Friday, September 21, 2012

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 4

Weekend of September 21, 2012

 Clemson at Florida State
FSU Favored by 13.5)

THE TIGER SWAG PICK:
These Tigers have a tough task ahead of them – Top 5 FSU team with a nasty defense, a rockin’ Doak Campbell, and a national television audience. But if they can pull off the upset, the road to the BCS Title Game begins to resemble a parted the Red Sea. I’m not comparing Dabo to Moses, I’m just sayin...

But right now, one thing is keeping this Clemson team from greatness – its defense. Watching this Clemson defense takes me back to my Civil days at Clemson, with words like sieve, porosity, elasticity, and compaction. Hopefully the defense is just in its curing phase – and will come out solid and at full strength for FSU.

I expect Clemson to play well in Tallahassee – even grabbing an early lead; however, the FSU defense makes enough stops to keep Clemson close. Eventually, the FSU run game erodes the Clemson defense, causing it to crumble. And FSU squeaks out a win.

FSU 27
Clemson 23

THE COCK-A-BOOSTER PICK:
Clemson typically wins games like this where they are a heavy underdog, especially when they are playing a team that is viewed by the national media as “having bigger fish to fry.” I remember their upset of Miami a few years back as an example and several times beating the Noles in recent contests. So the first half of the equation to me is simple: Clemson will not lose by 14 points.

Having said that, I have been pretty consistent that the lack of depth along both lines of scrimmage at some point is going to jump up and bite the Tigers this year. Clemson clearly has some nice skill position players and they have acted like completely insane fools to get the national media to “believe” in Dabo again.

Clemson will play well, get every bounce and break in the book and fall just short on Saturday night.

I’ll take Florida State to win but I believe Clemson will cover the spread...

Florida State 31
Clemson 26

_____________________________________________________



Missouri at South Carolina
South Carolina is favored by 10)

THE TIGER SWAG PICK:
History is not on UCS’ sideline this week:

  • Missouri has a 50/50 chance of winning
    • Missouri hails from Columbia and teams from Columbia have a 50/50 shot at winning considering UCS’ all-time winning percentage is just over 0.500
  • Missouri has a 60.6% chance of winning
    • Missouri hails from the SEC and teams from the SEC are 97-62-1 all-time versus UCS
  • Missouri has a 63.3% chance of winning
    • Missouri carries the banner of Tigers, and Tiger teams are 57-33 all-time versus UCS in Columbia
  • Missouri has a 100% chance of winning
    • Missouri’s nickname of Tigers comes from the Civil War and a group of civilians who took up arms to defend the University from Confederates.
    • Union 1 – Confederates 0
In addition to history, Mizzou has a solid quarterback, which is something UCS hasn’t faced this year. They’ve seen flashes from Vandy, ECU, & UAB, but nothing quite like Mr. Franklin.

But there’s one problem with Missouri – they’re uniforms. While they carry the flags of the union, SEC, and Tigers, they look like Vandy. And Vandy is not how you want to look.

And UCS has already defeated Vandy once this year – on the road. Considering this game is in the armpit, it figures to go better for garnet and black. As such, I’ll take UCS to win and cover the 10 point spread. But remember, when facing Mizzou, no lead is safe. Just ask the 2005 UCS Shreveport team and they’ll tell the tale of Brad Smith...

UCS 27
Mizzou 13


THE COCK-A-BOOSTER PICK:
This one is a very tough call and for once it’s not because we don’t know what to expect from my Gamecocks. The tough read here is Mizzou. I have no doubt the Tigers will move the ball between the 30s and throw some early wrinkles in the mix and get some points.

Carolina’s defense will get better as the night goes along as it usually does and I think our overall depth will carry the day. USC’s offensive line has been hearing what a disappointment it is all week, so don’t be surprised when they come out and play well.

Missouri will have to show another gear I haven’t seen from them yet to keep the Gamecocks from covering. I don’t see that happening.

I will take USC to win and barely cover the spread....

USC 28
Mizzou 17

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