Senior College Football Columnist

Picks: Trojans no trouble for ND; Buckeyes stay unbeaten; FSU over UF

EJ Manuel and Florida State, still harboring BCS title-game hopes, take on rival Florida in Tallahassee. (Getty Images)

I'm coming off a good week, going 12-7 against the spread, putting me at nine over .500 for the season against the line. The good: picking Baylor to give Kansas State problems. The bad: picking Oregon to handle Stanford. The ugly: picking Texas Tech to beat Oklahoma State. Here are this week's guesses:

Texas 27, TCU 14: The Horns D has seemed to gets its act together of late, only allowing 15 ppg in the past three games.

LSU 34, Arkansas 17: John L. Smith's last game with the Hogs comes at the end of a nightmarish year for this program. They've been blown out the past two weeks and after a solid first half, look for the Tigers to cruise.

Nebraska 30, Iowa 14: Kirk Ferentz's squad has lost five in a row and now faces a team that's on a five-game winning streak. I'll go with the more dynamic rushing team.

Northern Illinois 59, Eastern Michigan 17: The fantastic Jordan Lynch Show resumes against the country's No. 113 D.

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Notre Dame 23, Southern California 10: The Trojans showed little effort and grit last week against one of their two hated rivals. Now they face their other rival, which has a better D than UCLA and the Trojans are going with a first-time starting QB? ND's magical season rolls on.

Alabama 44, Auburn 6: Crazy things happen in big rivalry games, but not this crazy. The Tigers are in disarray and won't be able to hang with Nick Saban's team for more than a quarter.

Georgia 34, Georgia Tech 17: No one has scored more than 14 on the Dawgs since mid-October when they were called out by DB Shawn Williams. Tech might do just a little better than that, but not much.

Ohio State 24, Michigan 17: Devin Gardner has played very well at QB, but the Buckeyes D has really come on of late. Going with the home team here, and as I said last week, until someone in the Big Ten beats Urban Meyer, I'm not picking against him.

Oregon 48, Oregon State 35: The Ducks come off the disappointing overtime loss to Stanford and now get to visit their arch-rival, which has the kind of dynamic receivers to give them some problems. Still, I don't see Chip Kelly's team losing two in a row.

Florida State 20, Florida 10: Home game for the Noles, who have the much more seasoned QB and more explosive skill talent, so I'm picking FSU.

Kent State 27, Ohio 20: KSU has won nine in a row and gets a visit from a Bobcats team that has fizzled down the stretch, losing three of its past four games.

Texas A&M 42, Missouri 17: No current Aggies player has ever beaten Mizzou. Then again, unlike many of his teammates, Johnny Manziel has never faced the Tigers. Bad news for Mizzou. You can call him Johnny Heisman.

UCLA 17, Stanford 14: Toughest pick of the week. I flip-flopped several times, but opted for the home team with the more experienced young QB despite Stanford's edge on D.

Clemson 28, South Carolina 21: I know the Tigers have lost three in a row to Steve Spurrier, but Clemson has more firepower and Tajh Boyd has been sizzling.

Oklahoma 31, Oklahoma State 28: Mike Gundy's bunch has been playing very well, but I don't see the Sooners losing again this season at home. Not to their arch-rivals.

Louisville 34, UConn 17: Charlie Strong's D was embarrassed last time out when the Cards got shredded at Syracuse. Expect them to bounce back.

Rutgers 20, Pittsburgh 10: I know Rutgers is on the road, but Kyle Flood's team, led by a fierce D, has showed it responds well to the road atmosphere, going 5-0 away from New Jersey. In four of those games, the opponent has been held to 13 points or less.

Utah State 47, Idaho 3: Utah State is rolling, having won five in a row. The Vandals come to town having dropped five in a row. Idaho's D is also a mess.

Mississippi State 20, Mississippi 17: Hugh Freeze's feisty squad has lost three in a row in part because of second-half struggles. Expect the Rebs to get out fast, but ultimately, they're still a bit too green to beat their arch-rivals.

 
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