Trying to escape last place on the leaderboard since mid-September.
We have a pretty interesting lineup to pick this week featuring a MAC team, an enormous spread for Oregon, and ditto for Alabama. Most people have the Sooners covering this week---will you join me in doing so as well?
Let's get to the picks.
AP rankings used where appropriate.
Colorado (+45.5) at No. 2 Oregon
3:00 PM ET
Is there a more pathetic but once proud program than Colorado? They've always been up and down but I grew up with this team being on the side of good more often than not. The Buffs were 148-66-4 from 1987 to 2004. Since then, an astonishing 31-56 and 4-16 under head coach Jon Embree.
Something tells me he won't be in Boulder much longer.
Colorado is giving up over 42 points per game, so this spread doesn't seem that ridiculous even though there's a chance Oregon puts in the 3rd string early in the 2nd quarter when they're up 28-0. Chip Kelly doesn't seem as concerned with scoring a bajillion points this year, and that concerns me. I'm still taking Oregon though.
Kent State (+13.5) at No. 18 Rutgers
3:30 PM ET
My cousin is a recent graduate of Kent State and if there's one thing she departed to me about her fine school, it's that their football team sucks. Sure they are 6-1 this season but they literally haven't played a team inside the top 80 this season.
Rutgers is still undefeated. Yes, you read that right. Their schedule is Charmin soft as well, but they've at least looked respectful (for the most part) against everyone. I just don't see a MAC team going on the road and keeping this under two touchdowns.
No. 15 Texas Tech (+7.5) at No. 4 Kansas State
3:30 PM ET
Pick: Texas Tech
I hate this game. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I refuse to believe that Texas Tech is all that good and I still don't know how Kansas State continues to play so well---besides the 9 JUCO starters, of course.
If Notre Dame wins this weekend and truly has national title hopes, it's best that Kansas State loses this game and removes itself from contention. I'm taking the points and praying this happens, so much for hardcore analysis, right?
No. 3 Florida (-6.5) at No. 12 Georgia
3:30 PM ET
Florida has really been following a similar script as Notre Dame with a great defense and a decent offense that really doesn't do a whole lot but comes through when needed.
This isn't a true home game for Georgia and I don't trust Florida's offense to cover by a touchdown. The Gators offense has really struggled mightily against A&M, LSU, and South Carolina even though they won those games. I expect a tight SEC battle in Jax-City.
No. 9 Ohio State (PK) at Penn State
5:30 PM ET
Pick: Ohio State
So the line moved from Penn State being favored to our second pick 'em of the season. Everything about this game is so bizarre. Both are on probation and ineligible for the postseason. Ohio State's undefeated and Penn State has really played outstanding given their "situation" before the season began.
I'm assuming that Braxton Miller plays and that he'll be good to go. I was prepared to take the Buckeyes even as an underdog, so this is pretty easy for me. Ohio State keeps its perfect record alive while Penn State comes down after a solid past month of football.
No. 20 Michigan (+2.5) at Nebraska
8:00 PM ET
Nebraska could easily be 3-4, but they had heroic comebacks against Wisconsin and Northwestern. That's not really giving me much confidence in the Corn, and neither is getting blown out by 25 at the hands of Ohio State.
Michigan has lost to Alabama and Notre Dame, but they're probably one of the most underrated teams in the country. You watch, before you know it they are going to be back in the top 15 and ready to take on Ohio State. I think Michigan is far too strong on both sides of the ball to be an underdog here, plus they have the Nard.
No. 5 Notre Dame (+10.5) at No. 8 Oklahoma
8:00 PM ET
See the post, OFD Game Day Countdown: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma
No. 13 Mississippi State (+23.5) at No. 1 Alabama
8:30 PM ET
Mississippi State is right up there with Rutgers in the "Holy hell this team is still undefeated?!" category, but that won't last much longer.
The Bulldogs have beaten 3 of the weaker teams in the SEC, but they didn't really crush any of them and the rest of their schedule has been dog poop. I expect Alabama to make another statement this weekend. I'm not walking away from the Tide like last week.
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