USC -3.5 @ UCLA
The billboard said, “The Monopoly in Los Angeles is Officially Over.” Great idea, poor execution by Rick Neuheisel. Jim Mora Jr. has come in though, and is delivering what Bruins fans hoped for at 8-2 and leading the Pac-12 South. They can wrap up the division with a win over their most hated rival. Can Mora fulfill slick Rick’s promise? On one hand, the Trojans have struggled stopping people, and on the other they have WR Marqise Lee who has gone 38-663-5 in the last three weeks!!! I think USC just has a little too much offense for the Bruins, but maybe next year the monopoly ends when Matt Barkley leaves.
Northwestern +7.5 @ Michigan State
Northwestern has 3 losses, and led by double digits in the second half of each of them! Sparty is 2 games worse in the standings but is still favored. They had a bye week to get ready for the Wildcats, but there is no way I am laying that many points.
Michigan State 24-23
Rutgers +6.5 @ Cincinnati
Again, another game with the team with the better record is the underdog. I am with Vegas on this one however. Both teams play solid defense, but the Bearcats have won 9 straight at home and boast the better offense with QB Munchie Legaux.
UCF +1.5 @ Tulsa
The class of the Conference USA, actually, the only two decent football teams in the worst conference in the country, are meeting with a chance to host the conference title game in a couple of weeks. Both teams love to run the football, but the Knights can throw it. That and their special teams ace Quincy McDuffie provide the difference in a tough road win.
USF +6.5 @ Miami
The Canes don’t have anyone to throw to and the Bulls have nobody left to throw it. Miami has 4 of it’s top 5 WR either out, hurt, or suspended while long-time USF QB BJ Daniels has been lost for the season leaving the starter in question (Matt Floyd or Bobby Eveld). Before the season, I would have thought the Bulls a good chance to be favored in this game with a shot at a conference title. Instead, the shoe is on the other foot. This has been a spirited back-and-forth between these two schools the last three years, but there is no real reason to believe Miami won’t be able to herd this group of Bulls.
Duke +13.5 @ Georgia Tech
The Blue Devils still control their own destiny despite being blown out their two previous games by FSU and Clemson. The Yellow Jackets thrashed Maryland and UNC the last two weeks to get back into the Coastal race and needs a win, and a Duke win over Miami next week to plan a trip to Charlotte. I think they’ll get a win, but will struggle slowing Duke’s offense.
Georgia Tech 42-33
Texas Tech +10.5 @ Oklahoma State
Visitor is just 3-10 in this series and last year was one of the three as the Cowboys pounded the Red Raiders 66-6. Scary as hell score. Okie State has also won 3 straight over Tech. Seth Doege leads America in pass yards per game, and while they’ll lose, I think they’ll keep it close as the Cowboys are unsure who their QB is.
Oklahoma State 31-27
Ohio State +2 @ Wisconsin
Braxton Miller has had to carry the Buckeyes all year. Cal, Indiana, and Purdue have nearly knocked them off. Urban Meyer has done an amazing job in his first year with a team that can’t go to the postseason, but the unbeaten season ends this week. The Badgers ran for a school record 564 yards last week in routing IU and will run it to victory this week. In 2010 Ohio State suffered their first loss of the season in Madison. History repeats.
Utah State -3 @ Louisiana Tech
The Aggies defense against the Bulldogs offense. La Tech is the higher ranked home team, and yet a dog. I’ve seen both teams play, and I am not buying it. Give me QB Colby Cameron (27 TD-0 INT) to WR Quinton “the General” Patton as they set themselves up win the last WAC title (San Jose State next week) and stay alive for a BCS bowl busting bid.
Louisiana Tech 45-42
Oklahoma -11 @ West Virginia
No team’s season has gone downhill faster than the Mountaineers. Riding high coming into the year off an Orange Bowl route of Clemson, and winning with record-setting numbers offensively to start the season, they’ve been exposed as one-dimensional with 4 consecutive losses. The Sooners have to have this game to stay in the hunt for a BCS bowl, and they’ll get it.
Stanford +20.5 @ Oregon
The Ducks come in short-handed along the defensive line. They played much of last week’s win over Cal without their top 5 defensive linemen. They also lost their second starting safety for the season. I do think Stanford should be able to move the ball on the ground against them, and could keep this close with their offense. But to pull an upset? Oregon would have to have multiple turnovers, struggle to score (they’ve scored 55, 35, 42, 52, 53 on Stanford the last 5 years), and freshman QB Kevin Hogan (making his first road start, and second start overall) would have to have a brilliant, error-free game. I just can’t see it. Sorry SEC fans.
Kansas State -13 @ Baylor
The home team is 5-0 in this series. The last two seasons they’ve played down to the wire games. Baylor has one of the worst defenses in college football, although some of that ranking is schedule related, and that’ll be a problem in slowing down Collin Klein. They can score though (7th nationally) and it wouldn’t surprise me if this was a tight game going to the 4th quarter. Crazy things happen in November.
Kansas State 34-24
Arkansas +6.5 @ Mississippi State
The Bulldogs were a pleasant 7-0 surprise rising to #11 in the rankings. Fools gold. Now, Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M might be an 0-3 adventure for most teams in the country, I get that, but blown out in each simply revealed they aren’t a great football team. When Tennessee is your marque win to this point, you still have something to prove. The Hogs have only scored 16 TD this in SEC games compared to 32 last year, so it just isn’t their defense struggling. But they do have the QB advantage and WR Cobi Hamilton has been tearing it up. I say they spring the upset and keep their bowl hopes alive (before LSU crushes that next week).
STRAIGHT UP: 84-33/10-3
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 66-48-3/7-4-2
UPSET SPECIAL: 6-4/0-1