The Big E College Football Picks: Week Nine

There was very little to like about anything from last week. 

Most of the Irish fan base has spent this week either in the fetal position, arguing about semantics of the silliest of issues, or full-out screaming at each other.

Good times.

Hopefully we can get this thing back on track this week. I suffered my worst week of betting and it wasn't very pretty. Sometimes that's the way it goes.

Now, a look back at week eight before this weekend's upcoming games.

Last Week: 4-8

Overall: 55-37

Wins

*Kansas State beat Kansas by 38 points. Thirty-eight points people!! 

*Oklahoma State didn't let the upset bug get to them with a 21-point win over Missouri. The Tigers were ranked to the start this season weren't they? Now they are 3-4.

*Miami helped out Georgia Tech's free-fall with a much-to-easy victory in front of their raucous Coral Gables crowd. 

*Boise was only able to beat Air Force by 11 points and didn't even come close to covering. Doesn't this feel like a pretty average Boise State team given their recent success. What would the spread be if they are undefeated and in the title game against LSU/Alabama? Maybe 18.5 points?

Losses

*Notre Dame didn't cover and flat out lost to USC.

*Clemson continues their zombie season with another cover---this time against North Carolina.

*Virginia Tech wasn't able to cover against a hapless Boston College team. I'm still kicking myself for not taking the Eagles here. 

*LSU continues to cover large spreads like they aren't LSU anymore. They dispatched Auburn on Saturday.

*Alabama had no problems with Tennessee and just barely covered their sizable spread. 

*The one game I did pick a favorite to cover a big spread---Tech goes and straight up beats Oklahoma.

*Wisconsin dreams of a natty have been shattered again by Michigan State. We beat the Spartans, right?

*Stanford continued their season of mauling opponents with a 65-21 beat down of Washington. The Cardinal have won all their games this season by margins of 54, 30, 27, 26, 41, 30, and 44 points.

Now to the picks for week nine....

Navy (+20.5) at Notre Dame

Pick: Navy

See post, Middies Seek First-Ever Three Game Winning Streak against Irish

Michigan State (+4) at Nebraska

Pick: Michigan State

Super early game, on the road, after two taxing games against traditional rivals---does it spell doom for Michigan State? You would have to think so, right?

Still, how sure are we that Nebraska is any good? I hate to make the comparison but Wisconsin roughed up the Corn, but just lost to Sparty. 

It's tempting to pick Nebraska in Lincoln here, but I'll take the points. 

Purdue (+14) at Michigan

Pick: Michigan

Typically teams play their best against Notre Dame and then throw out various versions of suck the rest of the season. Purdue was actually the opposite of this theory in 2011. After being humiliated by the Irish they've actually played pretty well.

But come on, the Boilers still aren't very good and I can't see them hanging for more than a half in this game. If Michigan's defense is even half as improved as their stats are, they should win this comfortably. 

Missouri (+10) at Texas A&M

Pick: Texas A&M

I think it's time to give up on Missouri for this season---they've just lost too much talent to the NFL and haven't recruited well enough to keep their train on the tracks.

Meanwhile, the Aggies are quietly putting themselves back into the national picture. I love their balance on offense and look for them to roll by 20 or more in this game.

Oklahoma (-13.5) at Kansas State

Pick: Oklahoma

It's funny how the college football world completely understands one fluky game. The Sooners just lost to freakin' Texas Tech but are big favorites against a gritty and undefeated K-State?

Okay then...let me be the one who falls for that trap and thinks Oklahoma is going to destroy Kansas State with a big bounce back victory. There's no way Stoops doesn't have his club running through a wall for this one, and it will be goodnight to the Wildcats perfect season.

Baylor (+14) at Oklahoma State

Pick: Oklahoma State

Something is telling me to pick the underdog here, but I can't in good conscience take a Baylor defense going up against the Cowboys offense. 14 points might seem like a lot to cover, but it's really not if you expect Okie State to put half a hundred on the scoreboard.

The Bears are coming off a bye week, but I'll take the Fighting Gundy's to keep their undefeated season going with a cover here.

Illinois (+5.5) at Penn State

Pick: Illinois

Did you know that Illinois just lost to Purdue? They've now lost two straight since opening the season 6-0. 

Meanwhile, Penn State is 7-1 and just scored a whopping 34 points against Northwestern! Should I trust the Nittany Lions to score enough points to cover here?

The answer is absolutely not. I don't think I would take Penn State to be almost a touchdown favorite over most BCS teams. Sorry!

Georgia (-3) at Florida

Pick: Georgia

I quickly tried to find out who is playing QB for the Gators and didn't find any information. No matter, I'm still taking the Dawgs in this one. I'm a big believer in the Weis offense being a clogged toilet without a good quarterback and Florida doesn't have one even with Brantley.

I've felt for a few weeks that Georgia will win the East division and go on to pick up Keith Marshall as Richt keeps his job. We'll weep and throw stuff around, but I think it's going to happen. A Georgia victory this weekend is the big step towards that future.

South Carolina (-3.5) at Tennessee

Pick: South Carolina

The Gamecocks will lose one more conference game, but it won't be this one. Tennessee is coming into this after being beat up by Georgia, LSU, and Alabama in consecutive games. They don't have Tyler Bray anymore and are basically afraid to throw the ball with Matt Simms.

Losing Lattimore is a big blow for South Carolina but I think they're still talented enough to win comfortably in Knoxville (which everyone seems to be doing lately).

Clemson (-3.0) at Georgia Tech

Pick: Clemson

You have to be impressed with this Clemson offense because they are just dominant foes left and right. 

The Georgia Tech offense has gone stone cold over the past three weeks and that's not a good sign coming up against the Tigers. I think this spread should be a lot higher---Clemson all the way.

Wisconsin (-7) at Ohio State

Pick: Wisconsin

What do you think about this spread? Ohio State doesn't have much of an offense but they're defense can still play ball with the best of them. Does playing in the 'Shoe make this a close game?

Eh, probably not. I'm going to take Wisconsin's balanced offense. This has to be a game where they make a statement and rebound from their loss last week. Ohio State is coming off a bye but I don't see the Badgers struggling offensively to the point where this is a less than a 10-point game when it's all over.

Stanford (-7.5) at USC

Pick: Stanford

I'm pretty confident with this pick, and I would be shocked if USC won this game. 

I think the Trojans will have an emotional let down and will quit (see what I did there?) after a few scoring drives from Andrew Luck. I still believe USC to be a really strong team, but they won't look as good as they did last weekend against the Irish.

The result will be a 15-point Stanford win, or thereabouts.

Enjoy the weekend!

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