After last week's 21-10-1 record against the spread(there was no line or over/under for the Alcorn State at Mississippi State), I thought I would give it another shot with a new twist. I will pick all of the SEC games as well as high profile games from around the country with at least one from each BCS conference. For on eof the games from around the country, I have decided to add a new feature called the "Are You Kidding Me? Game of the Week", where I will give a little insight into a completely meaningless game with mostly irrelevant teams. This offers me a chance to study two teams that I would otherwise never look into.
(Big XII Game of the Week)
01. #7Nebraska (-11.5) 4-0 (0-0) at Kansas State 4-0 (1-0). O/U 50.5
Forget Texas next week, this is Nebraska's biggest test of the Big 12 season. If Nebraska can get by stud running back Sr Daniel Thomas and the rest of Bill Snyder's crew, Nebraska could enter the Big 12 championship game at 12-0.
I think Nebraska wins a close one, so I'll take K-State and the 11.5 and the under 50.5.
02. UConn (-4.5) 3-2 (0-0) at Rutgers 2-2 (0-0). O/U 41.5
I picked Rutgers to win the Big East in the preseason against the advice of wiser men than myself. With sophomores Tom Savage and Mohamed Sanu, I figured they would be primed for a big season. Even with Sanu off to a great start, Savage's struggles have been more than sufficient to bring down the team. Savage will be a game time decision for Friday's game.
Connecticut made the move at quarterback last week, and junior Cody Endres answered the call against Vanderbilt with a passer rating of 160.76. Junior Jordan Todman has 638 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season despite missing a game.
I'll give up the 4.5 and take the UConn Huskies and the over 41.5.
(Big East Game of the Week)
03. Syracuse 3-1 (0-0) at South Florida (-7.5) 3-1 (0-0). O/U 43.5
Syracuse's junior Ryan Nassib has the Orangemen at 3-1 heading into conference play against South Florida sophomore quarterback BJ Daniels, who is also 3-1 on the year. The difference is Nassib's numbers are quite impressive, while Daniels has struggled so far.
Despite the early struggles, I am going to give up the 7.5 and take the Bulls, but I think the Cuse offense puts up a few points, so I'll take the over.
(Big 10 Game of the Week)
04. #17Michigan State 5-0 (1-0) at #18Michigan (-4.5) 5-0 (1-0). O/U 64.5
Are you kidding me? Denard Robinson is almost half way to becoming college football's first ever 2000/2000 player. With 905 rushing yards and 1008 passing yards through four games, Shoelace is on pace for 2172 rushing yards and 2419 passing yards. Those numbers would lock up the Heisman by themselves, but he is also on pace to be responsible for 36 touchdowns (17 passing, 19 rushing). The Spartans will be the Wolverines biggest test to date, and Michigan's defense is going to have to make a few plays for Michigan to win.
In a game of who has the ball last, I'll go with the home team Wolverines minus the 4.5 and the over 64.5.
05. Clemson 2-2 (0-1) at North Carolina (-2.5) 2-2 (0-1). O/U 51.5
Clemson +2.5 and the under 51.5.
06. #10Utah (-5.5) 4-0 (1-0) at Iowa State 3-2 (1-1). O/U 54.5
Iowa State +5.5 and over 54.5
(ACC Game of the Week)
07. #23Florida State 4-1 (2-0) at #13Miami, FL (-6.5) 3-1 (1-0). O/U (n/a)
Anyone who has read my articles know I am high on the Hurricanes defense, especially their secondary this season. The bonus for Miami is this game is a home game for the Canes, and Jacory Harris is a thousand times better at home.
Right now, I feel that Florida State is underrated at #23, but that is their own fault. On the Seminoles only big stage of the season, Oklahoma, the Seminoles did not do themselves any favors against a very good Sooners team by taking several stupid penalties. This is their second chance in the spotlight. Let's see if CP7 can live up to his Tebowesque promise of a great Seminole effort each week.
I'll take the Hurricanes -6.5. There was no over/under on this game.
08. UCLA 3-2 (1-1) at California (-7.5) 2-2 (0-1). O/U 48.5
UCLA +7.5 and under 48.5
(Pac-10 Game of the Week)
09. USC at #16Stanford -9.5. O/U 59.5
After both teams suffered their first defeat of the season last week, this becomes a very critical game for both teams.
The key for the Trojans will be senior Allen Bradford's and junior Marc Tyler's success on the ground. If the Trojans can keep the ball away from Stanford's potent offense, they have a chance.
When the Cardinal has the ball, they will look to RS sophomore Andrew Luck get back to the superb leadership he had displayed up until the second half of the Oregon game.
Coach Jim Harbaugh gets his Cardinal ready to go against the Trojans. I'll give up the 9.5, and take the over 59.5.
(Are You Kidding Me? Game of the Week)
10. New Mexico Lobos 0-5 (0-2) at New Mexico State Aggies (-3.5) 0-4 (0-1). O/U 51.5
The Rio Grande Rivalry, which dates back to 1894, pits the New Mexico Lobos of the Mountain West Conference against the New Mexico State Aggies of the Western Athletic Conference, where the Lobos hold a 66-29-5 advantage all-time.
The New Mexico Lobos, coached by the troubled Mike Locksley, are lead by freshman quarterback Tarean Austin, sophomore running back Demond Dennis, and sophomore receiver Ty Kirk. The Lobos average 12.2 points per game, 260 yards per game, and 3.7 yards per play. The Lobos defense are lead by junior cornerback Bubba Forest, who leads the team with 40 tackles, sophomore linebacker Spencer Merritt, and senior defensive tackle Peter Gardner. The Lobos give up 52.6 points per game, 492 yards per game, and 6.6 yards per play.
The New Mexico State Aggies are coached by DeWayne Walker. The offense averages 11.8 points per game, 277 yards per game, and 4.6 yards per play. The defense surrenders 542 yards per game, 7.6 yards per play, and 46 points per game. The offense is lead by junior quarterback Matt Christian, senior running back Seth Smith, and big play receiver, senior Marcus Allen. The defense is lead by junior safety Donyae Coleman, Boyblue Aoelua, a junior linebacker, and junior defensive tackle David Mahoney.
I searched for an angle in this game, but both the Lobos and Aggies have really struggled so far. I am going to take the home team New Mexico State Aggies minus the 3.5 because they are lead by upperclassmen. I am going to take the under 51.5 because between the two teams, they are averaging only 24 points per game, although the defenses are surrendering a combined 98.6 points per game.
*Ole Miss Rebels have a bye week*
01. Tennessee Volunteers 2-3 (0-2) at Georgia Bulldogs (-11.5) 1-4 (0-3). O/U 47.5
Both teams are badly in need of a win, but there is no way I would spot 11.5 to any one against Georgia.
I'll take Tennessee +11.5 and the over.
02. Texas A&M Aggies 3-1 (0-1) vs. #11Arkansas Razorbacks (-5.5) 3-1 (1-1). O/U 61.5
*Game will be played at Cowboy Stadium*
Both teams are coming off of tough losses. The Aggies dropped a tough 38-35 decision to Big 12 South foe, Oklahoma State last Thursday, and two weeks ago, the Razorbacks lost a heartbreaking game to #1 Alabama in Fayetteville, 24-20. Which team can rebound from the disappointing loss?
I'll take Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks minus the 5.5 because the Hogs showed an improved defense, as well as the over 61.5.
03. #1Alabama Crimson Tide (-7.5) 5-0 (2-0) at South Carolina Gamecocks 3-1 (1-1). O/U 47.5
The Gamecocks are coming off of a bye week as well as a tough 35-27 loss at Auburn last week. Alabama has won 19 straight games, and are coming off a 31-6 drubbing of SEC rival Florida.
I'll take Alabama minus the 7.5 and the under 47.5. The Tide are rolling right now and the young defense is really coming together.
04. Eastern Michigan Eagles 0-5 (0-3) at Vanderbilt Commodores (-25.5) 1-3 (1-1). O/U 52.5
If there is a team where the Commodores are 25.5 point favorites, it would be the Eagles of Eastern Michigan.
Although Coach Caldwell and Vandy will get their second win, I'll take the 25.5 and Eastern Michigan as well as the over 52.5.
(SEC Game of the Week)
05. #12LSU Tigers at #14Florida Gators (-6.5). O/U 42.5
The Tigers escaped with a 16-14 win in Baton Rouge last week, while the Gators were pounded in Tuscaloosa. Both teams have have visible problems on offense all season, while both defenses are among the best in the nation. The premier match up may be Florida punter Chas Henry against all everything Patrick Patterson, who has returned two punts for touchdowns and averages 23.6 per return. Senior punter Chaz Henry is averaging 49.1 per punt.
LSU is averaging 24.4 points per game while allowing 12.4 per game. The Tigers offense is averaging 327 yards per game, and the Tigers are surrendering 247.
The Florida offense is averaging 31.4 points per game and 340 yards per game, and the defense is allowing 17.6 points and 291 yards per game.
*I will have a complete breakdown of this game on Friday.*
I am going to take LSU and the 6.5, although I think Florida is going to win the game. 42.5 seems a little high considering both teams troubles on offense, so I'll take the under.
06. #8Auburn Tigers (-6.5) 5-0 (2-0) at Kentucky Wildcats 3-2 (0-2). O/U 58.5
Last season, Auburn rolled into this game 5-0 as well, but it was Kentucky who came away with a 21-14 victory at Auburn. Auburn has only one road game this season, a 17-14 win in Starkville over Mississippi State. Auburn needs to win impressively if the Tigers hope to continue moving up the polls and to keep Cam Newton in the Heisman race. Kentucky needs a win to get back into bowl contention. The Wildcats have plenty of weapons on offense, but will need the defense to step up if they hope to pull the upset.
I'll give up the 6.5 with Auburn and take the over 58.5.
07. Mississippi State Bulldogs (-5.5) 3-2 (1-2) at Houston Cougars 3-1 (2-0). O/U 55.5
The Cougars are down to their third string quarterback courtesy of the UCLA Bruins defense, but it would not matter if Case Keenum was available or not. Bulldogs coach, Dan Mullen has done a masterful job turning the Bulldogs around in only his second season. Do not be surprised to see the Bulldogs sneak into the top 25 in a few weeks. After the Bulldogs play at Houston, they visit Florida, which may be a winnable game for the Starkvillians. After that, the Bulldogs will get a visit from the Kentucky Wildcats. With a little luck, and some more solid play from the Bulldog defense, Mississippi State could roll into Alabama at 6-2 and full of confidence.
I'll lay the 5.5 and take the surprising Mississippi State Bulldogs and the under 55.5.
Season Record Against the Spread
21 - 10 - 1
Leave your picks. Everyone who beats me will get a mention in next week's article. Or, if you have a thought on a game, please comment. Thanks in advance.