|Bruce Feldman likes AJ McCarron and Alabama to beat LSU and stay undefeated. (US Presswire)|
I'm coming off an OK week, where I went 10-9 against the spread, moving me to four over .500 against the line for the season. The good: picking Georgia to give Florida all it could handle. The bad: picking USC to thump Arizona. The ugly: picking Penn State to handle Ohio State. Here are this week's guesses:
Florida 26, Mizzou 14: James Franklin is expected to start for the Tigers, and that should help give the Tigers a little spark, but I just don't like their chances up front matching up with a dynamic Gators front seven, especially at The Swamp. At home, UF has allowed only 31 points in four games.
Louisville 38, Temple 17: The Owls have lost their past two games by a combined score of 82-27. Now they have to go on the road to face an 8-0 Cardinals team with a much better QB (Teddy Bridgewater) than the two schools that blew them out.
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Oklahoma 31, Iowa State 17: After getting mauled by Notre Dame at the line of scrimmage last week at home, the Sooners will visit Ames in a bad mood. They should be able to handle a team that is No. 87 in offense and without defensive standout Jake Knott, the Big 12's top tackler (sidelined for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury).
Texas A&M 35, Mississippi State 28: The Bulldogs try to recoup after getting pummeled at Alabama and now have to deal with Johnny Manziel and Co. Sounds like a bad chaser, to me. Starkville's not an easy place to play, but the Aggies won't be rattled. They are averaging 50 ppg away from home this season.
Stanford 44, Colorado 14: David Shaw's run game was not sharp last week against the suspect Washington State defense. The Cardinal should bounce back and avoid consecutive flat performances. The Buffs have allowed more than 53 ppg over the past month.
WVU 48, TCU 38: Dana Holgorsen and his staff had the extra week to try to get some things figured out after getting blasted by an average score of 52-14 the past two games. Look for Geno Smith and company to respond well as they get a visit from a young Horned Frogs team coping with its own issues on defense now.
Georgia 28, Ole Miss 13: The Rebels come to Athens having won back-to-back SEC games, but the Dawgs are a big step up from where Arkansas and Auburn are these days. Ole Miss is No. 99 in sacks allowed. That doesn't bode well playing for a team that features Jarvis Jones.
Ohio State 38, Illinois 14: Coming off a dominant performance at Penn State, the Buckeyes return home to get a visit from the Big Ten's lowest-ranked offensive and defensive team. Look for the Illini losing skid to go to six.
Texas Tech 45, Texas 31: Mack Brown's squad was fortunate to get out of Kansas with a comeback win over the lowly Jayhawks. They'll struggle stepping back up in competition against Seth Doege in Lubbock.
Notre Dame 24, Pitt 6: The Irish return home after a great trip to Norman. They'll get a visit from a Panthers team that is No. 90 in sacks allowed. Sounds like trouble for Pitt against such a nasty front seven.
Clemson 44, Duke 27: A week after getting blown out by a speedy FSU team, the Blue Devils now have to cope with a dynamic Tigers attack that will provide even more problems. Since the opener, Clemson hasn't been held below 37 points.
Oregon 41, USC 35: The Trojans have more firepower than anyone else the Ducks have faced this season, and USC's spectacular WR combo will give Oregon problems. But look for Chip Kelly's attack to rally in the second half and exploit a weakness in the USC secondary by going opposite of standout CB Nickell Robey.
Kansas State 34, Oklahoma State 27: Heisman front-runner Collin Klein gets a visit from a Cowboys defense that hasn't allowed anyone to score more than 14 points since September. Problem is for Mike Gundy his team has proven to be sloppy with the ball and mistake prone (No. 94 in turnover margin), and you can't give Bill Snyder's team any added opportunity.
Alabama 20, LSU 13: No one has really tested Bama yet, and LSU has the studs in the D-line to do that, but the Tide has a proven steady QB in AJ McCarron who leads a balanced enough attack to keep Nick Saban's team on track. In two seasons as the Tide's starter, McCarron has a 10-1 TD-INT ratio against ranked teams. I'll go with the team with the more reliable quarterback in a frenzied atmosphere.
Boise State 42, San Diego State 21: Rocky Long's team has quietly won four in a row, but it's still only 1-2 on the road -- and now the Aztecs have to go play on the blue turf. At home, BSU is allowing under nine points per game.
UCLA 41, Arizona 35: The Wildcats go to LA after a big win over USC, but Rich Rod's suspect defensive team has given up 52 ppg in two losses in its previous two road games. Zona, No. 11 in the conference in sacks, also doesn't have the personnel to take advantage of the young Bruins O-line.
Oregon State 24, Arizona State 23: Todd Graham's team goes on the road after consecutive home losses. My hunch is Mike Riley's Beavers get back in the win column against a visiting team whose four wins come over teams with a combined record of 9-24.