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Week 11 picks: Not to gloat, but I'm kind of a big deal

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider
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In case you forgot last week in this picks column, I predicted LSU would defeat Alabama 27-24. OK, sure, so I correctly called LSU's upset and even nailed the 3-point spread on the button.

However, I would like to apologize to all my readers for incorrectly thinking that either offense could actually reach the end zone.

While some folks may want to gloat about "Correctly. Predicting. The. Game. of. The. Century. By. The. Exact. 3. Point. Spread!" I won't lower myself to that level.

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No, not me. I've got other things to gloat about. Namely that I was recently listed by Athlon Sports' "100 Twitter Accounts Every Sports Fan Should Follow."

I was ranked No. 64. So to put in perspective: If I were a college football team, it means I'm worthy of playing in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Or worse, if I were a college basketball team, I would be a No. 16 seed getting ready to get pummeled in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Anyway, so sure I nailed LSU's upset over Alabama -- and Ohio State's upset vs. Wisconsin the week before that and Michigan State's upset of Wisconsin the previous week -- but, what, where was I? Oh yeah, thanks to Athlon.

Now on to more important things: this week's college football picks.

If you're not keeping track, in my Top 25 picks, I'm hitting 55 percent against the spread this season.

In this picks column, I'm only hitting 54 percent -- but I'm giving it 110 percent, I promise.

For this column, I was staked an imaginary bankroll before the season 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. The bankroll is now up to 5,750. Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today.

Houston at Tulane (Thursday): Last week when Houston visited UAB I wrote: "UAB's last home game in Legion Field had an announced crowd of 8,872. Ironically, that's pretty close to how many yards Houston's Case Keenum will throw for against the Blazers." So, this week, just replace UAB with Tulane and Legion Field with the Superdome. Houston -34½.

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Thursday):The ACC announced it has sold out of all general public tickets for the upcoming ACC football championship. And all this time, you thought the ACC was a basketball conference. Georgia Tech +1. Pregame: Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech

South Florida at Syracuse (Friday): South Florida has lost four consecutive Big East games. What is this? Basketball season. South Florida -3½.

Alabama at Mississippi State: If you really, really, really want to see a rematch of Alabama and LSU, no need to wait until the BCS title game. Just watch a soccer match, any soccer match. Alabama -18. Pregame: Alabama-Mississippi State

Arizona State at Washington State: The Arizona State student newspaper, the State Press, ran an editorial about ASU with the headline "The Buckner effect," comparing the Sun Devils' problems to Bill Buckner and Steve Bartman. Wouldn't Arizona State actually have to be in position to win something significant before being compared to those two? Washington State +13.

Arizona at Colorado: This has been an amazing year for Colorado. In their first season since moving from the Big 12 to the Pac-12, the Buffaloes have the same number of wins in Pac-12 play as they do Big 12 play. That would be zero. Colorado +11.

Auburn at Georgia: Even though Georgia started 0-2, QB Aaron Murray knew the Bulldogs still had a chance at winning the SEC East because he said "South Carolina has never gone a season without losing at least three SEC games." Texas Gov. Rick Perry agreed, he just couldn't remember the third one. Georgia -12½ is my best bet. Pregame: Auburn-Georgia

Baylor at Kansas: You want the anti-Game of the Century field goal fest between LSU and Alabama? Have we got the game for you: Kansas has the nation's worst defense, Baylor has the nation's eighth-worst defense. First team to 60 -- no make that 70 -- wins. Kansas +20.

Kentucky at Vanderbilt: This season, Vanderbilt was shut out by Alabama and held to three points by South Carolina. Yet Vanderbilt coach James Franklin says his team "has the most explosive offense in the SEC." You know what? He might be right. Kentucky +12½.

Notre Dame at Maryland: Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank recently announced a new piece of apparel that promises to deflect UV rays. Actually, Maryland's Under Armour's uniforms have done a pretty good job of deflecting victories. Notre Dame -20½.

Ohio State at Purdue: Thanks to this week in State College, Pa., all of a sudden, what went on with former coach Jim Tressel doesn't seem as bad. Ohio State -7½.

Oklahoma State at Texas Tech: Tuesday, two parking meters were stolen from Oklahoma State's campus, university police reported. Oddly, each parking meter can play better defense than the Cowboys did last week against Kansas State. Texas Tech +17. Pregame: Oklahoma State-Texas Tech

Rutgers vs. Army at Yankee Stadium: It's pretty cool that Rutgers and Army will play in Yankee Stadium on Saturday, but this was not their first choice. They wanted to play in a bigger venue, but unfortunately, Derek Jeter's Tampa mansion was already booked. Rutgers -8.

San Diego State at Colorado State: An asteroid named "2005 YU55" recently came within about 200,000 miles of hitting Earth. Come to think of it, that asteroid was closer to San Diego State than some of the schools the Aztecs are hoping to join as a member of the Big East. Colorado State +13.

Texas at Missouri: This is Missouri's first game since the official announcement the Tigers are joining the SEC as its 14th team next season. No bad joke here -- other than I just realized Mike Slive's "I can get the SEC to 16 teams in 15 minutes" statement expired about three months ago. Texas -1½

UCF at Southern Mississippi: If UCF keeps losing games (the Knights are 2-5 in their past seven) and athletic directors (Keith Tribble resigned Wednesday after an NCAA investigation) in the Big East may bypass UCF for a more attractive central Florida university like Division II Rollins College. Southern Miss -9½.

UCLA at Utah: Admit it: You knew UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel would last longer this season than Jim Tressel and Joe Paterno. UCLA +7.

West Virginia at Cincinnati: Louisville scored a season-high 38 points at West Virginia last week. I guess with its ongoing lawsuit against the Big East, West Virginia is taking this "the defense rests" stuff literally. Cincinnati -3½.

More games that remain absolutely free! BYU -20½ vs. Idaho; Clemson -16½ vs. Wake Forest; Kent -6 at Akron; Nevada -14½ vs. Hawaii; and New Mexico +7 vs. UNLV. Pregame: Wake Forest-Clemson

"Cover Me": This week "Cover Me" likes Arkansas -14 vs. Tennessee; Wisconsin -27 at Minnesota; and Oregon +3½ at Stanford is his best bet.

Lock of the Week: LaGard SmartLinc II 9250

Last week:
McMurphy's picks: 10-6
"Cover Me": 2-1

Season totals:
Bankroll: Up 750 for season; 5,750 balance
McMurphy: 102-88; +700; (5-5 best bets)
"Cover Me":17-13; +50 (4-6 best bets)

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