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Senior College Football Columnist

Picks: Noles roll; Red Raiders bounce back; Spartans beat Michigan

I'm coming off a dismal week, where I went 6-14 against the line to drop me to 86-85 against the spread for the season. The good: picking Baylor to blast Kansas. The bad: picking UCLA to hang with Oregon. The ugly: picking Nebraska to handle Minnesota. Here are this week's guesses.

Arizona State 42, Washington State 34: ASU is just 2-10 outside its home state in November and December but these Sun Devils won't wilt in the chiller temp. Connor Halliday's issues with throwing picks and a shaky secondary will costs the Cougars late against Taylor Kelly.

South Carolina 17, Mississippi State 6: The Bulldogs have won three out of their last four, but none of those was on the road. MSU's only played one on the road this season, and lost that one at Auburn.

Ohio State 48, Purdue 14: The Boilers are No. 92 in run defense while OSU is coming off a game where the Buckeyes ran all over Penn State. Expect another big game from Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller.

Wisconsin 28, Iowa 20: Both teams run the ball well. The Badgers run it better, and with stud Melvin Gordon they have a more potent ground attack. The Badgers also have the better run D, holding opponents to 2.8 ypc.

Northern Illinois 49, UMass 6: One of the country's worst offensive teams faces Jordan Lynch and the NIU juggernaut, which means this will be a rout before halftime.

Michigan State 17, Michigan 10: The Spartans have the best D in the country, and even though the Wolverines are more talented than pretty much everyone they've faced on offense, MSU still should be up to the challenge from its arch-rival.

Notre Dame 35, Navy 10: Brian Kelly's team is still pretty banged up but Navy has really struggled on the road, losing its last three games away from home against three teams nowhere near as stout as the Irish.

Texas Tech 31, Oklahoma State 24: Tough bounce-back spot for the Red Raiders after getting knocked from the unbeaten ranks, especially after surrendering 220 rushing yards after contact as the Sooners ran all over them, but my hunch is Tech's D responds back at home.

Clemson 38, Virginia 14: Mike London's team has been in a free fall, dropping five in a row, and none of those losses were against teams as talented as the one it visits this weekend.

Auburn 31, Arkansas 14: First-year SEC coaches meet with two very different styles. Even though Hogs have home-field edge that's about the only reason for optimism in this game.

Missouri 23, Tennessee 21: Both teams are leaning on rookie QBs. The Tigers have the better group of receivers and the better D-line so I'll go with them but the Vols will be in it for four quarters.

UCLA 42, Colorado 10: The Bruins couldn't produce any big plays last week at Autzen, but things will be much easier against the Pac-12's second-worst defense.

Florida State 45, Miami (Fla.) 21: The Noles have made a habit of blowing people out by halftime, while the Canes have struggled in the first halves the past month and UM's D doesn't have enough difference-makers to slow down Jameis Winston and company on the road.

Texas A&M 58, UTEP20: Ex-Aggie Jamiel Showers and his powerful arm won't be available for the Miners who won't have much hope of slowing down Johnny Manziel and his gifted crew of receivers.

Fresno State 41, Nevada 17: Brian Polian's team lost a close one to UNLV while FSU barely survived against San Diego State. The Bulldogs should have less trouble in this one facing the MWC's No. 12 D (496 ypg allowed).

 
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