Picks: Oregon rolls; Ohio State stays unbeaten, Kansas State overcomes SI jinx
Here are this week's picks.
|Bruce Feldman says Colby Cameron and Louisiana Tech are in for an exciting game vs. Utah State. (US Presswire)|
I’m coming off a decent week, where I went 11-10 against the spread, putting me at four over .500 against the number on the year. The good: Picking USC to thump Arizona State. The bad: Picking UCLA to run away from Washington State. The ugly: Picking TCU to give K-State some problems. Here are this week’s guesses:
Oregon Ducks 49, Stanford Cardinal 17: Even though the Ducks are pretty banged up on D, playing Chip Kelly’s team at night at Autzen Stadium on national TV is still going to be too much for freshman QB Kevin Hogan in his first road start.
Kansas State Wildcats 34, Baylor Bears 24: Sports Illustrated Jinx? Pfft. Bill Snyder scoffs at such things. Collin Klein and the Wildcats are rolling, especially against teams from the state of Texas -- where Snyder’s bunch has won nine in a row.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 35, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 6: The Irish aren’t losing Manti Te’o's last home game in South Bend. In fact, I don’t see them even allowing a TD in this one. Although it should also be noted that Wake is No. 111 in offense.
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Alabama Crimson Tide 62, Western Carolina 3: This isn’t isn’t just an FCS team the Tide’s facing. It’s a bad FCS team that is 1-9 and hasn’t won since August (The team that Western Carolina beat is a D-II team.) Western Carolina is allowing 40 ppg and 520 yards.
Georgia Bulldogs 55, Georgia Southern 6: The Triple Option is never fun to deal with, but the Dawgs should be dialed in and ready to roll by the second quarter.
Ohio State Buckeyes 23, Wisconsin Badgers 21: I know Bret Bielema has a very good record in November, and the Badgers ran wild last week and they’ve held each of their last five opponents under 300 yards. I’m still not picking against Urban Meyer in the Big Ten till after someone in that league beats him.
Florida Gators 42, Jacksonville State 7: These Gamecocks of FCS have some familiar names (Washaun Ealey is a former Georgia RB) and they have talent, but the Gators figure to come out much more focused than they did last week.
LSU Tigers 31, Ole Miss Rebels 14: Zach Mettenberger has heated up the past two weeks, especially with his downfield accuracy. Bad news for the Rebels, who also don’t have the talent in the secondary that the Tigers' past two opponents (Bama and Miss. State) have.
Texas A&M Aggies 58, Sam Houston State 17: It won’t be easy for the Aggies to come down off the high of beating No. 1 Alabama on the road, but their staff -- loaded with Texas guys --knows better than to take Sam Houston lightly. Sam Houston State does have the No. 1 offense in FCS, averaging more than 46 ppg, and has won its previous three by an average of 59-8.
Florida State Seminoles 35, Maryland Terrapins 6: The beleaguered Terps are limping to the finish line. Last week, they didn’t even manage 200 yards of offense against Clemson, and FSU’s D is much better than Clemson’s.
Clemson Tigers 40, NC State Wolfpack 21: Dabo Swinney’s squad is looking for payback after last season against the Pack after getting crunched, 37-13. The Tigers will get their revenge. NC State is allowing 35 ppg in its past three road games. And none of those three opponents had the firepower that Clemson has.
South Carolina Gamecocks 42, Wofford 7: Even with a big rivalry game like Clemson just around the corner for the Gamecocks, they won’t stumble here against an 8-2 Wofford team that is No. 2 in FCS in rushing.
Oklahoma Sooners 45, West Virginia Mountaineers 38: The Sooners have the Big 12’s best pass defense. West Virginia has its worst. The Mountaineers have allowed 51 ppg in their past six games. That kind of thing is too much for Geno Smith to overcome.
Oregon State Beavers 24, California Golden Bears 13: The pressure’s really mounting on Jeff Tedford. His undermanned team played their butts off for three quarters before Oregon blew them out. I don’t see the Bears being able to sustain that same effort for four quarters on the road in Corvallis.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 31, Minnesota Golden Gophers 10: Bo Pelini’s team is riding a four-game win streak, and each of those W's came over better teams than the Gophers, who are No. 73 against the run.
Southern California Trojans 38, UCLA Bruins 31: The Bruins might have more talent on D than the Trojans, but USC has a big edge in experience at QB and Jim Mora doesn’t have a Marqise Lee. He does have an outstanding back in Johnathan Franklin, but the young Trojan D-line is a little better than the young Bruin O-line and the difference there also will emerge in the second half.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 38, Utah State Aggies 35: Two coaches whose stock is soaring. Tech has more firepower on offense, and those weapons for QB Colby Cameron will give Sonny Dykes’ team the edge late.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 17, Cincinnati Bearcats 13: I’ve flip-flopped on this pick a few times. I know Cincy has won nine in a row at home and that Rutgers is banged up, but I’m going with the better defense.
Michigan Wolverines 31, Iowa Hawkeyes 10: Kirk Ferentz’s program has beaten the Wolverines three in a row in the series, but those Hawkeyes teams were nothing like this one. Iowa has lost four in a row, all to average or below-average teams. Expect this Michigan team to come out really fired up given all that these Wolverine seniors have been through in the past four to five seasons.
Texas Tech Red Raiders 34, Oklahoma State Cowboys 31: The wheels almost came entirely off the wagon last week in Lubbock, when Tech barely survived against a woeful Kansas team. They’ll face a more talented team, but I’m going with the Red Raiders and their much more experienced QB to pull this one out late in the game.
Kent State Golden Flashes 24, Bowling Green Falcons 20: Darrell Hazell has a good thing going there at Kent State, and their speed will be the difference against a Bowling Green squad that has won six in a row with the toughest D in the MAC.
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