Record after week ten: 108-58, 76-88-2 AS
12 pm ET
Tennessee (5-4) at Mississippi (6-3) (-5)
I needed a buffer game or two before I pick the legalized murder that will be Penn State/Indiana, so I figured I’d throw this game in the mix. Now that it’s been a couple of days, I have no idea why I did that. Enjoy the 2009 Who Cares Bowl, Rebels and Vols fans.
Pick: Ole Miss wins but doesn’t cover
(7) Georgia Tech (9-1) at Duke (5-4) (+13)
“You’ve got to get a half-yard. If you get a half-yard, you’ve got a chance to win the game. I thought our chances to get a half-yard were better than 50-50.” – Paul Johnson on why he’s my favorite coach in all of college football he went for it in OT against Wake Forest.
The Option Revolution is in Durham this week for something of a trap game. It continues Saturday and soon, very soon, the whole of North America will be ours. And then…THE WORLD. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
Pick: Georgia Tech
Indiana (4-6) at (18) Penn State (8-2) (-25)
Great, we got Penn State the week after they crap the bed and lose to Ohio State, thus destroying their shot at the BCS. Daryll Clark’s senior season is ruined, and everyone is wondering whether this whole resurgence from Penn State is for real or not. And we get to play them in Happy Valley. Great. Just great.
Like every other Big Ten team, Penn State is vulnerable and can be beaten on any given Saturday. The downside is IU’s defense is going to need to show up like it hasn’t in previous weeks millenia. Also not a good sign.
But is my faith shattered? Absolutely not. I totally believe this team and….wait….are they f*cking making fun of the Little 500? Listen, you smarmy western-Pennsylvania bastards, I’m no genius Michigan alum, but you don’t talk crap about the Little 500. Actually, I think it’s overrated too, but THAT’S NOT THE POINT. You’ve made a powerful enemy today, Penn State.
Pick: Penn State wins but doesn’t cover
Michigan (5-5) at (20) Wisconsin (7-2) (-9)
I’m only picking this game because it’s part of the Rich Rodriguez Death Watch 2009. His getting fired is such a played out headline. I think a Schembechler-loving Michigan alum might take him out at some point this season. Good thing it’s a home game.
This transition from Lloyd Carr to “modern” football couldn’t have been botched worse by Michigan. Didn’t they learn from Nebraska and the Solich/Callahan decision. That was like eight years ago and Nebraska STILL hasn’t recovered from getting the wrong guy and trying to change the culture. What’s even crazier is Solich’s offense worked just f*cking fine. Crazier still, the option made a huge comeback in college football with Utah, Florida, and Georgia Tech.
Like the Gotham underworld and the Joker, Michigan stuck themselves with a man they did not fully understand. Now they’re paying the consequences.
I don’t actually think Michigan should fire Rodriguez unless some serious stuff comes out beyond the current allegations. It’s not his fault he doesn’t have the local press in his hands like Mack Brown and other major-college coaches. His offense works, and he doesn’t seem to be guilty of much more than being something of a Woody Hayes knockoff.
Pick: Wisconsin wins but doesn’t cover
(15) Houston (8-1) at Central Florida (5-4) (+4.5)
Such a trap game for Houston. They had yet another come-from-behind win last week and may be a little flat to start this one on the road. This team needs a nice, easy win, not another ulcer-inducer. Case Keenum should win the damn Heisman this year, by the way.
3:30 pm ET
Stanford (6-3) at (9) Southern California (7-2) (-10.5)
It’s been a couple of years, but this is still a revenge game. Worse for Stanford, USC absolutely will not take them lightly after beating Oregon last week. Correction: stomping Oregon last week. Plus, USC’s defense can always stop a pro-style runner like Toby Gerhart. It’s the freaky-option (i.e. Oregon, Texas, West Virginia) they historically have trouble with. I’m surprised everyone in the Pac-10 isn’t switching to it right now.
I expect another low-scoring, defensive game with USC making plays or two. Just make sure Mark Bradford is covered, okay Pete?
Pick: USC wins but doesn’t cover
Idaho (7-3) at (6) Boise State (9-0) (-31)
Who knew this would be a good game at the beginning of the season? Actually, it still may not be, but it’s nice to see Idaho with such a good record. I couldn’t name one of their players without some prompting, but hey, seven wins is seven wins. That’s just super.
This is still a big brother/little brother situation. Idaho has done a great job this year, but they’re having quarterback issues, and you just can’t have that heading into a rivalry game week against a BCS-bound conference opponent. Just doesn’t work out well.
Pick: Boise State wins but doesn’t cover
(10) Iowa (9-1) at (11) Ohio State (8-2) (-17)
Iowa has to win this game. Not for itself, but because they f*cked us all over by effectively handing the Big Ten to Ohio State. This conference and this country cannot take another BCS appearance and Big Ten Championship for Ohio State. It cannot handle it. The economy is already screwed. Congress clearly doesn’t give a f*ck about the average American. Obama is powerless in the face of big business. We can’t take Ohio State showing up in a BCS bowl and getting owned again. We just can’t. Thus, Iowa must win. For America.
Pick: Ohio State wins but doesn’t cover
(1) Florida (9-0) at South Carolina (6-4) (+17)
MAN would Steve Spurrier love to screw up Florida’s shot at another national title. Urban Meyer already has more than the OBC managed in his time in Gainesville, plus sticking it to Florida would give the old man a little more momentum into next season. It’s to the point where he’s thinking about when he’s going to hang it up. One more win like this would re-energize him a lot.
It’s not happening.
Florida is going to win yet another boring, defensive game in which Tebow and the offense make just a couple of more plays than South Carolina’s defense. Besides, the fix is already in for a one-loss Florida team to make it into the BCS championship game over undefeated Cincinnati, Boise State, and TCU teams anyway. Might as well just admit it now.
Pick: Florida wins but doesn’t cover
4 pm ET
Fresno State (6-3) at Nevada (5-3) (-7)
That’s right, this game features a dark-horse Heisman candidate, but it’s not Colin Kaepernick. Ryan Matthews is tearing up Fresno’s schedule. Too bad I can’t say the same about Fresno’s whole football team. At least they came back from that crap start, though. You’d think a running back this good would have translated to at least one win against out-of-conference opponents who were any good.
You have to like the shootout here. Neither team is that interested in defense and both possess fantastic offenses. Besides, I like watching Nevada operate. It’s what Indiana’s offense is supposed to look like.
7 pm ET
Arizona (6-2) at (17) California (6-3) (+3)
Big game in the Pac-10. Arizona controls its own destiny and can make the Rose Bowl if it wins out. But Cal is the ranked team here and they’re not too terrible. Worse, Jahvid Best won’t even be at 100%, so there’s not going to be a whole lot of highlights. I think Shane Vereen and Co. can make a few plays and make this game very, very interesting. I haven’t seen much of them, but I’m having a hard time believing Arizona is for real. This conference WANTS to hand the title back to USC. They don’t know what to do without them in the BCS.
(2) Alabama (9-0) at Mississippi State (4-5) (+12)
Mississippi State could win this game. It’s not like Greg McElroy and the offense are just so amazingly good now that they beat LSU. The Tigers were just a flawed team with high expectations. The Bulldogs are a team with nothing to lose who gave Florida, Alabama’s SEC Championship game opponent, a pretty close game. Expect something similar here.
The only difference is we probably shouldn’t root for Alabama to lose. That is, if you’re one of those people rooting for BCS chaos like a Florida/Cincy championship game or something.
If ‘Bama loses before the SEC title game, it means they’ll be a two-loss team taking a shot at a BCS berth, and they’d probably get it. I don’t think the Sugar Bowl would be totally disappointed to have them come instead of some random non-qualifier. It’s about money after all. But if Alabama is only a one-loss team, they’re not screwing anyone out of a berth and maybe the BCS takes two non-qualifiers instead of just the one.
7:30 pm ET
(16) Utah (8-1) at (4) TCU (9-0) (-19.5)
I think this game’s a sneaky blowout for TCU. The Utes have done an amazing job this year. They only have one loss and they lost a hell of a lot of guys this past offseason. That said, TCU is going to take advantage of their inexperience on offense and end up with a bunch of touchdowns. ESPN’s preview thinks the Utes are going to score 24 points. Does that seem realistic against TCU’s defense? I didn’t think so.
Pick: TCU wins but doesn’t cover
8 pm ET
Texas Tech (6-3) at (19) Oklahoma State (7-2) (-4)
Sucks to be the other, less fascinating game on ABC. I actually don’t care that much, but it’s a national television game, so I thought I’d throw it out there anyway.
I actually like Tech’s shot at playing some defense against OSU’s offense. I think they can limit the running game and make a couple of plays. For once, though, it’s hard to trust Tech’s offense.
Pick: Texas Tech
Notre Dame (6-3) at (12) Pittsburgh (8-1) (-7)
Has Notre Dame recovered from that truly horrible loss to Navy? They were dominated by a service academy. DOMINATED. It was like their roles were flipped, and now Navy has beaten the Irish twice in three years.
So Pitt couldn’t be on the schedule at a worse time for Notre Dame. The Panthers are really good, and essentially play the way USC does, though probably not as well. I can’t believe I’m about to pick a Dave Wannstedt team…
10:20 pm ET
Arizona State (4-5) at (13) Oregon (7-2) (-18)
This won’t be much of a game, but LaGarrette Blount is back for this game, so it’s a story. I don’t care. Others will. They’ll say it’s an outrage and it’s horrible. But come on. If Oregon wants to let guys back after they do dumb stuff like that, then so be it.
11 pm ET – ish
Manny Pacquiao over Miguel Cotto
Not only that, but I think Pac-Man knocks him out.