Thursday, September 8, 2011

2011 NWC Pick 'Em: Week 2

Wildcat11 started off just O.K. in the 2011 NWC Pick 'em contest. I picked 4 out of 6 games correct last week, but the problem is that 4 others also picked 4 winners so there is a bit of a bottleneck at the top of the standings. Most folks missed the Willamette/UWSP game but my gut feeling (found out it wasn't the Breakfast Burrito) proved correct that Willamette's offense would have some early season struggles. The game that I missed and surprised me was Redlands over #4 North Central out of the CCIW. It sounded like a heck of a game and that was a huge victory for the Bulldogs not only for this season but for their program as a whole. Now maybe they'll start returning Linfield's phone calls.

There's still time if you want to take part in the NWC Pick 'Em Contest. Here is the link to the pick 'em page BUT you need to be a registered member of the board in order to access and see the pick 'em pages. Let's get onto week 2.


Pacific Lutheran over Hamline (at PLU): Last year the 'Lutes were two different teams. On the road the Lutes almost lost to Hamline, needed a last second kick to beat UPS, and struggled at L&C and Pacific. At home the Lutes beat Willamette, Cal Lutheran, and gave Linfield all they could handle. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So with that in mind I would be stunned if the hapless Pipers out of the MIAC came out west and beat PLU. I am curious to see what the 'Lutes have on offense after graduating a large number of their 2010 offensive starters.

Occidental over Puget Sound (at UPS): The Loggers aired it out last year and set all sorts of school records on their way to a 2-7 record but those wins were only against re-start Pacific and the Loggers were beyond enemic running the ball. I think UPS still has numerous issues in terms of talent on their roster and is in store for a tough year. If the Loggers had a proven QB I might be a little more up on them because not only is All-NWC WR Adam Kiffin back but the big get for UPS is the return of WR Ross Zuhl who missed all of 2010.  However, I look for Oxy to eat 'em up and head South with the win.

Lewis & Clark over Claremont Mudd Scripps (at L&C): CMS is a solid team and they undressed the Pios last season 63-38 down in LA. I look at this year's match-up to be more even this time as the Pio's QB Keith Welch is now established and seems to have help around him. The quesition is if the Pios defense has made any strides this off-season? I like the Pios defending their weird feeling home turf (seriously that astroplay feels like you're walking on fresh snow)

Whitworth over Pomona Pitzer (at Whitworth) Ugh. The Rats laid a total egg down at Chapman last week in taking a brutal 16-14 loss (the Rats 1st loss to Chapman). The Rats offense only could scrape up 287 total yards vs. the Panthers and that has to make some alarm bells start ringing around the Pine Bowl. This week, let's be honest and just say Pomona Pitzer not that good. If the Rats can't hold it down at home vs the 'Hens then Whitworth is going to have a very long and frustrating 2011.

Menlo over Pacific (at Pacific): Pacific did what I thought they would do and competed very hard vs Simon Frasier.  The result was a near rabbit out of the hat victory in the last seconds of the game. Almost. The problem Pacific has going into this week is that they "almost" beat Menlo at the end of last year with Menlo winning by a score of 44-42 and I keep hearing that score coming up from the Boxer's camp.  It's as if Pacific is thinking "we almost had them last year so we should be able to get the Oaks now because we're that much better". That sounds good in theory but Menlo was a walking corpse at the end of 2010. They were decimated with injuries, a freaking case of MRSA (staff infection) ripped through the Oaks roster, and they were was just flat broke by the end of the season. 2010 goes into the long time pattern of what Menlo has been for a long time of being fast starters that fade over the season. Again, Pacific will compete but Menlo is going to win this by double digits.

Hardin-Simmons over Willamette (at Willamette): Willamette goes from out of the frying pan and into the fryer this weekend. I wasn't surprised the Bearcats lost last weekend but was shocked at the 8-6 score.  That's sounds like the Pointers and Bearcats played a baseball game instead of football.  The good news for Willamette is that their Defense looks rock solid.  The bad news is that the offense stumbled bad out of the gate.  This isn't a must win for Willamette but you don't want to start the season at 0-2 and leave no margin for error for the remainder of the season.  The issue is Willamette has to host a tough Hardin Simmons team that just took apart a highly touted Coe squad by a 41-14 rout.  I don't see the Bearcat offense struggling as bad as last week but I just don't see Willamette's defense holding down HSU enough to pull out the win.


#1 UW-Whitewater over #21 Franklin (at Franklin) -  Yeah, Franklin might be a plucky up and comer and might hang around for a half but UWW is going to wear Franklin out as the game moves along and eventually win by a comfortable margin.


Hampden-Sydney over North Carolina Wesleyan (at N.C. Wesleyan) - I couldn't tell you who's coming or going with these two teams.  I'm going to flip a coin here....hold on....*flips coin*....O.K. I'm going with Hampden-Sydney.

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