Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 NWC Pick 'Em Contest: Week 4

The 'Cats get a chance to regroup after a 2-0 start to the season.
Another solid week on the pick ‘em side as Wildcat11 was able to knock off 7 out of 8 picks, while (509)Rat picked up 6 out of 8.  Both of us took a swing and a miss with the St. John’s over Concondia-Moorhead game but that was a miss you can live with.  That brings our totals to date at 18 out of 24 games for WC11 (75%) and 17 out of 24 games for (509)Rat (70.8%).

We have a short slate of NWC non-conference action before NWC conference play officially opens up next week.  There are a few interesting match-ups for the NWC.  Whitworth is undefeated but against some terrible teams and get their first real test this weekend and with it comes a chance to make a statement.  Pacific was close again last week and is despite for a win before NWC play starts up, while the Lutes get a trip to San Antonio.

Let’s fire up the old pick ‘em machine!

NWC Games of the Week:

Chapman (0-1) over Whitworth (3-0) (at Whitworth):  The heavy action is on Chapman this week on the pick ‘em page and for a good reason.  While the Air Rat offense has been putting up some video game stats and numbers, Whitworth has a crappy defense.  While Chapman isn’t going to fool anyone into thinking they’re Mary Hardin-Baylor, the Panthers are a well-coached and schematically sound program.  I think Chapman’s running backs will have a field day with Whitworth and while the Rats are going to toss it around the yard I’m looking for a big road win for Chapman.

(509)Rat says Whitworth:  I don't believe this pick for one minute...but I need to make some points up in the standings, so that's how I'm going to justify this one. This could be a close game, I just don't see Whitworth's defense being able to stop Chapman, ever. The Panthers looked better than they are, playing against a Linfield team that was a shell of what we saw last week. I watched a lot of both games and I don't believe Chapman is 30 points better than Redlands, the score is absolutely a reflection of how much better Linfield played. I think Whitworth will score more points against Chapman than the Wildcats, the question is wether or not they can stop Chapman once or twice. Doubtful, but I'm a blatant homer so Go Bucs!

Chicago (3-0) over Pacific (0-2) (at Chicago): I’m very unsure about this pick.  While the Boxers are 0-2 right now they could easily be 2-0 while the Maroons have dominated Beloit, Concordia (Ill.) and Elmhurst in only allowing 7.6 points per game.  The Boxers could easily win this game but what flipped me over to taking Chicago is the fact the Boxers struggled mightily with the Maroons grind it out style in Forest Grove last season as the game was 14-6 headed into the 4th quarter.  This is a gamble on my part but I’m calling for a tight win by Chicago.

(509)Rat says Chicago:  Back-to-back games in the Central timezone, back-to-back losses for the Boxers. Chicago gets a less talented and certainly less confident Pacific team who will resume their place in the NWC pecking order with an 0-3 start. Chicago could get into trouble if they get behind early being a run first team who never looked comfortable trying to throw the ball last year. I just don't see that happening. This is an improved Chicago team from 2013, playing at home against a Pacific squad who is really struggling.

#16 Pacific Lutheran (1-0) over  Trinity (Tx.) (1-2) (at Trinity) :  The Trinity Tigers are a proud football program that appreared back in the Stagg Bowl in 2002 and had a great run of football during the 00’s, but since 2010 the program has experienced ups and downs and are trying to rebuild under a 1st year coach.  Bottom line, they’re not a very good football team right now and PLU should mop them up.  My only advice to the Lutes this week is to stay off the River Walk after the game

(509)Rat says PLU: This might actually be a better matchup for the Tigers than when they played Willamette. However, PLU is still the better team and I (until someone proves me wrong) will always pick the second best NWC team in a non-conference game...

#10 St. Thomas (2-0) over St. Johns (2-1) (at SJU): This is a game that I would love to experience just from the atmosphere perspective as over 15,000 Johnnies and Tommies could pack Clemens Stadium for what is one of the very best rivalries in all of college football. The Johnnies had a big letdown last weekend in getting dropped by Concordia-Moorhead 23-14, while St. Thomas was on the bye gearing up for the big game.  St. Thomas should be the favorite and should prevail but anything could and has happen in this classic matchup.

(509)Rat Says St. Thomas:  The Johnnies aren't going to burn me for the second week in a row because they aren't going to beat St. Thomas for the second year in a row. Rivalry games like this are always ripe for an upset. I just don't see St. Thomas letting it happen again. St. John's has a better team than the one who beat the Tommies last year, and they still aren't going to win. I know it doesn't make sense, but rivalry games rarely do.

National Game of The Week:

#17 Ithaca (2-0) over Alfred (3-0) (at Alfred): This should be a fun one out East as a key Empire 8 conference game.  Ithaca  has reestablished themselves over the past season as top 25 team while Alfred reeled off 11 consecutive winning season and been in the thick of most E8 conference title races.  I expect a close one but feel Ithaca is the better team.

(509)Rat says Ithaca:  I refuse to pick a school named after Bruce Wayne's butler...

Bonus Games of the Week

Eureka (0-3) over Minnesota-Morris (0-3) (at Eureka): In the battle of “Somebody is going home feeling really bad about themselves” game matches up two 0-3 teams.  I’m purely picking this game off the face that Eureka has lost two of their games by 3 points while Minn-Morris has been boat raced two out of three times this season.  The Red Devils will be shouting “EUREKA” after they find the win this weekend. *rimshot*

(509)Rat says Eureka: Everyone else is just flipping a coin at this point too, right? Also, you couldn't pay me to watch a game between 2 bad UMAC teams. The UMAC's best team couldn't beat the Whitworth teams that were so bad, Tully got canned. Let that sink in for a minute.

Milsaps (1-1) over East Texas Baptist (2-1) (at ETBU):  Millsaps had the honor of getting pasted by UMHB to start the season while ETBU gave up 98 points (!!!) to DII Texas A&M-Commerce.  Goodness.  I’ll take the Majors to bump off ETBU.

(509)Rat Says Millsaps:  ETBU has beaten up on some bad teams, Millsaps lost against UMHB. ETBU is traditionally a bottom tier team in a tough conference, while Millsaps is near the top of a conference that Trinity used to win...Not much to go off of when trying to pick this game. Millsaps didn't give up 98 points to a team this year so I'll take the Majors. I'm sure wc11 picked them too...because I'm sure he loves their sweet helmets

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