Clemson +14.5 @ Florida State
It’s hard to believe a home game against Clemson could be called “program-defining” but I think it applies. A win, and FSU is legitimized by the nation as a true National Title contender. A big win will only magnify that hype. Crazy thing is, the Seminoles are a two-touchdown favorite in what is being looked at as their biggest game of the season. With a win, we’ll begin to measure them against the SEC’s best and other top unbeatens. With a loss, people will begin to wonder if Jimbo Fisher is the man to lead FSU back to an elite level. I think both teams will play in BCS bowls, but the Noles goals will be higher by the end of Saturday night because of their defense.
Arizona -21.5 @ Oregon
The Rich Rodriguez era is off to a good start at 3-0 after compiling just 4 wins a year ago. Unfortunately while their offense looks pretty good, their defense might resemble what Rich-Rod left in Ann Arbor. Oh, and the Ducks are pretty good led by DAT (DeAnthony Thomas) averaging an obscene 15 yards a touch. Arizona in 1-8 in their last 9 trips to Eugene and the Ducks have scored 55, 44, 48, and 56 in the last 4 wins against the Wildcats.
Michigan +5 @ Notre Dame
The last 3 meetings have been won by 4 points each time by the Wolverines. Also worth noting, 7/8 games have been won by the underdog. Forget about it! I like the Irish defense in this one.
Notre Dame 23-17
LSU -20.5 @ Auburn
The Tiger bowl has seen better days. Despite the home team winning 11/12, I am taking the Bayou Bengals big.
Missouri +10.5 @ South Carolina
The Battle for Columbia may as well be dubbed battle to keep your quarterback healthy. Both James Franklin and Connor Shaw are huge question marks coming into this weekend. Franklin’s family beliefs don’t allow for him to take any pain medication. I’ll roll with Marcus Lattimore and the home team.
South Carolina 24-14
Miami +14 @ Georgia Tech
The Canes defense has been a mess this year. The Jackets will run it for near 300 yards and it at least one long touchdown pass when the Canes over-commit to stop the rush.
Georgia Tech 41-20
Baylor -7 @ Louisiana-Monroe
America’s darling, the Warhawks, return home for the first time and get another chance to play feisty underdog. You’d think offense would be a major problem for the Bears losing the Heisman trophy winner in addition to top receiver, and first round pick, Kendall Wright, and 1500-yard rusher Terrance Gannaway…not so fast. QB Nick Florence has been terrific, RB Jarred Sulubi has rumbled, and 3 WR have over 100 yards and 2 TD each through 2 games. The Bears have scored 59 and 48 points. It might not be easy, but they will win.
Kansas State +14.5 @ Oklahoma
The Sooners don’t lose at home. Bill Snyder, you’re not in Kansas anymore. The coach is 6-11 vs. OU and for his career actually has a losing road record at 44-48.
USC -16.5 @ California
The Trojans season may actually be defined this week. How they react to yet another loss to Stanford and perhaps dealing with the reality that a National Title may no longer be an option will show this week against a Cal team that looked explosive discovering RB Brendan Bigeloe at Ohio State. USC won’t be dealing with the Stanford defensive line this week, but that number just looks too big.
Kentucky +24 @ Florida
Florida has won 25 straight against Kentucky, the longest winning streak by one team against another in the country. They haven’t scored less than 40 in a game against them since 2006.
Utah +7 @ Arizona State
The Utes answered the bell without QB Jordan Wynn last week against BYU while the Sun Devils fell behind at Mizzou and couldn’t quite rally. I think this will be tight with RB John White having a big day for the Utes.
Arizona State 28-24
Colorado +20 @ Washington State
From 2008-2011 the Cougars were a favorite all of 3 times. Montana State, Idaho State, and UNLV. They’ve been favored twice already this year over Eastern Washington and UNLV. Does that tell you something about how far the Buffs have fallen?
Washington State 34-21
Louisiana Tech +3 @ Illinois
It may not bounce off the page, but I’ll take a 2-0 WAC team scoring in bunches to go on the road in the Big Ten and pull off an upset.
Louisiana Tech 30-28
STRAIGHT UP 9-4
AGAINST THE SPREAD 6-6 (1 PUSH)
UPSET SPECIAL 1-0