Welcome to Upset Alerts, where each week our intrepid Eye on College Football writers and special guest BCS/bowl projections expert Jerry Palm each pick an upset they believe will shock (or at least mildly amuse) the college football world.
The week 14 lines are here. The picks:
TOM FORNELLI: Georgia Tech (+3.5) over Georgia : It's Rivalry Week, and when it comes to Rivalry Week I tend to look for home underdogs, and Georgia Tech certainly fits that description. Now, while part of the reason I'm picking the Yellow Jackets here is because I'm not sure how a Georgia defense that gave up 323 rushing yards against Auburn a few weeks ago will do against an option attack, but the biggest reason is that Georgia lost Aaron Murray for the rest of the season last week against Kentucky.
Georgia has been dealing with plenty of injuries this season, and it shows in their 7-4 record. However, I don't think any of the injuries will have been as deflating as losing your senior quarterback will be. And while Hutson Mason isn't some freshman stepping in for his first game experience, I just have an inkling that the Murray injury will have a lot of Bulldogs merely wanting to just get this season over with.
Last week: Missed on UCLA over Arizona State. Season-to-date: 4-for-12
JERRY PALM: Texas A&M (+4.5) over Missouri : Missouri has a lot on the line in this game. The East division title is at stake, and likely a shot at No. 1 Alabama. Maybe even a shot at the national title. It's the biggest game at Mizzou since the battle of unbeatens with Oklahoma in 2010. James Franklin came back last week against Ole Miss and looked pretty good, although Maty Mauk did spell him a couple times. Missouri's defense, led by all-American candidate DE Michael Sam, has had a pretty good year, but ranks 109th against the pass.
Uh oh. Here comes the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel. Manziel is fresh off the worst performance of his career at LSU last week. If he's as good as we all think he is, he isn't going to have another clunker this week. He'll come back strong, and that's a bad sign for Missouri. Fortunately for the Tigers, the Aggies' defense plays like they only have ten on the field, so Manziel and company have to do well to keep up. Look for a high scoring game, and a special performance from Johnny Football, in an Aggie win.
Last week: Hit on Oklahoma State over Baylor. Season-to-date: 4-for-11
JERRY HINNEN: UNLV (+3.5) over San Diego State : I'll be honest: it feels more than a little lame to look at the sumptuous Rivalry Week buffet before us and spend a few sentences discussing the salad croutons. But since I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger on any of the 'dogs in the top 25 -- coming closest on UCLA, who's been a better team than USC for much of the season and whose road trip isn't exactly demanding -- I might as well attempt to go over 25 percent for the season.
I'll do so with the Runnin' Rebels. The Aztecs won their Game of the Year against Boise State last week and now face an all-but-stakesless road trip to Vegas, where UNLV is almost always feisty against incoming favorites; for all his struggles entering 2013, Bobby Hauck is still 11-5 against the spread as a home 'dog. And with Hauck's bowl-eligible team playing its best football in years, another cover Saturday would equal the straight-up W.
Last week: Missed on Texas A&M over LSU. Season-to-date: 3-for-12