After extenuating circumstance prevented me from completing a Week 12 column last week, the backlash got out of hand. Emails, phone calls, and faxes came pouring in—all demanding gutsy picks this week.
So here I am, baring my soul for you, all five of my faithful readers.
Let’s do this, droogs…
NC State at North Carolina
The ACC is getting a tad on the ridiculous side these days. Nobody wants to claim it, and just when I hopped on the Tarheel bandwagon, they lose to Maryland.
I expect this to be another hard fought, close game, with UNC pulling away late.
Winner: UNC, 27-17
Michigan at Ohio State
Going out on a limb with this one.
Winner: Ohio State, 42-17
Tennessee at Vanderbilt
I think I’ve picked against Tennessee every week this year. Not this week.
Vandy is still pinching themselves for finally becoming bowl eligible, and Tennessee is stewing after a horrendous home loss to a terrible Wyoming team.
The Vols didn’t do much to show out for Fulmer in their last game, but I think they bring it this week. The rush attack finally gets going for Tennessee.
Winner: Tennessee, 20-17
Michigan State at Penn State
Is anybody giving Michigan State a chance in this game?
Either am I.
Winner: Penn State, 34-24
Ole Miss at LSU
Good offenses have simply eaten up LSU this year, and that trend should continue since the Rebels have a potent offensive attack.
The Tigers are tough at home, but they don’t have the luxury of playing under the lights.
And Houston Nutt knows a little something about knocking off LSU…
Winner: Ole Miss, 34-31
BYU at Utah
It’s hard to pick against Utah at home, but I’m feeling a March Madness type of weekend, upsets abound.
BYU wins by some miracle.
Winner: BYU, 31-30
Pitt at Cincinnati
Maybe I’ll eat my words, but it amazes me to see people picking Pitt in this game.
Not only do Wannstache’s teams seem to get up for the wrong games, but Cincinnati is a darn good team. And it doesn’t hurt that they are at home.
Winner: Cincy, 27-17
Oregon State at Arizona
Arizona has finally found some balance on both sides of the ball, and the Wildcats are always tough at home.
Conventional wisdom says the Cats will prevail, but I like the Beavers to continue the high they are on—and make USC sweat for at least another week.
Tough D, including a big turnover or two, and some hard running by Jacquizz Rodgers does the job.
Winner: Oregon State, 31-27
Texas Tech at Oklahoma (Game of the Week)
If you think you’ve seen Barack Obama’s college football playoff speech too many times, wait until the Sooners win.
The football gods are watching…
Winner: Oklahoma, 45-42
Other games I like:
Florida over the Citadel by 85, West Virginia over Louisville by 4, Arkansas over Mississippi State by 10, Washington over Washington State by 7, Cal over Stanford by 10, Northwestern over Illinois by 1, and Florida State over Maryland by 2.