Unlike the Marlins, though, I'm not giving up.
I'll add this: props to Texas A&M. Many (myself included) thought the Aggies would get pounded in the SEC. Now, they're on the verge of a BCS berth. Unfortunately, most SEC teams are playing FCS opponents this week, so we'll focus this week's picks elsewhere.
Kent State at Bowling Green -2.5
It's a critical game in the MAC as Kent State (9-1, 6-0) could clinch a spot in the MAC Championship while Bowling Green (7-3, 5-1) is also bidding for the division title. A Bowling Green win would the Falcons would have the inside track heading into the final weekend and bring Ohio (4-2 in the league and visiting Kent State next week) back into the mix. The Falcons may have the best defense in the MAC, and I think it shows at home despite Kent State's strong rushing attack (15th in the FBS in rushing yards).
The pick: Bowling Green 28-24
Northwestern +7 at Michigan State
No team has its heart ripped out quite like Northwestern, which has a knack for losing leads late in the game. Will they finally hold on to one? Like I've said before, if they can get to 20, they stand a good chance to beat offensively challenged Michigan State. I'll hesitantly pick the Wildcats to get a nice W for a change.
The pick: Northwestern 24-21
#22 Rutgers at Cincinnati -6.5
Rutgers has a pretty record at 8-1, but they really haven't beaten anyone. Their best win was over Arkansas, and we all know by now about the mess that Arkansas is. Cincinnati has played better against a better schedule and will beat Rutgers at home.
The pick: Cincinnati 31-24
#12 Oklahoma -11 at West Virginia
|If the Sooners win out, they should be BCS-bound.|
The pick: Oklahoma 56-28
#18 USC -3.5 at #17 UCLA
This one will decide the Pac-12 South champ. I think USC is in for quite a fight in this one, but I think Marquis Lee will make the difference with his big-play ability. USC will survive a shootout.
The pick: USC 49-42
#1 Kansas State -13 at Baylor
The Wildcats are so close to playing for a national title. I don't think their dreams come crashing down in Waco. Their defense is too good, and Collin Klein will keep this team moving forward. I think Kansas State's scare will come next week against Texas, not this week.
The pick: Kansas State 45-28
#13 Stanford +20.5 at #2 Oregon
Oregon is great, but Stanford will have the best defense the Ducks have seen this year. Stanford can slow this game down, and I think 3 touchdowns is a huge number against a team like the Cardinal. Stanford will hang around with Oregon, but the banged-up Ducks will pull away to remain unbeaten.
The pick: Oregon 42-31
#23 Texas Tech +10 at #24 Oklahoma State
Tech has fallen on hard times a bit, as the Red Raiders have lost two of their last three and almost lost to Kansas. I think they're due to turn it around, and they'll play better in Stillwater, but it won't be enough to win. OSU has quietly put together a solid season in the post-Weeden/Blackmon era. Had it not been for a blown call against Texas, OSU would be 5-1 in the Big 12.
The pick: Oklahoma State 38-31
Utah State at #20 Louisiana Tech +3
|Colby Cameron might be the best QB you've never heard of.|
The pick: Louisiana Tech 45-42
Ohio State +2.5 at Wisconsin
Wisconsin has improved since that rocky start, but I cannot believe they are a favorite against Ohio State. Remember: the Buckeyes are ineligible to receiving votes in the coaches' and BCS polls. However, they are sixth in the AP. 6! Sure, maybe Wisconsin will be tough at home, but I still expect the Buckeyes will run over Bucky.
The pick: Ohio State 33-24
I'll say one more thing about all those SEC teams playing FCS teams this week. Don't be shocked if these games are close for a while. Remember when Georgia Southern put up 341 yards of offense and was within 10 of Alabama at halftime last year? SEC teams treat these games for what they are: a break from the brutal SEC slate, and the FCS teams treat this game for what it is for them: their Super Bowl. Don't be shocked if Georgia Southern (8-2) scares Georgia for a half or Sam Houston (8-2) finds the endzone against Texas A&M. I fully expect all the SEC teams to eventually win by at least three touchdowns, though.