Thursday, October 17, 2013

NWC Pick 'Em Contest: Week 7

The 'Cats can make it 58 with a win this weekend.
You have to love a full slate of Northwest Conference football and that’s what we have this week.  In recapping last week, both (509)Rat and I went 5 out 6 games as our only miss was the big upset in the SCIAC after Redlands stumbled past CLU 10-7.  Seriously, Redlands gave CLU about 5 chances to win that game and the Kingsmen couldn’t pull the trigger.  That means the SCIAC will have a new playoff representative this year and I’ll be looking forward to seeing who that might be.
For the year I’m sitting at 26 out of 33 game (79%) and I’m right off the pace for the top spot in a crowded NWC pick ‘em race.  (509)Rat is in a 3-way tie for first and has gone 27 out of 33 game (82%). 

This should be an exciting week for football as we have a big Northwest Conference game to keep an eye on and another major clash involving Bethel out in MIAC that’s going to impact a number of teams in that conference.  (509)Rat is late to the party so I'll amend this post later if he can wrap his his high powered job responsibilities or finish the chores that his mom left him this morning.   Let’s get to the picks!

Northwest Conference Games of the Week:

#17 Pacific Lutheran (4-1) over Pacific (5-0) (at PLU):  The NWC big game of the week is happening up at Sparks this Saturday as the undefeated Pacific Boxers will take on their first quality opponent of the season in Pacific Lutheran.  This should be a fun game to watch as Pacific is led by a two quarterback system attack and a sound defense.  To me, this game comes down to one unit and one unit only….the PLU offense.  If this Lute offense is scuffling along and turning the ball over then Pacific is going to have a chance to win this game, knock PLU out of the playoff hunt, and put themselves in position to play for a piece of the NWC title.  If the Lute offense is balanced and utilizes their big play assets then this is PLU’s game to win.  PLU’s defense is good enough to keep Pacific somewhat limited so it’s all on the Lutes offense on Saturday.

#22 Willamette (4-0) over Lewis & Clark (1-4) (at L&C): The offensive show for Willamette will continue this season as the Bearcats roll up to the Hill.  L&C’s offense is more pass heavy with Welch looking to get the ball out fast and he loves the middle of the field.  That will play right into the strength of the Willamette defense (DB’s).  I’m expecting L&C to play hard for the whole game but Willamette has too much firepower for the Pio defense to contain.  Look for lopsided score in this one.

Case Western Reserve (1-3) over Puget Sound (1-3) (at UPS):  Oh boy.  I know what’s going to happen here.  I’m going to take the team that had back-to-back bye weeks, that's traveling to the West Coast for the first time in program history, and has a terrible offense, and UPS is going to win.  I gave the Loggers a chance this year and they burned me so I have to go with Case.  I do like the Spartans defense (scrappy and the tackle well) but their offense stinks but I can’t let UPS sucker me in again.  I know I'm going to miss this one.

West Region Game of the Week

#7 UW-Platteville (5-0) over UW-Stevens Point (4-1) (at UWSP): Stevens Point is off to a great start so I’m curious if they can catch Platteville napping and looking down the road to their death matches with Oshkosh and Whitewater.  I think the smart money is on Platteville but I won’t be surprised if the Pointers can upend and over-ranked (IMO) Pioneer squad.

National Game of the Week

#5 Bethel (5-0) over #6 St. Thomas (4-1) (at Bethel): If I could be in two places at once this weekend, this is where I would want to send my duplicate self.  MONSTER game in the MIAC that could end up putting the MIAC in a four way tie for first or see Bethel hold onto a one game lead and end UST’s hopes of an at-large playoff berth (2 losses are not going to cut it this year).  How crazy would it be to see a team that was just in the National Championship game and had a boatload of talent back not make it to the post-season?  UST’s chances were not helped when their starting sophomore QB went down last week in what could be a season ending injury.  I like Bethel to end UST’s run as the MIAC’s top dog.

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