I’m always on the lookout for new and different ways to pick games. Some things work and some things don’t. Often as not it seems to be the human factor that turns a good handicapping effort into a bad one. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun, if not useful, to take the human factor out of things. Each week for the rest of the season we are going to take three high profile games and let my PlayStation 2 tell me what t do. We’ll simulate the games using the starting rosters, and using NCAA Football 09 from EA Sports. We’ll keep track to see how things go and if it has strengths and weaknesses. Standard disclaimer – this is just for fun and doesn’t represent real picks in any way. Put another way, you would have to be on drugs to bet these.
Alabama (+6.5) at Georgia – The battle for early SEC supremacy should be a good one. It wasn’t too bad in video game form. Georgia jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, but Alabama tied t up by the half. Georgia scored again early in the second half, but then things ground to a halt. There was just one more field goal, by Georgia, and the defenses were clearly in command. Neither team successfully established a run, and Alabama actually led in total offense, but Georgia won the game 17-7. That’s a cover.
Minnesota (+18.5) at Ohio State – This one sets up to be more interesting than t appeared it would be at the start of the game. Minnesota has played very well, and seems to finally be rebuilding. Ohio State is reeling, though they have new life thanks to Terrelle Pryor. I played the simulation with Beanie Wells back in action. Both teams struggled early, with just a field goal by Ohio State in the first quarter. The Buckeyes had the lead 13-0 by the half, and the Gophers couldn’t get anything going. Another touchdown in the fourth gave the Buckeyes a 20-0 win, and an uninspiring cover. Minnesota showed that they still have a lot of work to do, but Ohio State again didn’t look like the dominant force many expected them to be at the start of the season. Pryor completed 60 percent of his passes, but didn’t have near the game he did last week, and looked more like a freshman than the all-world stud he did last week. Wells only ran for 79 yards, but scored both Buckeye touchdowns. Minnesota’s passing was awful.
TCU (+18.5) at Oklahoma – The Mountain West continues it’s battle for legitimacy against potentially the second best team in the country. Both teams can score, but it is perhaps the defenses that are underappreciated and will dictate the tone of the game. At least that’s what happened in video world. Oklahoma got off to a solid start and looked like they would run away with it – they were up 14-0 by the beginning of the second quarter. TCU settled in and made a game of it, though, scoring the next 10 points. Ultimately, the Sooners were too much for the Frogs, but TCU was more than respectable, losing 23-10. That’s a cover for the underdogs. Sam Bradford’s passing yards were down, but he was still the star of the game, completing 72 percent of his passes, and tossing three touchdowns.
So there you have it – my wise old PlayStation 2 picks Georgia, Ohio State and TCU. We’ll check in next Wednesday to see how it went, and what the machine says about next week.