Welcome to the bye week gentle readers.
Just because Notre Dame has Saturday off doesn't mean the picks stop coming.
Last week was another testament on how you have to let the whole day play out as I sat there knowing Notre Dame would cover (and being happy) but losing two other games as well.
But I rebounded and had another solid effort.
A look back at week six before the bets for this Saturday.
Last Week: 8-4
We're halfway through the regular season and I'm sporting a lead over our fellow OFD followers participating in these weekly picks.
*Clemson was messing around with Boston College for a while, but ultimately covered by one point, and good for them. Anyone want to guess what the Notre Dame-BC spread will be in a few weeks? I bet it's larger than large.
*It was a thrilling finish, but Virigina Tech didn't look too good for the second week in a row by barely slipping past Miami. The Hurricanes are now 2-3---are we even looking forward to that neutral site game at Solider Field anymore. Does anyone believe Al Golden can turn it around next year?
*Kansas State as home dogs beat Missouri outright. The Tigers are just being crushed by a killer schedule, losing to three ranked teams and with still a few more to play this year. Don't look now, but Kansas State is 5-0 and is looking at 7 straight wins to start this season with Texas Tech and Kansas coming up.
*No, it was never close as LSU manhandled Florida. Without an experienced quarterback Charlie Weis is inept and unable to score points. The Bayou Bengals just keep rolling on...
*Is Arizona State for real? Are they going to regret that loss to Illinois early in the season? Is Utah just not that good or are they feeling the effects of playing in a BCS conference now? Are they being exposed? Either way, ASU took care of the Utes in short order.
*Georgia snuck out of Neyland Stadium with a 8-point win. The Bulldogs are going to win the SEC East.
*Auburn has come back down to earth with a 24-point loss to Arkansas. How much havoc will the Hogs wreak in the SEC West this year? I can't believe how good their offense is without Kniles Davis.
*TCU beat San Diego State by a couple scores, but neither team looks to be as good as they were last year---particularly the Aztecs.
*I didn't know Notre Dame would score 59 points. If you told me Air Force would have scored 33 points I would have thought I won this week. Oh well, these types of gambling losses never hurt!
*Georgia Tech struggled to put away Maryland and didn't cover. This concerns me in a big way. There's no way the Yellow Jackets are a legit Top-25 team, right? It's that option killing fools.
*So much for Texas giving hell to Oklahoma. Mack Brown is now 6-8 against OU, and has to watch Stoops go for his 8th Big 12 title, to just Brown's 2.
*Nebraska mounted an epic comeback against Ohio State and had a chance to pull an even miraculous cover, but they sat on the ball in Buckeye territory. What do you expect from Pelini? It would have been nice to add this to the win column though.
Now to this week's picks...
Indiana (+40) at #4 Wisconsin
You always have to be afraid of these super-duper large spreads, but Indiana is woeful this year and I believe Wisconsin knows they have to win big whenever possible to impress the voters.
A lot of people are making a big deal about how the Badgers scored 83 points last year, and rightfully so, but the more important issue is that Indiana is just bad, bad, bad. They're only win is against a FCS school, and they've already lost to Ball State and North Texas.
#11 Michigan (+2) at #23 Michigan State
You have to think that Michigan's luck is going to run out at some point, and this is a game State should win to take the Wolverines out of first place in the Legends division. But damn, Denard Robinson---I just don't like picking against this kid.
I would expect a very close game, and I'm kind of chickening out and taking the points. There's a lot of talk about how good the Spartans defense is, but we know Shoelaces is going to make plays in the big moments. I want to trust Kirk Cousins more, but I can see Michigan's defense baiting him into a couple mistakes throughout the game.
#20 Baylor (+9.5) at #21 Texas A&M
Pick: Texas A&M
Here's a little secret: Baylor isn't very good. I think the love fest with Robert Griffin III ends this week after the Aggies take care of business in College Station.
Texas A&M is far too good on both sides of the ball not to win this game comfortably. Baylor has already lost their only game against a ranked team and I expect them to falter here and drop back in the Big 12 standings.
#15 South Carolina (-3) at Mississippi State
Pick: South Carolina
I bought into Mississippi State being a really good team this year, but I think I was fooled a little bit. They are decent for a SEC team but not a ranked team in 2011.
Without Stephen Garcia, the Gamecocks are ready to take a step up offensively. That means a solid day against a pretty stout Bulldog defense. For some reason (is it injuries?) that Mississippi State offense has not been as potent this year and they are struggling to score points, so I'll take South Carolina to cover.
#6 Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Texas
Pick: Oklahoma State
I always give Texas the benefit of the doubt, but picking them last week against Oklahoma really made me back away from the Horns. The Cowboys offense looks as explosive as ever and I'm not sure Texas can keep up with that kind of firepower.
Plus, I think Oklahoma State wins here and sets up an inevitable undefeated matchup with the Sooners to end the year. Cowboys rolls by 10+ in this one.
Ohio State (+3.5) at #16 Illinois
Pick: Ohio State
Holy crap, is Illinois still undefeated?
My method in this one is simple: There's no way the the Zookers can keep this undefeated streak going and I don't see Ohio State dropping their first three Big Ten games.
I'll take the points and assume the Buckeyes figure out a way to win this one.
#1 LSU (-17) at Tennessee
At first I was afraid of this big spread, but then I remembered Tyler Bray is injured and Matt Simms will be starting at quarterback for Tennessee.
That smells like two defensive touchdowns to me, which should be enough for LSU to cover and keep their undefeated season rolling along. Honey Badger is licking his chops as we speak.
#19 Virginia Tech (-7) at Wake Forest
Pick: Virginia Tech
So we've found out that Virginia Tech really isn't that good, but now Wake Forest is severely overrated after beating a Florida State team that may have quit on the season.
This weekend, Wake comes back down to earth and Virginia Tech lays down a big beating.
#8 Clemson (-7.5) at Maryland
Maryland kept it close against Georgia Tech, so they have that going for them. And now I've just realized I'm betting on a lot of teams to cover fairly decent spreads---it's going to be a bold Saturday.
I'm still not sure what to make of Clemson at this point, and I know a lot of other people feel the same way. I'm taking the Tigers but this is my least favorite pick of the week.
#`7 Kansas State (+3.5) at Texas Tech
Pick: Kansas State
The Wildcats are underdogs yet again, and to a Texas Tech team that has taken a step or two back under Tubberville. How is this possible right now?
I said the same thing last week, and that is I don't know much about Kansas State, so you probably shouldn't trust my pick. But I still think it's a smart one.
Florida (-2) at #24 Auburn
As good as Florida's defense is, and as bad as Auburn's is---I just can't get behind a Charlie Weis-led offense with a freshman quarterback. The Tigers are going to get their points, and I like that they are home underdogs.
Florida is probably going to finish with a decent record, but this is likely a game they drop.
#18 Arizona State (+14) #9 at Oregon
Pick: Arizona State
Game of the week, right? Can the Sun Devils handle Autzen Stadium? Will Burfict try to rip a Duck player's leg off before or after halftime?
Oregon dominated Cal in the second half last week, but after watching the Bears play last night I can safely say they are pretty mediocre. Arizona State has just enough balance on both sides of the ball to keep this a close competitive game.
Enjoy the weekend!