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Week 5 picks: Expect Clemson to crash land in Blacksburg

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider
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In the past two weeks, I've made a stronger comeback than the Tampa Bay Rays or the St. Louis Cardinals.

After a dismal start, I've gone 27-15, moving seven games over .500 for the season. Now if only I can avoid a Boston Red Sox type collapse.

Also, if you care, my Top 25 picks are humming along at 11 games over .500.

If you're just joining us: I have been staked an imaginary bankroll totaling 5,000 Brett Bucks (similar to dollars, but for entertainment purposes only). Each pick is for 50 Brett Bucks, except for the best bets, worth 100 Brett Bucks. Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today. I am currently up 350 Brett Bucks.

Now this week's picks.

Houston at UTEP, Thursday: Houston QB Case Keenum is 1,953 yards from becoming the NCAA's all-time leading passer. He might get it by the third quarter. Houston -16½

Utah State at BYU, Friday: The best thing about BYU playing Friday nights is that it frees up Saturday nights for the BYU students to get wild and crazy. OK, so they'll just spend more time studying. Utah State +7½

Air Force at Navy: CBSSports.com previously reported that Air Force and Navy have invitations to join the Big East as football-only members. Sources confirmed Saturday's winner will join the league in two years. The loser must join next season. Navy -2½ Air Force-Navy preview

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Bruce Feldman Bruce Feldman
It was a rough week. Good? Michigan thumping San Diego State. Bad? Illinois-WMU. Ugly? FSU-Clemson. Week 5 Picks >>
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Arizona at USC: Last week, NASA's six-ton decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite plunged into the southern Pacific Ocean. When asked to estimate the speed of the satellite at impact, a scientist replied: "it was plummeting almost as fast as the Arizona Wildcats' season." USC -13

Auburn at South Carolina Following last week's 21-3 win against Vanderbilt, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier apologized "for such a putrid offensive performance." Remember the good old days, when Spurrier only used the word putrid as in "you can't spell putrid without UT?" South Carolina -9½ Auburn-South Carolina preview

Baylor at Kansas State: Bill Snyder turns 72 next week. Last year, Kansas State's coach was asked about reaching his 71st birthday. "Birthdays are just days for me," Snyder said. "I've gone years where I just really didn't know it was my birthday. Part of it's probably stupidity, I guess." He'll look a whole lot smarter with a win Saturday. Kansas State +3½ Baylor-Kansas State preview

Cincinnati at Miami (Ohio): This is the nation's oldest current non-conference college football rivalry. Saturday marks the 116th meeting of the Battle for the Bell, which of course brings to mind Pee Wee Herman's bell joke he told on David Letterman. Cincinnati -14½

Clemson at Virginia Tech: The Tigers have shot up the AP rankings thanks to opening the year with four consecutive home victories. But Clemson is only 1-5 in its last six road games. Back to earth for Dabo. Best bet: Virginia Tech -6½

Kent State at Ohio: Following Kent State's loss to Louisiana-Lafayette two weeks ago, Kent State coach Darrell Hazell made it a point to have his offensive and defensive players hug each other after the game. It was actually the closest Kent State's defensive players came to making a tackle all day. Ohio -16½

Kentucky at LSU: In LSU's win at West Virginia last week, the Mountaineers announced they made a profit of $120,000 on beer sales. Coincidentally, that's the same amount newly reinstated LSU QB Jordan Jefferson has spent on shoes in the past year. Kentucky +30

Michigan State at Ohio State: Ohio State running backs coach Dick Tressel is the father of Michigan State linebackers coach Mike Tressel. Dick Tressel is former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's brother and Mike Tressel is Jim Tressel's nephew. How do I know all this? Terrelle Pryor has Jim Tressel's family tree tattooed on his back. Ohio State -3 Michigan State-Ohio State preview

Nebraska at Wisconsin: This is Nebraska's historic inaugural Big Ten Conference game, opening against Wisconsin. A matchup of Top 10 teams in Madison for the first time since 1962. This is the biggest news story in the state of Wisconsin since Brett Favre's first retirement. Nebraska +9 Nebraska-Wisconsin preview

Ole Miss at Fresno State: Fresno State is 0-4 all-time against teams from the Southeastern Conference. In other words, the Bulldogs are having about the same amount of success against the SEC as the Big Ten. Ole Miss +3½

Rutgers at Syracuse: For the 13th year, Syracuse will hold "Dollar Day at the Dome," a fundraising event benefitting the United Way. This year's proceeds will go toward hiring Big East replay officials who are not legally blind. Rutgers +2½

San Jose State at Colorado State: San Jose State has lost 16 consecutive road games (I want to sincerely apologize beforehand, but that's right, here it comes: the old possum joke). What does San Jose State have in common with a possum? It plays dead at home and gets killed on the road. Colorado State -3

Texas at Iowa State: Iowa State's bookstore is selling "Iowa State Beat Texa$" T-shirts this week. However, the Cyclones won't benefit much financially from the shirts. According to Big 12 by-laws, Texas receives 99 percent of the revenue and the other league members split the remaining 1 percent. Texas -9½

Toledo at Temple: Temple has been so impressive, some folks believe the Owls might have done enough to earn an invitation to the Big East. Which, of course, means they'll then leave for the ACC in a few years. Toledo +7½

Wake Forest at Boston College : Great stat from the Washington Post's Patrick Stevens. If Boston College loses to Wake Forest, it will be the first ACC team to lose to Duke and Wake Forest at home in the same year since Georgia Tech in 1994. I can't imagine a Boston team being that inept -- well, since Wednesday night. Boston College +2½

Washington at Utah: While playing at BYU in 1995-96, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian was 1-1 against Utah. The Utes' defensive coordinator back then was current Utah coach Kyle Wittingham. This also is Washington's first game in Salt Lake City so the Huskies can expect two major differences from Seattle: fewer Starbucks, more Mormons. Washington +8

Western Michigan at UConn: Last week, about three hours before UConn's game with Buffalo, Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni was stuck in a hotel elevator for about an hour. And who said the Big East isn't proactive about keeping its member schools from leaving? Western Michigan +3

Trifecta of Terror: Each week "Cover Me" will also provide his top three picks of the week. This week, Mississippi State +6½ at Georgia; Texas Tech -6 at Kansas and Virginia -16 vs. Idaho is his best bet.

Lock of the Week: Wilson Bohannon Company solid brass body double ball locking DB32344

Last week:
McMurphy's picks: 11-8
"Cover Me's" picks: 3-0

Season totals:
Bankroll: Up 350 for season; 5,350 balance
McMurphy: 33-30; +150; (2-2 best bets)
"Cover Me": 8-4; +200 (2-2 best bets)

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