Senior College Football Columnist

Picks: Vols to knock off MSU; Gamecocks, Irish keep rolling

Connor Shaw and South Carolina look to remain undefeated against LSU. (U.S. Presswire)

I had a solid week, going 13-5 against the spread, putting me at .500 against the line for the season. The good: Picking Penn State to give Northwestern more than it could handle. The bad: Picking LSU to cruise past Florida. The ugly: Picking Texas Tech to upset Oklahoma. Here are this week's guesses:

Louisville 27, Pitt 20: The Panthers have had all sorts of problems protecting the quarterback in Big East play. And, even though they've won four straight in this series, I'm going with the Cards, who have more speed and have been more consistent.

Kansas State 30, Iowa State 21: The Cyclones know plenty about pulling off big upsets, but I'm not going against Bill Snyder in tight games, especially when he has the more clutch quarterback in Collin Klein.

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Rutgers 20, Syracuse 7: The Cuse doesn't run the ball well and don't do a good job of taking care of the ball (No. 109 in turnover margin). I'm going with the home team, which is also the much better defensive team.

Texas 24, Oklahoma 20: I flip-flopped on this game a few times. I expect newly eligible Fresno State transfer Jalen Saunders to help OU a lot, but moreso in the coming weeks. I'll go with UT's running game to flex its muscle here.

Alabama 38, Mizzou 13: No one has scored more than 14 on the Tide this year and that trend will stay on track with Bama coming off a bye week.

Notre Dame 23, Stanford 10: Two physical teams meet up in South Bend with three really good tight ends on display. The Irish might be suspect in the secondary, but Stanford, especially without its top wideout Ty Montgomery, isn't built right now to take full advantage. The Irish do have more weapons on offense.

Michigan 42, Illinois 17: The Illini stumble into Ann Arbor with a dismal offense. They've already been routed by Penn State and Wisconsin and the Wolverines will jump on them early.

BYU 10, Oregon State 9: The Cougars D is for real and Mike Riley's team will miss quarterback Sean Mannion in a tough road test. BYU has allowed just 10 points in the past three games.

WVU 42, Texas Tech 34: The Red Raiders highly ranked defense was brought back to reality last week by Oklahoma, but Tech's still pretty dangerous. Tommy Tuberville's team has lost its last five home games, however Seth Doege will keep it interesting attacking a porous pass defense.

Boise State 21, Fresno State 20: The Bulldogs have a big play defense and a capable passing game. They'll put a scare into Boise but the Broncos will rally to protect the blue turf.

FSU 54, Boston College 21: The Eagles say the Noles have disrespected them. Won't matter. BC has a talented quarterback in Chase Rettig, but FSU has way too much speed for the Eagles, who are No. 104 in total defense and No. 120 in tackles for loss.

Florida 27, Vandy 14: Interesting challenge for the Gators coming off the big win over LSU and with South Carolina on deck next week. Will Muschamp's team is proven on the road and has displayed more focus. Gators will grit this one out.

Cincinnati 59, Fordham 7: The Bearcats have quietly gotten off to a strong start. Don't look for them to stub their toe against the Rams, who have had problems protecting the passer (No. 89 in FCS in sacks allowed).

USC 30, Washington 17: Keith Price has struggled, but the Huskies won't be intimidated by the Trojans. Still, USC's defense has played better the past three times out since moving safety T.J. McDonald closer to the box. U-Dub's O-line (No. 90 in sacks allowed) also is ripe for an improved USC pass rush.

South Carolina 14, LSU 10: Les Miles' O-line is a mess. And that is a big problem, especially when you have Jadeveon Clowney and Co. coming to town. The Gamecocks are No. 4 in the country in sacks while LSU is No. 93 in sacks allowed while injuries keep mounting up front.

Ohio State 38, Indiana 17: Kevin Wilson's team is improved and IU can throw it, but the Hoosiers defense isn't ready (No. 99 against the run) to slow down Braxton Miller and the OSU offense.

Tennessee 20, Mississippi State 14: The Bulldogs have a talented secondary, but this will be the most dangerous offense they've faced by miles so far this fall. The Vols have beaten MSU six in a row with an average victory margin of 25 points, and I expect the streak to continue.

Texas A&M 45, Louisiana Tech 41: Johnny Manziel responded after some shaky moments on the road last week and he should rip up a very suspect Tech defense although Colby Cameron and a gifted Bulldogs offense will give the Aggies defense all it can handle.

 
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