Michigan the Big Ten's last hope

It's been 11 years since the Big Ten was so bad that it didn't have a team in the top 15 of the AP Poll.  It's in that situation again after Ohio State fell four spots last week despite a win over Cal.

The league has had a well-documented dismal non-conference season, but there is still one more chance for a face saving win.  Michigan travels to Notre Dame Saturday with a chance to give the conference its best win by far.  And, of course, kind of stick it to Michigan State, which looked awful at home against the Irish last week.

There are a few other potential BCS-impact games this week.  Clemson is at Florida State and Oklahoma takes on Kansas State.  Out west, Oregon hosts Arizona.

Here are this week's picks.

Arizona at Oregon (-21.5, cover) -- Arizona is off to a great start under Rich Rodriguez.  This is their first road game though, and the Ducks are really tough at home.

Michigan at Notre Dame (-6) -- The Irish have had their problems with Denard Robinson over the years, and Shoelace will probably get his this week too.  However, unless the Wolverines have suddenly figured out how to tackle, the Irish should get more.

Clemson at Florida State (-14) -- I have no faith in either of these teams.  I feel like the fool me every year.  I expect big things from one or both, but get let down.  The Seminoles are probably the better team, but they are untested.

Kansas State at Oklahoma (-15) -- I expect Collin Klein and company to give the Sooner D some fits.  Oklahoma will win, but I'll be surprised if it's a laugher.

Rutgets at Arkansas (-9.5) -- Really tempted to pick Rutgers outright.  Really tempted.  Tyler Wilson's return at QB has me sticking with the Hogs.

Cal at USC (-16.5, cover) -- USC finds a friendlier foe this week and should be able to right the ship.

Upset of the week: Kansas (+9) over Northern Illinois -- I know, Kansas lost at home to Rice, but they played TCU tough last week.  NIU is one of the MAC favorites, but hasn't really looked the part yet.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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