Friday, September 03, 2010

Walker Sports 2010 College Football Pick'em Week 1

We have waited a long time for this moment and it is finally here, the start of the 2010 college football season. For those of us here at the Walker Sports main office today is nearly as exciting as Christmas… actually it’s better than Christmas, because we can tailgate all day and have some FireFly Vodka. Just by taking a look at the current top 25 polls, you can tell the 2010 season is going to be a memorable one. Could this finally be the year a non BCS team makes it to the BCS Championship game? Boise State sure thinks so. Anyways, there is plenty of time to debate who will play in what bowl game. Right now let’s get down to what’s important the big games coming up this weekend, and checking out the point spread for all you gamblers out there.

Boise State vs. Virginia Tech +1.5: I'll be completely honest this is one of the most interesting college football match ups I have seen in years. Boise State is no longer the hidden secret hanging out in the WAC, and hoping to pounce on an unsuspecting BCS team in a bowl game. They are a bonifide, ranked third nationally powerhouse. On the other side of the ball, Virginia Tech has been the staple of the ACC since joining the conference. While it has been over a decade since the Hokies played for a national championship, this year's team has the best shot that Virginia Tech has had since Mike Vick fell into the starting roll.

You can throw everything you know about the Virginia Tech football program out of the window. The days of stout defense and crippling special teams are gone (to a degree). The 2010 Hokies have an offense that can contend with any team in the country, and they are not afraid to let it fly. Viringia Tech is returning a ton of starters on offense, including all the skill positions. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has finally grown into the roll of leader and game manger. He understands what he needs to do, to keep the Hokies in ball games, and guide successful drives that end with touchdowns and not field goals. The key to the Hokies offense will be their rushing attack. Ryan Williams and Darren Evans both ran for over 1,000 yards when they had the starting job to themselves, now they will combine their effort.

Boise State has a fast and athletic defense, but if there is a weak spot it is in their linebacking core. Virginia must find a way to exploit this weakness if they want to be successful on Monday night. If Virginia Tech wants to apply pressure to the Boise State linebackers, they will need a good performance from their offensive line. One of the few weak spots on the Hokies offense is their offensive line. This is a young unit that needs to come together quickly and exploit the point of attack. If the Virginia Tech linemen can get a solid intial surge and then reach the second level, they will create gapping holes for Evans and Williams to run through.

When you talk about Boise State you have to talk about their offense. More specfically you need to talk about Heisman Trophy candidate Kellen Moore and his pin point accuracy with the football. For the Broncos Moore's amazing accuracy and Virginia Techs rebuilt secondary is a match made in heaven. Boise State will use multiple spread formations in hopes of catching an inexperienced Virginia Tech secondary off guard. The Broncos, will have to go to their rushing attack more than a few times on Monday night if they want to keep the defense guessing. Also whenever you are playing a Chris Peterson coached team, you have to be on the lookout for a trick play. Boise State loves to pull out the trickery in big games, and this year's season opener will be no different.

Currently the spread is sitting at 1.5 favoring Boise State. This is a close game and typically I would advise against betting a game which is virtually a pick'em. However, I am very high on Boiser State this year, and what better way to welcome them to the BCS fracous than racking up a win against a top ten opponent on opening night.

Winner: Boise State

LSU vs. North Carolina: This game has taken a lot of twist and during it's buildup over the past few weeks. North Carolina is a team that had hopes of making it to a BCS Bowl game, and he first step on that long journey began with a trip to LSU. However, thanks to some agents and other shady dealings it appears the Tar Heels may sit upward of 15 of their startes including a handfull from their vaulted defense. As a result of this turmoil the spread for this game has been pulled from the board as of Thursday night.

This is a big game for both Butch Davis, and LSU's Les Miles. There are plenty of people who think Miles is on the hot seat after suffering a few average seasons down in Death Valley. The SEC West is going to be very dangerous this season, and Miles will need to rack up wins against ranked opponents wherever he can. Dropping the season opener to UNC would be disasterous and nothing short of a SEC West title would save Les Miles job.

Just because there is no spread for this game, does not mean I will not pick a winner. This is a solid LSU team but not a great one. It is doubtful they will contend for the SEC West, more or less a BCS game apperence. Despite all of that, the North Carolina program is bogged down in controversy that just does not seem to want to go away. Butch Davis has done an amazing job keeping his team together and keeping their focus on the field and away from off the field distractions. That being said, I just don't believe that Carolina is deep enough to be able to lose multiple starters and still go on the road and pick up a win.

Winner: LSU

Oregon State vs. TCU -13.5:


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