By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Last week’s edition of expert’s pick’em was a crazy one.
In fact, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Our crew had a handle on the one game that nobody knew anything about. Four of us (Blum, Arnaud, Gray and yours truly) picked Vanderbilt to score 24 points in a win over UConn.
Austen Arnaud nailed the final score of this game, as Vandy topped Iowa State’s week three opponent by a 24-21 final. Weird, wild stuff right there.
Anyways, it was separation Saturday. Arnaud was red hot going 5-1 on the week. Here’s how things shape up after two weeks of competition.
Austen Arnaud, 9-3
Brent Blum, 8-4
Dave Zawilinski, 8-4
Chris Williams, 7-5
Adam Gray, 7-5
Bret Meyer, 6-6
Adam Carper, 6-6
Trever Enerson (Yaman3), 6-6
Chris Hassel, 5-7
AUSTEN ARNAUD – FORMER IOWA STATE QUARTERBACK
Iowa State 24 @ UCONN 17 – Hopefully the Cyclones pick up where they left off. It is crucial for the Cyclones start fast and not look back. The Huskies defense is good, however their offense isn’t. They play three different quarterbacks and don’t have a solid threat at wide receiver. Iowa State’s defense will force a turnover for a score and set up Iowa State in great field position. That will be the difference in this game.
Oklahoma 38 @ Florida State 24 – This will be a close and exciting game throughout. Oklahoma is so talented on offense and that is the point blank reason that they will win this game. Florida State will win the ACC this year and get back to a BCS bowl but they arent good enough this early in the year to stop OU. What people forget is that OU had an off week last week to prepare for this big game in Tallahassee.
Iowa 27 – 14 Pitt – The Hawks bounce back in a major way and physically dominate Pitt. Let’s face it. Pitt has played two lesser opponenets in Maine and Buffalo and we all can agree those arent disciplined successful football teams like Iowa. Pitt will come out flat in Kinnick. Iowa will scoring on the opening drive and never look back.
Texas 23 @ 17 UCLA – Texas defense will come up big here and get a win on the road. Texas’ offense is far from a finished product and I dont think they are worthy of a top 25 ranking at all, for the simple fact that on offense, they dont have a big time playmaker. Their defense is full of them. Luckily, like I said they have a great defense and can rely heavily on them to keep lesser opponents lower in points.
The Ohio State 31 @ Miami 27 – This game is very intriguing to me, for the simple fact that Ohio State struggled last weekend with Toledo at home and no one knows what Miami will be like when some of their players return for this big game. Jacory Harris is back in the starting line up for the Canes. I dont know if this is a good thing, as he’s been a TO machine as of late. I can see this game going either way but I like Ohio State.
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – Tennessee at +10. These aren’t the Gators of past and 10 points is too much. Tennessee’s QB Tyler Bray put up some huge numbers and put a respectable Cincinnati team out of the game early last Saturday. However, this will be his first true test this season, seeing a great Florida defense. I believe Florida will win this game because of their great speed and home advantage but not by double digits.
BRENT BLUM – CYCLONE RADIO NETWORK
Iowa State @ UConn – The four letter network has been four letter worthy for Iowa State the past six years. The Cyclones haven’t won a game in football or men’s basketball on ESPN or ESPN2 since September of 2005 when they beat Army on a Friday night. A stretch of 14 games. That streak comes to an end in ESPN’s backyard. UCONN is too unsettled on offense. Iowa State 24 UCONN 20.
Oklahoma @ Florida State – I’m not buying the "Florida State is back" stock yet. They have a nice collection of talent and Doak Campbell will be electric Saturday night, but not enough to overcome "The Mustache" and his dynamic offense. Oklahoma 35 Florida State 24.
Pittsburgh @ Iowa – Classic Iowa bounce back scenario here. Pitt is exceedingly average this year. Vegas has this as a 3.5 point spread for Iowa. Free money in my opinion. Iowa 27 Pitt 13.
Texas @ UCLA – Riddle me this…how does Texas ever have a quarterback problem? You’d think they could hand pick any number of dudes down there. That’s like Kim Kardashian running out of athletes to date. Regardless, the Texas defense is still really salty. Texas 24 UCLA 19.
Ohio State @ Miami – This one writes its own jokes. In all seriousness though, it is sad and unfortunate this game has been relegated to a punch-line. Ohio State 27 Miami 20.
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – I like this Tennessee squad. They are a feisty group with a really solid quarterback in Sophomore Tyler Bray. Give me some points in the Swamp. Florida 24 Tennessee 23.
DAVE ZAWILINSKI – ABC 5 SPORTS
Iowa State @ UConn – Ok, I went against Steele last week. That proved to be a BIG mistake. I’m not going to make that mistake again. UCONN’s offense is pretty pathetic from what I can tell. I think if Iowa State scores 21 they’ll win. I think the Clones win by 10+.
Oklahoma @ Florida State – I keep going back and forth on this game. Oklahoma DOMINATED FSU in Norman last year. I thought Penn State would at least cover last week in a rematch at home vs. Alabama, but for the second straight year they got smoked. Sometimes, certain teams just have your number. I’ll take OU even though I’ll be rooting for FSU.
Pittsburgh @ Iowa – As we saw last week, Iowa’s defense has a lot of holes. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost this game but this is the type of game they usually win at home. Ten years ago, Pitt coach Todd Graham was the head coach of my high school team in Texas and just last year he was the head coach at Tulsa. I think he has talent and knows how to win, but that being said, I’ll take the veteran staff of Iowa to win and cover.
Texas @ UCLA – Have you watched Texas the last two weeks? They’ve looked horrible! UCLA was the first team to hook the Horns and send them in a tail spin last September. Rick Neuheisel is fighting for his job in LA. The team played well vs. Houston in week one but came up just short. I’m pretty confident that UCLA will win this one outright and keep the Horns upside down as they head into a bye week followed by the Big 12 opener up in Ames.
Ohio State @ Miami – This will be Jacory Harris’s first start (he missed the opener vs. Maryland). Ohio State looked great in week one, but not so great last week vs. Toledo. I still think the Buckeyes have more talent top to bottom and for the most part their key guys have played at least one game. Bucks in a close game.
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – This is one of my favorite games of the year. Florida has dominated this game for the better part of the decade. College football needs Rocky Top back. I want Rocky Top back. It’s the best fight song in all of college football. I think the Vols can win outright so this is a no brainer for me, I’ll take the points. Ohhhhh Rocky Top you’ll always be home sweet home to meeee. Good Ole Rocky Top…HEY!… Rocky Top Tennessee!!! LOL
CHRIS WILLIAMS – CYCLONEFANATIC.COM’S PUBLISHER
Iowa State @ UConn – Read my preview for this game HERE. Iowa State 24, UConn 10.
Oklahoma @ Florida State – Florida State is my second favorite college football team. It all dates back to my childhood, when the Noles took the ‘Skers out behind the woodshed back in the 90’s, I was hooked on the chop. I’ll be rooting like hell for Florida State tomorrow night. Still, I don’t think that they’ll get it done. Oklahoma 31, Florida State 21
Pitt @ Iowa – No way that Iowa doesn’t bounce back and win this game. Pitt isn’t that good. Iowa 27, Pitt 10.
Texas @ UCLA – I think (key word is think) that the Horns are getting things figured out on offense. I like the young McCoy kid. I think that they get rolling here and win by a 27 to 17 final.
Ohio State @ Miami – I couldn’t care less about this game. These programs represent everything that is wrong with college athletics. I despise both of these programs. I have to make a pick though. Miami 1, Ohio State 0.
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – Tennessee has the ability to score a lot of points. They won’t win, but the Vols will cover. Florida 41, Tennessee 35.
ADAM GRAY – ADAM GRAY INSURANCE AGENCY
Iowa State @ UConn – I am scared for this game. A short week after an emotional win against your in state rival and we have to go play on the East coast. Coach Rhoads has a big task of making sure that his team is mentally prepared to come out and play hard from the start. I have no doubt that he will have the boys ready and that Steele Jantz will continue to build on his great play. Iowa State 23-10.
Oklahoma @ Florida State – Best game of the weekend and in the end, I think it comes down to coaching. Stoops has the experience where Jimbo Fisher is still learning how to play in these big games. Must win for both teams but I think Oklahoma goes on the road and wins a close one 24-17.
Pittsburgh @ Iowa – Iowa will shut down Pitts runnning game and Vandenberg will shore up some mistakes and the Hawks will win big 27-13.
Texas @ UCLA – Texas played a solid second half against a tough BYU team. I expect them to keep that going against a UCLA team that has looked really poor thru 2 weeks. Texas 27-17.
Ohio State @ Miami – Both teams have had a really tough offseason and haven’t looked great to start the year. But I’m going to go with the home team who is getting 5 players back from a suspension. Rumor is that Miami boosters are giving them 25K each if they win the game this week. You know they will want that $$$. Miami 20-17
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – Tough game to pick. Both teams have looked solid and I think will put up some points in this game. Give me Florida to win but Tenn to cover 31-28.
BRET MEYER – FORMER IOWA STATE QUARTERBACK
Iowa State @ UCONN – A quick turnaround made the past week of preparation very important for ISU. With UCONN having a new staff coupled with uncertainty at the quarterback position, I like the Clones to win on the road. 23-20.
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – Tyler Bray is poised for a breakout year. I like Florida to win at home, but not by 10.
ADAM CARPER – FORMER IOWA STATE LINEBACKER
Iowa State @ UConn – I’m still shocked in the improvement displayed by Steele Jantz from week 1 to 2. That kid is a threat with his ability to keep plays alive. His composure will be tested this week on the road in a hostile environment but I like the Clones to prevail. ISU 27 UCONN 21
Oklahoma @ Florida State – This game reminds me too much of 2009 when the Sooners rolled into the Sunshine State favored over Miami in a primetime game and lost. That game I picked Oklahoma in the inaugural Expert’s Pick’em. Doesn’t matter…I’ll continue to drink the Sooner kool-aid. Oklahoma 34 FSU 28
Pittsburgh @ Iowa – After Iowa’s defense got exploited last weekend, it’s apparent Vandenberg and Co. are going to carry the load this year. I wouldn’t be stunned if Pitt pulls the upset but I’ll go with the Hawks.
Texas @ UCLA – These are two teams going in opposite directions. Rick Neuheisel is fighting for his job after a lackluster win against San Jose State last week while Texas showed glimpses of pre-2010 Texas teams. Horns 35 UCLA 21
Ohio State @ Miami – There’s certainly a dark cloud over this year’s game (no reason to explain why). Nonetheless, Jacory Harris’s blunders from last year will carry over into this matchup. Thee Ohio State 27 The U 17
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – With both teams playing patsies the first 2 weeks, it’s hard to determine the outcome of this one but as they say in Gator Nation…If you aren’t a Gator, you’re GATOR BAIT! FLA 31 Tenn. 24
TREVOR ENERSON – THE VOICE OF THE FAN (YAMAN3)
Iowa State @ UConn – Will there be a hangover? I don’t think so. UCONN’s defense looks pretty salty but I just don’t think their offense will have the success they need. I will take ISU in a close, but not as close as the last two, game. ISU 34-24
Oklahoma @ Florida State – Oklahoma is just too talented. Jones, Broyles, and the running game find success and roll. OU 42-27
Pittsburgh @ Iowa – Iowa has flaws. We saw that last week. Can Pitt take advantage of them and stop Coker? I think so. Pitt in a nailbiter 20-17
Texas @ UCLA – Texas seems to now have a QB controversy. They also have been a fantastic second half team. UCLA struggles on offense and Texas wins easily. Texas 34-17
Ohio State @ Miami – Ohio State just allowed the most points to an in-state school in 102 years. They won but they just aren’t that good this year. I think Miami wins this in a close one. Miami 27-24.
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – This one is a tough one. Florida has allowed 3 total points in two games. Tennessee has put up 87. I think Coach Dooley and his pants put up a fight in this one to beat the spread, but not win. Florida 24-21.
CHRIS HASSEL – WHO TV 13 SPORTS
Iowa State @ UConn – I’ll be chastised for making this pick, but I have a feeling ISU is going to get rolled. I really hope I’m wrong, but I tihnk it will be tough for Steele Jantz to play anywhere near as well as he did against the Hawks, in his first ever road game. These are the games the Cyclones never win. Uconn wins 24-13.
Oklahoma @ Florida State – Everyone seems to think Florida State is back. Why? Until the ‘Noles prove they’re a championship contender, on the field, I’m sticking with history. OU, 34-28.
Pittsburgh @ Iowa – I honestly don’t know what the hell is going to happen in this one. What I do know is that Iowa’s defense can’t look as bad as it did against ISU. The Hawks usually respond well after early season loses. I’ll go with Iowa, 28-17.
Texas @ UCLA – Texas still looks like a shell of its former self, but UCLA isn’t exactly tearing things up either. Horns in a brutal, low-scoring game, 14-13.
Ohio State @ Miami – The program with the most money wins. That’s Ohio State. Bucks, 28-21.
Tennessee @ Florida (-10) – I think this one should be close. Gators win a tight one, 28-24.