Friday, October 26, 2012

2012 NWC Pick 'Em: Week 9

'Catdome baby!
While I’m a little bummed that the end of the regular season is right around the corner, I couldn’t be happier about this pick ‘em season coming to a close. I’ve been on par with the Puget Sound defense this year in terms of effectiveness. I offer no excuses or funny antidotes to distract you from the fact that my picking skills have reeked something awful. In order to offer up a different perspective (because mine is useless) I’ve invited back everyone’s least favorite Whitworth fan, (509)Rat. Rat’s comments will follow up mine and I hope will have a little more creativity than my Whitworth offensive writing style of zone left, zone right, 3rd and long pass, punt. I am the Tullyball of the NWC pick ‘em board.

Northwest Conference

Pacific Lutheran (4-2) over Puget Sound (0-6) (at UPS):

Oh my. Puget Sound is giving up 56 points per football game this season and the Loggers are finishing their 2012 campaign against PLU, Linfield, and Willamette. Uh-oh. Arena football defenses think the Loggers give up a lot of points. If those three teams average 71 points in the upcoming 3 games that will push UPS defense to the 60 points allowed per game. Wow. So what do you have? The over or under? I say PLU is trying to continue to get noticed after their big win last weekend and goes crazy vs the Loggers. This is going to be bad for UPS.

(509)Rat Says: Well, this is gonna be a bloodbath. The question isn't "who's gonna win?", rather "how soon will the Lutes put in the backups?" I'm convinced Scotty doesn't have a soul, I expect a 70+ point outburst from PLU. Take the Over, everybody.

Pacific (2-4) over Lewis & Clark (4-3) (at L&C):

I was 100% all-in on taking Lewis & Clark this weekend. That is, until I saw this article in the Lewis & Clark student newspaper that states the Pioneers QB, Keith Welch, is doubtful for this weekend after sustaining a concussion against Linfield. That is a HUGE blow for L&C as Welch feasted on the Pacific defense the past two seasons. I still think this will be a competitive game but if Welch is a no-go then I’m giving the Boxers the nod.

(509)Rat Says: Tricky game. LC has taken a step back since the miracle that was 2011. Pacific seems to be getting better as they get older. LC's o-line is a revolving door and I expect Pacific to take advantage of that. Welch might be the best player on the field but he doesn't have enough help to get it done against Pacific. Boxers on the road.

West Region Game of the Week:

Chapman (4-2) over La Verne (3-3) (at Chapman):

Well, Chapman is enjoy some success in their first official season in the SCIAC and La Verne continues to show some improvement as a program. I don’t know much about either team and that’s probably a good thing. The Panthers look to be the better team and I’ll roll with them.

(509)Rat Says: The talk on the SCIAC board about Chapman winning against weak competition is true, but misleading. The Panthers are a victim of their schedule right now. I've seen both play and Chapman is better. Plain and simple. The Panther front 7 is more talented and consistent than the Leos and that will be the difference. Chapman will get their points (as everyone else has against La Verne and will do just enough defensively to win. La Verne doesn't have a strong enough passing attack to take advantage of the poor Panther secondary...

National Game of the Week:

#5 Wesley (6-1) over #16 Huntingdon (5-1) (at Huntingdon):

I’ve given up on doubting Wesley this season. I thought Menlo might have a shot at getting them this past weekend to only see the Wolverines race out to a 21-0 halftime lead. Wesley has some incredibly fast and talented players on both sides of the ball and I’ll take them to knock off the high flying Huntingdon.

(509)Rat Says: I don't care how inconsistent the southern independents have been this year, I'm going with Huntingdon to pull off the upset. Wesley has been known for their slow starts on the road this season and unfortunately for the Wolverines, Huntingdon has a very explosive offense. But unlike Willamette, they don't turn the ball over often. Huntingdon will try to run the ball, but if they are forced to go to the air they should remain efficient. 190 attempts this season...3 ints. They are also scoring over 90% of the time they get into the red zone. Wesley will be the best defense they see this year, but Huntingdon will put points on the board when given the opportunity. Wesley can't stick to the 4th quarter comeback script in this game. I have a feeling it comes back to bite them on Saturday.

#9 North Central (6-1) over #20 Illinois Wesleyan (6-1) (at North Central):

Illinois Wesleyan were choking dogs last weekend when they couldn’t take care of Wheaton and that gives me no reason to think they’ll be able to get it done against a strong North Central team.

(509)Rat Says: IWU proved they aren't ready for the CCIW spotlight. They've only played one team who is on the same level (and in my opinion better) than North Central. That team is Wheaton, and we all know what happened last week. Blowing a 4th quarter lead with a couple minutes left in the game, followed by a road game against a deserved top 10 team is a recipe for disaster. The IWU AD should really consider scheduling future late season games against UPS...Slumpbuster, WC11, slumpbuster. North Central wins comfortably at home.

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