|Send 'Em Up!|
Pacific Lutheran (4-2) over Lewis & Clark (6-0) (at PLU): This is the start of the 3 game stretch where everyone gets to find out if Lewis & Clark is the real deal or if they're just a solid team that has made the most of a soft front end schedule. Linfield put a whippin' on PLU last week at the 'Catdome but for the past few years the 'Lutes have been a much better team at home. The L&C offense gets all the hype but I think this game hinges on the production of the PLU offense. The Pioneer defense will give up points and if PLU's inconsistent offense can find the end zone during the contest I like the Lutes to break L&C up.
Willamette (3-4) over Whitworth (2-5) (at Willamette): Whitworth has been respectable at home in losing to Redlands, Menlo, and PLU all at the wire but have dropped terrible games to Chapman and Lewis & Clark on the road. Whitworth's offensive strength (run game) plays right into the hands of Willamette's defense. Compounding the issue for the Rats' is their inability to protect the quarterback against teams that can pressure. I see Willamette controlling the game from the kickoff and settling in on a solid victory.
Puget Sound (0-7) over Pacific (0-7) (at Pacific): This game has been receiving all sorts of attention from the various pick 'em pages as the "something's gotta give" game of the 2011 season. My heart say "Pacific" but my eyes are telling me "Puget Sound". If this game was played early in the season I would have gone with Pacific but I think the fact they missed out on earlier opportunities for victory has weighed on this team while Puget Sound has shown some competitive spirit after getting hacked and chopped by Linfield. In looking at the various pick 'em pages I'd say it's about 98% in favor of Puget Sound. So stick that on your bulletin board Boxers. Myself...I wouldn't be mad if I was wrong here.
West Region Games of the Week
#20 Bethel (5-2) over Concordia-Moorhead (6-2) (at C-M): I was "this close" to taking the Cobbers citing an emotional let-down game for Bethel after losing to Saint Thomas. That was a major blow for Bethel but I think they are still playing for a chance to obtain an at-large bid so the motivation is still there to finish the season strong. Concordia is having a decent season but I like Bethel to go WAY North and earn the win.
Whittier (1-5) over Pomona-Pitzer (0-6) (at Whittier): Talk about the junk of the junk. Poets vs Hens. I'll take Whittier for no real reason besides I think P-P is incredibly awful to Whittier's only downright awful.
National Games of the Week
#7 Wesley (6-1) over #11 Salisbury (7-0) (at Wesley): Big game out East. Salisbury has been putting up a whopping 50 ppg while only giving up 16.4. Great numbers but those drop into the 20's when they are not playing the Sister's of the Poor in the East Region. Over the past 8 season's Wesley has lost only 1 regular season home game and that stat alone is why I'll take Wesley to win over the Steak school.
#18 Kean (6-1) over Rowan (5-2) (at #18 Kean): Ah my old friend Rowan. There is nothing more fun for me to pick against the former "Beat of The East". I can remember that 2004 National Semi-Final game at the 'Catdome like it was yesterday. Rowan came in and looked like athletic freaks that would run the 'Cats off the field. Man, I was rather nervous. Then the game started and this happened. I'll take Kean.