|Send 'Em Up!|
Lewis & Clark (7-0) over Willamette (3-5) (at L&C): A few weeks ago this was one of the games most people were saying would put an end to L&C's solid start in 2011. How things change in a few weeks. Willamette has gone through a very challenging schedule and they seemed to be a mortal lock to finish up the year as the NWC's number 2 team. That feeling was validated after the Bearcats hung in there and battled I-AA Portland State to a moral victory. Then came last weekend. I caught most of the second half of the Willamette/Whitworth game and what I saw out of the Bearcats was a team that was emotionally checked out, disinterested, heartless, flaccid. Willamette looks sub-par at best. On the other side of the coin you have a team that has a large group of Seniors that are believing in themselves. Lewis and Clark was a pretender but after last week they assured themselves to be an NWC contender after roaring back on the road vs PLU. That wasn't something to roll your eyes at, and after seeing that result coupled with the lack of effort from Willamette, it made this pick actually easy for me. I like the Pios to set up their dream scenario and that's heading to Linfield in the final week of the season at 8-0. Willamette, welcome to a losing season.
Pacific Lutheran (4-3) over Pacific (1-7) (at PLU): Last week about 99% of everyone in the pick 'ems liked UPS to take care of business on the road but Pacific had other plans and unloaded on the Loggers for the Boxers 1st win since bringing back the program last season. It's just another small step for the Boxers to building their program with all of their "Freshmen and Sophomores". PLU had to be stunned after letting last week's game slip away and dropping their 1st game to Lewis and Clark in almost 20 years. I would have hated to be apart of that afterglow session. I like the Lutes to rebound here as Pacific won't be able to run the ball on PLU and the Lutes pressure will bog down the Boxer Passing game. PLU should handle the Boxers this week.
The Bye Week over Puget Sound (0-7) (at UPS): I like the Bye week here to slow down what Pacific's Keith Buckley called "one of the most prolific passing teams in the nation." **WC11 rolls eyes into back of head** The Bye will eventually pour it on the Loggers in the 2nd half and hack and chop their way to victory.
West Region Game of the Week
Wisconsin-Platteville (5-3) @ Wisconsin-Stout (5-3): Man, slim pickings in the west region this week. I cheated a little here and checked out the WIAC pick 'em page to take the temperature of the WIAC fans on who they like here. It's pretty well slip with a slight lean towards Stout. (BTW, Stout is a very cool name for a football school.) I'm going with Plattville because going with the majority of people that live in Wisconsin can't be a bright thing to do. I mean, these people did choose to live in Wisconsin so they have to be somewhat misguided. I'll roll with the minority and take Platteville.
National Games of the Week
#6 North Central (7-1) over #13 Wheaton (7-1) (at NC): Big game in the CCIW and the North region. Since losing to Redlands (ha!) in the 1st week of the season, North Central has been rolling along. Wheaton is a good program that always seems to put a good product on the field but the Thunder have lost 3 in a row to N.C. and I like that streak to move to 4 after Saturday.
#20 Louisiana College (7-1) over McMurry (6-2) (at LC): Linfield fans better be keeping a close eye on this game. The folks at D3football.com have started some early projections on possible playoff pairings and if Linfield wins out there is a chance the winner of this ASC/South Region showdown gets moved to the West and shipped out to McMinnville. This is still two weeks away and we know a lot can change but still take a look at this result. The winner will keep their Pool C hope alive and the loser is done.