Another 5-5. I’m consistent if nothing else.
USC (-10) at Notre Dame
On the surface, it seems pretty high, as USC takes a true freshman on the road in a rivalry game against a halfway-decent team. But Matt Barkley has already won at Ohio State and at Cal and quite frankly, Notre Dame’s defense is awful. The Irish are a middle of the pack team and USC seems to excel in this matchup.
California (-3.5) at UCLA
It’s hard to believe that Cal is favored in this, as they have been unspeakably awful their last two games. Then again, UCLA isn’t very good either, as evidenced by its 0-2 Pac-10 record. I’ll grudgingly go with a more experienced Cal team to cover here.
Stanford (+4) at Arizona
Both of these teams seem just on the cusp of great things. However, they are just a little too young or a little too lacking in key areas to really jump up and bite someone of consequence, especially on the road. That last statement should tell you which way I’m leaning.
Washington (+6.5) at Arizona State
On the surface Washington has been an enigma, but their formula is simple – great at home, not so much on the road. Arizona State is generally mediocre and their near-miss at Georgia isn’t as cool as it looked originally. I think Washington, even on the road, keeps this tight and maybe wins.
Oklahoma (+3) vs. Texas
The Red River Shootout is an interesting predicament, as the No. 3-ranked Longhorns are only a field-goal favorite despite the Sooners having two losses. Makes me wonder if Oklahoma is ripe for a hostile takeover in this series. But I can’t see it. I’m going with the Horns to win by a touchdown.
Virginia Tech (-3) at Georgia Tech
The Hokies have been straight ballin since losing their opener to Alabama, taking out Nebraska and Miami (Fla) en route to the No. 4 ranking. They get a tough test this week, as Ga. Tech’s triple option is tough to stop. I think the Hokies will stand up enough on defense and get some big plays against Ga. Tech’s questionable defense.
Pick: Virginia Tech
South Carolina (+18) at Alabama
This could be a bit of a letdown game for Alabama. With a big win over Mississippi last week and a rivalry game with Tennessee next week, South Carolina might be catching Alabama at the right time. Don’t think the Gamecocks win, but I think they make the Crimson Tide uncomfortable for a while.
Pick: South Carolina
Iowa (+2.5) at Wisconsin
Iowa has had some close shaves in going 6-0, most recently against Michigan. Wisconsin has gone 5-1, but are coming off a loss to Ohio State where they shot themselves in the foot by throwing two pick-6s. Iowa seems ripe for a loss, but I think they are one of those teams that just finds a way.
Texas Tech (+11) at Nebraska
The best offense in the Big 12 goes against the best defense. The Cornhuskers seem to be back to being “The Blackshirts” as their defense throttled Missouri last week and is giving up less than 10 points per game. Texas Tech scored 66 against Kansas State last week. Both teams will deviate closer to the mean in a competitive game.
Pick: Texas Tech
Arkansas (+24.5) at Florida
Gotta head out to Lake Arrowhead so I’ll keep this brief. Tebow goes off and goes off for a lot in this game.