PiRate Picks and Top 25

Howell Peiser shares his top 25 national teams and also rates the SEC and predicts this weekend's SEC games.


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PiRate Top 25 For Games played thru October 4
 

1. Southern California    4-0     134.6

2. Texas                      4-0     126.7

3. Virginia Tech            5-0     125.3

4. Florida State            4-0     120.2

5. Georgia                   4-0     119.4

6. Ohio State               3-1     119.2

7. Alabama                  5-0     119.1

8. California                 5-0     118.8

9. Penn State              5-0     117.6

10. UCLA                    4-0     117.4

11. Wisconsin             5-0     117.1

12. California               5-0     117.1

13. Florida                   4-1     116.7

14. Auburn                  4-1     116.3

15. Tennessee            3-1     116.3

16. Minnesota             4-1     116.2

17. LSU                      2-1     115.9

18. Notre Dame           4-1     115.4

19. Michigan               3-2      115.3

20. Miami (F)              3-1      115.2

21. Michigan State      4-1      114.9

22. Arizona State        3-2      114.6

23. Texas Tech           4-0      114.0

24. Colorado               3-1      112.9

25. Georgia Tech        3-1      110.0

 

PiRates For SEC

East

Georgia              119.4

Florida                116.7

Tennessee          116.3

South Carolina      99.8

Vanderbilt             99.6

Kentucky              92.2

 

West

Alabama             119.1

Auburn                116.3

LSU                    115.9

Mississippi State   99.0

Ole Miss               97.6

Arkansas              97.1

 

SEC Games For October 8

 

Citadel @ Ole Miss

 

I don't rate I-AA teams but I can guesstimate a final score based on comparative scores and trying to determine when Coach Orgeron will empty the bench.

 

PiRate Prediction: Ole Miss 42 Citadel 7

 

Louisiana Monroe @ Arkansas

 

The Razorbacks hope to begin their annual mid-season turnaround this week.  UL-M all of a sudden finds themselves atop the Sunbelt standings with the hope that they will become the second Sunbelter to upset an SEC team.  It won't happen this week.

 

PiRate Prediction: Arkansas 41  Louisiana Monroe 17

 

Mississippi State @ Florida

 

The Gators have been counting the days until they get their retribution.  This game cost Ron Zook his job last year.  Both teams have improved this year, but don't expect this game to go anything like the one in Starkville in 2004.  First, there is a change in home field advantage, so that's a good 8-10 points there.  Throw in an another touchdown for revenge.  Now, move the score in Florida's favor by another 10 points due to actual talent differences.  It adds up to a more than three touchdown victory.

 

PiRate Prediction: Florida 31  Mississippi State 7

 

Kentucky @ South Carolina

 

Kentucky had the week off and benefited from a few extra practices to prepare for the Gamecocks.  USC took the week off even though they played at Auburn.  Steve Spurrier might have to be told that pain in his tummy is called an ulcer, and it can interfere with his golf game more than arm pain from visor throwing.  Carolina still has enough talent and confidence to dispose of the Wildcats.  It won't be pretty, but USC will even their record at 3-3.

 

PiRate Prediction: South Carolina 30  Kentucky 17

 

Georgia @ Tennessee

 

Tennessee has returned to their "end of the 2004 regular season" tendencies.  They are winning by just enough points regardless of the opposition. Playing Florida this week with Rick Clausen going the whole way, I'd expect them to win by one or two points.  Georgia has enjoyed one of the most quiet 4-0 starts in the SEC in years.  Their defense is surrendering just 11 points per game, while their offense has regressed quite a bit (the opening game against Boise State saw the defense set up a bushel of points).  This game is basically a toss-up, but at Neyland Stadium the Vols get the slightest of edges.

 

PiRate Prediction: Tennessee 16  Georgia 14

 

LSU @ Vanderbilt

 

After starting out 4-0 and seeing "the wave" engulf the stadium, the Commodores were upset by a winless team before facing a night game nationally televised on ESPN against an LSU team with a new coach.  Am I talking about 2005 or 1984?  Both.  Is history beginning to repeat itself at Dudley Field?  Well, in 1984 Vandy had to play at LSU in the prime time nationally televised affair.  This time around, the game is at home.  That, and the margin of victory, will be the only differences.  The Tigers are loaded with talent, and they started to develop their normal rhythm last week.  Since there are no hurricanes scheduled to hit the area this week, they will maintain the normal routine.  LSU is too strong in the trenches for Vandy.  The Commodore secondary will have more difficulty stopping LSU's passing game than LSU will have stopping Vandy's passing game.  Until the Commodores show an ability to stretch the field vertically, opposing teams will plug the short zones and slow the rush.  In 1984 at Baton Rouge, Vandy came from well behind to have a chance on the final play of the game; don't expect that to be the case Saturday.

 

PiRate Prediction: LSU 35  Vanderbilt 17

 

Note: LSU opened as a 14-point pick on the outlaw line and heavy wagering came in on the side of the Tigers.

 

PiRate Predictions of Non-SEC Games

 

Friday

Connecticut 24  Syracuse 16

Saturday

Alabama-Birm. 31  SMU 12

Arizona State 34  Oregon 24

Central Michigan 28  Army 24

Boston College 27  Virginia 19

Bowling Green 31  Ohio U. 14

Akron 21 Buffalo 10

Memphis 20  Central Fla. 13

Colorado 27 Texas A&M 21

Colorado State 34 Utah 31 OT

East Carolina 31 Rice 28

Florida State 35  Wake Forest 9

Indiana 31 Illinois 23

Iowa State 24 Baylor 10

Kansas State 25 Kansas 24

Louisiana Tech 33 Hawaii 30 OT

Louisville 42 North Carolina 35

Miami (F) 42 Duke 6

Michigan 34 Minnesota 24

Navy 31 Air Force 30

Texas Tech 24 Nebraska 20

Nevada 31 Idaho 23

San Diego State 27 UNLV 20

New Mexico 28 BYU 23

Fresno State 41 New Mexico St. 17

Wisconsin 38 Northwestern 28

Oklahoma St. 27 Missouri 23

Ohio State 24 Penn State 23

Pittsburgh 28 Cincinnati 17

Purdue 27 Iowa 24

West Virginia 24 Rutgers 20

Southern Cal 48 Arizona 3

Southern Miss. 28 Tulsa 13

Maryland 37 Temple 13

Texas 31 Oklahoma 21

Toledo 41 Eastern Mich. 24

Houston 28 Tulane 27

UCLA 28 California 27

Utah St. 31 San Jose St. 26

Virginia Tech 38 Marshall 0

Washington St. 35 Stanford 24

Western Mich. 28 Ball State 24

Wyoming 30 TCU 25

 

Recommended Picks

 

Straight Up

 

Indiana -6 Over Illinois

Florida State -21 over Wake Forest

Kansas +6 vs. Kansas State

Oklahoma State + 5 vs. Missouri

 

Money Line

 

Indiana -250 vs. Illinois

Pittsburgh -500 vs. Cincinnati

Oklahoma State +180 vs. Missouri

Kansas + 200 vs. Kansas State

South Carolina -500 vs. Kentucky

LSU -600 vs. Vanderbilt

Michigan -320 vs. Minnesota

 

10-point (must play 3-team parlay) and 13-point (must play 4-team parlay) Teasers (choose between these)

(10-point teaser odds given first and 13-point teaser odds given second)

 

Indiana +4 or +7 vs. Illinois

Florida State -11 or  -8 vs. Wake Forest

Miami -25 or -22 vs. Duke

Pittsburgh -2 or  +1 vs. Cincinnati

Oklahoma State +15 or +18 vs. Missouri

Kansas +16 or +19 vs. Kansas State

South Carolina -3 or  E vs. Kentucky

LSU - 5 1/2 or -2 1/2 vs. Vanderbilt

Army + 12 1/2 or +15 1/2 vs. Central Michigan

Akron E or +3 vs. Buffalo

Baylor + 18 1/2 or + 21 1/2 vs. Iowa State

TCU + 16 1/2 or +19 1/2 vs. Wyoming

Bowling Green -11 or -8 vs. Ohio U

Colorado +7 or +10 vs. Texas A&M

Nevada +1 1/2 or +4 1/2 vs. Idaho

Washington State - 3 1/2 or - 1/2 vs. Stanford

Nebraska +14 or +17 vs. Texas Tech

Virginia Tech -24 1/2 or -21 1/2 vs. Marshall

Western Michigan -2 or +1 vs. Ball State

North Carolina +23 or +26 vs. Louisville

Penn State + 13 1/2 or +16 1/2 vs. Ohio State

Southern Miss. -2 or +1 vs. Tulsa

Arizona State E or +3 vs. Oregon

Arkansas -16 1/2 or -13 1/2 vs. Louisiana-Monroe

 


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