|You just can't beat the 'Catdome on a Fall Saturday afternoon.|
For the season, WC11 is sitting on 27 out of 37 games (72.9%), while Rat is hitting on 26 out of 37 (70.2%). After this upcoming week, we’re either going to be separated by two games or in a dead tie as we’re only disagreeing on one game this Saturday and that’s UPS vs GFU.
In the NWC, there are two keys games. If Whitworth drops to Linfield, their NWC title hopes are done. Even bigger is PLU at Pacific. The outcome of that game is going to have a major effect on the upcoming weeks of the Conference season. If PLU wins, they are still very much alive for a Pool C bid. Pacific’s only hope for the playoffs is to win the NWC outright so they have to beat PLU this week or it could be lights out. That should be an interesting match-up.
Northwest Conference Games of the Week:
#5 Linfield (4-0) over Whitworth (4-2) (at Linfield): (509)Rat says: Picking against Whitworth again, this time it's not gonna come back to bite me in the tail. I think Linfield is going to get too much pressure on the QB for the Whitworth offense to move the ball with any regularity. Whitworth will likely try to counter with a strong quick passing/screen/draw game. Even if Whitworth's offense does score, say 3-4 TDs, the defense won't be able to stop Linfield from moving the chains. The Wildcats should be able to keep the ball on the ground without much resistance. I really like the new direction Whitworth is going, but this is year 1 in a legitimate rebuilding project.
#21 Pacific Lutheran (3-1) over Pacific (2-2) (at Pacific): Huge game for both the Lutes and the Boxers. Pacific has to be licking their chops in getting the Lutes at home after taking PLU to the wire last season. I’m fully expecting for Pacific to watch the Linfield/PLU game film and attack PLU the same way Linfield did with rushing the ball at the belly of Lute defense and taking big shots off the play action. If the PLU receiving corp is still not 100% healthy, it could spell doom for PLU and set up Pacific for a legit NWC title shot at Linfield at the end of the year. I’m *this close*to leaning towards Pacific in this game but until they can prove it, I’m sticking with the Lutes to find a way.
(509)Rat Says PLU: Just because Whitworth laid an egg doesn't mean Pacific is any good. Linfield is going to make a lot of people look worse than they really are, PLU included. The Lutes should win this game easily after getting a bye Lewis & Clark last week.
Willamette (3-1) over Lewis & Clark (0-5) (at Willamette): You’re going to see a ton of rushing yards again by the Bearcats and that’s out of necessity more than design. Willamette’s passing game is brutal and is going to bite them when they have to face PLU, Pacific, and Linfield. However, they get a pass this week against L&C.
(509)Rat Says Willamette: Dylan Jones probably won't run for 350 yds, but then again Willamette won't lose this week. Bearcats get a confidence booster on Saturday.
Puget Sound (2-2) over George Fox (0-4) (at GFU): A lot of people had this circled as one of three potential wins for George Fox this year but it’s not happening. Puget Sound is playing better football and better defense this year and that’s going to carry them over the Bruins.
(509)Rat Says George Fox: This is one of two winnable games on Fox's schedule. I'm rooting for them. I think UPS is the better team (surprisingly) but the Loggers don't run the ball real well and don't play good defense against anyone not named Lewis and Clark. I fully expect the chrome on the Bruins' helmets to blind the Loggers, forcing at least 3 INTs.
West Region Game of the Week:
#13 UW-Stevens Point over #14 UW-Platteville (at Platte): In the battle of who’s going to be the WIAC runner up/Pool C candidate features the Pointers vs the Pioneers. My philosophy when it comes to Platteville is they look great against everybody except when they play a high quality team and then the fold like a cheap suit. Stevens Point is a quality team so I’m going with the Pointers all day.
(509)Rats Says UW-Stevens Point: The Pointers have been playing really good football this year. Platteville is still clinging on to 2012 and 2013 performances if you as me. I'm sure I'm putting way too much stock into Stevens Point win over NCC and Platteville may end up winning this game. I like the up-and-comer, though. I got the Pointers winning the right to say they are the second best team in the WIAC.
National Games of the Week:
Franklin (4-2) over Mt. St. Joseph (At MSJ): The battle for the automatic bid out in the HCAC is going down as the Grizzlies hook up with the…..*looking up on Google*…..the Lions. Yeah, the Lions. Franklin has the rep and only lost one HCAC game in the past 5 seasons so I’m going with the chalk.
(509)Rat Says Franklin: FCGrizzlies picked them and he's killing me in this pick'em thing. I don't care if he's biased, Go Grizzlies.
#25 Hampden-Sydney (4-1) over Emory and Henry (5-0): Large showdown in the ODAC as Hampden-Sydney reentered the top 25 poll this week. The Tigers have busted off 4 straight wins since dropping the season opener to Wabash (avg 52 PPG in those wins) and will hook up with rival (I think) Emory & Henry who’s off to their best start in forever. I’m going with the team that’s been there and with the known talent.
(509)Rat Says Hampden-Sydney: Hampden-Sydney looked good in the playoff game against Linfield last year. That's all I know, and that'll work for me.