The picks: Sometimes chaos comes into the calm
This looks like a good week for favorites, but sometimes this is just the kind of week when chaos happens.
All of the talk in recent weeks has been about what happens if all four teams finish undefeated, which obviously could still happen. There is still a better chance we end up with just one of those teams undefeated than all of them, but it's getting harder to see where those losses will come.
Then, I think back to 2007. Five years ago, at this point of the season, Ohio State and LSU were 1-2 in the BCS standings. That was because two of the top five had lost the week before. In the following four weeks, seven teams that were ranked in the top five at the time, including the Buckeyes and Tigers, would lose, and in the end OSU and LSU got to play for the title anyway.
That was nine losses by top five teams in a five-week span. Only three of those losses came to ranked opponents.
So, it ain't over yet. In fact, it might just be getting started.
My record this season on the picks is 52-29 overall, 42-38-1 against the spread.
Wisconsin Badgers (-7.5, cover) at Indiana Hoosiers --The Hoosiers are 4-5 with wins over Indiana State, UMass, Illinois and Iowa. They have lost to Ball State and Navy. And a win here could launch them to the Big Ten title game. Even crazier scenario: Purdue wins out (at Iowa, at Illilois, vs. Indiana), IU wins here, but loses to Penn State, and Wisconsin loses out ... all three finish 3-5 in the league. The Badgers would win that tiebreaker on the 6th step.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-19) at Boston College Eagles -- BC is not very good, but this is far and away the biggest game on its schedule. The Eagles will give their best effort, whatever that is, and make the Irish work for the win.
Kansas State Wildcats (-7.5, cover) at TCU Horned Frogs -- I'm counting on Collin Klein playing. If he doesn't, the Frogs could very well win.
Georgia Bulldogs (-14.5, cover) at Auburn Tigers -- I've seen reports that Gene Chizik has told his team that he's done after the Iron Bowl. The SEC East is at stake here. A Georgia win clinches it for the Bulldogs, but a loss gives the division to Florida.
Texas A&M Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide (-13.5, cover) -- Alabama can also clinch a division title this week, which is why I think it regains focus after a very emotional win last week. The Aggies' offense has sputtered some against the better defenses on their schedule.
Penn State Nittany Lions at Nebraska Cornhuskers (-8.5, cover) -- Penn State has had a great season, but lost pretty comfortably to the one good team it has played so far (Ohio State).
(-28, cover) at
California Golden Bears
-- The Ducks might cover this line each half if they aren't looking ahead to Stanford. Cal appears to be winding down on the Jeff Tedford era.
Oregon State Beavers (+4.5) at Stanford Cardinal -- I like the Beavers' mojo. Stanford is clearly a good team and playing at home, which is why it's favored, but I think the OSU defense will slow the Cardinal down.
Upset of the Week: Massachusetts Minutemen (+16.5) at Akron Zips -- I know the Minutemen haven't won yet, but Akron is winless against I-A teams also.
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