After a split during week 8, I have moved to 7-13 ATS and 12-10 in picking winners. This week we have some key games that will help shape the national title picture.
USC @ Oregon
8pm on ABC
Line: USC -3
According to Colin Cowherd, this is the biggest sporting event in the history of home state.
This is a key match up for the Pac Ten and the National Title picture. Both teams have a chance to take control of the conference with a win, and really position themselves as contenders for the Championship game.
Both teams are playing extremely well right now and know how important this one is. Luckily for Oregon, this game is at their house where they have been able to beat USC.
Matt Barkley has played extremely well this year, and has shown he can win in hostile environments, even as a freshman. However, the USC defense has shown that they will give up points to high powered offenses. This Oregon offense is firing on all cylinders since their loss to Boise State and what looked like a doomed season for Chip Kelly as a first year head coach.
USC has also shown they always have trouble defending the read option and Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli has being a great job running The Ducks offense.
He seems to be healthy and ready to go for this game.
Expect this game to be a shootout, and expect this crowd to play a huge factor. This is one of, if not the loudest stadiums in the country and although Barkley has experience playing at Ohio State, at Cal and at Notre Dame, Oregon may be the toughest of the bunch.
In a nailbiter, and a game would not put money on because of how evenly matched these teams are, take Oregon to win this game 38-35.
Texas @ Ok. State
8pm on ABC
Line: USC -9.5
Mack Brown has stated several times this year that his team does not want to be "controlled by the system" and learned their lesson year. They control their own destiny and cannot lose if they want to assure themselves a spot in the BCS championship game.
So far all has been well for Texas and this seems to be the last real test for them before the Big 12 Championship game.
Oklahoma State has been playing with out wide receiver Dez Bryant since late September and has been fairing well offensively. However they have not played a Will Muschamp defense. Texas has only allowed one team to get over 20 points and that was in week 1. Since then only Texas Tech broke the 20 point barrier. Oklahoma State may be the best offense they face this year, but expect this Texas defense to be ready and hold this offense down to under 4 touchdowns.
The key will be how the Oklahoma State defense holds down The Longhorn offense. The only chance The Cowboys have in this game is if they can contain Colt McCoy and pressure him like The Sooners did.
Don't expect Oklahoma State's defense to perform as well as their instate rivals did and expect this game to be close early and an easy win for Texas late.