Pittsburgh (+13.5) @ South Florida
The Bulls are looking mighty good right now, and deserve their high ranking. But Pitt has bounced back after their first-game loss, which could be revealing itself as just a fluke. The Bulls could blow this one open, but I think the Panthers will give them a game.
The Call: South Florida wins, but Pittsburgh covers the spread
The Result: Pittsburgh 26-21
Well done, Panthers. Holding the Bulls to such a low offensive output in the first half was quite impressive. That might throw a monkeywrench into the BigEast...
Oregon State @ Utah (-11.5)
This one is baffling me, to be frank. The Beavers are just an enigma, plain & simple, beating USC but getting destroyed at Penn State. The Utes have some solid road wins and are looking like the class of the MtnWest. For some reason a double-digit spread is catching my eye a bit too much...
The Call: Utah wins, but Oregon State covers the spread
The Result: Utah 31-28
Whew - got it. Tricky game for both teams, but you gotta love the way the Utes came back at the end. Except for that whole 2-point conversion snafu. (Did the Beavers bring Pac10 officials with them?)
Boston College @ NC State (+8.5)
BC is looking pretty good to me right now, while NC State... I just can't bring myself to believe in them this year.
The Call: Boston College by 14
The Result: Boston College 38-31
The Wolfpack made it a game at the end there, and overall they showed more oomph than I thought they would. The Eagles are slowly chugging towards another above average season.
UConn (+7) @ North Carolina
No, they haven't really played anybody so we don't know how good the Huskies are. The Tar Heels might not be great, but they're much improved. One of these two will continue a fantastic year... I'm liking the Huskies chances with the points.
The Call: Connecticut by 3
The Result: North Carolina 38-12
The Huskies chances? I'm not liking them so much anymore. But major kudos to the Tar Heels - they came ready to play and play they did. Three blocked punts? By one guy? After the first two, I make sure to put three guys on him, really.
Texas Tech (-7.5) @ Kansas State
As usual, we don't know how good the Red Raiders are either. That's what playing Eastern Washington, Nevada, Southern Methodist, and UMass will get you. The Wildcats have at least played at Louisville (losing), but they don't have much to show this season either. It might be an exciting game, but I doubt it.
The Call: Texas Tech by 14
The Result: Texas Tech 58-28
Harrell was a one-man wrecking machine today. But still... I'm waiting to see how the Red Raiders do against some really good competition.
Duke (+13) @ Georgia Tech
This is a spread that'll make you think. Do the oddsmakers really not believe in the Blue Devils that much? Or do they have too much belief in the Yellow Jackets? Duke hasn't really played anyone, while the Techies are looking solid.
The Call: Georgia Tech by 14
The Result: Georgia Tech 27-0
Raise your hand if you had the Yellow Jacket defense as one of the best in the country this year. Yeah, me neither. And they've played some quality teams too. That showdown with Clemson is looking to be a fight. As for the Blue Devils, they've got some tough ones up ahead - can they hang on and get to a bowl? Maybe?
Auburn (-4) @ Vanderbilt
The Tigers need this one to have any chance at making the SEC championship, while the Commodores can lose and still be in the driver's seat in the East. What has the world come to.
The Call: Auburn by 7
The Result: Vanderbilt 14-13
Of the feel-good stories of the year (Duke, UNC, Ball State), the Commodores are really trying to stand out more than any of them. A great win today - congrats. As for the Tigers... look, if they're D wasn't as stellar as it is, they could easily be 2-4 right now. The offense started fine in the first quarter, but what happened after that? Turrible, just turrible.
Stanford (+7) @ Notre Dame
The Cardinal are looking decent this year, with some solid wins. I'd like to see more consistency from the Irish, but they're 3-1 - can't argue with that.
The Call: Stanford by 7
The Result: Notre Dame 28-21
The Irish are 4-1 - wow. Should be a really good game next week at UNC. Sure the Cardinal have shown improvement this year, but I neglected to remember that they were absolutely horrible last year - even mediocre is an improvement.
Illinois (+2.5) @ Michigan
Well, the Illini have beaten two bad teams and lost to two good ones - which category do the Wolverines fall under? I've gotta believe that Zook will be able to capitalize if Rodriguez's boys keep putting the ball on the ground.
The Call: Illinois by 7
The Result: Illinois 45-20
Missouri (-10.5) @ Nebraska
Do you think that the Tigers heard about Bo Pellini's desire to shut them out? That's worth another TD right there.
The Call: Missouri by 17
The Result: Missouri 52-17
After this weekend, who would argue with Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri holding down the top 3 spots? Really. I guess we'll find out more of the Big12 pecking order in the next two weeks. The Tigers are still looking great. The Huskers need to turn things around in a hurry.
Texas (-13) @ Colorado
Hmmm... the Longhorns have been rolling since the season started, but they always have a few down games. The Buffalos had one last weekend against Florida State...
The Call: Texas wins, but Colorado covers the spread
The Result: Texas 38-14
...And they had another one this week. Texas is the only one of the top Big12 schools to play both of the others, which should work in their favor if they can at least win one of them.
Ball State @ Toledo (+7.5)
The Cardinals have had an amazing season so far - can they keep it up? The Rockets are really not doing well, even though they've faced some decent teams. Gotta keep believing.
The Call: Ball State by 10
The Result: Ball State 31-0
Still feeling good.
Ohio State (-1.5) @ Wisconsin
The loser of this one stays in free-fall mode and is basically out of the Big10 hunt. The winner, while getting a much needed boost, will still have some work to do. Expect this one to be a fierce battle to the end.
The Call: Wisconsin by 3
The Result: Ohio State 20-17
And the see-saw tilts the other way. Oh well. The Buckeyes are looking like their old selves, and lucky for them they have Penn State in the Shoe this year. The Badgers nee to regroup in a hurry since they have the Nittany Lions next week.
Not too bad this week - not my best, but better than last week's debacle. I was 8 of 13 straight up, 7.5 of 13 AtS. For the season, that puts me at 65 for 90 (72%) straight up, and 50.5 for 90 (56%) AtS. So-so.