ACC battle royale leads a busy slate

The Game of the Century of the Week takes place in the ACC.  When was the last time we said that?  Hint: a long time ago.  Florida State visits Clemson for control of the ACC and the inside track to the Orange Bowl.  Or something bigger.  That tops a busy weekend of action.

Last week, I was a 7-3 straight up and 3-7 vs. the spread, which is a reminder why I don't bet. That makes the season total 32-9 overall and 20-19-2 against the spread.

UCF at Louisville (-14).  Things get started on Friday as the Cards try to rebound from a sluggish performance against Rutgers.  Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater was without his top two targets last week, Devante Parker and Kai De La Cruz.  He may not have them again.  UCF won at Penn State and nearly knocked off South Carolina.  They won't go away easily.  Louisville wins, UCF covers.

Florida State at Clemson (+3).  It's the middle of October, and Florida State is finally going to get tested.  So far, the Seminoles' schedule hasn't exactly been a Murderer's Row.  Maryland is probably the best team they have played, but they barely broke a sweat in a 63-0 whitewash.  Clemson's opposition hasn't been much more daunting since the week one battle with Georgia.  This is just the fourth time ever two top-five ranked ACC teams have met, and the first since 2005.  This is also a battle of big time QBs, one a senior and one a freshman.  I'll take the senior playing at home.  Clemson wins and covers.

UCLA at Stanford (-5).  Stanford was the big upset loser last week at Utah, which is bad news for UCLA.  The Bruins would be better served taking on a fat and happy Cardinal than an angry one  UCLA gets the same opportunity Washington did a few weeks ago, Stanford and Oregon back to back.  If the Bruins are for real, they have a great chance to prove it.  They come up short this week though.  Stanford wins and covers.

Washington at Arizona State (-3.5).  Ah, this should be some good ol' fashioned Pac-12 football.  Defense will not be needed or expected.  The scoreboard should light up like the Vegas strip.  Washington did well against the league's bell cows, but came up short.  Expect a bit of a Husky letdown.  Arizona State wins and covers.

LSU at Ole Miss (+8).  Ole Miss had a great chance at an upset of Texas A&M last week, but gave Johnny the football one time too many.  This week, it figures to be tougher to score, but they still have to hold down Zach Mettenberger, who gets the job done quite well, even if he lacks the flash of Johnny.  After Bama, A&M and LSU in a four-week stretch, I bet Ole Miss can't wait for Idaho next week.  LSU wins and covers.

Florida at Missouri (+3).  Mizzou got a Phyrric victory at Georgia last week, winning at the cost of starting QB James Franklin.  Freshman Maty Mauk gets his first career start against the one SEC team that still plays SEC defense, Florida.  Of course, the Gators are without their starting QB as well, as Jeff Driskel went down a few weeks ago.  Florida wins and covers.

USC at Notre Dame (-3). It's not often these teams play when neither is ranked, but that's the case this year.  The Irish pretty much have to win out to have a shot at a return to a BCS game.  USC is still trying to figure out which end of the football is up after a mid-season coaching change.  Ed Orgeron is 1-0 in place of Lane Kiffin, but he still doesn't have a reliable QB.  Notre Dame wins and covers.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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