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Crawling out of the basement since week three.
For the first time in a few weeks there aren't a ton of great night games on the schedule this weekend. We're in store for a busy Saturday afternoon.
I'm using a lot of help from Football Outsiders' S&P rankings to see if I can post a big record this week.
Let's get right to the picks.
AP rankings used where appropriate.
No. 18 Louisville (-3.5) at Pittsburgh
11:00 AM ET
Louisville is undefeated and inside the Top 25, but they are only 69th overall in S&P. That's what happens when you start the season with a super easy schedule and your biggest win by far is a near choke job against North Carolina.
I thought Pittsburgh might pick up a win last week at Syracuse and start to turn their season around but they faltered there. This can't be a good Pitt team. Louisville is coming off a bye week and they played in a hurricane down at Southern Miss last time we saw them, so I think they're being a little undervalued.
No. 6 Kansas State (-6.5) at Iowa State
12:00 PM ET
Pick: Kansas State
K-State is another undefeated team that isn't rated very highly by the S&P rankings. That's because they have a win over Oklahoma and really nothing else to brag about. The Wildcats currently sit at No. 34 in the overall S&P rankings, but we know they are much better than that.
Iowa State is 4-1 on the season and actually ranked 26th in the S&P thanks to wins over Iowa and TCU. The Cyclones typically play much better at home than on the road too, so there's that to consider.
This kind of has upset special written all over it, but the public is a little too hyped over Iowa State's defeat of the crumbling Horned Frogs. Collin Kelin & Co. take care of business with a comfortable road win.
No. 15 Texas (+2.5) at No. 13 Oklahoma
12:00 PM ET
This is a real tight game as the Horns are ranked 10th and Sooners 8th. Big Game Bob has generally done well against Texas, but not outright dominant---although they did put a fierce licking on them last year.
I'm picking Texas because of the revenge factor, their defense is better, and I think they've been tested more this year than OU. That, and the points. The points are my friend.
No. 1 Alabama (-21.5) at Missouri
3:30 PM ET
The Tide are still No. 1 in all rankings, both AP and S&P. You kind of get the feeling that they are sleep walking at this point and still able to dismantle teams.
Missouri has lost 3 games but comes into the weekend only at No. 37 in the S&P. They're getting a boost from a decent schedule but they won't be able to hang with Alabama this Saturday. The Tigers lost by 21 to Georgia (although that one was close in the 4th), to South Carolina by 21, and they just lost to Vanderbilt.
The Tide can win this something like 38-10, which sounds about right.
No. 5 West Virginia (-3.5) at Texas Tech
3:30 PM ET
Pick: West Virginia
These teams are only separated by 4 in the S&P rankings. I'm not really sure what's going but I don't think Texas Tech is good at all. They were just soundly defeated by Oklahoma, have a decent win against Iowa State, and a bunch of wins over joke opponents.
There's a lot of people screaming trap game here, and many more believing Texas Tech is going to be able to move the ball on that porous Mountaineer defense. Doesn't matter...Geno Smith. 'Neers win by 20 or more.
No. 10 Oregon State (+5.5) at BYU
3:30 PM ET
Pick: Oregon State
Toughest game of the week to pick, in my humble opinion.
Oregon State lost its starting QB and are not getting much respect from the S&P with a ranking of just No. 35 despite playing, and winning, 4 games against BCS teams this far. However, those wins over Wisconsin and UCLA don't really look that great anymore.
One thing that is getting plenty of respect is BYU's defense (No. 2 in S&P) and that's the biggest reason why they are ranked an incredible No. 7 (1 behind Notre Dame) in the overall S&P rankings.
But I've watched this Cougar offense play a lot and it is not pretty. It's not pretty and it doesn't score points. I'll take the points in this situation although I think BYU wins a close game.
No. 17 Stanford (+7.5) at No. 7 Notre Dame
3:30 PM ET
No. 3 South Carolina (+2.5) at No. 9 LSU
8:00 PM ET
Pick: South Carolina
I was supposed to pick against South Carolina because of their awful camo uniforms they're wearing for some reason this weekend, but I'm reversing course.
LSU's defense is still nice but this feels like a 3 loss season (at minimum) for Leslie Miles & Co. They'll lose this one and then fall to Alabama as well.
I'm starting to buy in to USCe being a legit national title contender. Now that I've said that they'll probably lose.
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