USC Trojans (-10) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish: You can’t get lucky every week, even if you are Irish. Notre Dame has had a lot of help, “officially”, and I doubt that continues against one of the more talented teams in the country. USC took a loss to Washington earlier this year, but they are still 4-1, and still showing dominance against lesser foes. Don’t get it twisted, the Irish are a lesser foe. Remember, USC hasn’t lost a game that Matt Barkley started. A lot of injuries usually kills a team, but a team with the roster talent like USC can do work. I expect Notre Dame to score more than the 3 points Cal put up last week, but Southern California will find plenty of open spaces to put up points against Notre Dame’s porous defense. 35-14, maybe 20, seems right to me. I’ll take the Trojans!
Pittsburgh Panthers @ Rutgers Scarlet Nights (+5.5): I guess Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh and that’s somehow the reason they are favored by 5.5 points playing at Rutgers on a Friday Night? Otherwise I can’t really explain it. Both teams have one loss, and neither looked pretty in the process. But Rutgers has played consistently better defense, giving up just 35 points over the last 4 games. And ready for this – since taking over at quarterback full time, Tom Savage has led his team to 4 straight wins. Not enough is said about that, not many people know. Savage has been very efficient, and better yet, mistake free. Look for him to continue his solid play, and at the very least, Rutgers is a nice value bet as a 5.5 point dog at home.
Arkansas Razorbacks @ Florida Gators (-24): I like the Gators to put up around 45 points against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Unlike LSU and Tennessee, the Razorbacks will drop back to pass in hopes of doing what they do best to win the game. That will play into what Florida does best, shut down opposing passing attacks, prey on mistakes, and turn all those short field opportunities to scores. The Gators haven’t played a game where they’ve given up two touchdowns yet this season. I think Arkansas is the best passing attack they’ve faced so far, but I still don’t think that transfers to more scoring chances for the Razorbacks. Florida should continue their defensive dominance, they have too many good players with too much speed. 42-10 sounds about right to me. I’ll take the number one team in the land!
Virginia Tech Hokies (-3) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: I just think the Hokies are flat out a lot better than the Yellow Jackets. G-Tech has played well lately, but they give up too many points. You can’t do that against VaTech, it just doesn’t work. Why? you ask, because Virginia Tech doesn’t give up lots of points. The only chance you have is to beat them in a tough contest. A high scoring game will only end one way, with the Hokies on top. Three points? I don’t care that 70% of the public agrees with me, I’m not even worried.
Central Michigan Chippewas (-6.5) @ Western Michigan Broncos: The Chipps are a big public favorite in this one, and it’s because they have a highly rated college quarterback, they are 4-1, they have an upset win over the Spartans to their credit, and they’ve won five straight, and four straight by a touchdown or more. But I like teh Chipps for one reason, and one reason only – in his 3 year career, one filled with success and impressive leadership, Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour has never lost to his in-Michigan rival. There’s something to be said for that. If you can walk into a game saying I’ve always beaten these guys, always, tell your teammates, just follow me, I’ve been here before and I’ve never lost – I’ll take that every time. Rivalry? Sure, but pretty one-sided since Dan started tossing touchdowns.