I’m consistent if nothing else, going 7-3, 5-5 for what seems to be the 100th week in a row. Let’s see if we can’t finally crack .500 against the spread.
Arizona State (+28) at USC
This spread seems really huge, too huge. I realize the Sun Devils have lost three in a row and seem permanently destined to never have two good years in a row, but Mark Sanchez’s knee seems to be an issue for the Trojans. Look for USC to treat that situation, and this game, with kid gloves. They’ll win and win easily, but not cover.
USC 31, Arizona State 14
UCLA (+19.5) at Oregon
It’s amazing that UCLA shut out the Ducks last year. Of course, Oregon was on its fourth or fifth-string QB at the time and Karl Dorrell was desperately fighting for his job. Well, Rick Neuheisel has job security, UCLA seems incapable of scoring more than 10 points against a decent team and Autzen Stadium will be rocking. Seems like a bad combo for the Bruins.
Oregon 35, UCLA 10
Arizona (-7) at Stanford
I was completely wrong about Arizona last week – or I was just completely wrong about how bad Washington was. I said Arizona wasn’t ready to cover a 20-plus point spread, and they kill Washington by much more than that. Now comes a Stanford team that is seems extremely average, hence the 3-3 record. I say Zona takes another big step.
Arizona 34, Stanford 23
Washington State (+30) at Oregon State
This spread looks stupid, but then again, this game is kind of dumb. I realize that last sentence was completely sophomoric, but Washington State is bad. So bad that it lost by 25 to UCLA. I have no faith that the Cougars are capable of covering any sort of spread and quite frankly, I am dreading the Apple Cup battle between Wazzu and U-Dub next month.
Oregon State 48, Washington State 7
Texas (+6) vs. Oklahoma
This is the premier matchup of the weekend, with the No. 5 Longhorns and the No. 1 Sooners playing in one of the better rivalries in the nation. Seriously, Dallas during Texas-OU week is a celebration of alcohol, corn dogs and trash talk. For all the accolades these teams get though, their games tend to be pretty lopsided. I think the Red River Shootout is overdue for a classic. It’ll get one.
Oklahoma 30, Texas 28
LSU (+6) at Florida
This is one of those lines that just makes me shake my head. What is Vegas seeing from this game that I don’t? LSU is a defending national champion with a lockdown defense and a quickly maturing QB in redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee. While Florida has gloryboy Heisman winner Tim Tebow, it seems a little off and is a few weeks removed from being beaten by Ole Miss. I’m not only taking the Tigers to cover here, but to win.
LSU 23, Florida 20
Oklahoma State (+14) at Missouri
Another undefeated showdown between two Big 12 teams, this game is definitely flying under the radar. It shouldn’t though, as this game should have more fireworks than a Fourth of July celebration in Washington D.C. The over/under for this game is 76.5 points, which is ridiculous, but definitely realistic. I think Missouri pulls away late in a game that will definitely be worth the price of admission.
Missouri 54, Oklahoma State 31
Michigan State (-1) at Northwestern
This biggest game in the Big Ten this week is this one. No, I’m not kidding. The Spartans and Wildcats are a combined 10-1 right now and the winner of this could set up to be a darkhorse in that conference. This matchup has been entertaining in recent years, with MSU recovering from a 38-3 deficit to win two years ago and NW winning in OT at East Lansing last year. I think the Wildcats are a little more well-rounded than the Spartans.
Northwestern 27, Michigan State 24
Penn State (-6) at Wisconsin
This was the game expected to be the headliner on the Week 7 Big Ten slate. But the Badgers have had two stomach-punch losses in a row, blowing a 19-0 lead at Michigan and giving up a game-winning drive at home to Ohio State last week. I guess conceivably the Badgers are due, but Penn State is playing at an entirely different level right now.
Penn State 28, Wisconsin 17
Notre Dame (+9) at North Carolina
This line keeps swelling, going up 2 points from what it was Tuesday. It represents a general skepticism with the Irish, despite Notre Dame getting off to a 4-1 start. North Carolina seems to have it rolling under Butch Davis and look to be on their way back to the way they were in the 90s under Mack Brown, but I think Notre Dame hangs tough in this one.
North Carolina 28, Notre Dame 24
Overall record: 44-16. Record against spread: 29-30-1