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The Big E College Football Picks: Week Six

I made money last week!

That is if I was actually betting real money and not just putting my pride and honor on the line.

Let’s recap who screwed me and who didn’t last week.


NC State was all ready for the upset and then let Virginia Tech roar back and even cover the spread. Thanks a lot Wolfpack!

I thought Wisconsin would barely edge out Michigan State, but the Spartans looked awfully good and provided a fairly decent upset.

Michigan didn’t cover against Indiana. Clearly even I am underestimating just how awful the Wolverine defense is this year.

In somewhat of a shocker, Colorado upset Georgia leaving a giant bruise on Mark Richt and the rest of the SEC. Looks like it will be one boring SEC championship game this year for whomever Alabama gets to roll against.

And finally, Oregon exploded for about 85 points in the second half of their game to more than cover the spread. Damn that quack attack.

Not Screwed

Miami covered against Clemson, not a real big surprise there.

Oklahoma covered against Texas, that line was far too close to begin with anyway.

LSU didn’t cover and damn near lost to Tennessee. This was the one game I knew was a lock…if I really bet money I would have put A LOT on this game. 16.5 point spread in an SEC game? Who did everyone think LSU was…Oregon?

Of course Notre Dame covered against Boston College. I don’t have the stats to back it up but I would guess that the Irish have rarely covered the spread in victories over the past few years.

Washington went and punched USC in the mouth, earned an upset and it was awesome.

Alabama continued to roll and blew out Florida, suddenly the SEC doesn’t look that competitive right now.

And to wrap up last week’s winnings, Iowa took care of business and covered against Penn State.

Now, let’s jump right in to week six!

Week Five: 7-5

Overall: 20-26

Connecticut (-5.5) at Rutgers

Pick: Connecticut

Did the Big East take a big hit in non-conference play or what? Not one team is ranked right now and no one is looking especially good, except maybe West Virginia and even the Mountaineers would get spanked by half of the teams in the top 25.

A lot of people jumped off the Connecticut bandwagon after early season losses to Michigan and Temple, but now some are starting to climb back on as conference play starts.

Meanwhile, Rutgers just lost to Tulane and their starting quarterback is questionable for this game. The Scarlet Knights haven’t won less than eight games since 2005, but they just aren’t the type of program that can sustain that level of excellence for very long.

With two losses already, this is the year that Rutgers takes a big step back and that will begin with a sound defeat at the hands of the Huskies.

Boston College (+10) at NC State

Pick: NC State

After watching Boston College play last week it is apparent that the Eagles are headed for a very disappointing season. I have no doubt that NC State is going to win this game behind a very powerful offense led by Russell Wilson.

Yet something is telling me that this game might be closer than we think and I’m having a hard time convincing myself that the Wolfpack are going to cover. But after realizing the truly pathetic nature of the BC offense, I think NC State wins by just enough.

Minnesota (+22) at Wisconsin

Pick: Minnesota

This line seems a little bit too high with Wisconsin coming off a defeat by Michigan State, even if Minnesota is truly a Big Ten basement dweller.

Nevertheless, I think Wisconsin still has a very potent offense and with this game in Madison the Badgers should easily pile up the points. It’s just I don’t have enough confidence in the Wisconsin defense that they are going to keep Minnesota off the board enough to cover this large spread.

I initially went with Wisconsin but made the late switch to the Gophers.

Illinois (+8) at Penn State

Pick: Illinois

Since joining the Big Ten, Penn State has owned Illinois and has never lost at Happy Valley in this series.

What concerns me is Penn State’s lack of offense and that they’ve been more or less shut down completely against every good team they’ve faced this year.

Are the Nittany Lions really strong enough on both sides of the ball to beat an Illinois team that just gave Ohio State a run for their money?

Penn State will probably keep that undefeated streak alive, but I don’t think they’ll win by more than a touchdown.

Indiana (+23) at Ohio State

Pick: Indiana

Did you know that Indiana has scored a combined 30 total points in their last 5 visits to Columbus? Yikes!

You would think that would make me pick Ohio State in this contest, but I am going against the grain and picking the Hoosiers.

My reasoning is that Indiana has a decent offense behind Ben Chappell, they’ve been putting a lot of points on the board this year, and I’m not sure how dominant this Ohio State defense is or if Terrelle Pryor is going to be 100 percent healthy.

I foresee a 38-24 type of score with Ohio State pulling away late in the contest and more moaning and groaning about how unsatisfying of a No. 2 ranked team the Buckeyes are.

Tennessee (+11) at Georgia

Pick: Tennessee

This spread is way too large…does Vegas know something about these two teams that we don’t? They do know that Georgia has started 0-3 in the SEC and has lost four straight games, right?

Tennessee is in line for a brutal season themselves, but they just barely lost to LSU while Georgia was defeated by friggin’ Colorado.

Even with that, the difference maker to me is that Georgia lost to Mississippi State already and I don’t think A.J. Green really makes that much of a difference where this Bulldog team is going to beat any SEC team by more than 10 points.

Clemson (+3) at North Carolina

Pick: Clemson

This is about an even of a matchup as you’ll find this weekend. North Carolina is the home team but I think Clemson wins this one in a small, tiny little upset.

The Tar Heels’ problems have been somewhat swept under the rug after back-to-back victories, but I don’t think they have the ability to beat what appears to be a pretty decent Clemson team right now.

Pittsburgh (+6) at Notre Dame

Pick: Notre Dame

I’m looking for Notre Dame to reestablish their offense and cut down on the turnovers and stupid mistakes. I foresee a lot of slants and swing passes to the running back from Pitt’s offense, but it won’t be enough to move the ball against the Irish.

The Panthers are going to "get theirs" in the running game from time to time in this contest, yet the Irish are becoming more physical up front and have distinct advantages at nearly every position on the field.

This should be a slightly closer version of Notre Dame’s previous game, and the Irish will prevail once again.

Michigan State (+4.5) at Michigan

Pick: Michigan State

I’m kind of surprised that Michigan State is getting a lack of respect here with a fairly large spread given both teams are undefeated and MSU has had their way in the series of late. Obviously, the presence of Denard Robinson looms large.

Have you seen what Robinson is on pace for this year?

2,400 passing yards

70 percent accuracy

17 TD


179.9 passer rating (probably a school record)

And oh yeah, there’s his whole running statistics.

2,170 yards

19 TD

9.2 yards per carry

We’re told how Vince Young was the greatest player in modern times, but Robinson is on pace for TWICE as many rushing yards, a far better rushing average, and more efficiency as a passer, all while playing against a little tougher schedule and being surrounded by far less talent (especially on defense).

And that Michigan defense really is the kicker, because Michigan State is going to move the ball fairly easily against them. But when someone special like Denard Robinson is on the other side, you know this game is going to be close.

I say Michigan sneaks out another victory but will not cover the spread.

Arkansas (-6) at Texas A&M

Pick: Arkansas

There’s a good chance that A&M moves the ball against Arkansas, but can the Aggies really hang with a ranked SEC team right now?

This game is being played at Cowboys Stadium and that might be an even bigger advantage for Arkansas. As unproven as both of these defenses are, I know that the Razorbacks played tough against Alabama, while Texas A&M couldn’t even beat Oklahoma State.

Arkansas has had a week off to lick their wounds from the Crimson Tide and I think they will roll by about 15 in this game.

Alabama (-7.5) at South Carolina

Pick: Alabama

South Carolina’s offense is a little better than in recent years, but their defense is also a little worse. The ability to not look so lost on offense has tricked some into believing that this Gamecock team is different, but the results will probably be the same as usual.

Alabama is just in a different class right now and I don’t trust Stephen Garcia to be able to make the Tide pay through the air. I do however trust that Alabama is going to have their way yet again on offense.

South Carolina will have trouble keeping this within 20 points.

Oregon State (+8) at Arizona

Pick: Oregon State

Don’t look now, but Arizona is ranked ninth in the nation. Are they for real?

The Wildcats just squeaked by California last week and I’m pretty sure they aren’t a legit Pac-10 contender. They matchup favorably against Oregon State, but I think the Beavers are battle tested with a difficult schedule this season and will put up a good fight.

Don’t count out the upset by Oregon State, but Arizona should remain undefeated and sneak by another opponent.

LSU (+6) at Florida

Pick: LSU

I’ve seen an overwhelming amount of people picking Florida to win and cover the spread in this one. I am not as convinced that the Gators are going to do that.

First, LSU has a bad offense, but they aren’t that bad and it’s not like Florida has things working on that side of the ball either. The difference to me is that I think LSU can run the ball a little better (especially with a mobile quarterback) and the Tiger defense is just a little bit better too.

LSU may be the ugliest undefeated in the country, but I think this game stays very close till the end. I don’t think Florida will cover this spread, but I’ll say the Gators do pull out a victory.

Florida State (+6) at Miami

Pick: Florida State

For all of the media attention that Canes quarterback Jacory Harris gets, I’ll take Florida State’s Christian Ponder to lead my team any day over him. I’ll also take the FSU running game over the Miami one.

Miami probably has a distinct advantage on defense, but FSU may have started to turn around their defensive woes (a lot like Notre Dame) and this game should stay really close.

I’m not sure if Florida State is going to outright win this game in an upset, but I trust Ponder to be smart with the ball and I do not trust Harris at all.

USC (+9.5) at Stanford

Pick: Stanford

Did you know that USC is currently 116th in the nation in passing defense and 99th in total defense?

Is this is the most disappointing 4-1 start in Trojan history?

Still, I think these teams are very similar (especially offensively) with the difference being one side is well coached and experienced, while the other is not. You figure out which is which.

Both teams are going to run the ball and run it well, but I like Andrew Luck under center as opposed to Matt Barkley. Luck has a higher ceiling in that he can throw for 300 yards, whereas I think Barkley is really quite limited in the amount of damage he can do.

Stanford beat USC by 34 points last year and I think they will cover this spread.

Arizona State (+2) at Washington

Pick: Washington

Will there be a let down after a big victory over USC for the Huskies this week?

I’ve been a big critic of Jake Locker in the past (I think it would be insanely dumb to take him with a top 10 pick, let alone the first overall), but he is clearly talented enough to do a lot of damage against average Pac-10 teams, of which I consider Arizona State one.

We should see a lot of points, a lot of balls flying all over the field, but the Huskies will take this in what might be some interesting weather up in the northwest.

Enjoy the weekend!