23, No. 3 Texas 20: Texas is going to stay in the top 10, but they will do it with a loss as the Cowboys will upset the Longhorns in an old fashion Big 12 South showdown.
No. 5 USC 31, No. 10 Oregon 24: I like the Ducks and where the Oregon program is heading, but they’re not going to be able to get past USC on Saturday.
Alex K.W. Schultz — CU:I’s football beat reporter — Overall: 41-23, Last week: 6-2
Colorado 27, Missouri 23: The thing that sticks out to me is how each of these teams played against Texas. The Buffs lost by 24 points on the road to the Longhorns. The Tigers lost by 34 at home. It’s probably a stretch, but Colorado just might be able to pull this one out on Halloween.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 31, North Carolina 10: The Tar Heels are seeking their first ACC win. The Hokies are seeking to land their third straight ACC title game berth. There’s quite a history and talent discrepancy between these two teams. V-Tech rolls.
No. 21 West Virginia 28, South Florida 17: The Mountaineers had a little hiccup last week in defeating Connecticut by four. Look for Devine and Co. to get back on track with a win over the Bulls.
No. 4 Iowa 33, Indiana 14: The Hawkeyes have shown their ability to overcome pressure and win nail-biting games. Their nails should receive a respite this weekend, however, as the Hoosiers will be long gone by the fourth quarter.
No. 1 Florida 35, Georgia 18: The Gators have won 16 of their last 19 meetings against the Bulldogs and are currently No. 1 in the country for a reason: No one can beat them and the Bulldogs won’t.
No. 12 Penn State 27, Northwestern 13: Northwestern is filled with geniuses? Yes. Will they have a game plan to defeat the Nittany Lions? No.
No. 3 Texas 35, No. 14 Oklahoma State 27: The Longhorns have won their last 11 meetings against the Cowboys. Soon, it will be 12. These are two high-scoring offenses, but Texas will get the job done with an extra dose of Colt McCoy.
No. 5 USC 27, No. 10 Oregon 24: I still believe the Trojans are one of the best teams in the country. They say Autzen Stadium is one of college football’s toughest venues to play in. Nearly 55,000 will be sent home unhappy, though, once this one is over.
Chris King — staff writer — Overall: 40-24, Last week 7-1
Missouri 35, Colorado 24: In the last two meetings between Mizzou and the Buffs, the combined score has been 113-10 in the Tigers favor. Fortunately for CU, many of the key pieces of those Mizzou teams have moved on. Unfortunately, the Tigers still have a talented team. Mizzou started hot, going 4-0 before three consecutive conference losses put them back in their place. The Buffs failed to carry the momentum from beating Kansas and promptly laid an egg in Manhattan, Kan. against Kansas State. The Buffs will keep this one closer than the previous routs, but Mizzou will pull one out in Boulder.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 20, North Carolina 10: After squandering their big lead against Florida State last Thursday, North Carolina can’t be happy. Unfortunately, they have to go against reigning ACC Champ Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The Hokies can’t be happy after getting beaten up by Georgia Tech in Atlanta and the Tar Heels are going to suffer because of it. Each of these teams makes their mark on defense, so this should be a slugfest with Frank Beamer’s Hokies pulling one out. After this one, expect to see the baby blue fans asking when basketball season starts.
South Florida 23, No. 21 West Virginia 20: What happened to USF? They were ranked 5-0 and had beaten in-state rival Florida State. Then came Big East play, where both Cincinnati and Pitt beat up on them and racked up points on what was supposedly a premier defense. The Mountaineers have managed to crawl back into the rankings but narrowly escaped an upset to UConn on their home turf. West Virginia has struggled against the Bulls and the pressure applied by defensive ends George Selvie and Jason Pierre-Paul will disrupt senior Mountaineers QB Jarrett Brown, helping South Florida get the upset.
No. 4 Iowa 17, Indiana 16: With the way Iowa’s season has gone, it would be totally normal for Indiana to throw a touchdown as time expired, only to have the Hawkeyes block the extra point. Nearly every game Kirk Ferentz’s team has been involved in has been a heartstopper. Poor Indiana has had nearly the opposite luck as they have watched leads against conference foes Michigan (late fourth quarter touchdown and interception) and Northwestern (rallied from 25 down to win) collapse before them. It would only seem fitting that the nation’s luckiest team gets to face off against the unluckiest. The Hawkeyes magical season will continue in their expected dramatic fashion.
No. 1 Florida 27, Georgia 10: Tim Tebow and The Black Eyed Peas have at least one thing in common: They both want to know “Where is the Love?” Tebow has been struggling recently and after his poor performance in Starkville, Miss. against Mississippi State, he refused to talk to the media. Those expectations starting to weigh on you, Superman? Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have had a rough year hovering around .500 and their defense has been horrendous. Perhaps this is just what the doctor ordered to help Urban Meyer & Co. get back on track after their offense sputtered. Gators win, but with each game, the weight grows. Can they stay undefeated?
No. 12 Penn State 34, Northwestern 20: The Wildcats managed to somehow, improbably, come back from a 25-point deficit against Indiana last week to beat them in stunning fashion. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions were flexing their muscles on both sides of the ball in a 35-10 whipping of Michigan. Joe Pa’s team has a solid offense with senior QB Daryll Clark leading the show and “Linebacker U” living up to its name with ferocious junior Navorro Bowman and Butkus Award semifinalist Sean Lee. The Wildcats just don’t have the firepower to match up and the Nittany Lions will come out on top.
No. 3 Texas 45, No. 14 Oklahoma State 35: Interesting fact about the Longhorns: They are perfect (12-0) after the Red River Rivalry under head coach Mack Brown. Helping matters is the fact McCoy finally returned to his ’08 form against the Missouri Tigers last Saturday, connecting on his first 11 pass attempts in leading his team to a 41-7 win. But it has been their “The Goon Squad,” the defense’s nickname, who has really shined this year. While Oklahoma State has recovered nicely from a crushing home loss to Houston, they received some bad news: Stud junior WR Dez Bryant has been suspended for the remainder of the season. Senior QB Zac Robinson has played well, but taking away his top target against the premier Texas defense spells trouble. They will keep it close, but the Cowboys won’t be able to hang on and the Longhorns will keep fighting for a chance at the national title.
No. 10 Oregon 38, No. 5 USC 35: Upset special! The Trojans come in to Eugene after a not-so-convincing win over Oregon State when the Beavers managed to put up 36 points on this supposedly “premier” defense. Meanwhile, the Ducks have yet to allow a first-half touchdown in Pac-10 Conference play and their offense has bounced back from some early season struggles to put up 43 on Washington last week. This is the same Washington that USC couldn’t even put 20 on. Throw in the fact that the Trojans have to play in the Autzen Zoo, one of the loudest stadiums in college football, and what do you get? The Ducks taking the reins of the Pac-10 and putting their name back into the national title conversation.
David Starcer — CU:I’s men’s basketball beat reporter — Overall: 43-21, Last week 5-3
Missouri 31, Colorado 24: I’m hoping for a little reverse jinx action this week for Colorado with this pick. Hey, it worked against Kansas. But with the way the Buffs played against Kansas State, I can’t trust them to come through. Regardless, you have to at least like how CU’s defense is playing right now.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 38, North Carolina 14: North Carolina is on my bad side for blowing a 24-6 lead against Florida State, so I’m taking the Hokies — that and Virginia Tech is a much better team.
No. 21 West Virginia 30, South Florida 20: The Bulls have lost two straight, including a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, West Virginia is on a roll and should continue their winning ways this week. Look out for a matchup with Cincinnati on Nov. 13 that should decide the Big East champion.
No. 4 Iowa 27, Indiana 12: Why this game is on the docket is beyond me. Hawkeyes all the way.
No. 1 Florida 35, Georgia 21: This game is always a good one, but Florida usually comes out on top. Look for another exciting edition of the game formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” with the Gators winning their 18th straight game.
No. 12 Penn State 24, Northwestern 13: Penn State laid the hammer down on Michigan in the Big House last week for its first win there since 1996. Look for more of the same this week.
No. 14 Oklahoma State 45, No. 3 Texas 42: The first of my two upset picks this week. I like both home teams over the road favorites in games with huge conference implications. In this one, I just have a feeling if the Cowboys can turn this game into a shootout, they will have a good chance – and I think they will do just that. Colorado product and Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson gets the better of his Heisman-favorite counterpart in this barn-burner.
No. 10 Oregon 38, No. 5 USC 31: After almost blowing it at home against Oregon State last week, I don’t trust the Trojans in what may be the toughest place to play in college football — the Autzen Zoo! Oregon has been on a roll since laying an egg at Boise State in its season-opener and I like them to knock off USC in another great game.
Compiled by Sports Editor Cheng Sio. Contact Cheng Sio at Cheng.firstname.lastname@example.org.