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College Capper: Picking Games Week 7

Greg Vara

Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the 2013 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. In addition to producing the weekly preview and the bulk of the draft kit content, Vara participates in Yahoo!'s "Experts Picks" where he routinely dominates. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.

Since its inception, college football has rarely been at the forefront of social progress. Its lack of minority head coaches has long stained the sport and only recently have the numbers improved.

An on-going attempt to atone for its checkered past is likely one of the reasons Condoleeza Rice was one of the 13 members chosen to decide the four playoff teams at the end of the 2014 season. One of many reasons I would guess.

I'll admit, I don't know her qualifications to serve on this committee, but then again, I don't know the qualifications of anyone else on the committee, and I have to trust the judgment of those who selected her. These are the words that David Pollack should have used last Saturday when giving his opinion on College Gameday.

Look, everyone is entitled to their opinion, in that sense, right and wrong aren't always clear, but to disqualify someone based on their gender is an ideal that most of the civilized world ditched long ago. As for Pollack's attempt to save face and claim he wants people on the committee that have played the game, well that's the lamest and possibly oldest way to elude criticism in the book.

Have you ever stopped to think about that theory? That only those who have played the game are qualified to judge what takes place on the field?

If we all adhered to this theory, we couldn't evaluate the food eat unless we were professional chefs. That movie you hated? Well, have you ever made a movie? Then who are you to talk?

Most of us see how ridiculous this defense mechanism is and just like the outdated thinking of college football past, this too will soon be universally dismissed as a weak excuse to mask some other issues. Until then we'll just have to continue to call out these clowns and hope that someday they see the light.

Back to the matter at hand - have you heard that the Capper is on a roll? Sure, rolls like this are bound to come to a crashing halt at some point, but until then, I'm going to pretend like I really am this good ... until I'm not.


Cream of the Crop
(Week: 3-0/Season: 8-5)


Rutgers at Louisville:
This will be a short week for both Rutgers and Louisville, but there are a couple differences in how each team got here. Louisville breezed to a 30-7 win over Temple, while Rutgers was taken to triple-OT at Rice and Louisville is healthy for the most part, while Rutgers is missing its best offensive weapon Paul James. Beyond that, Rutgers has struggled on the defensive side of the ball, and that's bad news as Teddy Bridgewater is waiting in the wings. Throw in a spotlight game for Teddy and this one could get ugly.

Side: Louisville -19.5

Texas A&M at Mississippi:
These teams played a classic game last season with Ole Miss coming up on the wrong end by just three points. A lot has changed since - Johnny Manziel is now the best player in the country and Ole Miss is now a legitimate team ... or is it? I'll be honest; I'm not sold on the Rebels just yet. Their early season success seems like ancient history after their two most recent defeats to Alabama and Auburn. It doesn't get any easier this week, and the Rebels are about to go up against the best offense they've seen all season. The Rebels might get their shots in, but in the end, 5.5 points is not too much to ask.

Side: Texas A&M -5.5

Missouri at Georgia:
It's tough to tell if Missouri is for real, but last week's win at Vanderbilt was very impressive. Georgia also picked up a nice, albeit close, win at Tennessee last week, but the Bulldogs days may be numbered. Good college football teams can usually withstand an injury or two to their skill players, but Georgia is now on its third-string RB and the talent drop is visible. That's not the only problem, though, the defense, which has been abused nearly every week this season, isn't showing any signs of improvement. Missouri has enough on offense to take advantage of the poor Bulldogs defense and as such, the Tigers will keep this one close.

Side: Missouri +8

Florida at LSU:
Maybe my recent record is getting to my head, but I think this line is ridiculous. LSU has faced some stiff competition this year, and for the most part, the Tigers have fared well. Florida has not impressed me one bit this year, and last I checked, Baton Rouge is kind of a tough place to play. A line less than one touchdown looks like a gift here.

Side: LSU -6.5

Best of the Rest
(Week: 4-0/Season: 19-9)


Texas vs. Oklahoma:
This rivalry has seen just about everything over the years. We've seen bad Texas teams beat good Oklahoma teams and the reverse. This is one of those rivalries where, say it with me, "you can throw out the record book." Well, it has been one of those rivalries. I don't see it playing out like that this year, because this year, the Longhorns have too many holes. I don't have much faith in the Sooners beyond this game, but for one day, they are going to look really good.

Side: Oklahoma -13.5

Boston College at Clemson:
BC has picked up its play the last two weeks, but the Eagles are still struggling on defense and that is one area you need shored up when facing Clemson. BC cruised to a 21-point win last week against Army, but it also surrendered 27 points to an inferior foe. The week prior it was 48 to FSU. I can't imagine Clemson putting up any less than 50 here.

Side: Clemson -24

Stanford at Utah:
Stanford, along with Oregon, looks like the class of the PAC-12, and that's saying quite a bit considering the depth of talent in the conference this year. Although the Cardinal struggled to put away a good Washington team last week, I don't think they'll have that issue this week. Sometimes it's a good thing when a good team fails to close with style. Look for Stanford to impress this week and win by double digits.

Side: Stanford -8.5

PASSing Thoughts
(Week: 3-2/Season: 14-11-2)


Arizona at USC:
I don't know how the coaching change at USC will play out, but I do know this - the Trojans defense was embarrassed last time out, and you can bet that they'll be ready to go on Thursday. The bad news for USC is the likely absence of WR Marquise Lee. USC struggled on offense with Lee, one can only imagine how ugly it might get without him.

Under 47.5


Nebraska at Purdue:
When we last saw Purdue, the Boilermakers were getting thumped by the best team in the MAC. That was two weeks ago, and while I'm sure the Purdue defense will come in motivated, I doubt that will matter as Nebraska brings in an offense every bit as good as NIU. Nebraska has its own issues on the defensive side of the ball, which means this game should be a track meet.

Over 57

Baylor at Kansas State:
Baylor is Oregon-South. Can the Bears keep up their outrageous pace through the Big 12 season? Probably not, but I see no reason why they slow down this week against Kansas State. To be safe, it's probably wise to take the over here as well as there is no way to tell how strong the Baylor defense is.

Side: Baylor -17

Over 71.5

Oregon at Washington:
It was only one quarter, but something about the way the Ducks opened up against Colorado last week made me a little nervous about taking them blindly the rest of the way. Washington will be the Ducks' stiffest test to this point, and I'm a little worried that the defense might not hold up. Add to that the Huskies never-say-die attitude, and I think we are in for a great game.

Side: Washington +13

Michigan at Penn State:
Penn State looked pretty bad last week, but the same can be said for Michigan in a couple spots earlier this season. Although Michigan covered last week, the Wolverines weren't all that impressive against a weak Gophers team. Home-field advantage will play a huge role in this game as Penn State sneaks out a victory.

Side: Penn State +1.5