Friday, October 3, 2014

2014 NWC Pick ‘Em Contest: Week 5

The 'Cats offense line needs to have a big day tomorrow!
Welcome to a Friday edition of our game picks. Week 4 was a wild week and not all of the wildness was on the field.  Pacific’s game against Chicago was scrubbed when a fire in a control tower caused massive cancellations and delays across the country and the Boxers were one of the casualties as the flight, and consequently, their game was canceled.

So that left us with 6 games on last week’s pick ‘em slate to choose from.  Wildcat11 wound up going 4 wins against 2 losses, while (509)Rat was even with 3 wins against 3 losses.  Both WC11 and Rat are a combined 0-4 in picking St. John’s games this year, and we were both off by a country mile with the Milsaps over East Texas Baptist pick. ETBU took a Shillelagh to the Majors in a 68-15 undressing.  So that brings our year-to-date totals to: WC11 22 out of 30 (73.3%) and (509)Rat 20 out of 30 (66.6%).

Northwest Conference Action kicks off this week so let’s get to the action!

Northwest Conference Game of the Week

#5 Linfield (2-0) over #14 Pacific Lutheran (2-0) (at PLU): (509)Rat says Linfield : I don't think this game will be close if Linfield plays like they did against Redlands. Even PLU's offense will have trouble moving the ball. I would love to see an upset, but it ain't happening.

Willamette (2-0) over George Fox (0-2) (at Willamette): It’s a Friday night special to kick off NWC season play as George Fox will play their very 1st NWC game on the road against Willamette.  George Fox has shown some offensive punch in the early season and have had two weeks off to prepare for Willamette.  I’m not sure if two weeks off is a good thing or not but it won’t matter as Willamette is going to route George Fox under the lights.

(509)Rat says Willamette: I'm not going to type much because not much needs to be said. I know Coach Casey pretty well so I'll be rooting for him, but no amount of chrome on Fox's helmets is going to help them get this W.

Puget Sound (1-1) over Lewis and Clark (0-3) (at UPS):  Quick Trivia time…what year was it the last time Puget Sound was over .500 at any point during the month of October?  The answer would be 2008.  That’s a long time of a lot of bad football.  I’m not saying the Loggers are now a world beater but they do have the look of a program that’s taken a small step forward.  Speaking of 2008, that’s the last time UPS has beaten Lewis & Clark. Yeah, that’s how bad the Loggers have been.  Loggers score a solid victory over L&C.

(509)Rat says Puget Sound:  Next…..

Whitworth (2-1) over Pacific (0-2) (at Pacific): This is the pick I’m going to regret but it’s my gut feeling. There is no doubt that Whitworth has an offense that can move the ball and score in bunches. Defensive coordinators around the NWC no longer get a freebie preparing for Tully Ball with regards to the Rats.  However, Whitworth stinks on defense.  Pacific has to be stewing with a bad taste in their mouths in starting the year at 0-2. Week one, the Boxers showed some offensive punch with week two being a stellar effort by the Boxer defense to only turn up empty handed. If Pacific puts both together they’ll beat Whitworth but I’m feeling a sneaky win for the Rats on Saturday.

(509)Rat says Whitworth: I promise you won't get burned on this one. Whitworth wins because Pacific can't score points. They will against the Pirates because everyone minus L&C has, but there is no way they stop or turnover the Whitworth offense enough times to win. I shouldn't have put Whitworth 3rd in the conference, they'll finish 4th behind Willamette, but the 'pickers' drinking the Pacific kool-aid are worse off...Pacific is lucky the Chicago game was cancelled, 0-4 sounds worse than 0-3

West Region Game of the Week:

#12 Bethel (2-1) over #22 Concordia-Moorhead (at Bethel):  In what seems is a weekly major showdown in the MIAC, the Royals and Cobbers are currently sitting in a 3-way tie atop the MIAC standings.  Concordia-Moorhead has been excellent in the early season with some convincing wins but Bethel has owned this series over the past 6 seasons and I think Bethel’s defense is going to be the difference in a Royal’s victory.

(509)Rat says Concordia-Moorhead: How good is Wartburg? That's the question you have to answer to pick this game. They handled Bethel at home a couple weeks ago and they are the only good opponent Bethel has seen so far. The Cobbers beat a strong St. John's team, but otherwise haven't played a real game. Long story short, my picks can't get much worse this year so I'm gambling on a team who ironically is not from Iowa yet has an ear of corn as its mascot.

National Game of the Week:

#20 Thomas More (3-1) over Washington and Jefferson (3-0) (at W&J): A big game in the President’s Athletic Conference.  Usually, if a PAC team takes a loss they wouldn't be sitting in the Top 25 but that loss was a 35-20 loss to the current #4 team in the country, Wesley.  That performance paired with waxing their next 3 opponents has been good enough for the voters to give a top 25 nod to Thomas More and that’s good enough for me in picking against Washington and Jeff.

(509)Rats says Thomas More: From what I can gather last year's W&J win was a little bit of a fluke. Thomas Moore should win this game. They are supposed to win. Just like St. Thomas last ain't striking twice. The PAC favorite gets a win on the road.

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