BCS games to watch

This time of year, there are two things to watch in the BCS: the race for the top two, and whether a non-AQ team can qualify.

With Louisiana Tech's loss last week, Boise State is the only hope for the non-AQs.  It looks like the Broncos may not have trouble finishing ahead of the Big Ten champ, which would mean they only need to crack the top 16 to automatically qualify for a BCS game.

There are a couple huge games in the race for No. 2, as Florida and Kansas State both take on ranked opponents.

This week's impact games feature a few in-state rivalries.

34-19 overall, 26-26-1 against the spread.

<strong>South Carolina at Florida (-3.5)</strong> -- I was really tempted to take the Gamecocks, but seeing how banged up they are, I can't pull the trigger.  If Florida wins, they can clinch the East next week (still in October!) against Georgia.

Kansas State (+2.5) at West Virginia -- The Mountaineers have a problem.  Their leading tackler is the goal line.  KSU will get 50.  I don't like West Virginia's chances of matching that.

BYU at Notre Dame (-13.5) -- It's going to be tough for the Cougars to beat good teams with their kicking issues, but this seems like a high number for two strong defenses.

LSU (-3) at Texas A&M -- The Tigers haven't been very good on the road, so I was tempted to take the Aggies, but I think LSU will build on the momentum from last week and win a tight one.

Stanford (-3, cover) at Cal -- The Big Game is early this year.  Stanford is much better right now.i

Michigan State at Michigan (-9.5, cover) -- The Spartans might be the most disappointing team in the most disappointing league.  Michigan hasn't won this game since 2007.  Revenge is a, well, you know.

Florida State (-21, cover) at Miami -- It's a home game for Miami, which means the stadium will be full of Seminoles fans.  The Canes can't defend well enough to make this game.  That said, this could still be a ACC title game preview.

Upset of the week: Nebraska at Northwestern (+6.5) -- The Wildcats have to be licking their chops going against the Black Sheep defense, which gave up 36 at UCLA and 63 at Ohio State.  Of course, they need to slow down the Huskers too, but the pre-game nap should help.

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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