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Week 9 picks: A frightening day for defense in Stillwater

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider
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Wow, what a week. One minute West Virginia looks like it's headed to the Big 12, the next minute the Big 12 is pulling the football away as the Mountaineers get ready to kick it.

Good grief.

The Big 12 is now undecided between inviting West Virginia or Louisville. Do they add the Mountaineers or do they go with the Cardinals?

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Respective USCs will be on both sides of surprises come Saturday. Read More>>
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Perhaps because of the messy, awkward situation, the Big 12 will let West Virginia play in the Big 12 in odd-numbered years and Louisville in even-numbered years. Gregg Johnston, one of my Twitter followers, had a good suggestion: they could also let BYU play in leap years.

While the Big 12 tries to decide what it wants to do there are games to be picked. So here we go.

If you're interested, here's where you can find all my Top 25 picks not listed below.

In this column 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.

Rice at Houston (Thursday): These schools are only located about five miles from each other. Five miles? That's how much Houston QB Case Keenum will throw for against the Owls. Houston -27½

Virginia at Miami (Fla.) (Thursday): In last year's game against Virginia, Miami QB Jacory Harris was knocked out of the game by the Cavs. You know what they say about payback? It ain't good. Miami -14

Arizona at Washington: I'm just appalled at the amount of nudity and violence on television these days. Just last Thursday I turned on my TV and there was some naked guy running around and all this fighting. Oh wait, that was just the Arizona game. Never mind. Washington -5

Arkansas at Vanderbilt: Congratulations to Vanderbilt. Once again the Commodores had the highest graduation rate among SEC schools -– an impressive 86 percent. Unfortunately, that also probably will be the completion percentage for Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson on Saturday. Arkansas -10

Baylor at Oklahoma State: Las Vegas oddsmakers have established the over-under on the total number of points scored at 79. They did not indicate for which half. Oklahoma State -14 Pregame: Baylor-Oklahoma State

California at UCLA: A UCLA fan website is encouraging fans to wear bags on their heads for Saturday's contest to show their disgust with the Bruins. And if they're really gluttons for punishment they can cut the eye holes out and watch the game. UCLA +5

Clemson at Georgia Tech: My, how things have changed. Clemson is ranked No. 6 and Georgia Tech, after a 6-0 start, has lost consecutive games. Remember when Rambling Wreck used to describe Dabo Swinney? Clemson -4 Pregame: Clemson-Georgia Tech

Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.: Remember when this game was called "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party?" Better yet, remember when this game was relevant nationally? Georgia -3 is my best bet Pregame: Georgia-Florida

Iowa at Minnesota: The winner of this rivalry gets the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy, which is a bronzed pig. The loser has to eat it. Iowa -16

Oklahoma at Kansas State: Scientists are collecting DNA from George Eberhardt, who turned 107 last month, and other centenarians to get clues on how they lived so long. Eberhardt is so old his high school coach was Bill Snyder. Kansas State +13½ Pregame: Oklahoma-Kansas State

Oregon State at Utah: New Pac-12 members Utah and Colorado are a combined 0-9 in their debut Pac-12 seasons. Just what the league wanted: new members to provide an additional win for the remaining league schools to help become bowl eligible. Oregon State +5

South Carolina at Tennessee: If you see a kid wearing a miniature Derek Dooley Halloween costume, it's probably not Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. If you see someone wearing a Grim Reaper costume, that's actually South Carolina's SEC East title chances. Tennessee +4 Pregame: South Carolina-Tennessee

Stanford at Southern California: In honor of Stanford's last visit to the L.A. Coliseum in 2009, a 55-21 victory against USC, Stanford's band at halftime will spell out: 'What's your deal?' USC +7½ Pregame: Stanford-USC

Syracuse at Louisville: One out of five of the nation's top 100 recruits that signed in 2010 with Florida or USC are no longer at either program. That's actually not that bad of a ratio. Four out of nine teams are leaving the Big East. Louisville -3½

Tulane at East Carolina: After firing coach Bob Toledo, Tulane lost to Memphis 33-17. So is it possible the Green Wave have more problems than their head coach? East Carolina -16½

Virginia Tech at Duke: Alabama coach Nick Saban compared his club to boxing great Muhammad Ali. I guess that makes Duke the equivalent of Gerry Cooney. Virginia Tech -16½

West Virginia at Rutgers: No bad joke here: Just a tremendous story -- former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand will lead the Scarlet Knights out of the tunnel before Saturday's game. Just awesome, awesome stuff. Rutgers +7

Wisconsin at Ohio State: Tough week for the Buckeyes: Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's debut with the Indianapolis Colts resulted in a 62-7 loss and a tattoo parlor owner who purchased Ohio State memorabilia that triggered an NCAA investigation was sentenced to three years in prison. What's that they say about karma? Ohio State +7½ Pregame: Wisconsin-Ohio State

Even more free picks! TCU -13 vs. BYU (Friday); Kent State +4 vs. Bowling Green; North Texas +17 at Arkansas State; Northwestern -9 at Indiana.

"Cover Me:" This week "Cover Me" likes NC State +19½ at Florida State; Arizona State -30½ vs. Colorado and Texas -28½ vs. Kansas is his best bet.

Lock of the Week: Strattec Padlock Ford, Model No. 7017419

Last week:

McMurphy's picks: 13-10

"Cover Me's" picks: 1-2

Season totals:

Bankroll: Up 600 for season; 5,600 balance

McMurphy: 82-70; +600; (4-4 best bets)

"Cover Me":13-11; +0 (3-5 best bets)

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