While Fresno State and Northern Illinois are holding things down at the top of the BCS Buster list right now, there are a few teams who aren't ready to just give up that mantel to the Bulldogs and Huskies just yet—and they both come out the MAC.
Of course, I'm talking about Ball State and Bowling Green. Both are 5-1 on the season following wins last weekend and those wins put some people on notice to say the least.
Unfortunately, Week 7 of the season isn't going to be as kind in the matchup department, but before we get there, let us rewind a bit and remind you of just how great my picks have been all season folks!!
Week 6 Results: 4-2
Tulane is surprising me the most of any team at this point in time, at least in a good way, as they took down North Texas, 24-21, and handed me my only loss of the week. For shame I tell you, for shame.
However, I made up for it with a near exact call in the Northern Illinois W over Kent State, calling at 37-24 and having the game end 38-23. Hard to get much closer than that without nailing a score.
Jordan Lynch continues to impress, and for me his numbers should be putting him in the Heisman Trophy race (244yds passing, 94yds rushing last week). He has 1,113 yards passing (12 TDs to 4 INTs) and 533 yards rushing (3 TDs) already this season.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment this season is the fact that Utah State broke my picking heart and my entertainment value heart as Chuckie Keeton will be done for the season with a torn ACL. He suffered it in the BYU game last weekend and was a huge reason why the Cougars blasted the Aggies 31-14.
Season Record: 25-11
After looking back, its time to make like McFly and head "Back to the Future," if you will…
Week 7 Game of the Week:
East Carolina (4-2, 2-0 CUSA) at Tulane (4-2, 2-0 CUSA); Saturday, 3:30pm ET on WINT-TV in Carolina: Only four teams in Conference-USA are above .500 on the season and two of them square off. Coincidentally, both of these teams will also be off to The American next season, so perhaps it is fitting that they matchup leading their respective divisions in C-USA.
Tulane continues to defy logic, while East Carolina continues to show why Ruffin McNeill has a budding program on his hands. When the Green Wave win it is usually on the back of its defense, giving up just an average of 14.2 points a game, but in its two losses, its offense sputters a bit.
Give me the Pirates, even on the road in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome thanks to their high powered passing attack going up against the 10th ranked passing D in the the conference.
Prediction: East Carolina 33, Tulane 17
Rest of the Games (seriously, there weren't six good games to pick from but I will give it my best try):
Bowling Green (5-1, 3-0 MAC) at Mississippi State (2-3, 0-2 SEC); Saturday, 7:30pm ET on ESPN3: Yes, the Bulldogs play in the mighty SEC and the Falcons are "just" a MAC contender, but this is one of the better defenses Mississippi State has faced to date this season.
Sure, the Falcons got ripped up by Indiana of the Big Ten to the tune of 42-10, but if anyone equates the offensive firepower of Indiana to that of Mississippi State they are sadly mistaken. For me, the biggest question in this game is if the Falcons have enough on offense to help this defense out.
Mississippi State's downfall could be the two QB system they employed last week with Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott, LSU's defense (at least statically doesn't hold a candle to the Falcons D – I'm not sure who that says more or less about honestly).
I want to call for the upset here, especially seeing the Bulldogs' offense fold like a cheap suit against any defensive pressure, but it's the SEC and it's homecoming in Starkville. So, give me the home team in a very narrow game.
Don't be shocked if an upset happens here though.
Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Bowling Green 20
Boise State (3-2, 1-1 MWC) at Utah State (3-3, 2-0 MWC); Saturday at 8pm ET on CBS Sports Network: It is a real shame that Chuckie Keeton won't be around for this game against the Broncos as this is a HUGE matchup in the Mountain Division.
If the Broncos lose they are likely out of the race and if Utah State wins they have a huge leg up on everyone else in the division.
The question that needs to be answered still is who the heck is going to replace Keeton anyway? A battle is still ongoing between the veteran Craig Harrison and promising freshman Darell Garretson, at least according to reports as of Wednesday.
So, with those issues and the awesomeness of the Boise State defensive ends (DeMarcus Lawrence and Ricky Tjong-a-Tjo), I'm going to go with the Broncos in the drivers seat in this one. However, Utah State may just prove they are more than Chuckie Keeton after all as this is going to be a good game in my book.
Prediction: Boise State 31, Utah State 23
Rice (3-2, 2-0 C-USA) at UTSA (2-4, 1-1 C-USA); Saturday, 4pm ET on Time Warner Cable Sports: Look, I know I'm stretching things a bit, but Rice could be the class of the West division in Conference USA this year and UTSA is showing a lot of promise quickly for their new program.
Consider this a benchmark type game for the Roadrunners and if they could knock off Rice at home they could really be able to make some noise in the West this year.
Its no secret that Rice likes to run the football and they are successful at it as well. That is the major problem for a Roadrunners team that is giving up 153 yards a game on the ground. UTSA doesn't do enough well on offense to overcome the ground and pound the Owls can give a team and that is why Rice stays undefeated in C-USA play.
Prediction: Rice 37, UTSA 17
Kent State (2-4, 1-2 MAC) at Ball State (5-1, 2-0 MAC): 31-17 Ball State
San Jose State (2-3, 1-1 MWC) at Colorado State (2-3, 1-2 MWC): 33-31 San Jose State