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The Big E College Football Picks: Week Twelve

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At this point in the season I can’t afford having bad weeks. I’ve said it before, but I’m now fully ready to make a big run this week.

Since there aren’t many weeks left in this college football season (that makes me really sad), there will be a lot of picks this week to try and make up some ground.

Or, seal my doom.

Anyway, let’s take a look back at last week’s picks.

Lost

*Utah didn’t cover because Notre Dame played like it was 1991 and wouldn’t let the Utes breathe offensively. It has felt really good savoring that victory and looking forward to the first ever game at the new Yankee Stadium.

*Georgia Tech got roughed up by Miami as the Hurricanes have been playing surprisingly well without Jacory Harris. It’s fair to say that this has been a disappointing season for the Yellow Jackets.

*Penn State was hanging in there with Ohio State for a while, before the Nittany Lions coughed up a couple crucial turnovers and allowed the Buckeyes to run away with the game. It’s too bad, because Penn State was playing well heading into this game, but OSU really is in another league right now.

*Texas Tech continued their ineptness in Norman by getting their doors blown off from an Oklahoma team all pissed off from a loss a week earlier. I regret picking the Red Raiders more than any other missed bet.

*Florida was soundly beaten by South Carolina and let the Gamecocks enter the SEC championship game for the first time in…I don’t even know. Has South Carolina ever played in the SEC title game or won a conference title?

I think we’re going to have one entertaining off-season in Gainesville…again.

*Apparently Berkley is full of Duck kryptonite as Oregon once again underperformed at California, but did manage to eek out a victory this time.

Should we be concerned about this close win Oregon? (That rhymes if you say the state’s name correctly.)

*Stanford needed a fourth quarter touchdown in the desert to sneak past Arizona State, delivering another small blow to the Pac-10’s credibility. If the Cardinal end up 11-1 this season I am interested to see how they’re bowl picture turns out.

*It was the same story for USC, who snuck past a reeling Arizona team that is now falling of the national map. The Trojans are pretty good and will be a stiff test in a couple weeks for Notre Dame. Losing to Washington was a clunker, but losses to Stanford and Oregon are nothing to be ashamed of.

Won

*Purdue battled with Michigan and didn’t let the Wolverines cover the spread. I am even told there was some defense played in this game!

All you need is some bad weather to slow that Michigan offense down as they posted their lowest numbers of the year against the Boilermakers.

*Virginia Tech stomped North Carolina and is now firmly in the ACC drivers seat. The question now becomes, will anyone want to watch a BCS bowl with the Hokies in it?

*Auburn got down big at the hands of a scrappy Georgia team, but was able to rally and take control of the game and leave with another comfortable win full of points galore.

The Tigers now face Alabama in the Iron Bowl before going to the SEC championship game. If you like drama, you’re about to get some.

*Alabama had a pretty easy time with Mississippi State, dispatching the Bulldogs by 20 points. This was a game between two ranked teams on paper, but not in reality.

*Oklahoma State piled up almost 550 yards of offense and routed a severely reeling Texas team 33-16. The Cowboys were up 33-6 after three quarters and this one wasn’t even close. I know I shouldn’t, but I continue to feel bad for Texas fans, they are so lost right now.

And now to this week’s picks!

Last Week: 5-8

Overall: 61-69

Fresno State (+30.5) at Boise State

Pick: Fresno State

I know this isn’t the usual pesky Fresno State teams that we’re used to seeing and that they’ve taken a small step back this year. I’m also aware that this could be the best Boise State team in school history, as well as the best team in the country.

But 30 friggin’ points sounds pretty crazy to me. I know the Broncos have pasted Fresno a couple times in the past, but I’m taking the points on this one for sure.

Pittsburgh (-2.5) at USF

Pick: Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s BCS dreams took a big hit last week with a close loss to Connecticut, but I think they’ll bounce back with a good performance against South Florida this weekend.

After regaining all-world defensive end Greg Romeus in the past couple weeks, the Panthers will be without his services after he suffered a major knee injury. Despite that, I’m still sticking to Pittsburgh to make a statement on the road and stay on top of the Big East standings.

NC State (+2.5) at North Carolina

Pick: NC State

I don’t understand why NC State continues to be so under-valued and why they’re getting points in this contest. I’ve been waiting all year to see when North Carolina has hit their breaking point, and I think last week’s loss to Virginia Tech was just that.

I like the Wolfpack to win this one and I’d make a case that they are the second best team in the entire ACC. I can’t say the same about a depleted North Carolina squad.

Purdue (+20) at Michigan State

Pick: Michigan State

My initial pick was Purdue here, but I am changing it at the last minute because of three factors. First, MSU is coming off of bye week and should be well rested. Second, the game is in East Lansing. And third, Purdue has been hit by injuries on offense and has basically zero playmakers on that side of the ball.

Add it up and I think Michigan State can cover this large spread.

Wisconsin (-4) at Michigan

Pick: Wisconsin

This is the time of year where the Michigan fans argue with each other over whether Rich Rod should stay or go. They’re facing Wisconsin this weekend, followed by Ohio State the next. Yup, they’re going 7-5 for sure and if we’re lucky, Notre Dame will end up with the same record (and despite losing to UM), at least having beat a few good teams.

Michigan can’t say that yet this season.

Remember folks, this is a Wisconsin team that beat Ohio State and just dropped an atomic bomb on Indiana. Don’t forget that Michigan was fending off the Hoosiers late in their game in the early part of the season.

Badgers win by 15.

Stanford (-6.5) at California

Pick: Stanford

What happened last week with Stanford and should I be concerned picking them here since Cal is about a 6 out of 10, but plays like an 8 at home?

Screw it, the Cardinal season of ass-kicking continues as Irish fans everywhere keep proclaiming that great football teams and academics can be paired together.

Virginia Tech (-2.5) at Miami

Pick: Miami

Virginia Tech hasn’t lost a game since being upset by James Madison, which means the Hokies are undefeated in ACC play.

I didn’t even bother to check to see if Jacory Harris is playing, but it doesn’t matter because Miami is winning this game. The Law of the ACC will not let one team go undefeated.

Ohio State (-3) at Iowa

Pick: Iowa

Michigan aside, these are my two least favorite Big Ten teams and I’m picking Iowa solely because I want to see someone besides the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl.

In truth, I just haven’t been that impressed with Ohio State this year and I don’t think they can beat other teams that are just as tough and have a balanced offense. I also like Kirk Ferentz to get the Hawkeyes to bounce back from their loss to Northwestern and take out some frustration on Ohio State.

Ole Miss (+16) at LSU

Pick: LSU

Ole Miss just isn’t that good, and LSU is going to prove it with a big time win this weekend. The Tigers have to keep hope alive that they will go to the national championship game without having won their conference.

Don’t laugh, Les Miles already has a BCS championship with a two-loss team.

Connecticut (+4) at Syracuse

Pick: Connecticut

I find this game strangely intriguing. Who would have thought that UCONN, a media darling favorite to win the Big East, would be dogs against Syracuse this year?

Are things finally turning around for the Orange? I’ve watched them play a couple times and I honestly have no idea how they are 7-3 right now.

I’m putting the over/under on pass completions for both teams at 15. This will be a running-game festival for all old-school fans to enjoy and the Huskies win.

Arkansas (-3) at Mississippi State

Pick: Arkansas

The Bulldogs have home field advantage, so does anyone really think these teams are basically even? The spread certainly seems to think so.

But I don’t, I’ve been riding Arkansas all year and I don’t think they’ll let me down again. Dan Mullen is doing some nice things down in Starkville, but Ryan Mallett and Arkansas will be too much this weekend.

Rutgers (+13) at Cincinnati

Pick: Rutgers

Should a 3-6 Cincinnati team that just got blown out by Syracuse and West Virginia, be favored by this many points against anyone in the Big East, let alone Rutgers?

I’m having all sorts of common sense bells going off in my brain, in fact I just checked this spread about six times to make sure it was correct.

I like the Bearcats explosiveness on offense, but I can’t take them to win by two touchdowns.

Florida State (-4) at Maryland

Pick: Florida State

Maryland is 7-3 and playing ten times better than anyone could have believed, but when you’re biggest win of the season is against Navy or Boston College, you’re probably not that good.

Florida State has been in a funk since crushing Miami (close win vs. BC, losses to both UNC & NC State, close win vs. Clemson), and some may be tempted to pick the upset here, but I think the talent disparity is just too large.

On paper, this is the weakest opponent the Seminoles have played in a month and a half, and I think they’ll feast on that this weekend.

Oklahoma (-7.5) at Baylor

Pick: Baylor

Take away that Florida State victory in week two, and this looks like a very, very disappointing season for the Sooners.

Sure the just got done blasting Texas Tech, but their win against Texas means nothing this year and they haven’t really beaten anyone else worth mentioning.

Baylor has a legit offense that can score some points, so I think they are going to hang with Oklahoma in this game. The Bears might not pull the upset but this should be a very close game late into the fourth quarter.

Nebraska (-2.5) at Texas A&M

Pick: Nebraska

A&M has won four straight games and has people jumping all over their bandwagon and saying things like, "wow this team is pretty dangerous this year!"

I’m not buying it and neither are the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

I predict a blowout victory for the Corn, something along the lines of 49-17.

USC (-3) at Oregon State

Pick: USC

There’s no way I’m picking a team that just lost by 17 to Washington State against an opponent that is full of four and five-star talent. Even if that opponent is being coached by Lane Kiffin.

USC’s recent struggles at Oregon State is probably the impetus for such a close spread, but I’m sticking with the Trojans who will likely score copious amounts of points this weekend.

Utah (-2.5) at San Diego State

Pick: Utah

San Diego State is probably the most underrated team in the country right now and I am sure a lot of people are predicting an epic collapse of Utah’s season since they’ve been blown out in back-to-back weeks.

But I think Utah is well coached and will bounce back with a big road win this weekend. The Utes have done some self-evaluation on offense and should be able to fix some things, move the ball downfield, and bring home a quality Mountain West victory.

Enjoy the weekend!