The Eye on College Football crew scans the weekly lines for a straight-up shocker or two --for entertainment only, of course.
BRYAN FISCHER: Wisconsin (+2.5) over Purdue.
Purdue was a trendy upset pick last week against Michigan, and the Boilermakers wound up getting blown out. While I would expect a close, low-scoring game this week, I think the Badgers can score a big road win. The offense has looked better with Joel Stave under center with Danny O'Brien, and the offensive line seems to be much more on the same page than they were early in the season. I'm not sold on either side, but Wisconsin looks like the team on the upswing and has enough players to score on an average Purdue defense and steal a B1G win.
- - -
Last Week: Hit on West Virginia (+7) over Texas. Season: 4-for-6.
TOM FORNELLI: South Carolina (+3) over LSU.
Last week, I called Florida to upset LSU, and this week I'm picking South Carolina for the same reason that I went with the Gators: South Carolina is just the better team. It'll be a tougher task for the Gamecocks in Baton Rouge, but this LSU offense has looked pitiful in two SEC games so far. Only Auburn and Kentucky's offenses have averaged fewer yards per play in SEC play than LSU, and South Carolina's defense might be the best that LSU has faced so far.
And while the LSU defense certainly hasn't been the problem, the truth is Marcus Lattimore and Connor Shaw will only have to make a couple of plays for South Carolina to win this game, and I think they will.
- - -
Last Week: Hit on Florida (+2.5) over LSU. Season: 4-for-6.
CHRIS HUSTON: Stanford (+7) over Notre Dame.
This wasn't a good time for the Irish to draw Stanford. The Cardinal have been solid defensively for most of the year, but their offense has been sluggish at best. If last Saturday is any indication, Stanford and new quarterback Josh Nunes have finally found their stride on that side of the ball.
The tight end combination of Levine Toilolo and Zach Ertz will be a tough matchup for the Irish defense, while the Irish offense will struggle against Stanford's front seven. The Cardinal have beaten Notre Dame three years in a row and should have no problem making it four straight on Saturday.
- - -
Last Week: Missed on Southern Miss (+10) over Boise State. Season: 4-for-6.
CHIP PATTERSON: Texas (+3) over Oklahoma.
Texas' defense had to make a decision against West Virginia and chose to force the Mountaineers to beat them on the ground. Andrew Buie stepped up to the plate, and his 207 yards was a difference maker in the 48-45 West Virginia win. The Longhorns face a very different challenge with Oklahoma and, while Landry Jones is still one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12, he's not Geno Smith. I expect Texas to be much more aggressive defensively, the Sooners' hurry-up tempo being arguably more dangerous than their downfield passing attack.
Additionally, Oklahoma has given up more than 200 yards on the ground twice this season and ranks No. 92 nationally in turnover margin. I see the Longhorns winning a close, back-and-forth game with their ability to dictate the pace in the fourth quarter.
- - -
Last Week: Missed on Purdue (+3) over Michigan. Season: 4-for-6.
JERRY HINNEN: Fresno State (+7) over Boise State.
Wait, at Boise State? On the Smurf Turf? Where Chris Petersen is 39-1 all-time? Where the Broncos are an absurd 84-3 since 1999? Where dumb writers' upset picks go to die horrible, inglorious deaths?
Yes, there. Despite last week's bludgeoning of Southern Miss, these aren't the same Broncos of years past. The last time that Boise was at home, it went without a single offensive point vs. BYU, only to win on a defensive score and a missed two-point conversion following the Cougars' only touchdown. They followed that by eking out a three-point victory at New Mexico. They started the season by gaining just 206 yards of total offense at Michigan State. They're currently ranked 82nd in rush defense.
Anyway, you get the point. Fresno might be the best team the Broncos have faced yet: Derek Carr and Robbie Rouse are as strong a 1-2 quarterback-tailback punch as there is outside the BCS conferences (a major reason the Bulldogs are 19th in the country in scoring), Tim DeRuyter's defense is adapting quickly to the 3-4 (the Bulldogs are 27th in yards-per-play allowed despite traveling to both Oregon and Tulsa), and the Bulldogs have been able to slowly build to this game after comfortably dispatching San Diego State and Colorado State the past two weeks. Boise has already been flirting with the big upset this season. Fresno's the team to finish the job.
- - -
Last Week: Hit on Florida (+2.5) over LSU. Season: 2-for-6.
MATT HINTON: Oregon State (+5.5) over BYU.
The Beavers just lost their starting quarterback, Sean Mannion, at the same time that BYU is getting its starting QB back from a two-week absence. But the Cougars were struggling badly on offense long before Riley Nelson was knocked out of the lineup at Boise State, where they turned the ball over five times and did not come close to scoring until the final, desperate drive of the game, with Nelson on the bench. The previous week, the offense had needed short fields to kick start two of its three touchdown drives in a 24-21 loss at Utah; last week, the Cougars were held to a single touchdown in a defensively driven, 6-3 slugfest against Utah State.
Obviously, the BYU defense has held up its end, holding opposing offenses out of the end zone in 13 consecutive quarters. With a new, very green quarterback (junior Cody Vaz) taking the reins from Mannion, Oregon State is going to have a tough time faring much better. Based on what we've seen so far from the Cougars, though, it's not going to take very much to extend the surprising 4-0 start to five.
- - -
Last Week: Missed on Virginia Tech (+6) over North Carolina. Season: 0-for-6.