Week four and let's do some more picking!
Last week was a disgrace for myself, and for that I am sorry. But another week offers redemption.
Let's do this.
Missouri (+9.5) at No. 7 South Carolina
3:30 PM ET
I thought for sure that QB Connor Shaw wasn't going to play for the Gamecocks but it looks like he'll be ready to go. Let's just say he's one more big hit away from having his shoulder fall off, so no, I don't trust South Carolina to cover against a sneaky-good Missouri team.
You just know South Carolina is going to hand the ball off to Marcus Lattimore about 68 times and that's never a good recipe to cover a sizable spread like this against a quality opponent. Fairly confident with this pick and that's betting QB James Franklin is himself coming back from injury---he's a great player.
California (+16.5) at No. 13 USC
6:00 PM ET
USC is frustrated now and will need to take their anger out on someone. Oh look, the perennially underachieving Cal Golden Bears are in Los Angeles this weekend!
The Trojans have won 8 straight in this series and have blown California out of the water in each of the last three meetings (108-26). I like Matt Barkley and the USC offense to go buck-wild, while we continue to wonder how Jeff Tedford is employed in Berkeley.
No. 2 LSU (-20.5) at Auburn
7:00 PM ET
As you may notice, I'm usually very hesitant to pick the favorite with a spread like this going against a team with a pulse. I also have this preconceived notion that LSU has a hard time piling up the points and plays Tressel Ball™ far too often to bet them on the road against Auburn and their copious returning starters on defense.
However, the Bayou Bengals have scores 35 or more points in 14 out of their past 17 games, including going for 40+ in each of their three games this season. Seeing as how Auburn is giving up almost 30 points per game, and is 1-2 with a near loss to Louisiana-Monroe last week, I feel a lot more comfortable taking LSU.
Rutgers (+7.5) at Arkansas
7:00 PM ET
Last week the Pitt Panthers taught us that you most definitely can bet on a dumpster fire if you so choose.
I don't want to bet on John L. Smith. I don't want to, but I am. Night game in Fayetteville? SEC talent vs. Big East talent? Is John L. bad enough to mess that up? Yeah...probably.
No. 18 Michigan (+4.5) at No. 11 Notre Dame
7:30 PM ET
No. 15 Kansas State (+13.5) at No. 6 Oklahoma
7:50 PM ET
I bet you're thinking this spread is too high, right? Probably going to pick Kansas State, huh?
Not this guy because Oklahoma doesn't lose to Kansas State at home under Bob Stoops. What's more, they own the Wildcats defense and won't hesitate to drop half a hundred on them. I think this will be the game where we start saying, "Crap, OU really is good and that trip to Norman is going to be hellish."
No. 10 Clemson (+14.5) at No. 4 Florida State
8:00 PM ET
I'll buy plenty of stock in Florida State's defense, that much I know. But there offense is a much tougher sell.
Add Clemson's explosive offense and I think that's a very good matchup Saturday night. A good enough matchup where a team like Florida State should not be treated like an elite powerhouse giving two touchdowns to the Tigers.
No. 22 Arizona (+21.5) at No. 3 Oregon
10:30 PM ET
A matchup of two high-powered offenses, while I'm sure the defenses will be absolutely drained by the second half. These late-night games in Eugene typically go really poorly for visitors but I just don't see a Rich Rod-led team being shut down all game long where this spread is covered.
I'll take Oregon building a very comfortable lead but 'Zona tacking on a couple scores late to make it respectable.
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