Undefeated teams put to the test

In advance of next week’s big showdown games, several undefeated teams will be put to the test this week.  At least one of them, Alabama or Mississippi State, will fall.

So far this season, I am 41-20 overall, 30-30-1 against the spread.

Mississippi State at Alabama (-24, cover) -- The Bulldogs are 7-0, but still reasonably untested.  They’re about to find out that there’s a big difference between playing Middle Tennessee (or any Tennessee, for that matter) and Alabama.

Ohio State (+1) at Penn State -- Braxton Miller had a scare last week, but is ready to go for the Ineligibowl.  Bill O’Brien has done a great job at PSU after a rocky start, but the Buckeyes are a step and a half ahead of anyone they have faced so far.

Texas Tech at Kansas State (-7.5, cover) -- Seth Doege and company can light up just about anybody, but the Wildcats defense is locking it down tight.  Should be a comfortable win for KSU, although not as comfortable as last week.

Georgia vs Florida (-7) -- This game is in Jacksonville, where everyone is well into day three of the World’s Largetst Cocktail Party.  Bulldog QB Aaron Murray was the SEC offensive player of the week last week.  He may need to be again if his team is to upset the Gators.  Florida clinches a spot in the SEC title game with a win.

Notre Dame at Oklahoma (-11.5) -- The Irish secondary will finally get put to the test by Landry Jones and the Sooners.  Notre Dame wins by playing games in the teens.  Their offense will probably have to hit 30 to have a shot at winning here.

Oregon State (-3, cover) at Washington -- The last undefeated team to visit Seattle got beat, but the Huskies haven’t won since that victory over Stanford.  Sean Mannion returns at QB for the Beavers.

Cincinnati at Louisville (-3.5) -- There is more than a Keg of Nails at stake in this Friday night fight.  Louisville will face its best opponent yet in its drive for an undefeated season.  The winner will have a leg up in the Big East race.

Duke at Florida State (-27.5, cover) -- Duke became bowl eligible for the first time in 18 years last week.  Now, they want to show they can compete for a league title.

Michigan (+2) at Nebraska -- Michigan’s defense has rounded into form nicely after struggling the first couple weeks.  The Cornhuskers may be without RB Rex Burkhead.  Their offense just isn’t the same without him.

Upset of the Week: Ohio at Miami (+7) -- The Bobcats got some BCS love this week, climbing into the top 25 for the first time ever, but they have not been impressive since making a splash by winning at Penn State opening day.  Their win over New Mexico State the next week was the last time they beat a I-A team by double digits.

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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