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NCAA College Football 2010-11 Week 4 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2010-11 College Football Week 4 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | September 23-25, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, Sept. 23

Miami (-3 1/2, 51) at Pitt, 8:00 pm - Just maybe the Miami Hurricanes are a little bit overrated. They are, after all, only 1-1, and their win was a 45-0 thumping of Florida A&M; their loss was at Ohio State, 36-24. The game was not as close as the score may indicate to some, but Miami did suffer four turnovers, while the Buckeyes committed none. Maybe they're not so bad, after all.

They're on the road again, this time to Pittsburgh, which lost at Utah, 27-24 and then beat up on New Hampshire. They too are 1-1, but they have a relatively untested sophomore QB, Tino Sunseri, and running back Dion Lewis hasn't exactly flashed any of the brilliance of last season. They also have a number of players suspended and will be without the services of defensive end Greg Romeus, who is out for the season.

Miami may not be as good as some would believe, but Pitt might just be a shadow of what they were last season.

Prediction: Hurricanes 34 Panthers 20

Friday, Sept. 24

TCU (-17 1/2, 55 1/2) at SMU, 8:00 pm - Fire up the jets, this one should be a barn burner, with two capable offenses taking the field. The Mustangs are fortunate to be at home, but considering they only beat Washington State by two TDs last week, 35-21, they may not be much of a match for the rugged defense that the Horned Frogs will be bringing with them.

While this may sound like a religious war (Texas Christian vs. Southern Methodist), it will be more of a case of Christians imitating Roman lions, as the TCU defenders gobble up any receiver crossing the middle of the field. The line is enormous for a reason. This is a monumental mismatch.

Prediction: Horned Frogs 42 Mustangs 17

Saturday, Sept. 25

Virginia Tech (-4, 49) at Boston College, 12:00 pm - Virginia Tech got a bad rap by not only losing to Boise State, but then going out the following week and laying the proverbial emotional egg against James Madison, losing 21-16, in what had to be the most embarrassing loss ever for a Frank Beamer-coached team.

The Hokies made amends last week by thumping a pretty good East Carolina squad, 49-27, so they appear to be ready for conference play. Boston is a good place for them to start, as they beat the Eagles 48-14 last year, but this season will be on the road. BC is 2-0, has had an extra week to prepare, and sports a decent defense, but the offense lacks depth and as good as their defenders are, the Hokie backfield of Tyrod Taylor, Darren Evans and Ryan Williams should prove too much to handle over the course of an entire 60 minutes. BC may keep this close for a half, but the Hokies will assert themselves after intermission.

Prediction: Hokies 38 Eagles 13

North Carolina St. at Georgia Tech (-8 1/2, 57 1/2), 12:00 pm - Is the 3-0 Wolfpack the real deal? Coach Tom O'Brien has had three years to get this program to where he wants it to be, and it seems like they've arrived. Last week's win over Cincinnati was an eye-opener to others in the ACC that not only can Russell Wilson throw the ball, he's got some fine receivers out there to catch and run with it.

The Wolfpack defense is also coming around, though they will be put to the test against the Georgia Tech option running game, which has a tendency to make other teams look very bad. The Yellow Jackets recovered from their unanticipated loss at Kansas with a nifty 30-24 win at North Carolina last week and already have one ACC win, looking at going 2-0. North Carolina State will give them all they can handle and maybe pull off the upset. These two didn't meet last season, but we may be looking at a preview of the conference title game. One never knows in the jumble that is the ACC.

Prediction: Wolfpack 27 Yellow Jackets 24

Alabama (7 1/2, 54 1/2) at Arkansas, 3:30 pm - Ryan Mallet is a quality quarterback and the Razorbacks have an excellent offensive team. Their defense, however, is a little lacking and that's trouble against good old #1 from Alabama.

The Crimson Tide look to keep their hold on the national championship for another season, and now that Mark Ingram is back, they look to be head and shoulders over the rest of the college teams. Not only is the offense dramatically improved over last season, the defense, despite some expected fall-off, is still among the best in the nation. Arkansas won't put up enough points to challenge.

Prediction: Crimson Tide 34 Razorbacks 14

--- Story continues below ---

Stanford (-4 1/2, 58 1/2) at Notre Dame, 3:30 pm - The Fighting Irish have had a very troublesome 1-2 start, losing close calls to both Michigan and Michigan State after opening the season with a win over Purdue, and now, here comes more trouble, in the form of a Stanford Cardinal team with aspirations of a Rose Bowl and maybe much more.

Andrew Luck (10 TDs, 0 INTs) may be the best college quarterback in the country right now, and the Cardinal is playing for keeps. In their three wins over Sacramento State, UCLA and Wake Forest (not a pushover between them) Stanford has won by an average of 38 points, and while Notre Dame has a serviceable defense and a quality offense, the Cardinal looks to be too much for them to handle.

Prediction: Cardinal 41 Fighting Irish 31

Temple at Penn State (-16 1/2, 43), 3:30 pm - JoPa and his Nittany Lions better not sleep on the Owls, who are off to a great 3-0 start after handling UConn last week, 30-16. Now, we're not saying that Penn State isn't very good, it's just that the Owls are on a mission and Penn State is probably just a shade over ordinary.

The Lions lost to Alabama, 24-3, on the road, and that's no disgrace. They've won their other two games, but those were against Youngstown State (won by 30) and Kent State (won by 24). If there's any kind of trend developing here, ot is one which brings these two squads closer together. A 10-to-17-point win by Penn State would not be a surprise, but the Owls aren't in town to cover the line, they want to win and with a few breaks may pull off a major upset.

Prediction: Owls 23 Nittany Lions 21

UCLA at Texas (-15 1/2, 43), 3:30 pm - The Bruins were blown apart by Stanford a few weeks back, 35-0, which added insult to injury after falling in their opener, 31-22, at Kansas State. UCLA did turn things positive with an unlikely win over Houston, throttling Case Keenum and the Houston passing game to the tune of a 31-13 upset win.

The Bruins proved two things: They can play defense and the offense, though imperfect, is moving in the right direction. That's good, because they'll need to be at the top of their game against the 3-0 Longhorns, fresh off a 24-14 win over Texas Tech.

Texas hasn't exactly overpowered anyone, and the offense and defense seem to both be a step short of national championship caliber. This is a serious game for both programs and the players will be heavily invested. In what should be a defensive struggle, look for the Bruins to shock everyone again and deliver the first major upset of the season.

Prediction: Bruins 17 Longhorns 10

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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