College Football Picks Against the Spread: 5 Best Friday Games

Colby Lanham@Colby1226Correspondent INovember 25, 2011

College Football Picks Against the Spread: 5 Best Friday Games

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    This is the last week that no college football fans want to hear about: the last week of the college football season. But there's no need to worry. After all, it's rivalry week, one of the best and biggest weekends in college football.

    Teams will compete for bragging rights for the whole year, and some teams will be fighting for more than bragging rights. Some will be fighting for the right in their conference championships, while others will be fighting for bowl eligibility and the opportunity to travel and play an opponent the team would not face otherwise.

    For some of these games, BCS implications are on the line, and winning becomes paramount for those who want their chance to crack the BCS.

    Several key games will address a combination of what rivalry week stands for and what stands in the way of those teams goals towards conquering rivalry week.

Iowa vs. Nebraska

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    The Hawkeyes defense will have its hands full when it faces the Nebraska Cornhuskers and try to slow down their prolific rushing attack,led by quarterback Taylor Martinez.

    The Cornhuskers have been a little up-and-down at times during the season and dropping a couple of close games, but they are still one of the bigger threats in their conference, especially in terms of running the ball.

    If the Hawkeyes want the chance at an upset special against the Cornhuskers, they must make Martinez beat them through the air and limit his opportunities on the ground, especially with Nebraska's zone read spread offense.

Houston vs. Tulsa

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    Sixth-year senior quarterback Case Keenum has kept Houston on top of Conference USA for years now, and he can continue to do so when Houston takes on Tulsa today.

    Keenum is among the best quarterbacks in breaking the statistical barrier, and rightfully so, being at Houston for six years. He is No. 1 all-time in touchdown passes, and Houston's prolific offense has yet to be stopped.  

    However, Tulsa could give them a run for their money, especially if they actually get a couple of stops and manage to take advantage of a Houston defense that gives up its fair share of points.

    Houston is one of two undefeated teams left, and climbing all the way to No. 8 in the polls, they have the opportunity to get themselves into a very nice bowl game, especially if they stay undefeated and take care of business against Tulsa.

Boston College vs. Miami

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    An ACC matchup that could determine bowl placement will be this matchup of lesser ACC powers when the Boston College Eagles square off against the Miami Hurricanes.

    Both of these teams have been overshadowed by teams like Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Virginia. Both have underperformed this season, but both still have postseason hopes, and have one more chance at redemption.

    Eagles head coach Frank Spazini may need this win save his job, while Miami head coach Al Golden needs this game to improve morale with impending allegations against the program to help keep the players grounded and to help build upon this season into next year to hopefully become a better competitor in the Coastal Division.

Pittsburgh vs. West Virginia

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    We're in the last week of the college football regular season, and no Big East team is in a position to clinch the conference championship, and this game can go West Virginia's way, which is in a better position than a struggling Pittsburgh team to win the conference.

    The Mountaineers have made good progress in Dana Holgorsen's first year as head coach. While they have been inconsistent at times, they are half a game behind Rutgers and Louisville for first place in the Big East.

    This game has not only conference implications, but also BCS implications because whoever clinches the Big East championship clinches a BCS Bowl bid to go along with it.

Arkansas vs. LSU

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    The biggest game with the most BCS implications will be when the top-ranked LSU Tigers are pitted against their rival No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks.

    The Razorbacks have only one loss, and are very much in the national championship conversation. Arkansas has a chance to reach if an Alabama-LSU rematch is avoided. LSU will have difficulty winning, despite the Razorbacks' suspect defense.

    The LSU Tigers have not faced a quarterback like Tyler Wilson since the beginning of the season when they faced Oregon's Darron Thomas. Even now, many question if they could do it again should Oregon successfully claim a bid to the national championship game.

    Head coach Bobby Petrino knows how to run Wilson in this pro-style offense, and LSU may have to become involved in a higher scoring game than they're used to and with their dual quarterback system (an indirect way of saying quarterback controversy), LSU may not be able to keep up with Arkansas offensively, especially with their recently inconsistent quarterback play.

    With both the SEC West Division and BCS implications on the line, both teams have a lot to play for. The winner would reap many rewards in the end depending on how things shake out.