Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 Northwest Conference Pick ‘Em Contest: Week 9

I love the 'Catdome.
Solid week 8 for old Wildcat11 and (509)Rat as we both went 6 out of 7 games. Our only miss (a lot of people missed) was the huge CCIW showdown when Wheaton knocked off North Central on a last second field goal. That should cause a big shakeup in the playoff picture out in the North region.  Back home in the Northwest Conference PLU showed heart in playing a great game vs Willamette, George Fox is still waiting for their offense to begin, and Whitworth turned over UPS NINE times and threw SEVEN picks. Yikes.

This week there will be zero movement in the NWC pick ‘em leader board as everyone is of the same mind in how week 9 is going to play out. That doesn’t mean it will go down that way but the chalk seems to be pretty heavy around the NWC and with our featured regional and national games.

Both Wildcat11 and (509)Rat are still playing for pride and looking to have back-to-back solid weeks. Right now WC11 is  38 out of 51 (74.5%) and (509)Rat is 36 out of 51  (70.5%). Let’s get to the action!!!!!

Northwest Conference Games of the Week:

#5 Linfield (6-0) over Willamette (4-2) (at Linfield): (509)Rat says Linfield: I feel bad for whoever gets the start under center for the Bearcats. It's gonna be a loooooong day. Another week, another chance for the Wildcat backups to get some playing time.

Pacific Lutheran (4-2) over Puget Sound (3-3) (at UPS):
Have to give a big old tip of the cap to PLU for their performance last week against Willamette. It would have been very easy for that big group of Lute seniors to check out but it almost seems that some of the Lutes (….Dalton Ritchey) played without a care and tore it up like it was 2012 again.  About the game….Puget Sound has played PLU tough over the past few years and I expect them to give the Lutes some issues but the Lutes are too talented to lose this cross town rival showdown.

(509)Rat says PLU: PLU's playoff hopes are done but that didn't stop them from beating up on Willamette last week. You could maybe say UPS has improved some as a program, but not by much. It's too bad the Loggers already played L&C...there aren't any wins left on that schedule.

Whitworth (5-3) over George Fox (0-6) (at Whitworth): I talked to a keen Linfield/NWC observer yesterday and he pointed out a very curious stat. George Fox currently is averaging 266.0 yards of offense a game (though 6 games) and Pacific averaged 266.6 yards per game during their reboot season in 2010. Fox is currently allowing 435.8 yards per game and Pacific allowed 462.2 yards per game in 2010. Interesting that two programs that took completely different approaches to restarts (Pacific: all frosh/minimal transfers/no zero year vs Fox: zero year/lots of transfers) are about at the same place during their first year back.  Personally, I think Pacific’s way might be the better for the long term but what the heck do I know.  Oh…Whitworth is going to put up more video game like numbers but Fox might actually score a rushing touchdown in a conference game this week.

(509)Rat Says Whitworth: George Fox might not throw 800 interceptions like UPS did last week but they're still gonna lose by 40. Hey, at least the Bruins will look good doing it!

Pacific (4-2) over Lewis & Clark (0-7) (at L&C): Next…..

(509)Rat Says Pacific: I feel like all future L&C games should just be left off the pick'em schedule and everybody should get the points for the inevitable Pio loss.

West Region Game of the Week:

#11 Bethel (6-1) over Gustavus Adolphus (6-1) (at Gustavus):
Gustavus has been a nice little sub-plot in the MIAC this season with a QB that’s slinging it around the yard but SJU ate up their offense last week and Bethel is that much better than the Johnnies. This should be an old fashioned whoopin.

(509)Rat Says Bethel: Bethel should be picking up steam after beating St. Thomas, which is bad news for a plucky Gustavus team. They hung right in there with St. John's last weekend and I wouldn't be surprised if they do the same this week. But you can't turn the ball over and expect to beat the big boys in the MIAC.

#1 UW-Whitewater (7-0) over #16 UW-Platteville (6-1) (at UWP): So, the last time I had Platteville in a pick ‘em I called them a paper tiger and said to never pick Platteville when they play someone good. Then Platteville proceeded to hammer Stevens Point and make me look like a chump. Well, I’m picking against them again. Some UWW fans weren’t happy with the Warhawks offense last week but with that UWW defense you pretty much just need to score 10 points and that will do it. Warhawks pound out another victory.

(509)Rat Says UWW: Must not be many decent west region games this week. Platteville will be lucky if this is still a game going into half time. UWW has turned the ball over twice this season...TWICE. And their defense has allowed 5 Touchdowns this year. The Warhawks win another easy one.

National Game of the Week:

#13 Wheaton (7-0) over Elmhurst (5-2) (at Elmhurst): I said last week that Elmhurst doesn’t matter this season in the CCIW and I’m sticking to it in this match-up on conference undefeated’s. Unless Wheaton has a huge win hangover after knocking off North Central, I can’t see the Thunder not rolling over the Bluejays.

(509)Rat says Wheaton: You beat NCC, you earn the right to be picked in all future CCIW matchups.

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