I think it’s fair to say that the course of ASU & UofA’s seasons will change this week. Sure, it’s only mid-September but both fanbases should have a better picture of what their teams’ seasons will look like after this week.
ASU travels to East Lansing to take on the ferocious Michigan State defense while UofA hosts Texas Tech in a game which may eclipse 100+ total points (for the second week in a row on the Arizona Stadium scoreboard).
In the eyes of this observer, if you were to combine ASU’s defense with UofA’s offense, you’d easily have a top-25 team if not higher. The Sun Devils are aggressive and rarely miss assignments…exactly the opposite of Arizona’s defense. On offense, the Wildcats have proven they can score with ease, albeit against two (very) soft defenses.
Meanwhile against comparable opponents (if not worse), the Sun Devils’ offensive line has been underwhelming and star RB Eno Benjamin has not been able to carry the heavy lifting of an offense starting a true freshman QB in Jayden Daniels.
As you’ll see below, I just don’t think either Arizona team is complete enough to spring the upset over these non-conference foes. If ASU keeps it close vs. Sparty, I believe the Devils’ fanbase will accept that result as progress. In Tucson, anything short of a UofA win would further accelerate the anti-Kevin Sumlin movement.
As for the picks…let’s just say that Week 2 was one all four of us would like to forget:
|Eric Cohen||Jon Bell||Steve Malina||Wesley Franco|
|Last Week (SU)||6-6||6-6||7-5||6-6|
|Last Week (ATS)||5-7||8-4||2-10||7-5|
|ASU at Michigan State (-12.5)||MSU 24-10||MSU 24-17||MSU 27-20||MSU 42-17|
|Texas Tech (-3.5) at Arizona||TT 44-38||TT 63-58||TT 58-54||TT 35-28|
|Washington State (-6.5) vs. Houston||WSU 47-41||WSU 42-20||WSU 45-35||HOU 38-35|
|Alabama (-25.5) at South Carolina||ALA 38-20||ALA 38-9||ALA 48-17||ALA 56-28|
|Stanford at UCF (-6.5)||UCF 31-20||UCF 28-13||UCF 35-31||STAN 17-14|
|USC (-4.5) at BYU||BYU 24-23||USC 48-17||BYU 31-29||USC 24-21|
|Iowa at Iowa State (Pick’em)||ISU 27-24||ISU 28-20||IOWA 24-20||ISU 27-24|
|Clemson (-25.5) at Syracuse||CLEM 38-24||CLEM 52-17||CLEM 35-10||CLEM 40-17|
|Hawaii at Washington (-20.5)||WASH 41-17||WASH 26-10||WASH 34-24||WASH 35-14|
|Oklahoma (-22.5) at UCLA||OK 38-20||OK 55-10||OK 55-17||OK 55-10|
This Week’s Bold Predictions
EC: I think this week is the story of the closer than expected “blowout” games. Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma, arguably the top three teams in the nation are 20+ point road favorites…yet I believe none of them will cover their extremely large spreads. None of these three teams will be in danger of losing…but I don’t expect world beater performances comparatively from this trio likely to be among the Final Four in December.
JB: Mike Locksley’s Terrapins are looking like Chip Kelly’s Ducks of yesteryear, while Chip Kelly’s Bruins are looking like Mike Locksley’s old Lobos teams. Who saw this coming? The trend continues on Saturday. Maryland rolls, UCLA gets rolled with more Sooners fans than UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
SM: UofA craters in the first half, trailing 38-10 at halftime before Kevin Sumlin makes a dramatic move. He replaces senior QB Khalil Tate with true freshman Grant Gunnell in the second half which sparks the offense. The Wildcats put up monstrous numbers in the second half only to fall short in the end. The outcomes of this result are Gunnell replacing Tate as QB1 and Defensive Coordinator Marcel Yates shown the door with the second of three season bye weeks upcoming for the Wildcats.
WF: Iowa State pulls the upset on Iowa! There’s a BOLD prediction only two weeks after the Cyclones’ three-overtime win against Northern Iowa dropped them out of the polls.