Picks and Pontifications: WVU - Iowa State

Last week's mixed bag of picks shuffled the standings yet again, but this week's unanimous winners picks mean that point differential will be in the spotlight at West Virginia travels to Iowa State.

WINNING SELECTIONS

Greg (top honors with a six-point miss) CJ, Andy, Michael and Tony were all right around the bullseye for this game. The latter trio are tied atop the standings with nine wins each, and given this week's selections, will be watching the point totals closely.


HOPE YOU DIDN'T BET THIS PICK

There weren't any bad picks last week, as just one less Mountaineer turnover or mental error could have flipflopped the winners and lostes. Jon dropped out of the lead pack due to those problems, while Matt fell back into a tie with Greg two games back.


Tony Dobies Last Week: L Season: 9-2 Point Differential: 191
West Virginia will win this game, but it probably won't be pretty. The Mountaineers have struggled lately but have a chance to turn around their November slump in their last regular season game. You've got to expect WVU to try and target its playmakers a bit more than it has of late. The defense shouldn't have many problems, even with pressure it will likely face and have faced all season long. Really, Iowa State is pretty bad, and that's the reason the Mountaineers pull off a win.
West Virginia 31-17

Michael Carvelli Last Week: L Season: 9-2 Point Differential: 196
WVU needs a win this weekend to close out the regular season on a positive note, and this seems to be a perfect game for the Mountaineers to break their current slide. If they can play with energy and come out looking like the West Virginia team that started the season, this one shouldn't be too difficult - no matter who the Mountaineers have at quarterback.
West Virginia 34-17

Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 9-2 Point Differential: 206
The Cyclones have played well at times this season, including a win at Iowa and close losses to Kansas State and Texas, but have struggled to find consistent play. WVU should be able to overcome the expected turnovers, penalties and overall undisciplined play to get its seventh win of the season in Ames.
West Virginia 37-24

Chris Richardson Last Week: L Season: 8-3 Point Differential: 205
Late November football in Iowa. Sounds like a great time. It will be...for the Mountaineers. The late-season swoon comes to an end as WVU heads to the bowl game on the heels of a win.
West Virginia 27-17

Roger "CJ" Harvey Last Week: L Season: 8-3 Point Differential: 206
Iowa State has the ability to keep every game close, as its losses to Kansas State, Texas and Texas Tech average 3.6 points. The Cyclones also have a stellar tight end, E.J. Bibbs, who Dana Holgorsen thinks is the best in the Big 12. Bibbs has eight touchdowns on the season, and historically WVU has had trouble with threatening tight ends in the passing game. The Cyclones have talent, but have two wins this season for a reason. Howard or Trickett, the Mountaineers will win.
West Virginia 27-17

Jonathan Martin Last Week: L Season: 8-3 Point Differential: 229
After becoming bowl eligible in late October the Mountaineers have dropped three straight and limp into the regular season finale. West Virginia appears to be a completely different team than the one we saw early in the year, although Iowa State could be just what the doctor ordered. The Cyclones are 2-8 on the season, have lost four consecutive and are winless in Big 12 play.

Expect West Virginia to be more in tune both offensive and defensively as they wind up the regular schedule with a win before getting back into bowl season.
West Virginia 31-21

Greg Hunter Last Week: L Season: 7-4 Point Differential: 163
In the previous two meetings, Iowa State has played the Mountaineers very tough, and this year will likely be the same. ISU may be 2-8, but only Oklahoma has really blown out the Cyclones (59-14). Ames is rarely an easy place to play, particularly in late November, but West Virginia clearly is more talented than an injury-decimated Iowa State squad that has no real strengths and lots of weaknesses.
West Virginia 31-17

Matt Keller Last Week: L Season: 7-4 Point Differential: 190
Iowa State has allowed 30-plus points in nine of its 10 games this season, and there's a feel from here that this Mountaineer offense will execute in the sunny, 45-degree forecast against a program that, frankly, doesn't match West Virginia in talent. This is a significant game for WVU in terms of end-of-season confidence and gumption for bowl prep. Lose this, and the season has the stench of another collapse heaped upon it. Win here and, at 7-5, the regular season is a success, if only a mild one in some eyes. Win this and the bowl, and the entire season is a solid success regardless of definition.
West Virginia 34-20

Jane Donovan Last Week: L Season: 6-5 Point Differential: 196
As the Mountaineer faithful sleep off their annual tryptophan hangover, the football players I saw in Kroger's last night during the big pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping marathon will be jetting across the miles to the Iowa plains where they will get a season-ending victory. Afterwards, it will be time to start making jokes about what Dana, Clint, and the rest will get or ought to get in their Christmas stockings. In the meantime, WVU fans, who are never without a soap opera-ish subtext, will fret about who will start at quarterback and whether that is a good choice. Stop fretting, go on-line and vote for Josh Lambert for the Groza Award and Kevin White for the Biletnikoff. That should give you something to keep you busy and out of trouble.
West Virginia 27-20

Brian Jolliff Last Week: L Season: 6-5 Point Differential: 232
Final game of the year and my final opportunity to get another game pick incorrect. What started out as a surprise of a season has slid back into disappointment once again as the Mountaineers struggled on the back end of their Big 12 conference games. Many have been waiting for this WVU team to finally break out and have a solid season, including myself. And while a bowl game is imminent, I thing that few will argue that it has been a less than pleasing year. So, one more chance for me to get my pick wrong!
West Virginia 38-24


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