Here we are to the last full week of the regular season.
The Irish make their annual pilgrimage to California to finish the season this weekend while I'll stay back East and keep trying to win these fake dollars picking these games.
First a quick recap from last week then on to the new picks.
Last Week: 8-4
*The Irish didn't even come close to covering over Boston College.
*Penn State went into the Shoe and picked up a victory.
*Arkansas ran rough shod over Mississippi State, setting up a big game for the Hogs against LSU tomorrow afternoon.
*Houston's undefeated season kept rolling with a 37-7 win over SMU.
*Miami snuck by USF in a touchdown-less game. Good thing it was a pick 'em!
*As much-too-large of an underdog, the Trojans of USC went into Eugene and beat Oregon.
*Kansas State completed its sweep of the Longhorn State with a win over Texas.
*Boise State beat SDSU, but missed the push by one point.
*Nebraska laid a giant egg in Ann Arbor. Give it up to Michigan though, their coaching staff has done something pretty extraordinary this season.
*Clemson finally did it---completely blown out by NC State.
*Oklahoma might have been a little down after watching their rival Oklahoma State lose, but that doesn't mean they should have lost themselves to Baylor---for the first time ever!
*Stanford was able to sneak by their rival Cal, but obviously didn't cover.
Now on to this week's picks...
Notre Dame (+6.5) at Stanford
Houston (-3) at Tulsa*
Tulsa has lost to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Boise State---damn. The Golden Hurricane are 8-3 and have won seven straight games. This is the perfect time to upset Houston right?
I originally was going to puck Tulsa but they won't be able to stop this Cougars offense.
Arkansas (+11.5) at LSU*
Arkansas has played very well against LSU in recent games. There is going to be a ton of pressure on the Tigers to win this game and I expect them to play a little tight and a little too conservative.
The result will be that if they do win, they will not cover.
Georgia (-6) at Georgia Tech
I'm not sure Georgia Tech was ever a good team this year. Too many smoke and mirrors mixed with lots of luck. That will happen to an option team from time to time.
Georgia has been on a roll, and is going to continue to do so, setting up a decent SEC title game.
Ohio State (+7.5) at Michigan
Pick: Ohio State
I am this close to jumping on the Hokemania express and going all in on these crazy Wolverines about to win 10 games in year one of a new coaching staff. Ouch, that hurts to type.
But instead I'll play it safe and take the points.
Virginia Tech (-4) at Virginia
Pick: Virginia Tech
I'll tell you what---I watch a lot of football and I haven't seen Virginia play once this year. Have they even been on television? Do cameras even show up to their games?
So forgive me if, despite their record, I'll go with Beamer & Co. to take the Commonwealth.
Penn State (+14.5) at Wisconsin
Pick: Penn State
At some point we have to admit that Penn State fields a damn good defense. Unfortunately, their offense is hampered by an inability to throw the ball and there's only so much you can do running the ball against good teams.
I'm a little afraid that PSU is going to stay under 10 points in this game and make it pretty easy for Wisconsin to cover.
Oregon State (+27.5) at Oregon
It's been a dreadful year in Corvalis this season and they are not equipped to compete in the Civil War this year.
Oregon will wing. By a lot of points.
Alabama (-21) at Auburn
The trendy pick here is to take Auburn to cover because "the Iron Bowl is always close."
Except when it isn't---like it won't be this year.
Florida State (-2.5) at Florida
Boy, this game is a let down, probably more than we ever could have imagined during the preseason. These programs are a combined 13-9 this year goodness sake!
This has to be a close game and the Seminoles are probably going to struggle after losing to Virginia and entering the Swamp. I have zero faith in the Florida offense against the athletic FSU defense, but how about a field goal to win it late?
Clemson (+4) at South Carolina
Here's another game that was shaping up to be a clash of titans after four or fives weeks into the season. Now, it's pretty much a big let down.
I'll take the explosive Clemson offense as dogs against the Gamecocks.
UCLA (+16) at USC
When was the last time this game meant anything? USC has won 4 straight in the series and 11 of the past 13 games. I expect that streak to continue with the Trojans riding high after beating Oregon.
Enjoy the long weekend!