Week 9 college picks

I’m nothing if not average as far as college football is concerned. If only I knew which five I’d get every week – I could be rich. But alas, I’m not.

USC (-3) at Oregon
The game of the Pac-10 season by far, as the Ducks have destroyed everything in their path lately while the Trojans have kept winning, albeit in heart-stopping fashion at times. The Trojans have already won in Columbus, Berkeley and South Bend, so there will be no intimidation here. This is a type of game that the Trojans just don’t lose, and that’s what I’m going with.
Pick: USC

UCLA (+9.5) at Oregon State
Having a chance to watch the Bruins live in Tucson last week was eye-opening. UCLA is really not good, as they couldn’t cover despite Arizona giving them five turnovers. The Bruins’ best hope is an Oregon State letdown after its close loss to USC, but I don’t see it. Easy money for the Beavers here.
Pick: Oregon State

California (-6.5) at Arizona State
The Bears seem to have recovered from whatever swine-flu like disorder plagued it during the Oregon and USC games. But Cal does not do well on the road and while Arizona State is hardly a power this year, they have played pretty well at Sun Devil Stadium. I have a feeling ASU keeps it close.
Pick: Arizona State

Washington State (+28) vs. Notre Dame
This game is being played in San Antonio for some reason, with the Cougars expected to play the role of the sacrifical lamb to Notre Dame. However, Wazzu has been very good at covering obscene spreads. It still gets killed, but killed by less than the spread. Considering that ND revels in closer games, I expect the Cougars to stay within four touchdowns, if just barely.
Pick: Washington State

Texas (-9.5) at Oklahoma State
Good news, bad news scenario for the Cowboys. The good news is that star RB Kendall Hunter will be back from injury but WR Desmond Bryant has been ruled ineligble, which, obviously, is the bad news. Okie State finds creative ways to lose to Texas and likely will again, but they always seem to be heartbreaks. Translation: Take the points.
Pick: Oklahoma State

Georgia (+15) vs. Florida
The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” is going a bit under the radar this year, with the Bulldogs meandering around .500 and the Gators somewhat struggling despite being No. 1. Florida has owned this series of late, but these Gators seem more like the 2006 champions than the 2008 ones, meaning take the points and watch Florida ugly out another win.
Pick: Georgia

Central Michigan (+5.5) at Boston College
Why am I picking this game? A couple reasons. The first is that its not a very good week for college football in the ACC or Big East. The second is that this is a sneaky-good matchup, as the Chippewas have won seven in a row while BC has been as pesky as it normally is. Central has won at Michigan State and I think they’ll win in the Northeast.
Pick: Central Michigan

Penn State (-17.5) at Northwestern
Yeah, its a crappy week in the Big Ten too, with Iowa playing Indiana and Ohio State playing New Mexico State randomly. So I guess this game gets my pick. Penn State impressed by destroying Michigan and could be ripe for a letdown, but Northwestern, although 5-3, just isn’t that good. I’ll take Penn State to cover and continue its surge.
Pick: Penn State

South Carolina (+6) at Tennessee
The Volunteers lead the nation in moral victories, as the Vols have given Florida and Alabama tough tussles on the road, coming within a blocked field goal of shocking the Crimson Tide. But they are still 3-4 and South Carolina is a pretty darn good team. I think you have to take the points, especially with Tennessee on letdown alert.
Pick: South Carolina

Kansas (+6.5) at Texas Tech
Reason this game is included is because of this awesome press conference rant by Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, which I’ve added below.

That being said, I expect Texas Tech to be a little more focused this week, which is bad news for Kansas.
Pick: Texas Tech

Last week: 5-5
Overall: 39-39-2