While SEC takes a breather, Pac-12 battle takes center stage

It's a relatively quiet week on the SEC front as fans down South recover from the Alabama-Texas A&M circus, but there are still some big games on the calendar.

I was a perfect 3-0 on my picks last week, so I'm now 11-4 straight up, 10-5 vs the spread.

Clemson at North Carolina State (+13.5):  The Wolfpack have struggled on offense without starting QB Brandon Mitchell, who was injured before the season started.  Last week, they turned it over four times against Richmond and almost lost.  The Tigers hung 62 on NC State last year.  It could be just as bad tonight. Clemson wins and covers.

Boise State at Fresno State (-4):  Before Boise State started its magic run of success, Fresno looked like the darling of the non-majors.  For a few years, it looked like the Bulldogs had the talent and the schedule to make it to the BCS, but inevitably, a slip up in league play did them in.  Now, the opportunity is there again.  This game may have to happen twice for the Bulldogs to reach the BCS in its final year.  That second game is a problem for another day.  Fresno wins and covers.

Arizona State at Stanford (-6):  The Sun Devils beat Wisconsin in bizarre fashion last week, with the help of the bungling Badgers and the Pac-12 officiating crew.  Stanford is a pretty similar team, but better and at home.  This may be a Pac-12 title game preview.  Stanford wins and covers.

Michigan State at Notre Dame(-4.5):  Michigan State put up 55 points on Youngstown State last week, but against their two FBS foes, they only scored a total of 47.  Those foes were Western Michigan and South Florida, which are a combined 0-6 and each lost to an FCS school.  Notre Dame's defense looked pretty shaky at Purdue last week though, giving up 24 points to the Boilers, which had only scored 20 total against Cincinnati and Indiana State.  The Spartans are the top defense in the country right now.  But again, consider the schedule.  These two have given us entertaining games over the years.  This year may be no exception.  ND wins, Spartans cover.

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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