Thursday, November 8, 2012

College Football Picks - Week 11

I was just 6-4 on winners last week, but I had my best week yet against the spread, going 7-3. Ironically, all of my losers were in Texas, where I live. Go figure.

Iowa State at #17 Texas -10
Has Texas turned a corner with its win over Texas Tech? I doubt it. The 'Horns would still get crushed if they played Oklahoma again tomorrow. The question is if they'll have enough to beat Iowa State at home this weekend. I think they should be able to outscore the Cyclones in Austin. I still can't trust that defense, though. I think Sam Gordon could get a few points against those guys.
The pick: Texas 33-21

Wisconsin at Indiana +5.5
What if I told you the winner of this game could get to the Rose Bowl? Yep. With Ohio State and Penn State banned from postseason play, the winner of this game is in the driver's seat in the Leaders division. Wisconsin is 3-2 in the Big Ten while Indiana is 2-3. The only other teams in the division are 0-5 Illinois and Purdue. The winner of the Leaders division will obviously go to the Big Ten championship game, which decides the Rose Bowl participant.
Neither Wisconsin nor Indiana has an impressive win, but I give a slight edge to Wisconsin in an ugly game.
The pick: Wisconsin 16-13

#24 Northwestern +9.5 at Michigan
Remember when Michigan was a top ten team? Not so much now. It's hard to trust this team to break out and dominate Northwestern. It's also hard to trust Northwestern to go on the road and get a huge win that could get them back in the Big Ten title hunt. Michigan will win, but it won't be pretty.
The pick: Michigan 31-24

#9 Louisville -1.5 at Syracuse
Louisville hasn't played the greatest schedule, but
Teddy Bridgewater has the Cards unbeaten.
This line just seems way too small to me, even on the road. Louisville, while clearly not in the class of the top four teams in the BCS, is unbeaten and a clear class above the rest of the Big East. If he had any wins over significant competition, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater might be a dark horse Heisman candidate. He is completing 70% of his passes for 2,434 yards with 18 touchdowns to just 4 picks. He'll lead the Cards to victory by more than a field goal.
The pick: Louisville 35-24

Missouri at Tennessee -3
Well, Missouri has an SEC win. Tennessee does not. Derek Dooley may or not have to pack up his office at the end of the season. If he loses this one, though, that pretty much means the season finale between Tennessee and Kentucky will determine who finishes dead last in the SEC. If Tennessee drops this one, Dooley can probably go ahead and get those moving boxes. I think the Vols will step up at home and grant him a stay of execution.
The pick: Tennessee 33-27

#14 Oregon State at #11 Stanford -4.5
I look for a tough defensive battle in this one. The Cardinal has moved Kevin Hogan into the starting role, and he might not have to score too many points against Oregon State. The Beavers have played very well, but their schedule is getting tougher. This Stanford defense will be the toughest they've seen.
The pick: Stanford 21-14

#15 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama -13.5
I'll give Texas A&M credit. The Aggies are much better than I thought they would be, and it's largely because of Johnny Manziel. The freshman is great and may be in the Heisman mix by the time he's a junior. However, I do not think Texas A&M (or anyone for that matter) can win in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is on another level, and the Aggies' offense has been contained by the SEC elite (Florida, LSU). Alabama will not have a letdown.
The pick: Alabama 35-20

West Virginia +9.5 at Oklahoma State
I know West Virginia is struggling, but I was surprised that they are almost a 10-point dog against Oklahoma State, whose defense is not immune to the big play and still has a shaky quarterback situation due to injuries. I expect a shootout with OSU winning by a touchdown.
The pick: Oklahoma State 49-42

#21 Mississippi State at #7 LSU -15
Both of these teams are 7-2 in the SEC, but they're a very different 7-2. LSU still looks like one of the best teams in the nation while Mississippi State has yet to get a signature win. The Bulldogs won't get one in Death Valley. They got crushed 38-7 by Alabama, and I expect a similar outcome here.
The pick: LSU 31-14

#2 Kansas State at TCU +7.5
Will "Optimus Klein" play? Will he play well?
It will be interesting to see K-State without their leader.
Wisely, Vegas took a while to post a line on this due to the uncertain status of Collin Klein. Bill Snyder said he expected Klein to play, but he's pretty tight-lipped otherwise. I've heard it said: there are only two reasons to disclose injuries: to help your opponent and to help gamblers. So, I don't blame Snyder for staying quiet about it
Obviously Klein makes a HUGE difference, and I have no idea if he plays or how well. But, it's my brother's birthday, and he's a TCU alum. The BCS needs some chaos, doesn't it? The Frogs shock the world, overachieving on defense against a hobbled Klein and Trevone Boykin makes some big plays at home. Happy birthday, bro.
The pick: TCU 30-28

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