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South Florida-Rutgers Thursday Night College Football Preview & Pick

Posted by in College Football Picks on October 16th, 2007 | Comment »

If you’re looking for my week 7 NFL picks, you can can follow the link to get to those.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 7 REACTION:

This year has been crazy for college football, which is why I’ll stay away from betting on college football and stick with the NFL because that’s what I know best.  Too much crazy stuff happens in college football and it seems that turnovers and special teams plays happen more often in college and completely change the course of a game.

Last week I was between taking Boston College -13.5 over Notre Dame and South Flordia -10.5 over Central Florida.  I thought South Florida was legit, but I was dissuaded because everyone kept talking about what a phenomenal back Central Florida has.  I then thought Boston College was a sure pick over Notre Dame, who can’t do anything on offense.  Well I took Boston College big and ended up losing by half a point, which was from an missed extra point after their first touchdown of the game.  Then 7 of Notre Dame’s 14 points came by the way of an interception return.  I’m still not over that game; it still bugs the hell out of me.  But the NFL weekend made up for it thanks to the Patriots and Giants.

FREE SOUTH FLORIDA-RUTGERS PREVIEW/PICK:

South Florida (6-0) -2.5 @ Rutgers (4-2)

On Thursday night ESPN will feature a great Thursday Night game — South Florida will visit Rutgers.  At first I thought South Florida would be favored by 6, but then I saw that the spread was South Florida -2.5 and I couldn’t believe it.  I would have taken South Florida at -6 if I had to, so I love them at -2.5.  Last week I said South Florida was legit, but I didn’t think they were as legit as a 64-12 victory over a Central Florida team that is still pretty good.

South Florida and Rutgers match up pretty evenly on paper.  South Florida averages 35.2 PPG, Rutgers averages 37.2 PPG.  South Florida gives up 15.7 PPG, Rutgers gives up 17.2 PPG.  South Florida averages 395 yards of offense, Rutgers averages 489 yards.  South Florida gives up 288 yards per game, Rutgers gives up 296 yards per game.

However, this year Rutgers hasn’t done much to impress me, while South Florida, on the other hand, looks like the real deal. South Florida’s defense is legit: they look like an NFL defense the way they attack the quarterback and they probably have the best cornerback in college football.  If you can hold West Virginia to 13 points, your defense is for real.  Rutgers, I think, is still living off the name they made for themselves last year.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re not a bad team, but they haven’t beat any legitimate team this year and they’ve lost to two teams they should have beat AT HOME.  Look at their resume.  Rutgers has beaten Buffalo, Navy, Norfolk State, and Syracuse.  Rutgers has lost to Cincinnati and Maryland at home, and I have news for you: South Florida is much better than those teams.

What else does South Florida have going for them?  They have a +21 turnover differential this year, while Rutgers has turned the ball over a lot this year.  Additionally, South Florida has not allowed a 100 yard rusher all season long, so I don’t expect Ray Rice to reach the century mark Thursday,  especially if West Virginia’s Steve Slaton and Central Florida’s Kevin Smith haven’t been able to.

I like South Florida a lot here, but will the Thursday-night-home-underdog factor help out Rutgers?  You be the judge, but I’ll take South Florida at the favorable -2.5 spread.

Pick: South Florida -2.5 Spread – Confidence 4/5

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