Each week this season, I will be posting a column previewing the upcoming weekend's Big East and Top-25 match-ups. All rankings are from the
ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Picks are against the spread (that means I'm not picking winners, just the line), and are for entertainment purposes only.
Last Week: WHEW! That's all I've got to say.
This Week: A
surprisingly good UPitt team comes to town. I hope our DBs are in shape! A classic Big Eight battle in Norman, and an oh-by-the-way Rose Bowl elimination game at Purdue…not to mention "The Great Cocktail Party". Lots and lots of quality football this weekend! Gentlemen, start your remotes!
Not In Action This Week: #15 Michiken
#1 Nebraska (-3) @ #3 OKLAHOMA
The more I read about this game, the more I get these images of the '95 Fiesta Bowl running through my head. I dunno, maybe it's just me, but it seems like every time you hear "It's time for a changing of the guard", it never quite works out that way the first time around. Nebraska survived Colorado, they survived Kansas State, and I think they'll survive Oklahoma also.
#2 VIRGINIA TECH (-16.5) vs. Pittsburgh
Hmmm. I don't like this line at all. UPitt's only loss this year was in OT at Syracuse. I think we're all very aware of just how hard it can be to play in
that place, so I don't fault the Panthers much for that one slip up. We should also all remember how UPitt pretty much shredded our secondary last year. Scary…
So I was at a wedding reception Saturday night, and only occasionally got to sneak out to the bar and check out the game. Every time I watched we were screwing something else up., of course we're just talking first half here. Didn't help that my idiot friend the Syracuse fan was sitting next to me
"Nunes baby, Troy Nunes!" Oy … I guess I got the last laugh :o)
#4 CLEMSON (-12) vs. Georgia Tech
Is Willie Simmons really that good coming off the bench? Or is Bowden Junior's offense just very conducive to good QB numbers? I think it's some of both. Georgia Tech ain't a bad squad though, and the Tigs are going to have to bring their "A" game to this one. Everyone keeps talking as if Clemson's got a one-game season, but they could get tripped up here if they aren't careful.
Pick: Georgia Tech
#5 MIAMI (FL) (-42) vs. Louisiana Tech
One of these days, those Davenport fumbles are going to hurt the Canes. November 4th anyone?
Pick: La Tech
#6 Florida State (-19) @ #22 N.C. STATE
I look at this game, and I see a whole lot of last year's Clemson/FSU contest. Chuck Amato's been doing real good things in Raleigh, and he'd like nothing more than to show up his former boss. I doubt that it will happen, but you never know.
#7 Florida (no line) @ #12 GEORGIA
The new and improved, more … stable … Steve Spurrier has got his team back on track. That whuppin at the hands of MSU was embarrassing, but the Gators have found themselves a quarterback (and a defense) and are quitely playing their way back into the national championship picture.
#8 Kansas State (-5.5) @ TEXAS A&M
Texas Tech? Are things breaking down in Manhattan? Nah, not really. Texas Tech just learned a few things watching Oklahoma game film. aTm doesn't have the guns on offense to keep up.
Pick: Kansas State
#9 Washington (-7) @ STANFORD
23 fourth quarter points. That's what it took for UDub to dispatch Cal last week. They'd better play better this week or Stanford could take em.
#10 Oregon (-5.5) @ ARIZONA STATE
Defense in the Pac-Ten. Craziness I tell you! Too bad for Oregon they can't play every game at home. Too bad for Arizona State they've got to play Oregon!
#11 TEXAS CHRISTIAN (-23) vs. Rice
TCU can't afford any more near misses like they had against Tulsa. Not if they want a shot at a big bowl. One of these teams has a Heisman candidate tailback, the other runs an option offense. That translates to a pretty low scoring ballgame. Rice to cover, but lose convincingly.
#13 Ohio State (+1.5) @ #16 PURDUE
Gotta love them Purdue special teams, never a dull moment!
Pick: Ohio State
#14 Southern Miss (-16.5) @ HOUSTON
Liberty Bowl, here we come!
#17 OREGON STATE (-13.5) vs. Washington State
I would like to take this moment to formally thank the Beavers for being my first upset pick winner in what seems like forever!
#18 SOUTH CAROLINA (-1) vs. Tennessee
South Carolina? Up. Tennessee? Down. This is another one of those benchmark games, where we find out how good the Gamecocks really are. They kind of snuck up on Georgia, but that won't happen here. The Vols are having a sub-par year, but it's not for a lack of talent. Should be an interesting game, I mean after all, them Vols are fighting for bowl eligibility here!
#19 NOTRE DAME (-13.5) vs. Air Force
OK, now that was impressive. I actually thought WVU had a pretty good chance against the Domers…boy was I wrong! I don't think Air Force has the stuff to last very long here, should be over by the half.
#20 TEXAS (-40) vs. Baylor
In case you were wondering how the Big Twelve can have 3 teams in the top-10, and yet not be the most highly rated conference in many of the computer polls, the reason is lining up opposite the Longhorns on Saturday. They're posting an impressive streak of three consecutive games being shutout. That's right ladies and gentlemen, your very own Baylor Bears!
#21 MISSISSIPPI STATE (-27.5) vs. Middle Tennessee State
Ooofah, looks like potential trumped defense. Hey, I never claimed to actually know what I'm talking about…
#23 ARIZONA (-5.5) vs. UCLA
There just isn't a whole lot of good football being played in Southern California these days! Still, there could be an upset here…I'm not sure how Zona's winning so much, I think they're doing it with mirrors. Well defense actually, but who's counting?
#24 Colorado State (-9.5) @ SDSU
The Pac Ten is tough this year, and the Mountain West Conference has really been taking it on the chin. That's pretty much why it took almost until November for a MWC team to crack the top-25. They'll be here for at least another week tho, cause these Aztecs stink.
Pick: Colorado State
#25 AUBURN (-10) vs. Arkansas
Poor Razorbacks, never really recovered from losing RB Cedric Cobbs. Auburn? Well, someone's got to win the SEC-West. Evidently Mississippi State doesn't really want the honor, so why not War Eagle?
Other Big East Games:
BOSTON COLLEGE (-22 vs. Rutgers
3 wins for Rutgers, and they're all out of conference. That's just Beautiful! That's about all they're going to get, I think, this year.
Game of the Week to Watch: Huskers and Sooners, you don't need me to tell you this one…
Upset Special: Ohio State over Purdue
Last Week: 10-10
Season to Date: 93-88
Upset Special: 3-6