Right back on track after a solid week nine, despite picking against the Irish it's always nice to see them blow the doors off an opponent. A wise man once told me, "Always bet against your favorite team."
Now we look forward to week ten with a lineup of games that is pretty underwhelming despite the Game of the Century between the Tigers and Crimson Tide.
Let's jump right in.
Last Week: 7-5
*Michigan continued to roll with an easy win over Purdue. Michigan is on pace right now to have played only 2 ranked teams this year---pretty much one of the easiest schedules in school history.
*Oklahoma took out their frustration on Kansas State, beating the Wildcats by a wholesome 41 points.
*Oklahoma State got in on the fun this weekend too, beating Baylor by 35 points. The Bears have now lost three of their past four games.
*Penn State was able to sneak by Illinois once the Ilini missed a game-tying field goal, but the Nittany Lions were not able to cover.
*Georgia got an ever-elusive victory over Florida---covering by just one point. Florida's total offense stats over the past four games? How about: 222, 213, 194, and 226.
Florida rushed for 405 yards against Kentucky in week four, but has gained just 175 rushing yards over the past four games---including a not-so-healthy -19 yards against Georgia. Welcome to the Charlie Weis era Gator fans!
*South Carolina took care of Tennessee 14-3 in a game I'm not sure even happened. Did anyone watch this game? Were there any highlights?
*Thanks to a fumble near the goal line by USC, the Stanford Cardinal covered by half a point and kept their undefeated season alive. This game was awesome.
*Notre Dame covered with ease over Navy.
*Michigan State faltered big time in Lincoln against Nebraska. Suddenly, the Spartans are struggling---how is that team 81st in rushing? Oh yeah, their offensive line isn't good.
*Texas A&M crapped another win away---this time to Missouri.
*Clemson finally Clemson'd against Georgia Tech---with the Yellow Jackets coming alive after a two-week slumber.
*Wisconsin has now lost 2 games in the Big Ten with a defeat at the hands of Ohio State. My, how the mighty have fallen. And so quickly!
Now on to this week's picks...
Notre Dame (-13.5) at Wake Forest
Pick: Notre Dame
#13 Michigan (-3.5) at Iowa
I don't think anyone knows how good Michigan really is this year, but this spread seems ridiculous. Iowa just lost to Minnesota and the Wolverines are expected to beat them by a little more than a field goal?
No way Jose, I'll take Denard to put up enough points and cover.
Northwestern (+17.5) at #9 Nebraska
This was one of the toughest picks of the week and I was very close to picking Northwestern here. Eventually, I think the atmosphere and road conditions will be a little too much for the Wildcats though.
I think there's still some people who think Northwestern is good, but they're pretty bad this year. They lost to Army! Look for T-Mart and the Corn to take care of business.
Texas A&M (+13.5) at #7 Oklahoma
Pick: Texas A&M
I'm going out on a limb here as I expect many to pick the Sooners. After all, they have outscored the Aggies 220-54 over their last four meeting in Norman. That comes out to an average score of 55-14.
I don't know why but I still like the way A&M plays football and I think they can stay in this game. Listen to this advice at your own peril.
Purdue (+25.5) at #19 Wisconsin
I was watching that ESPN special on the Badgers a while back and they looked like such a close tight knit team that knew what it took to win. They had a certain aura of a championship team. But now they've gone from national title buzz to a season buzz kill.
Nothing will help out those frustrations like beating up on Purdue in Madison though. I like Wisconsin to get back on track with a win to the tune of 56-18---or something along those lines.
#4 Stanford (-20.5) at Oregon State
Unless it's a dismal freezing rain storm in Corvalis, Stanford should win big in this matchup.
Oregon State, meanwhile, has quietly been having an awful season and they just don't have the horses to keep this close. I'm kind of shocked that the spread is this small---others in the know must think Stanford will have an emotional let down or that Oregon State really is a tough place to play.
#23 Cincinnati (-3.5) at Pittsburgh
It's nice that Notre Dame beat Pitt, but that win is not looking good right now. Without Ray Graham the Panthers are likely to drop down a few spots in the Big East.
Coming off a 3-point win over USF, Cincinnati is now 6-1 and ranked! You have to like their offense with Zach Collaros at the helm---they are going to simply outscore Pitt in this one.
Missouri (+2.5) at Baylor
I've continued to stay away from Baylor since early in the season when everyone was flipping out over RG3, but as we know one player can't carry a whole team an entire season.
The Bears are probably due for a win, but I think this game stays really close due to Baylor's inability to stop anyone on defense.
#10 South Carolina (+5) at #8 Arkansas
South Carolina has to tumble without Marcus Lattimore---he was their whole identity and gameplan on offense. Without him I don't think things are going to be very pretty for the Gamecocks.
On the flip side, Arkansas is still alive for a division title (long shot, but still) and I think this is the win that brings them back into the discussion. Remember I said Georgia would win the East divison---this is the game South Carolina loses to open the door for the Dawgs.
#17 Kansas State (+21) at #3 Oklahoma State
Pick: Oklahoma State
Let's be real, Kansas State isn't good. Yes, the spread reflects that truth, but it's still not big enough for me.
The Cowboys are going to score points a'plenty in this one and K-State just won't have an answer for such offensive fireworks. Bill Snyder needs more JUCO's.
#1 LSU (+4.5) at #2 Alabama
I've always thought that Alabama was more talented, better coached, and having home field should be an advantage as well. But then LSU seems more athletic, more instinctive, and the exact team that will go into Tuscaloosa and pull out a victory.
I was all set to pick Alabama to win but not cover, but now I think LSU is going to win. My reasoning is that the defenses are probably a wash and despite Alabama having Trent Richardson---I like LSU's offense more.
This has to be the game where the Tide's inexperience at quarterback is exposed. I'd also thrown in LSU's penchant for making big plays on special teams as another major advantage for the Tigers.
Big picture-wise I think Alabama is the team that has to win this game (and go on to a national title) but I'm sticking with Les Miles and his crazy bunch of players. It's a pretty large spread for such an enormous showdown anyway---I need more evidence to take Alabama.
#6 Oregon (-16.5) at Washington
LaMichael James might be healthy for this game and Oregon needs to play well before their showdown with Stanford next week. That means Chip Kelly is going to turn up the Duck speed and bury the Huskies as soon as possible.
Washington just isn't good enough to cover here as they've been handled easily by the two best teams they've played this year. If Stanford beats Washington by 44, I think Oregon can do it by at least 20.
Enjoy the weekend!