Last week, with its overtimes, upsets, and god-like performances, was what we needed to redeem college football.
Here are some picks to consider while you lay on your couch, full of turkey and wine, and your laptop nearby for some black Friday impulse buys. All lines courtesy of covers.com
Houston at Tulsa (Friday): Houston is a top 10 team in the BCS rankings and has dreams of being the next Boise State. But Tulsa is also undefeated in Conference USA play and is really flying under the radar. Houston is an impressive team, but I think they’ll get tripped up this week. Tulsa +2.5
Arkansas at Louisiana State (Friday): Goes without saying that this is a significant game. Maybe it’s because of an irrational prejudice against hogs, but I am still not totally sold on Arkansas as a truly legit contender. LSU is a freight train right now. Or, if you prefer, they’re those rednecks that go out and hunt giant wild hogs.
Pittsburgh at West Virginia (Friday): The Backyard Brawl (or The Game for the Bronzed Mullet, as some call it) is an often overlooked rivalry. The two schools are separated by only about 80 miles and the fans’ mutual hatred goes back over 100 years. This isn’t one of those “we’re rivals but we respect each other” games. The winner of this game is also still in the hunt for the Big East’s BCS berth. The loser probably is too, it is pretty difficult to get eliminated from Big East contention. West Virginia is better on paper, but they’ve been inconsistent this season. I think they’ll put together a good performance against their rival. WVU -7
Florida State at Florida: Both these programs are still trying to find their way back to greatness, and I think they’re both disappointed about where they are at this season. FSU is the better team overall, but I think Florida’s home field advantage gives them the edge in this. Florida +1
Texas Tech at Baylor: The battle of two teams that daggered Oklahoma’s hearts this year. It’s the Big 12, it’s RGIII, that means points. OVER 78
FREE MONEY LOCK OF THE WEEK: Maryland at North Carolina State: It’s been a disastrous first season at Maryland for Randy Edsall, who the fans have affectionately dubbed “Rangoon.” I don’t have enough digital ink to lay out all the problems, but key players are injured and much of the rest of the team appears to have quit on Rangoon. NC State has been playing well of late, they are fresh off a huge upset of Clemson, and are looking to secure a bowl berth. Betting on NC State to cover is likely a safe bet, but I think the safest bet is taking the over. Maryland’s defense is abysmal, so NC State is going to get plenty of chances to do their stupid wolf hand gesture in the end zone. Maryland will probably get a point or too also. OVER 49.5
Last week: 4-2
Season Total: 36-35-1