This week undoubtedly has some huge matchups, the biggest of which take place in the SEC. There are a lot of questions to be answered before we declare a national champion, and this weekend should go a long way into answering some of those.
We're finally getting into conference play and it's time to find out who are the contenders and who are the pretenders.
As always, my confidence is high and I'm sure you'll be lining your pockets with cash if you follow my picks again this week.
Last Week's Record: 11-5 (Lost Lock of the Week)
Season Record: 25-13 (1-1 Lock of the Week)
Thursday, October 8
No. 21 Nebraska (3-1) at No. 24 Missouri (4-0)—Line: Nebraska -3
This is the first conference game for both teams, and it could help determine which team will be the one to compete with Kansas for the Big 12 North division.
Missouri is undefeated, but they're also untested. Their "big" road win at Illinois is looking worse by the week. While Nebraska lost the only game in which they were tested, it was on a late drive on the road against a Top 10 opponent.
The Tigers' offense has been clicking on all cylinders so far this year, averaging almost 37 points a game.
This week the Huskers will hold them down throughout, and I think they easily win this game. Roy Helu will have a huge day for the Huskers, and they'll win this one in the trenches like the old teams of Tom Osbourne.
The Pick: Nebraska -3 Huskers 31 Tigers 17
Saturday, October 10
No. 17 Auburn (5-0) at Arkansas (2-2)—Line: Auburn -2.5
Auburn wanted respect from the pollsters, and they finally got it this week.
Gene Chizik has this team playing solid football, and they're rebounding admirably from a down season a year ago.
It's a shame that rebound will be haulted against the Razorbacks this weekend.
Transfer Ryan Mallet will have a huge day leading the offense, and they'll put up a ton of points on a not so typical Auburn defense. Their defense has been struggling all season, and they'll be exploited again Saturday.
The Pick: Arkansas +2.5 Razorbacks 38 Tigers 28
Eastern Illinois (4-1) at No. 14 Penn St. (4-1)—Line: No Line
This is the typical no-line bowl sub-division game of the week. The Panthers aren't a weak subdivision team by any means, but they certainly aren't a match for the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley.
The Pick: Nittany Lions 41 Panthers 14
Boston College (4-1) at No. 5 Virginia Tech (4-1)—Line: VaTech -13.5
BC seems to surprise year after year. They rarely ever start in, or near the Top 25, then they play steady football and move themselves into Top 25 consideration almost always.
Well, this week they received some Top 25 votes in every poll, but unfortunately for them, this will be the last week they do so for a while. The Hokies will pound the ball right at the Eagles, and dominate the line of scrimmage. Expect a big day from Ryan Williams as the Hokies roll.
The Pick: VaTech -13.5 Hokies 42 Eagles 17
No. 15 Oklahoma St. (3-1) at Texas A & M (3-1)—Line: Oklahoma St. -8.5
The Cowboys head to the Home of the 12th Man in College Station with one of the best Cowboy offenses in recent history. The Zac Robinson to Dez Bryant combination will be on display all day, but will it be enough?
The Aggies were embarassed at home last week against Arkansas, and they will be playing with a chip on their shoulders this weekend. I think that keeps them in it, but I just think the Cowboys have too much offense.
The Pick: Texas A & M +8.5 Cowboys 34 Aggies 28
Iowa St. (3-2) at Kansas (4-0)—Line: Kansas -20
Todd Reesing is a legit NFL prospect, and if he comes out after this year, he will probably be either a late first or early second round pick.
The Jayhawks haven't really been tested aside from a close one against Southern Miss, a game in which they never trailed. This week will be no different. The Cyclones do not pose a real threat, and Reesing should be able to pick apart their defense.
The Pick Kansas -20 Jayhawks 49 Cyclones 10
Kentucky (2-2) at No. 25 South Carolina (4-1)—Line: South Carolina -10
I picked Kentucky as my lock of the week last week, and they missed covering the spread by two points. This week, I'll stick with them.
Not just because I'm stubborn, but because I'm still confident they can play, and I'm not confident South Carolina is a good team yet.
Under Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks seem to play up for big games every year, and have let-downs in games they're supposed to win. I think this will be no different. I have Kentucky winning straight up in a close, low-scoring game.
The Pick: Kentucky +10 Wildcats 20 Gamecocks 17 (on a late missed FG by SC)
No. 13 Oregon (4-1) at UCLA (3-1)—Line: Oregon -6.5
The Ducks are coming off of two straight dominating performances at home, and head to the Rose bowl for a Pac-10 showdown.
The Bruins are definitely not a pushover, and this game will be close throughout. I think the talk of LaGarette Blount being reinstated will die down after they lose to the Bruins this weekend. Another upset here, if for no reason other than a huge home field advantage. The Ducks are great in Eugene, and not so great away from there.
The Pick: UCLA +6.5 Bruins 28 Ducks 26
Wisconsin (5-0) at No. 9 Ohio St. (4-1)—Line: Ohio St. -14.5
Wisconsin has a legitimate gripe at not being in the Top 25, just as Auburn did last week.
This is their week to prove they belong, and I think they will.
I don't see them beating the Buckeyes, and I think Terelle Pryor leads Ohio State to victory, but I believe this will be a lot closer than the experts will predict. Wisconsin plays the same hard-nosed brand of football they usually play, and that will keep this one a nail-biter until the final few minutes.
The Pick: Wisconsin +14.5 Buckeyes 24 Badgers 16
Baylor (3-1) at No. 19 Oklahoma (2-2)—Line: Oklahoma -24.5
Sam Bradford should finally be back this week, but it's one week too late for anyone who had hoped that the Sooners would make the National Title game.
They're still alive for a BCS birth, though, and that journey through the Big 12 starts here.
I think Baylor will surprise a lot of people in the Big 12, but not this week. Oklahoma is out to prove they're still an elite team, and they will both run and pass all over the Bears' defense. Sooners in a rout.
The Pick: Oklahoma -24.5 Sooners 52 Bears 14
No. 3 Alabama (4-0) at No. 20 Mississippi (3-1)—Line: 'Bama -6.5
Is Greg McElroy for real? This is the week we find out.
He hasn't been challenged much yet, with the Tide's only true road game being at Kentucky last week. This week he'll be tested in a hostile environment down in Oxford.
This is Mississippi's chance to prove why they were a preseason Top Five team. I said I was sold on 'Bama in my last article, but that doesn't mean they're not vulnerable to a top-tier SEC opponent on the road.
The Rebels and Jevan Snead win and vault themselves back into the Top 10.
The Pick: Ole Miss +6.5 Rebels 34 Tide 24
Florida A & M (4-0) at No. 11 Miami (3-1)—Line: No Line
This week has two no-line games. This will be much closer than the other.
Florida A & M are ranked No. 22 in the I-AA polls. Miami better be up to play in this one, because if they're not it could get close. Randy Shannon won't allow for a down week and the 'Canes will struggle early, but win going away.
The Pick: 'Canes 38 Rattlers 21
Colorado (1-3) at No. 2 Texas (4-0)—Line: Texas -32
The Longhorns and Colt McCoy haven't really been tested aside from the first half of their game against the Red Raiders earlier this year, when McCoy was suffering from flu-like symptoms.
They won't be tested again this week, and they'll win easily. Dan Hawkins has this team on the right track, but they just make too many mistakes, and the Longhorns won't turn the ball back over like the Mountaineers did last week.
The Pick: Texas -32 Longhorns 59 Buffaloes 14
No. 22 Georgia Tech (4-1) at Florida St. (2-3)—Line: FSU -2.5
What happened to FSU? They play tough against Miami, and then beat a tough BYU team on the road, then they fall apart in their next two games against USF and BC.
There's no doubt that Tallahassee is a tough place to play, but I think the Yellow Jackets run game will control the clock and keep the Noles' offense off the field enough to win a close game.
The Pick: GaTech +2.5 Yellow Jackets 31 Seminoles 28
No. 1 Florida (4-0) at LSU (5-0)—Line: Florida -7
There are tons of questions concerning the health of Tim Tebow in this game. I think that there's no way he doesn't play in this game.
He and the Gators will make a big statement in this game and they'll win fairly easily. I know a lot of experts are picking the Tigers to knock of the Gators, but I just don't see that happening.
LSU will put up some fight with a stout defensive effort, but they lose by two TDs-plus.
The Pick: Florida -7 Gators 27 Tigers 10
Michigan (4-1) at No. 12 Iowa (5-0)—Line: Iowa -8
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Iowa does not blow teams out. They play a ball-control game, and they win with great line play.
Granted, an eight-point win isn't a blowout, and it could be a one score game with a backdoor cover, but I think the Wolverines stay close and nearly win.
Tate Forcier stepping up and taking responsibility for throwing that pick in overtime last week says a lot about this kid's competitiveness. He won't let them go down without a fight, but they will go down in overtime for the second straight week.
The Pick: Michigan +8 Hawkeyes 27 Wolverines 24 OT
No. 18 BYU (4-1) at UNLV (2-3)—Line: BYU -17
The Cougars still haven't played up to their potential yet this year. Max Hall has been average by his standards, and the Cougars defense has been suspect since their opening win against Oklahoma.
This is the week it all clicks.
The Rebels are 2-1 at home and 0-2 on the road, so being home is a big advantage for them. But it won't matter. They're out classed.
The Pick: BYU -17 Cougars 49 Rebels 21
Last week I asked if a Top Five team would go down, and this week a Top Five team is sure to go down in Baton Rouge.
This is absolutely the best weekend in college football to date, and it should be exciting
Hopefully my picks can help you all make some money again. Good luck, and check back next week to see how I fared.
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