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Football

CF’s Experts Pick’em: Week 3

Just how impressive are the expert pickers here at Cyclone Fanatic? So impressive that out of 16 wise guys an amazing two are above .500 with their picks two weeks in. Nine more football geniuses are below .500. Clearly, the "expert" title around  here is earned…not given.

The standings:

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After last week the former quarterbacks made a big jump up the standings to 6-6 on the year. The Cyclone Fanatic staff is book ending the standings with the head honcho of sales, Adam Gray, at the top. I won’t pump him up too much because really his head couldn’t get any bigger, figuratively speaking.

Also, big ups to the Weather Guy, Brett McIntyre for getting of the goose egg in the win column…now, if you could just get us clear skies and sunshine? Without further delay via the lame commentary, here’s the picks.

CF Director of Sales, Adam Gray

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – That’s a big line for a team that has something to prove.  I’ll take OU to win and the Vols to cover.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – UCLA by double digits.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – I’ll take WV to cover.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Look for Nebraska to rebound against a poor Fresno State team and win by 17.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Give me South Carolina to bounce back from the A&M game and cover against the Dawgs.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Iowa State is 0-2.  I’m 0-2 picking them against the spread.  Taking one for the team and picking the Hawks.

The enCYCLONEpedia Guy, Kirk Haaland

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – That’s a lot of points, right? Seems like "Big Game Bob" usually has at least one "little game" in September…I think the Sooners win but Vols cover.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – I didn’t watch the Longhorns get thrashed by BYU last week, but I heard about it. Bruins.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – A classic tilt of the Big 12 vs the Big Ten on the gridiron. Mountaineers, I guess.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Can Nebraska duplicate that horrible, awful, no good performance? Man, they better hope not. I don’t want to pick the ‘Skers, but I will with a glass of pending remorse.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – I like the Bulldog. I also think Georgia covers.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – I gave some detailed thoughts here and while I think Iowa State certainly could win this game without complete pandemonium and Yakkety Sax in the background (see Nebraska, 2009). In Kinnick where the offense has really struggled to score in the last five trips and a young defense probably isn’t the time. I think Cy covers, though.

Former Cyclone QB, Austen Arnaud

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – This line is a little bit fishy. I think Tennessee is an improved ball club and Oklahoma hasn’t had any real competition yet. Oklahoma wins but not by three scores. Tennessee covers the 20.5.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Texas comes off an embarrassing loss to BYU and UCLA hasn’t played up to their full potential yet. UCLA has traveled a lot of miles already in this early part of their season (@UVA, then back home last Saturday) now a road trip to Jerry World against Texas, I don’t think that bodes well. I have the Bruins on upset alert. I like Texas and the points. 

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – Redemption game here. Last year Maryland mopped the floor with WVU 37-0. This is a much better Mountaineer team. This is going to be one of the best games of the weekend. I like West Virginia to cover this spread.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Nebraska obviously struggled last week with lowly McNeese St. However, in the grand scheme of things I don’t think that will pertain to this game. Don’t know much about Fresno beside they got blasted by USC week 1. Huskers cover.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – South Carolina has struggled so far this year, their defense hasn’t been reliable yet this year. Not a good time to play Heisman Hopeful Todd Gurley and a high powered Dawgs offense. UGA covers.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Rivalry game, throw point spreads out the window. The advantage here lies on the offensive side of the ball for both teams. The Hawks have an advantage running the football against a thin front four of Iowa State. Iowa is one of the best in the country at getting off the ball and exerting their will when running inside and outside zone. Iowa State has the advantage in the passing game against a young Iowa secondary. If the Cyclones are going to be successful in this game, EJ Bibbs has to be the guy we all think he can be, an all Big-12 performer. Clones cover the 10.

Former Cyclone QB, Bret Meyer

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – OU pulls away in 2nd half. 40-21.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Texas should play better than last week, but still like UCLA 28-17.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – WVU 28-21.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Fresno State adds to the B10 woes 31-28.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Georgia wins on the road 34-20.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – ISU wins ugly.

ESPN Broadcaster, Chris Hassel

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – The Vols are extremely young. Will be tough to keep it together at OU but 20.5 is too much. Tenn to cover.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Texas is a dumpster fire. Bruins.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – The fact that this is a Big 12 vs. Big Ten game makes me sick. WVU covers.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – What if the B1G loses THIS? Maybe it hadn’t hit rock bottom just yet. Dogs cover the 10.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – I like the Gamecocks to bounce back with a win.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – I haven’t seen anything out of Iowa, yet. No way I’m taking Hawks to cover the 10.

Former Cyclone RB, Jeff Woody

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Ol’ Rocky Top runs into a buzzsaw. OU wins this one going away.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Who would’ve thought this would be as big of a game as it is, for reasons completely different than what was originally thought. Texas looked awful against BYU. UCLA has not lived up to the hype they garnered in the preseason. I think this is another loss to start Charlie Strong’s tenure, and it only gets harder from here. UCLA win and cover.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – West Virginia has been impressive so far this season, which is of the bigger surprises of the season. They throttled FCS runner-up Towson last week, and I think they continue the impressive play this week. WVU to win. However, Holgorsen’s hair continues to be a big question mark.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Man, Nebraska really made last week look tough, which makes me worried about chalking this one up as an easy win. However, Fresno State has gotten their asses kicked all the way to Sacramento two weeks running. Huskers by 20+.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Todd Gurley for Heisman. The Gamecocks give up approximately 1700 yards to the best runningback in the country. Dawgs win by 7.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Taking a step back and looking at Saturday objectively, if the ISU and Iowa teams played each other the way they played their respective opponents, ISU wins by three touchdowns. However, I don’t think Iowa plays as poorly as they did because of the rivalry atmosphere. Defensively, the Hawkeye defensive line is as good as there is in the country, but that’s where it stops. The corners are good players, the safeties are average at best, and the linebackers—from what I’ve seen—are not good enough to play pass defense in a big 5 conference (which can get exploited by the best offensive players ISU has in Wimberley, Nealy, Bibbs, and West).

On the offensive side of the ball, losing Scherff wouldn’t be that big of a deal if it wasn’t for a 270lb redshirt freshman newly converted tight end backing him up. The missing running game for Iowa picks up, based on the scouting report of the past two Cyclone opponents, but not enough due to the All-American being gone. ISU makes enough big plays against the back 7 of the Hawks defense to force Rudock into bad situations. Cyclones win, we all party.

Former Cyclone WR, Lane Danielsen

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Tennessee.  Although I will be cheering for the Sooners this is to many points.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – UCLA.  Looks like this could be a tough first year for Charlie Strong.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – West Virginia.  They looked much improved against Alabama.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Nebraska.  Fresno State is 0-2 and have lost big to two Pac-12 teams. 

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Georgia.  I think the Bulldogs are going to have a big year!

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Iowa State. I feel like the game is going to be close.  I don’t know if Iowa State can pull off a victory, but I think they cover.

Cyclone Fanatic Columnist, Brent Blum

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Oklahoma needs some annihilation style points. They go all Mortal Kombat here. Oklahoma 45 Tennessee 14.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Woof, Texas. What happened? I don’t trust the Horns at all, but think they show some heart. UCLA 24 Texas 20.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – Just a classic Midwest B1G-Big 12 competition. Maryland 23 West Virginia 17.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Midwest teams should never go west for a late night game. It always ends in disaster. Fresno State 31 Nebraska 30.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – South Carolina goes Paula Abdul,  "STRAIGHT UP" …. I’m not the only one that knows that song, right? Right? South Carolina 24 Georgia 23.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – I can’t imagine many folks are too confident either way. The last three games in this series have been six points or less, have to stick with that trend. But Iowa’s line play is the difference. Iowa 21 Iowa State 20. 

WOI-TV Sports Director, Dave Zawilinski

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Tennessee.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – UCLA.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – West Virginia. 

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Nebraska.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Georgia.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Iowa.

Former Cyclone WR, Jack Whitver

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – OU at home backs up Coach Stoops trash talk about the SEC…wins by 21. 

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – That was ugly last week out of Texas. Until they find an offense, I can’t pick them. UCLA covers. 

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – Big 12 vs. Big 10. Have to go with the Big 12 even on the road. WV covers and wins straight up.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Ten points is a big number to cover for Nebraska on the road. Huskers win by a FG but Fresno covers. 

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Georgia is playing very good football. I’m going with the Bulldogs to cover, even on the road.  

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Who the heck knows about these two teams. Ten is a lot of points for Iowa to cover with an offense that has been less than stellar. Give me Cyclones to cover.

Former Cyclone LB, Adam Carper

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Rocky Top has enough firepower to cover this game.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Unranked BYU came into Austin last weekend and throttled the Longhorns by 34.  I like the 12th ranked Bruins to continue the trend.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – Maryland’s uniforms are the difference here.  Terps.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Fresno State is just a bad team this year.  Plain and simple.  ‘Skers.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Ol’ Ball Coach goes 1-2 after this game and America wins!  Georgia covers.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – ISU’s defense needs to be opportunistic and force turnovers to have a chance in this game.  Unfortunately football is won in the trenches and the Hawks have the advantage here.  ISU still covers though.

KXNO Mr. Everything, Andrew Downs

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Oklahoma is the better team, and they’re at home, but that’s too many points. Give me the Vols to cover. Oklahoma 35 – Tennessee 21.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Longhorns look better than last week, but take another loss. UCLA 28 – Texas 17.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – No idea on this one, but I’ll take the home team and give the points. Maryland 21 – WVU 17.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Nebraska survives a second scare in a row…give me the points. Nebraska 28 – Fresno St. 24

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – An early bye bites the Bulldogs. Give me the Ol’ Ball Coach in the upset. South Carolina 24 – Georgia 21.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – This spread seems to always be too big. Iowa State looked better for a quarter against K-State than Iowa has all season, but Kinnick is too big of an advantage. Iowa 31 – ISU 24. 

Former Cyclone K, Bret Culbertson

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Whether he’s under Chizik or Stoops, Jay Boulware is one of the best special teams schemers in the nation. Tennessee has the top ranked kicker in the nation that came out of the class of 2014, and a pretty good punter in Matt Darr. Special teams play could be a wash, and simply come down to returners making plays. OU wins, but Tennessee reaches back to their roots and stays well within the spread.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Sorry Charles, going with UCLA on this one.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – Terps by a TD.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Nebraska better have fun with this one. Nebraska covers.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – It took Georgia 3 quarters to find their groove last week. I think they keep it up. South Carolina won’t hang this year. Georgia by 14.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – There’s not another week better in Iowa than Cy-Hawk week. You can’t put a spread on this rivalry. Will be in attendance checking out ST units on both sides of the field. Iowa State will click. Can’t wait to see the CyHawk trophy back where it belongs!

WHO-TV Meteorologist, Brett McIntyre

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Oklahoma–20 points seems a little high, but I’ve been terrible so far, so I’ll go against first instinct.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – UCLA–Easy money. Bruins good. Horns terrible.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – West Virginia–When in doubt, don’t bet B1G.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Nebraska–I should be picking Fresno here, but they’ve looked awful so far, so I’ll reluctantly back the B1G here.

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Georgia–Again. This seems too easy. But I might as well not ruin my spectacularly awful record now.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Iowa covering a double digit spread? I don’t care who the opponent is, that would be a silly bet.

Cyclone Fanatic Publisher, Chris Williams

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – Stoops hates the SEC and will run it up if possible. OU by three touchdowns. 

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – The Longhorns are a mess. UCLA by 14.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – No strong read on this one at all. After last year’s disaster in Baltimore though, West Virginia should be the more motivated team. I’ll take the Mountaineers outright. 

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Last week was a wake-up call for the Huskers. Generally, nothing good happens when you head west but Bo should have this team’s full attention. Huskers by 20. 

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Steve Spurrier is 4-1-2 vs. the line when playing Georgia. Mark Richt is 0-5 as a visiting dog since 2010. South Carolina wins outright 24-21. 

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – Iowa State has covered in seven of last 10 Cy-Hawk games. Seven of last eight. This was a no-brainer at -15 last weekend. Now, 10 is a different story. Still, I like the Cyclones to cover. Iowa 24, Iowa State 17. 

Cyclone Fanatic Senior Writer, Rob Gray

Tennessee @ Oklahoma (-20.5) – I won’t take the SEC, please. Sooners way too strong. They cover.

UCLA (-7.5) vs. Texas – Charlie Strong’s purge may have restored accountability and integrity to the ‘Horns program, but winning football? That’s a ways off. Bruins all the way.

West Virginia @ Maryland (-3.5) – Somewhere on the Terps’ jerseys lurk the words "rockets red glare". What does that have to do with the game? Nothing. Mountaineers either win or keep it within three points.

Nebraska (-10) @ Fresno State – Cat lovers of the world unite! Huskers roll into sunny and crime-ridden Fresno and ride off with a big win. Covering all the way. 

Georgia (-5.5) @ South Carolina – Count me as a reluctant believer in UGA. Ol’ ball coach will be extra sour. ‘Dawgs win, cover.

Iowa State @ Iowa (-10) – I went on the record Monday saying I think Iowa finds a way to win. I’m skeptical of the spread, though. In fact, as the week’s unfolded, I’ve become more bullish on ISU — despite the 0-2 start. Cyclones keep it close, and maybe even win on a late Cole Netten field goal.