College Football Week 12: Predictions Against the Spread

Jason Figueiredo@sportschatterCorrespondent INovember 17, 2010

College Football Week 12: Predictions Against the Spread

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 13:  Ron Brooks #13 of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown on an interception during the game against the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Tiger Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Ba
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The college football season is quickly coming to a close, and there is only so many games left to boost my Pick 'Em record.

    An 11-11 tally last week did not allow me to make up ground on this season’s crumby record and it is either now or never to make my move towards that .500 mark.

    Although three of the AP’s Top 5 teams are on a bye this week, there are four exciting games that pit Top 25 teams against each other. Add two games played in baseball stadiums and we should have another excellent weekend of college football.

    Let’s take a look at this week’s picks and pray that we come out on top.

    Last Week’s Record: 11-11

    Season Record: 101-109-5

No. 3 Boise State (-30.5) vs. Fresno State

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 04:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos passes the ball against the TCU Horned Frogs during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 4, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jami
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Boise State continues to obliterate opponents, racking up its fourth 50-point game this season last week against Idaho. 

    Fresno State came within a needle’s eye of beating No. 21 Nevada and might believe it can keep this one against the Broncos close. 

    The Bulldogs will lose, but their offense could cover this spread. 

    Pick: Fresno State +30.5

No. 5 LSU (-16.5) vs. Mississippi

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 13:  Alfred Blue #24 of the Louisiana State University Tigers is tackled by Ty Kittle #87 of the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Tiger Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   The Tigers defeated the
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Ole Miss possesses the 107th ranked defense (34.8 p/g), and after their laughable performance against Tennessee last week, this game against the Tigers could get ugly. 

    This season, LSU has failed to beat a non-ranked opponent by at least 20 points only once. A complete decapitation of the Rebels should be in order.

    Pick: LSU -16.5

No. 6 Wisconsin (-4.5) at Michigan

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    IOWA CITY, IA - OCTOBER 23- Quarterback Scott Tolzien #16 of the Wisconsin Badgers scrambles under pressure from the University of Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half of play at Kinnick Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin won 31-30 o
    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Last Week, Wisconsin hung 83 points against Indiana, and a repeat performance again Michigan isn’t completely out of the question. 

    Michigan’s defense has been nothing short of a Saw movie and Wisconsin should take full advantage.

    Denard Robinson could keep this game close, but don’t expect the Wolverines to leave this one happy.

    Pick: Wisconsin -4.5

No. 7 Stanford (-7) at California

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    TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13:  Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal scrambles for a first down against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona.The Cardinal won 17-13.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Gett
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Andrew Luck’s only "Big Game" start ended in tragedy last season, throwing a red-zone interception during the waning seconds to solidify the win for Cal.

    A close loss to Oregon leads many to believe that California has life left and could create problems for Stanford.

    Revenge is a funny thing, though.  Look for Luck to rectify last year’s error with a huge win.

    Pick: Stanford -7

No. 8 Ohio State (-3) at No. 21 Iowa

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    COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes calls signals at the line against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    A slow start against Penn State highlights some concerns with Ohio State. Luckily for the Buckeyes, their next game is against rather inconsistent Iowa.

    The Hawkeyes, once thought to have the easiest path to the Big Ten title, have completely lost their wheels.

    Two straight sub-par offensive performances by Iowa are certainly worrisome, and this is definitely Ohio State’s game for the taking.

    Pick: Ohio State -3 

No. 9 Nebraska (-2.5) at No. 18 Texas A&M

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 13: Brandon Kinnie #84 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs after a catch against the Kansas Jayhawks during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Kansas 20-3. (Photo by Eric Francis
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    The last time Texas A&M squared off against a Top 10 team, the Aggies rolled over Oklahoma 33-19.

    Things might play out differently this weekend when Ryan Tannehill faces the Black Shirts.

    However, Nebraska has had trouble finding its offense as of late.   Another poor performance could be the Huskers' demise in this one.

    Pick: Nebraska -2.5

No.11 Michigan State (-20) vs. Purdue

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    COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Sean Robinson #10 of the Purdue Boilermakers runs with the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Purdue is riding a terrible four-game losing streak, and things won’t get better against Michigan State.

    While the Spartans have won three straight in this rivalry, a 22-point spread could be a bit too much.

    The past seven games between these teams have been decided by 14 points or less.  Expect more of the same. 

    Pick: Purdue +20

No. 12 Oklahoma State (-24) at Kansas

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    WACO, TX - OCTOBER 24:  Justin Blackmon #81 and Cooper Nicholas #89 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrate a touchdown in front of Jordan Lake #21 of the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/G
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Kansas found a way to stay within the spread against Nebraska, but its defense could be in a load of trouble against Oklahoma State.

    The Cowboys' second-ranked passing game (359.1 y/d) and third-ranked scoring offense (45.0 p/g) has the potential to put up enormous numbers on Kansas’ struggling defense (33.0 p/g).

    Pick: Oklahoma State -24

No. 13 Arkansas (-3) at No. 22 Mississippi State

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    COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 06:  Terrell Williams #25 of the Arkansas Razorbacks against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Arkansas has been on a tear recently, winning four straight and scoring 38 points or more in its past five games.

    Mississippi State’s latest stumble against Alabama continues a disturbing trend for the Bulldogs against ranked teams (1-3). Keeping up with Ryan Mallet might be too much to ask.

    Pick: Arkansas -3

No. 14 Virginia Tech (-2.5) at No. 24 Miami

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 13:  Darren Evans #32 of the Virginia Tech Hokies is tackled by Quan Sturdivant #52 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Kenan Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Leck
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    With Jacory Harris doubtful for Miami, Virginia Tech has an excellent chance of owning this game from kickoff to final whistle.

    The Hokies 19th-ranked rushing offense (208.5 y/d) should plummet the Hurricanes 77th-ranked rushing defense (166.4 y/g), allowing Virginia Tech to control the clock and the scoreboard.

    Without Harris, keeping this one close might be wishful thinking.

    Pick: Virginia Tech -2.5

No. 15 Missouri (-11.5) at Iowa State

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    COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 13:  Wes Kemp #8  of the Missouri Tigers congratulates T.J.Moe #28 in the end zone after Moe scored a touchdown during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats on November 13, 2010 at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mi
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Iowa State is only one win shy of becoming bowl eligible. But with Missouri heading into town this weekend, postseason play could be unreachable.

    The Tigers have won six of the last seven games against the Cyclones.  Barring a complete collapse, they should not have a problem continuing this winning trend.

    Pick: Missouri -11.5

No. 16 Oklahoma (-7) at Baylor

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    COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 23: Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners hands the ball off to Roy Finch #22 also of the Oklahoma Sooners at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Columbia, Missouri.  The Tigers beat the Sooners 36-27.  (Photo by
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Baylor proved for the second straight week that it is unable to keep up with a team that has offensive fire power. 

    This week, the Bears face another dangerous offense in Oklahoma.  Landry Jones should have no problems taking advantage of Baylor 108th-ranked passing defense in route to dismantling these wounded Bears.

    Pick: Oklahoma -7

No. 17 South Carolina (-22) vs. Troy

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 13:  Stephen Garcia #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks waves to fans after winning a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. The Gamecocks beat the Gators 36-14.
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Last week, South Carolina marched into the Swamp and manhandled Florida, emerging with an incredible 36-14 victory.

    Thinking that Troy will come close to covering this spread against the rejuvenated Gamecocks would be foolish.

    The SEC Championship game looms for South Carolina, and the Gamecocks can’t afford to let their guard down against this weaker opponent. 

    Pick: South Carolina -22

No. 19 Nevada (-37.5) vs. New Mexico State

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    LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #10 of the Nevada Reno Wolf Pack crosses the goal line ahead of UNLV Rebel defenders to score a touchdown in the first quarter of their game at Sam Boyd Stadium October 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Recently, covering the spread has not been in the Wolf Pack’s playbook. Since October, Nevada has consistently come up short, failing to cover five of their last six lines.

    New Mexico State, on the other hand, has covered four of their last five spreads and could very well do the same with this week’s lofty line.

    Pick: New Mexico State +37.5

No. 20 USC (-3) at Oregon State

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Matt Barkley #7 and Ronald Johnson #83 of USC Trojans celebrate a touchdown to trail 24-29 against the Oregon Ducks during the third quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 30, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Oregon State reached a new low last week, allowing Washington State to snap a 16-game Pac-10 Conference losing streak at the Beavers' expense.

    USC appears to be maturing at a rapid pace, which could mean even more trouble for the Beavers.  Matt Barkley and USC’s plethora of offensive weapons should be enough for USC to leave Corvallis with a win.

    Pick: USC -3

No. 25 Utah (-3) at San Diego State

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    PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 05:   Ryan Lindley #14 of the San Diego State Aztecs looks to pass the ball during the game against the UCLA Bruins at The Rose Bowl on September 5, 2009 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Last week, Utah took one on the chin against Notre Dame (3-28), while San Diego State was oh-so-close to upsetting TCU (35-40).

    The Utes appear to be sliding down a slippery slope, and things could get worse if their offense can’t get back on track.

    Ryan Lindley is an exceptional quarterback, and if he can lead the Aztecs to another explosive performance, SDSU may be able to pull off the upset that eluded the team last week. 

    Pick: San Diego State +3

Florida State (-4.5) at Maryland

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    RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 28:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 28, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    After last week’s anemic performance, Florida State will be anxious to have Christian Ponder back under center against Maryland.

    Although Maryland has yet to lose a home game this season, the Seminoles are more talented than any other team that traveled to College Park.

    Florida State should be able to handle this road trip and clinch the ACC Atlantic title in enemy territory.

    Pick: Florida State -4.5

Northwestern vs. Illinois (-7)

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    EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 23: Dan Persa #7 of the Northwestern Wildcats looks for a receiver against the Michigan State Spartans at Ryan Field on October 23, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 35-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Ge
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Northwestern pulled off a shocker last week against Iowa, but at the cost of starting quarterback Dan Persa.

    While Persa’s offensive leadership was the main reason for Northwestern landing 25th in the Coaches Poll, their offense will undoubtedly struggle this week against Illinois without him.

    The Wildcats might not win, but they could keep this game in Wrigley Field close.

    Pick: Northwestern +7

North Carolina (-2.5) vs. North Carolina State

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    RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 28:  Russell Wilson #16 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack runs with the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 28, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The Wolfpack has won three straight in this series and could be in line to make it four.

    Both teams have been far from consistent this season, and this game will most likely come down to which quarterback can shine brighter.

    T.J Yates's latest meltdown leaves the door slightly open for Russell Wilson to steal this in-state show.

    Pick: North Carolina State +2.5

Notre Dame (-8) vs. Army

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    SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 13: Tommy Rees #13 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Utah Utes at Notre Dame Stadium on November 13, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    In the first-ever football game played in the New Yankees Stadium, Notre Dame hopes to keep the ball rolling after last weekend’s surprising win over No. 14 Utah. 

    The Irish own a 13-game winning streak against Army and should be riding a pretty big high entering this game.

    However, Army’s rushing attack is ranked 8th (272.8 y/g) in the FBS and could crash Notre Dame’s upset party.

    Pick: Army +8