|No football for Linfield this weekend but off to the Pine Bowl next week.|
Back for some more this week as the race on the NWC pick ‘em board is getting tighter and tighter. I didn’t do myself any favors last week in putting my faith in Puget Sound. I swear that was a program that was ready to take that first step towards getting out of the NWC cellar but they once again let Keith Welch (L&C QB) put up career numbers on the Loggers as my faith was rewarded in what is now a terrible pick. I guess that’s what I get. (509)Rat only missed the Whitworth/Pacific game and I can’t blame him for backing his squad but I can sense his faith is getting smothered by each passing week.
On the year, I’m sitting at 21 out of 27 (78%) and (509)Rat is at 22 out of 27 (81%). Rat is in a 3-way tie for 1st while I’m just off the pace. Rat and I don’t have any disagreement this week as the NWC games all seem like locks and we agree on the West and National Game of the week (which could go either way). Let’s get to the action.
Northwest Conference Games
#25 Willamette (3-0) over Whitworth (2-3) (at Willamette): This game smells like a blow out as Whitworth has hit the skids in 3 consecutive losses and Willamette was on the Bye last week after rolling along to 3-0. Willamette seems like a no-brainer but a warning that more talented Bearcat squads in the past have struggled in putting Whitworth away. I don’t think it happens this go around but you never know.
(509)Rat says Willamette: Whitworth used up all of their defensive abilities in 2 games, apparently. Willamette is going to kill Whitworth. That's all I have to say...
#15 PLU (3-1) over Lewis & Clark (1-3) (at PLU): This is a get right game for PLU after taking it on the chin last week in the ‘Catdome. Last time L&C was in Sparks the Pios were in the middle of their magical 2011 season when they went 7-2. That magic is gone and so are the Pios chances as the Lutes will roll big this weekend.
(509)Rat says PLU: Another game that won't be close. The Lutes are very good (although not in the same league as Linfield like I told you all last week...gonna be a close game my behind). Lewis and Clark doesn't have the ability to stop the Lutes from scoring or getting to Welch. I'd imagine EMAL will be happy to beat up on someone else after last Saturday.
Pacific (4-0) over Puget Sound (1-2) (at Pacific): Man, a guy puts a little faith in the Loggers and look what happens. The Boxers are going to take apart the Loggers and move to 5-0 and set up the biggest game in Boxer program history as they’ll travel up the PLU next weekend.
(509)Rat says Pacific: Surprised WC11 didn't go with the Loggers here. He loves UPS. I'll give him credit though, he's a sucker for an underdog and genuinely wants UPS to win a game. Not gonna happen this weekend.
West Region Game of The Week
Cal Lutheran (1-2) over Redlands (1-2) (at CLU): It’s blackout game at CLU and if you need to know what that means check out this video that CLU actually put out for others to see. Yeah, I know. Redlands isn’t that good of a football team this year and I think they’re a year away from being an actual playoff contender. CLU is the more talented team and has owned this series over the past 4 seasons. Look for that to continue Saturday night.
(509)Rat says CLU: Cal Lu really hasn't fallen off after losing a bunch of talent from last year. This will be a close game, but the solutes were able to reload and remain the most talented team in the conference. The solutes will beat Redlands and go on to win another SCIAC championship.
National Game of the Week
#5 Bethel (4-0) over #22 Concordia-Moorhead (4-0) (at Concordia): I really wanted to take the Cobbers at home but I think Bethel has a top flight defense and that is going to be the difference in this key MIAC match up. The MIAC title race is one to keep an eye on as the champion is going to have a lot to say in terms of playoff seating and just how many games the NWC champion might have the opportunity to play. This is a big game that will have ripples on the rest of the West Region.
(509)Rat says Bethel: Went with the "safe" pick. Bethel has more talent, a better coach, and knows how to win close games. The problem I have with Bethel is that most of those games shouldn't have been "close". C-M got me a point on everyone a few weeks back when they knocked off St. John's but I think they fall just short of pulling off another upset. The score last year was 15-14, I don't expect this year to be much different. Big playoff implications too with these two teams being at the top of the conference