The picks: A lot at stake this week. Except in the SEC
There are conference and BCS implications all over the map in this week's games. The SEC has a league-wide bye though.
It's getting to be crunch time as just about every conference has a title or division title up for grabs this weekend. Except for the SEC, where almost every halfway decent team has a bye, er, I mean I-AA opponent. Among the six-team SEC pileup behind Notre Dame in the BCS standings, only LSU is playing a game against someone you've heard of. The other five will be richly rewarded in the BCS, I'm sure.
My record this season on the picks is 59-31 overall, 49-40-1 against the spread. I've also hit on three upset specials, including last week's.
Duke at Georgia Tech (-13.5, cover) -- Duke still controls its own destiny for the ACC title, but they don’t have the horses.
Florida State (-31, cover) at Maryland – The Seminoles clinch the division title with a win. Maryland has as many injured QBs as wins. This week, the Terrapins start the drum major at QB. Or someone else out of position.
Ohio State (+2.5) at Wisconsin -- The Badgers won the division. Now they try to legitimize it by beating the best team in the division.
Kansas State (-12, cover) at Baylor -- KSU clinches the league championship and a BCS berth with a win. Baylor’s offense is explosive, but its defense makes West Virginia’s look like the 1985 Chicago Bears. If Collin Klein is back to 100%, the Wildcats should cruise.
Rutgers at Cincinnati (-6) -- Both teams still have league title and Orange Bowl hopes, but only Rutgers controls its own destiny.
Stanford at Oregon (-20.5) -- The Ducks defense is seriously banged up. Cal ran roughshod over them last week, and Stanford will look to do the same. There will be a lot of pressure on Oregon’s offense to put up another basketball score.
USC (-4, cover) at UCLA -- USC has better players, but sometimes has trouble focusing. I don’t think that’ll be a problem against their arch rival.
Oklahoma (-11.5, cover) at West Virginia -- This is a huge game for the Sooners as they hope to remain BCS-eligible and earn a spot in one of those games. The difference, as always with WVU, is that the other team plays defense.
Wake Forest at Notre Dame (-24) -- The Irish haven’t exactly cruised through the weak part of their schedule, but they don’t put up big numbers on weak foes. At least not since Navy. They’ll win ugly. It’s what they do.
Kent State at Bowling Green (-2.5, cover) -- The Golden Flashes clinch the MAC East with a win, but the Falcons own the tiebreaker if they can win at home.
UCF (+1.5) at Tulsa -- This could be a preview of the C-USA title game. The winner will likely host that matchup.
Utah State at Louisiana Tech (+3) -- This is strange. The much-beloved, nationally ranked Bulldogs are underdogs at home. I don’t think La Tech will get high enough in the rankings to make the BCS, but they should be able to defend the home turf.
Upset of the Week: USF (+6.5) at Miami -- Teams seem to struggle some with these non-conference games in the middle of conference play. This game means nothing to Miami. Next week’s will decide the division title.
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