Week 12 college picks

More party on the bloggy, where we don’t ask for trouble and don’t bother nobody. It’s been a party in the college ranks lately, where a second straight winning week against the spread (6-4 this time) has me a few games over .500. Hip hop hooray.

USC (-24) at Stanford
I can see the Trojan fans getting the shakes already from the memory. 41-point favorites. John David Booty playing with a broken thumb and throw picks up for grabs. Stanford making a fourth-and-goal from the 10 to go ahead 23-21. Yeah, if I were a USC fan, I’d punch myself in the face for bringing those memories up. Just imagine how the players feel. You know USC will be balls to the wall in this one.
USC 41, Stanford 13

UCLA (-7) at Washington
If you have insomnia, this might be the game to watch this weekend, if it’s even on (haven’t checked the TV listings yet). In UCLA, you have a team that just hasn’t figured it out on offense – not having an offensive line will do that to ya – while Washington is the only team in Division I-A not to have a win. They can blame North Texas, which had the temerity to beat Western Kentucky two weeks ago. Anyway, I picked U-Dub against the spread last week and looked dumb. Not doing it again.
UCLA 21, Washington 10

California (+3) at Oregon State
Did you know the Beavers control their Rose Bowl destiny? I’m sure I mentioned it last week but it definitely deserves to be said again. How terrible would a Michigan State-Oregon State Rose Bowl be for the networks? It could happen. This was the game last year that sent Cal’s season into a downward spiral, as QB Kevin Riley had a brain fart and ran out time deep in Oregon State territory when a FG would have caused OT. It won’t be that dramatic this time.
Oregon State 28, California 20

Arizona (+6) at Oregon
While we are talking about seasons that were destroyed suddenly, this marks the one-year anniversary (give or take a couple days) of when Dennis Dixon’s knee exploded when the No. 2 Ducks were in Arizona. Oregon, likely on its way to a BCS title game, never recovered until the Sun Bowl, which is in El Paso. FYI, El Paso is not cool. Arizona is improved and will cover, though after two straight wins over the Ducks, won’t make it three in a row.
Oregon 31, Arizona 27

Washington State (+36.5) at Arizona State
It was a big week at Washington State. First of all, the men’s basketball team season is starting up. Second of all, the Cougars covered. Yeah, they still gave up over 50 points, but progress is progress. Arizona State broke a six-game losing streak and has offensive talent, so this is going to be ugly. Oh well.
Arizona State 54, Washington State 14

South Carolina (+22.5) at Florida
This is the only matchup of two ranked teams this week, which pretty much stinks, because there’s a good possibility this game won’t be very competitive. However, Steve Spurrier has done decent against his alma mater, beating them in 2005, almost beating them in 2006 and getting smacked last year. He’ll probably get somewhat smacked, as Florida is rolling, but the Gators could fall prey to Ole Miss disease.
Florida 38, South Carolina 17

Texas (-13.5) at Kansas
The Longhorns are actually sitting pretty, as they are No. 3 in the BCS right now despite losing two weeks ago. However, they should be somewhat annoyed with Kansas, who killed any sort of quality-win bump Texas could have gotten here by losing to Nebraska. I’m guessing the ‘Horns won’t show much sympathy towards the Jayhawks, whose defense has been absolutely shelled over the last month.
Texas 41, Kansas 23

North Carolina (-3) at Maryland
I would have picked Boston College-Florida State for the ACC game, but it was taken off the board because a bunch of Florida State players were suspended after taking part in a fight on campus. So you get this game, which isn’t a bad one. Maryland is tough at home (ask Cal) and will be a nice test for a Tar Heel team coming off a couple of big home wins. However, I think Butch Davis and Carolina prevail.
North Carolina 24, Maryland 19

Ohio State (-9.5) at Illinois
The Buckeyes still have Rose Bowl and at-large BCS hopes, but they face their nemesis this week. Illinois has always been a thorn in Ohio State’s side, as evidenced by its win at Columbus last year. The Fighting Illini have been extremely up-and-down this year, capable of putting up 50 points one week and losing to Western Michigan the next. I feel Illinois will be up and will pull the upset against a Buckeye team that’s inconsistent offensively.
Illinois 27, Ohio State 21

BYU (-4) at Air Force
The Mountain West should really get a BCS berth this year and it would be an absolute tragedy if it doesn’t, as the MWC is better than the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big East this year and not that far behind the ACC. Air Force has emerged as a really good No. 4 team in this league, as Troy Calhoun might be the best coach you’ve never heard of. BYU has a huge rivalry game with Utah next week, so it’ll be caught looking ahead.
Air Force 26, BYU 23

Overall record: 79-31. Against the spread: 56-53-1