What I’m watching:
12 pm: Flipping between Nebraska/Penn State for the train-wreck-watching and Okie State/Texas Tech for the O-fence.
3:30 pm: TCU/Boise State – At least, until Boise pulls away. This game has gotten intense what with all the BCS meetings and non-AQ’s eating their own.
8pm: Stanford/Oregon – like everyone else.
12 pm ET
(16) Texas (6-2) at Missouri (4-5) (+1.5)
I guess the oddsmakers think this will be a shoot out? This line makes no sense. Even if the Longhorns suck on the road, there’s mounting evidence to suggest this Mizzou team sucks not matter where (or in which conference) it plays.
(19) Nebraska (7-2) at (12) Penn State (8-1) (+3.5)
Penn State has been winning really, really ugly all year. And now they’re losing ugly off the field too. Normally, I would warn people not to underestimate the chances of PSU making this game a tribute to JoePa. But there’s been way too much upheaval this week. No way does this team come in and dominate four quarters.
West Virginia (6-3) at (23) Cincinnati (7-1) (-3.5)
This spread is a perfect symbol for how much of a shambles WVU has been through the middle of the season. They looked fine early, but someone with Meltdown-itisosis must have taken a plane from Wisconsin to West Virginia and back, 12 Monkeys style. Also, Cincy is 7-1? When the hell did that happen? Said everyone.
Pick: West Virginia
(17) Michigan State (7-2) at Iowa (6-3) (+3)
That these two teams are within a game of each other (and Penn State is the only team undefeated in-conference) probably says more about this being the best SEC impression the Big Ten has ever done than it being a down year. There’s a whole lot of defense and crap-ass offence in the B1G this year, which probably sounds familiar to most SEC fans. Can’t wait for those bowl games, can you? Me either.
Pick: Michigan State
Florida (5-4) at (13) South Carolina (7-2) (-3.5)
Florida Apocalypse-obsessives would say that this Gators team is a dumpster fire and any survivors should just let it burn itself out and hope 2012 is better. Except that the Gamecocks are weakened, to say the least, and Florida can stick it to Steve Spurrier one more time just to make the alumni feel good. I’ve never gotten a definite answer on just how much Florida alumni hate or love Spurrier though. I get the occasional impression that they still miss him and wish he had just stuck around. Other times, I see full-fledged glee in beating South Carolina, but most of that was during the Urban Meyer Era when Florida was good.
(2) Oklahoma State (9-0) at Texas Tech (5-4) (+17.5)
Upset alert? Naaaaaaah. Could be a drop-your-Rolex-on-the-table shootout though.
Pick: Oklahoma State wins but doesn’t cover
3:30 pm ET
TCU (5-2) at (5) Boise State (8-0) (-15.5)
TCU is going to play this game like they’ve been personally insulted by Boise State. For what, I have no idea, but TCU coach Gary Patterson really likes to stick it to Boise in the media. Too bad the Horned Frogs’ secondary still sucks.
Pick: Boise State
(24) Michigan (7-2) at Illinois (6-3) (+1)
I don’t think they’re going to give us a sequel to last year’s awesome shootout, but you’re definitely going to see every play involving a mobile quarterback that both offensive coordinators can come up with. Also, if Denard Robinson was only the second-worst passer in the conference, Michigan beats Iowa last week.
Texas A&M (5-4) at (14) Kansas State (7-2) (+5)
Tough losses aside, Bill Snyder is still a magician with this program. You’d think every coach at a crap school in a major conference would follow his blueprint. I wasn’t going to pick this game, but I decided taking just a moment to laugh at the Aggies’ second annual full-on meltdown was worth it.
Pick: Kansas State wins but doesn’t cover
3:45 pm ET
Washington (6-3) at Southern California (7-2) (-11.5)
MAN does Steve Sarkisian love to stick it to Lane Kiffin. Everyone in the Pac-12 loves beating USC, but Sark takes as much enjoyment out of it as anyone other than Jim Harbaugh. Under Sarkisian, Washington always plays USC close. Not this year.
6:30 pm ET
UCLA (5-4) at Utah (5-4) (-7)
Glimmer of hope for UCLA with their recent good play? Could it be Rick Neuheisel is going to save his job in the best UCLA tradition of Steve Lavin? They only need one more win for bowl-eligibility, Bruins fans. It’s difficult to fire a coach after a season that results in a bowl berth. Just know that.
8 pm ET
(7) Oregon (8-1) at (4) Stanford (9-0) (-3.5)
Oregon’s offense has struggled recently just as much as Stanford’s defense has. That said, I trust LaMichael James to make a few more plays than the Cardinal’s no-name defensive unit (sorry, Stanford, no one knows any of your non-injured players). However, one of my rules is this: never bet on Oregon’s defense to win you a game. They’re always much too soft and, you know, bad.
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