Weekly Staff Pick ’em – Round 5

Round 5 of the weekly staff pick 'em is here. We will be examining the top games of the week across the NCAA and NFL. This week's special guest picker is Jeffrey DeSpain. Here are the results from last week:

Micah: 8-2
Blake: 6-4
Fraze: 7-3

Overall:
Micah: 25-15
Blake: 22-18
Guest: 23-17

We'll keep a running tally each week of the previous week's results as well as the overall numbers. Here are the picks for round 5:

NCAA

#5 TCU Horned Frogs (9-1) at Texas Longhorns (6-5)
Micah's Pick: Horned Frogs 38 – 21
TCU is on the playoffs bubble. This is a bit of a trap game that looks like a cakewalk on paper, but the horns have been playing some decent ball lately. I think the Horned Frogs win it, but the Longhorns keep it close until late.

Blake's Pick: Horned Frogs 28 – 20
This sets up as a major trap game for TCU. Texas’ defense is really, really good, especially up front. The problem lies in Texas’ offense. They are inept through the air, and TCU has a capable defense. While Texas will try to control the game by ground and pound, TCU will be too explosive in the end. Lot closer game than most expect.

Jeffrey's Pick: Horned Frogs 21 – 17
The Lone Star state showdown between the Frog and the Horns will be all defenses. The Longhorn’s top 25 defense will give Trevone Boykin fits, but the Horned Frogs should be able to put up enough points to sneak by Texas in this one and have a legitimate shot at the 4 team playoff.

 

Stanford Cardinal (6-5) at #9 UCLA Bruins (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Bruins 31 – 17
UCLA has by and large flown a bit under the radar this season. They are a quality team who continues to win after a mid-season 2 game blip. Look for the Bruins to handle the struggling Cardinal.

Blake's Pick: Bruins 31 – 21
This has been a disappointing season for Stanford. People have come to expect BCS bowls or bust for the Cardinal. UCLA is pretty good. Not elite, to me, but really good. Brett Hundley is capable QB who will control this game when it matters most. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Bruins 28 – 14
The Bruins will win this in dominating fashion behind great quarterback play from Brett Hundley. The Bruins have too many playmakers for Stanford to keep up with. The Bruins coming off a Rose Bowl victory over USC, will pick up their fourth straight victory over the Cardinal.​

 

#13 Arizona State Sun Devils (9-2) at #15 Arizona Wildcats (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Wildcats 35 – 31
An in-state rivalry with lots of implications. Both teams have been a bit of a surprise this year at 9-2 a piece. I like the Wildcats to squeak it out.

Blake's Pick: Wildcats 38 – 35
The battle in the desert will be a fun, shootout. Both coaches are offensive geniuses. Todd Graham will throw the kitchen sink at the Cats, but the Cats are playing at home, and when all else fails, rely on the rowdy student section!

Jeffrey's Pick: Wildcats 35 – 31
What a great match up out in the desert. Arizona coming into today’s game with a ton of confidence beating Utah on the road last week in handily fashion. However, things will not be easy at home as the Arizona State Sun Devils are (4-1) against teams ranked in the top 25. It looks like a shootout in this one with the Wildcats outscoring the Sun Devils.​

 

#14 Auburn Tigers(8-3) at #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1)
Micah's Pick: Crimson Tide 24 – 14
The Tigers pulled off the impossible last year when they took down the Crimson Tide on a last second field goal return. The Tide remembers and the Tide will roll.

Blake's Pick: Crimson Tide 33 – 24
Think Saban and company are half mad about last year? I do… I think this game is over half way through the contest, and Auburn scores a meaningless TD or two at the end. Alabama won’t get beat at home again by Auburn. If they do? Mass riots. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Crimson Tide 24 – 7
The Tide are simply "rolling" over every in their path. Auburn catches the Tide on a 6 game winning streak with wins over Arkansas, Texas A&M, LSU and what was number one Mississippi State. The Auburn Tigers started this year off hot and as of late have faded. Bama’s top 5 defense is just too good in this year’s Iron Bowl and should win this one easily over the Tigers.​

 

#4 Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-1) at #8 Ole Miss Rebels (8-3)
Micah's Pick: Bulldogs 30 – 17
Another big time in-state rivalry that is arguably a bigger surprise. Who predicted these two Mississippi schools to be ranked in the top 10 nearing December? The Rebels would love to play spoiler, but the Bulldogs survive.

Blake's Pick: Bulldogs 40 – 21
I think Ole Miss is officially deflated. An embarrassing loss at Arkansas has took the wind out of its sails. They’ll come out fired up to play their cross state rivals, but too much Prescott and Mississippi State in the end. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Bulldogs 31 – 21
Just five weeks ago this matchup had the makings of a #1 vs #2 Egg Bowl showdown. Since then both teams have suffered loses, but Mississippi State still has a great chance of making to the 4 team playoff with a win over rival Ole Miss. The last time both teams were ranked coming into the game was 1999 when the Bulldogs won by 3. Quarterback play will be the difference in this in state rivalry as Dak Prescott will lead the Bulldogs with his ability to throw outside the pocket and scramble when needed. ​

 

Florida Gators (6-4) at #3 Florida State Seminoles (11-0)
Micah's Pick: Seminoles 28 – 27
I would love nothing more than to see the Gators pull off the upset and knock the Seminoles out of the playoffs race, but there's something unexplainable happening with FSU this year. They should've lost 3 or 4 times already, but yet keep pulling off comeback miracles somehow. I'm not betting against them anymore.

Blake's Pick: Seminoles 31 – 28
I’m done doubting the Seminoles. They have made me look like a fool 3 times this year. Florida will be playing for Muschamp. The players love him and they’ll do whatever it takes to beat their rivals for him. This FSU team is not as good as last year, but "all they do is win, win, win no matter what." It’s unbelievable.

Jeffrey's Pick: Seminoles 24 – 17
The Noles continue game in and game out to find ways to win late. Now in state rival Florida comes to Tallahassee to give FSU their last test of the season. It sounds like the Gators will be giving the start to the freshman QB Treon Harris who has been splitting reps with Driskel the latter part of the season. The freshman will have trouble in this one as the Noles defense will out man the Gators offense and the Heisman winner Jameis Winston will be able to put up enough points to come away with the victory.​

 

#18 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-2) at #10 Georgia Bulldogs (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Bulldogs 31 – 20
Had Georgia not slipped up against a down Florida team, they would be in the drivers seat right now for a playoff spot. While the Yellow Jackets have had a great year, I see Georgia taking care of business. The Bulldogs will then need some help from Arkansas to find their way into an SEC conference championship game.

Blake's Pick: Bulldogs 30 – 28
This comes down to the wire, I think. People are sleeping on Georgia Tech. They’re a sound football team. They control the clock and nickel and dime you to death. Nick Chubb has made it look easy in Todd Gurley’s absence. Now with Gurley out for the year, this is Chubb’s team. Don’t be shocked if the Jackets pull off the upset!

Jeffrey's Pick: Bulldogs 45 – 28
Two schools separated by 70 mile will continue this Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate rivalry Saturday in Athens. The Bulldogs schedule this year was extremely favorable to make it to the 4 team playoff until a loss to the like of Florida a few weeks ago. Since then the Bulldogs have won three straight and will continue to run wild with the two headed back field of Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb.  The SEC is just too much for the ACC in this one.​

 

#25 Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-3) at #16 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2)
Micah's Pick: Badgers 38 – 21
Wisconsin downs the Minnesota en route to the Big 10 title game. Gordon is a legit Heisman candidate and will run all over the poor Golden Gophers.

Blake's Pick: Badgers 34 – 33
Minnesota is a nice team. They had Ohio State on the ropes, and really could have won that game. They went to Nebraska and came back from a 14-point deficit. However, Wisconsin has this guy named Melvin Gordon… He’s only got 2,000+ yards and my choice to win the Heisman. Those Wisconsin RBs are something else. 

Jeffrey's Pick: Badgers 28 – 17
The Paul Bunyan Axe is on the line in a rivalry that dates back in 1980. Wisconsin, who is led by Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon who has rushed for 2109 yards and 25 touchdowns, will have no problem controlling this game on the ground against the Gophers. Look for the Badgers to take this one by a couple of scores.​

 

NFL

Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
Micah's Pick: Eagles 35 – 28
I have a bad feeling about the Eagles coming to Jerry World on Thanksgiving. I would love to see the Cowboys dominate the Eagles and take hold of the NFC East, but my gut doesn't have that same feeling. Dirty Sanchez somehow out-duels Romo.

Blake's Pick: Cowboys 35 – 34
What a game this will be. The winner of this one controls the NFC East and likely wins the division. Tony Romo is playing outstanding football. Mark Sanchez is not bad, but I don’t see him taking a game over, which is what will take. The Eagles will get theirs, but too much Romo, Dez, DeMarco and company.

Jeffrey's Pick: Cowboys 31 – 27
America's team pulled off a great win last week over the Giants. Now the Cowboys take on their divisional rivals in a battle of the top two teams in the NFC East. The Eagles behind play of backup QB Mark Sanchez will struggle on the road (2-3) and will not be able to run with the potent offense for the Cowboys.​

 

New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3)
Micah's Pick: Patriots 42 – 34
Wow, what a match-up. Potentially the top two teams in the league squaring off in week 13. This is truly a toss-up game and while I'd prefer to Green Bay take down the Patriots, my gut once again says not to bet against Shady Brady.

Blake's Pick: Packers 40 – 31
Aaron Rodgers isn’t human. He’s got to be a robot of some sort. 30 TD and 3 INT. Are you kidding me? Meanwhile, Brady has his bunch rolling. Who knows who will get the carries in Lambeau, but whoever it is, I’m sure will kill it.  In the end, the robot wins. Discount DAHHHHHHBLE CHECK!

Jeffrey's Pick: Patriots 28 – 24
This one has the matchup to be a dandy. Tom Brady and the Pats are playing very well winning 7 in a row with wins over Denver, Indianapolis and Detroit. The Packers however are extremely hard to beat at Lambeau Field. This game should play out to be the best game week 13 has to offer. I give the nod to Brady and the Pats they are clicking from all cylinders right now.​

Micah Hixon

A die hard Sooner fan through and through. Micah transferred his allegiance to the Oklahoma City Thunder the year the Mavs won the title (go figure). He believes the Thunder and Sooners have many titles to come in the not too distant future. Most of his comments are not backed up by any sort of fact based reasoning, but you can trust him.

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