Week 12 picks: Good picking in a rough college football season

by | CBSSports.com College Football Insider
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In the last two weeks, the college football picks around here have been pretty, pretty good. We're on a 27-18 run (60 percent) and for the year have increased the bankroll from 5,000 Brett Bucks to 6,050 Brett Bucks -- hopefully you haven't spent them all in one place.

However, things aren't so grand around the rest of college football.

College football's season from hell -- that started months ago with NCAA violations at North Carolina, Ohio State and Miami -- continues to get hotter and hotter, as evidenced by the disturbingly sick allegations filed against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Then in the last week there were multiple incidents involving student-athletes and coaches. Coming to the CBS fall lineup: CSI: College Football.

At Notre Dame, someone broke into wide receiver John Goodman's residence and several items were stolen during the home invasion. At Oklahoma, quarterback Landry Jones had all the tires stolen off his truck, which was left standing on cinder blocks.

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At Iowa State, police arrested wide receiver Albert Gray for first-degree armed robbery after he allegedly robbed a man at gunpoint. And at Vanderbilt -- Vanderbilt of all places! -- police arrested sophomore safety Andre Simmons for aggravated robbery with a weapon and aggravated burglary.

And then there were the leaders of young men: the coaches.

At Western Kentucky, police got defensive coordinator Lance Guidry for a DWI on the morning of the Hilltoppers' game at LSU, yet he still coached that night. And Wednesday night, Missouri's Gary Pinkel was arrested for a DWI. Does Pinkel realize four more of these offenses and he won't be able to play quarterback at South Carolina?

Now where were we?

Enough doom and gloom, let's look at the positives -- hey, at least, Bob Davie won't be analyzing football on TV much longer -- and get to this week's picks.

If you're interested, my Top 25 picks can be found here.

And a quick reminder, 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. Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today.

Southern Mississippi at UAB (Thursday): Here is the "doesn't make sense stat of the week:" in the last three years woeful UAB is 2-0 vs. Southern Miss and 9-23 against everyone else. UAB +23

North Carolina at Virginia Tech (Thursday): A victory tonight would give Virginia Tech 10 wins for an eighth consecutive season, the nation's longest streak. A loss for North Carolina would mean ... well, absolutely nothing, since basketball season already has begun. North Carolina +11 Pregame: UNC-Virginia Tech

Oklahoma State at Iowa State (Friday): While Iowa State WR Albert Gray was charged with armed robbery, this isn't a crime (but maybe should be): Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy makes less per year than Kansas coach Turner Gill. Iowa State +27 Pregame: Oklahoma State-Iowa State

Clemson at North Carolina State: A week after beating rival North Carolina, N.C. State followed that up with a disappointing loss to dreadful Boston College. When did Tom O'Brien turn into Sidney Lowe? N.C. State +7½ Pregame: Clemson-N.C. State

Kansas State at Texas: According to USA Today, Texas coach Mack Brown is college football's highest paid coach, earning $5.192 million a year. In the past two seasons, that has translated to about $1 million per victory for Brown. Heck, even Turner Gill thinks Brown is overpaid. Texas -9

Kentucky at Georgia: Against Mississippi State, Kentucky wore all-black uniforms. Against Georgia, the Wildcats will just wave a white flag. Georgia -30½

Louisiana Tech at Nevada: Nevada can clinch a bid to the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl with a win Saturday. For Louisiana Tech, the outlook is not so great: win or lose and the Bulldogs still have to return to Ruston, La., after the game. Nevada -7 is my best bet

Maryland at Wake Forest: LaurieAnn Gibson, the woman who was responsible for some of Lady Gaga's outlandish costumes, was recently fired by the singer. Now Gibson can go back to her first love: designing Maryland's uniforms. Wake Forest -10½

Mississippi State at Arkansas: In the past two seasons, Mississippi State is 2-11 against teams from the SEC West, 0-11 against teams outside the state of Mississippi. Arkansas -12½ Pregame: Mississippi State-Arkansas

New Mexico at Wyoming: New Mexico hired former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie. This came as a surprise for many fans since Davie hasn't been a coach since 2001. In fact, before Davie accepted the job, he demanded that New Mexico install Betamax VCR's in the coaches offices so he would have something to play his highlight tapes on from his days at Notre Dame. Wyoming -24

Southern Methodist at Houston: This Conference USA matchup pits former Southwest Conference rivals who will be joining the Big East in the near future. Ain't conference realignment great? Houston -19½

Vanderbilt at Tennessee: Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is using a ceramic orange dog as motivation for the Vols. "It's just a reminder, you know, when you get something in your mind that is negative or you get down on yourself," Dooley said. Here's hoping the Vols show more life than the ceramic dog. Tennessee +2

Virginia at Florida State: Saturday will mark the 400th game that Florida State play-by-play radio announcer Gene Deckerhoff has called for the Seminoles. Florida State has won about 80 percent of those games –- and lost the rest of them on missed field goals against Miami. Virginia +17

Wisconsin at Illinois: Ron Zook abruptly walked out of his press conference this week because a reporter asked about his future at Illinois. As CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd acutely pointed out: it was Zook's first career walk off. Illinois +14½

Breaking News! Tonight on CBS Evening News: I break my silence in an Exclusive Interview (and provide more picks): East Carolina +7 vs. UCF; Oklahoma -15½ at Baylor; Oregon State +2½ at Washington; Rice -14 vs. Tulane; and Washington State +3½ vs. Utah.

"Cover Me": This week "Cover Me" likes Rutgers +3 vs. Cincinnati; Air Force -23½ vs. UNLV and UCLA -10½ vs. Colorado is his best bet.

Lock of the Week: Grainger TripleGuard Alarm Lock #3ZM83

Last week:

McMurphy's picks: 12-11

"Cover Me": 3-0

Season totals:

Bankroll: Up 1,050 for season; 6,050 balance

McMurphy: 114-99; +800; (6-5 best bets)

"Cover Me":20-13; +250 (5-6 best bets)

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