Picks: Badgers, Tigers, Aggies, Sooners win; Bears keep rolling
South Carolina on upset alert going to Arkansas? Maybe so. Texas A&M also figures to have its hands full at Ole Miss as does Florida at LSU. But don't look for Rutgers to put any scare into Louisville.
I'm coming off a decent week, going 11-10 against the line, moving me to 64-50 against the spread this season. The good: picking Washington to give Stanford fits. The bad: picking Georgia to thump Tennessee. The ugly: picking Arkansas to keep it really close against Florida. Here are this week's guesses:
Louisville 37, Rutgers 17: This is Teddy Bridgewater's biggest test so far, although it's not that much of a test. RU is No. 72 in defense and has given up more than 50 points in both of its road trips this season.
Virginia Tech 24, Pittsburgh 13: The Panthers' O-line was really shaky last time out. That doesn't bode well against one of the best defensive fronts in college football or playing in the raucous setting of Lane Stadium.
Texas Tech 31, Iowa State 14: Paul Rhoads' team is coming off the emotional, controversial loss to Texas, and even though ISU has beaten Tech in two of the past three meetings, it's a different era in Lubbock these days.
Georgia 34, Missouri 31: The Dawgs are so banged up and Mizzou is playing well, but my hunch is Aaron Murray will find a way to rally Georgia in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma 38, Texas 28: This figures to be Mack Brown's last matchup with OU in the Red River Rivalry and I expect UT to play inspired. The Sooners also will miss stud LB Corey Nelson, but OU is still the better team and has a lot more momentum.
South Carolina 23, Arkansas 21: I am tempted to pick the Hogs, because I could see Alex Collins gashing the Gamecocks D, but feel like Mike Davis will respond to the challenge and bail out Carolina late.
Clemson 44, Boston College 13: As excellent as Eagles RB Andre Williams has been, BC doesn't have enough speed to hang around for four quarters with the Tigers, especially when Clemson's at home.
Wisconsin 35, Northwestern 21: Tough bounce-back spot for the Cats, visiting a physical Badgers team with some serious skill talent. The Badgers have outscored their opponents by an average of 41.3 in their three victories and are catching Northwestern at an ideal time.
LSU 20, Florida 10: Tyler Murphy has been superb in relief but the Tigers are the most talented team he has faced by far. Tiger Stadium, even at a 2:30 local time kickoff, is going to be a nasty environment for a young QB.
Baylor 51, Kansas State 27: Art Briles' team has blown everyone off the field this season, but this is the Bears' first road test. I'm not sure that is going to matter all that much since it comes against a Wildcats team that has lost two in a row and hasn't beaten anyone of note this year. Baylor rolls again, although it may take BU a bit more time than normal to turn it into a rout.
Oregon 35, Washington 24: Keith Price played his butt off last week against a terrific Stanford D, but bad special teams were the Huskies' undoing. I'm skeptical that U-Dub can stay focused for four quarters after playing a very physical Cardinal team and now gets the frenetic Ducks attack a week later.
Michigan 28, Penn State 20: Bill O'Brien's team hobbles back home after getting drilled by Indiana. The Wolverines looked sharper last week against Minnesota after a bye week and should handle a tricky road spot here, but it's not going to be so easy for the Michigan D.
Northern Illinois 42, Akron 13: The Zips are a mess and haven't beaten an FBS team yet this season. Now they go on the road to face the MAC's top squad. This one's a blowout.
Stanford 27, Utah 14: Ty Montgomery introduced himself to the national audience last week and expect the Cardinal offense to keep rolling. The Utes should keep it interesting into the second half.
Alabama 35, Kentucky 17: Mark Stoops' bunch is improving and just gave South Carolina all it could handle, but the Tide are more physical and more balanced and shouldn't have too much trouble here.
Texas A&M 42, Ole Miss 38: Last season, A&M had a bunch of turnovers and needed a late rally to beat the Rebels. The Aggies are a much different team now, but their D is still very suspect and playing on the road against the tempo and skill talent the Rebels have is an issue.
UCLA 58, Cal 24: Anthony Barr leads a dynamic group of linebackers against a very young and battered Cal team. Expect a lot more mistakes from the Bears and big plays from the Bruins.
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