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Week 6 picks: After last week, neither legend or leader

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider
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I'll be the first to admit: ever since the Big Ten named its divisions "Legends" and "Leaders," it's been very confusing remembering what teams are in which division.

I know others have mentioned this also, but I've come up with a foolproof method to help remember.

The Legends Division is the one that had a player (Nebraska defensive tackle Chase Rome) cited for criminal damage to property after allegedly ripping off the front of a towel dispenser in a bathroom at the Dane County (Wis.) Regional Airport last week and another (Iowa quarterback A.J. Derby) who was arrested on public intoxication and fourth-degree criminal mischief charges after punching out the window of a bus.

Maybe Derby was inspired by Mongo from Blazing Saddles.

The Leaders Division is the one with the school (Ohio State) that is under yet another NCAA investigation -- while the initial one still hasn't been resolved. The latest infractions are for players receiving excessive payment for summer jobs. The division also has the player (Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown ) who intentionally kneed an opponent in the groin.

Give Brown credit -- the video shows him glancing over his right shoulder to see if an official is looking before hitting below the belt.

Hopefully that helps remember who's in the "Legends" and "Leaders" divisions. Perhaps, though, it would be easier to refer to the Big Ten divisions as "Under Investigation" and "Suspended?"

Nothing was easy last week here on the picks column. I had a so-so 10-10 week, but still remain above .500 on the season. My Top 25 picks, though, keep grinding along: 10-8 last week and 54-41 (56.8 percent) for the season. Here are this week's Top 25 Expert Picks.

Just a reminder: 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.

Boise State at Fresno State, Friday: Last year this would have been a WAC game. Speaking of the WAC, commissioner Karl Benson apologized for an instant replay review from last week's Hawaii-Louisiana Tech game that lasted 22 minutes. Twenty-two minutes? Or, as American League baseball fans refer to it, as "the first inning." Fresno State +20½ Boise State-Fresno State preview

Arizona at Oregon State: Arizona has lost nine consecutive games to FBS opponents: USC, Oregon, Stanford, Oklahoma State this year and Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Oregon, USC and Stanford to end last season. Arizona could be the best 1-4 team in the country. After Saturday, the Wildcats will be the best 1-5 team. Oregon State +1

Arizona State at Utah: The Sun Devils and Utes meet for the first time as Pac-12 rivals. They previously were in the same conference as members of the Western Athletic Conference from 1962-77. Arizona State -3½

Auburn at Arkansas: The Razorbacks look to avenge last year's 65-43 loss to the Tigers. It was the most points surrendered by Arkansas since a 70-17 loss to USC in 2005. Arkansas -9½ Auburn-Arkansas preview

Bowling Green at Western Michigan: Bowling Green was accused of faking injuries during last week's 55-10 loss at West Virginia by TV broadcasters and Mountaineers QB Geno Smith. They also should have been charged with impersonating a Division I team. Western Michigan -10½ is my best bet

Connecticut at West Virginia: A few months ago, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen went skydiving for the first time. Scary stuff. Then Tuesday, Holgorsen did something even more dangerous: he questioned the commitment of West Virginia's fans. West Virginia -19½

East Carolina at Houston: This game features two suspect defenses and a pair of dynamic quarterbacks in Houston's Case Keenum and East Carolina's Dominique Davis. Don't believe me? Well, Las Vegas has set the over/under on total points scored at "infinity." And I still like the over. Houston -9½

Georgia at Tennessee: Georgia has lost its past two trips to Knoxville 45-19 in 2009 and 35-14 in 2007. Georgia senior tight end Aron White said the 2009 game was "one of the worst I've played in. I remember waking up the next day feeling like I had been hit by a train." This is another late season run to save Mark Richt's job. All aboard. Georgia -1 Georgia-Tennessee preview

Maryland at Georgia Tech: Former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen remarked recently that he "could care less about Maryland. I've burned my diploma. I'm flying a Georgia Tech flag right now." Ralph, while you're at it, could you please burn Maryland's jerseys from the season opener? Georgia Tech -14

Miami (Fla.) at Virginia Tech: Hokies cornerback Jayron Hosley told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Miami QB Jacory Harris "sometimes throws the ball a little blindly" and is "reckless sometimes." Really? Only sometimes? Virginia Tech -7½

Michigan at Northwestern : Michigan will receive $4.7 million to play Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, next season. It seems like a lot of money, but actually that's the same amount Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo gets for each interception. Northwestern +7 Michigan-Northwestern preview

Minnesota at Purdue : Minnesota has already lost to New Mexico State and North Dakota State, while Purdue has lost to Rice. Legends and Leaders, indeed. Purdue -10

Missouri at Kansas State: With Missouri's announcement Tuesday it was exploring all its options concerning conferences, I think it's fairly obvious: Missouri has "de-committed" from the Big 12. Kansas State +3

Southern Mississippiat Navy: Former Southern Miss quarterback Brett Favre is back in the news. He provided color commentary for last week's Southern Miss-Rice game. According to AwfulAnnouncing.com, here is some of Favre's game analysis: "Yea, baby," "There it is" and "He got in." Oh wait. Maybe those were his text messages. Never mind. Southern Miss +2½

Syracuseat Tulane: Tulane coach Bob Toledo was miffed at the backlash he received this week when it was reported his house has been up for sale since May. "I know what [New Orleans Saints coach] Sean Payton is going through when he put his house up for sale," Toledo said. "I don't have helicopters flying over yet, but I feel for Sean. People are ridiculous; people are absolutely ridiculous." Actually, ridiculous would be Toledo comparing himself to a Super Bowl champion coach or Toledo's 15-38 record in his five seasons with the Green Wave. Tulane +10½

UNLV at Nevada: The winner gets the Fremont Cannon, a replica of a 19th century howitzer cannon that explorer John C. Fremont had on an expedition to Nevada. The cannon used to be fired during the game following a touchdown by the team who was in possession of the cannon after winning the previous year's contest. However, the cannon has been inoperable since 1999. Actually, so has UNLV's offense. Nevada -20½

Vanderbilt at Alabama: Vanderbilt coach James Franklin drew a lot of attention last week by taking a helicopter on some recruiting trips. Nick Saban has a different approach: he has carried on a palanquin like an Egyptian king and summons recruits to his side. Alabama -29½

Wyoming at Utah State: Utah State has now blown late leads in heartbreaking losses to Auburn, Colorado State and BYU. Even Bill Buckner feels bad for the Aggies. Wyoming +10½

Other games that defy description: Middle Tennessee -11 vs. Western Kentucky, Thursday; North Texas -4½ vs. Florida Atlantic; Temple -8 at Ball State; and Louisiana-Monroe +2 at Arkansas State.

Trifecta of Terror: Each week "Cover Me" will also provide his top three picks of the week. This week, he likes Iowa +4 at Penn State; Mississippi State -17½ at UAB; and UCF -18 vs. Marshall is his best bet.

Lock of the Week: Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-lock

Last week:
McMurphy's picks: 10-10
"Cover Me's" picks: 1-2

Season totals:
Bankroll: Up 200 for season; 5,200 balance
McMurphy: 43-40; +100; (2-3 best bets)
"Cover Me": 9-6; +100 (2-3 best bets)

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