Record after week 10: 107-50 (78-76-3 ATS)
12 pm ET
Miami (6-3) at Georgia Tech (5-4) (+3)
Both teams have not played even close to expectations. Both teams lost their stud quarterback recently. Miami’s offense sputters easily. Georgia Tech’s defense is terrible. What’s a gambler to do? Stay the hell away from this game, if you’re smart.
I can’t help it, I’m one of those football fans that’s obsessed with offensive schemes and finding the perfect scheme that works no matter what. That’s why I’m still tempted to watch because this can prove whether Paul Johnson’s offense will work without Jonathan Dwyer AND Josh Nesbitt. I’m sure he’s been developing some one. I love me some Paul Johnson-option offense.
I also hate that he hired Al Groh. The guy is pretty knowledgeable, but he’s just coming off an absolutely terrible tenure at Virginia in this very same conference. Doesn’t it feel like the guy needed to step away from the ACC for a while?
Pick: Georgia Tech
(13) Iowa (7-2) at Northwestern (6-3) (+10)
Yet another “Northwestern Game.” By that, I mean a game in which the Wildcats will play extremely well, probably even take the lead at some point, and end up losing a heartbreaker. It’s what they do. Northwestern isn’t a small-time chump in a big conference like Vanderbilt (seriously, if your school has to say, “well, the baseball team is good,” there are problems). They are legitimately tough every year, and it’s almost totally inexplicable.
I hate them. Why can’t Indiana do that? And don’t tell me it’s because Northwestern’s a better school so the kids are smarter. Dick.
Pick: Iowa wins but doesn’t cover
Indiana (4-5) at (6) Wisconsin (8-1) (-21.5)
I spent all week talking about not watching this game. I’ve had it with this team. Even when they play well, they find ways to get my wife to ask my why I put myself through this every Saturday. I wonder if the team wonders the same thing. Damarlo Belcher’s drop last week against Iowa is only one of many ways Indiana has found to lose. Besides, if the defense makes Iowa take ten plays to score instead of three, Indiana might win that game anyway.
Michigan (6-3) at Purdue (4-5) (+13)
Can Michigan’s historically awful defense find a way to make Purdue’s historically bad offense look good? Stay tuned.
12:30 pm ET
Kansas State (6-3) at (20) Missouri (7-2) (-12.5)
Now that K-State deee-stroyed Texas last week, I’m pretty sure they’re capable of almost anything. Classic Bill Snyder team that way, which means they can also lose to anyone. But Mizzou at home? Probably too tall an order.
Pick: Missouri wins but doesn’t cover
2:30 pm ET
(15) Utah (8-1) at Notre Dame (4-5) (+6)
If Notre Dame wins this game without Armando Allen and Dayne Crist, Brian Kelly should be their coach for life. Also, it’s totally possible that losing his starters like that helped him out in the long run. The injuries lowered everyone’s expectations so much that there’s no way they can hold it against Kelly anymore. The only way he’s getting fired now is if something outrageous happens or if the university president decides Jack Swarbrick fucked up and uses the death of that kid as proof.
3:30 pm ET
Georgia (5-5) at (2) Auburn (10-0) (-8)
Sneaky-tough game for Auburn. Georgia’s offense might do just enough to get a shootout going, and who knows what happens then? What’s more likely is that Georgia somehow figures out a way to make Cam Newton have a mediocre game and the score is strangely close. But would the pollsters drop Auburn if they played a close game against a crap team like they would to TCU or Boise? I think we all know the answer to that.
(16) Virginia Tech (7-2) at North Carolina (6-3) (+3.5)
Speaking of Boise State, how is that Virginia Tech win going to look when they win the ACC? You can bet the BCS would match those two up in a heartbeat in like the Orange Bowl or something.
That said, North Carolina could absolutely take them down, but it would be because of Tech player mistakes. There’s no way Bud Foster will have trouble gameplanning for UNC’s simple offense.
Pick: Virginia Tech
Pennsylvania State (6-3) at (8) Ohio State (8-1) (-18)
I realize Ohio State is at home and they don’t suck, but eighteen points? Penn State isn’t THAT bad this year. Besides, this is the Big Ten, and, Michigan/Illinois game aside, we don’t cotton to high-scoring football games in November. It just ain’t right. The Democrats in Congress just don’t get that. They need to understand OUR values, damn it.
Pick: Ohio State wins but doesn’t cover
4 pm ET
San Diego State (7-2) at (3) Texas Christian (10-0) (-27)
Not only this this a major letdown game situation for TCU, but SDSU is actually pretty good, so 27 points is a little outrageous this late in the season. TCU NEEDS to cover this spread to keep the talking heads’ attention, but I just don’t see it happening.
Also, if I were SDSU, I would hold onto Brady Hoke with both hands. A lot of schools are going to come calling very shortly, and giving him up would be a HUGE mistake.
Pick: TCU wins but doesn’t cover.
7 pm ET
Texas A&M (6-3) at Baylor (7-3) (+3)
Seven wins is enough for Baylor. No way are they getting carried away and shooting for eight or, gasp, double digits. Seven is enough. Also, how much does it suck to be Jerrod Johnson right now? Talk about a disappointing season.
Pick: Texas A&M
7:15 pm ET
(22) South Carolina (6-3) at (24) Florida (6-3) (-6.5)
Is this still the Spurrier Bowl? Can’t really say anymore. Gator fans are going to riot if they drop this game to Stephen Garcia. Screw losing to Spurrier again. In the grand scheme of things, Florida losing isn’t such a disaster for the Gators. Everyone knows they already suck, and at this point, there really isn’t much of a difference between 7-5 and 8-4 for Florida. Their season is already screwed, though I’m sure Gators fans would much prefer 8-4.
Pick: South Carolina
(17) Mississippi State (7-2) at (11) Alabama (7-2) (-13)
If Alabama doesn’t cover this spread, Saban is leaving for the Dallas Cowboys. And you can put that in the bank.
7:30 pm ET
(1) Oregon (9-0) at Cal (5-4) (-20)
The thing to watch for this week is whether or not the referees will call Oregon for procedure penalties other teams have complained about. Watch to make sure their offensive players are actually set before the snap, whether the center is simulating a snap or not by moving his head up and down, and for Oregon’s quarterbacks moving their hands forward before the snap, which is illegal and almost never called.
8 pm ET
(12) Oklahoma State (8-1) at Texas (4-5) (+6)
Five bucks says the Cowboys choke this one away to Texas. The Big XII South is theirs if they can win this game and beat Oklahoma. That’s much too much pressure for this program of underdogs. It’s their identity. They won’t know what to do if they’re suddenly the marquee program in Oklahoma and a potential power in the Big XII.
I’m sticking to my theory about Mack Brown as well. I’m betting money he’s out of Austin after this year and handing the reins to Will Muschamp. Dude’s been the coach-in-waiting for a long time now and last year was Brown’s last, best shot at another national title. I think he’s hanging it up, and maybe the team already knows it too.
I hate making this pick so much…
Southern California (6-3) at (18) Arizona (7-2) (-4)
While Mike Stoops has always been able to limit USC’s offense, I just can’t see Arizona doing enough to win against a motivated USC team.
10:30 pm ET
(21) Nevada (8-1) at Fresno State (6-2) (+8.5)
No way does Fresno State play enough defense to stick with Nevada for a whole game. That said, it could be a very entertaining shoot out for three-plus quarters. I’m excited.