Texas (-35.5) @ Texas A&M
Okay, so obviously the oddsmakers are predicting that the Longhorns are gonna attempt to beat the absolute living hell out of the Aggies so they can gain some style points with the voters. Makes sense. Are the Longhorns going to be able to do it? Yeah, probably.
The Call: Texas by 42
The Result: Texas 49-9
McCoy jumps back to the front of the Heisman race, and Texas makes a statement - will it be enough?
West Virginia @ Pittsburgh (+3.5)
How much of this one is going to be driven by the revenge factor? If it weren't for the Panthers last year, the Mountaineers would've been playing for the national title and RichRod might still be in his home state. But in reality, neither of these teams is playing for a championship, national or Big East, in this one - as long as Cincinnati beats Syracuse, they'll top the conference. As usual, it'll come down to Pat White. He didn't get to play much last year, which might provide a little extra oomph.
The Call: West Virginia by 10
The Result: Pitt 19-15
The whole Mountaineer team could've used a bit more oomph there. Not the prettiest game, but Pitt's gotta be happy with the way this season has gone. West Virginia might be in for a rough few years...
Mississippi State @ Mississippi (-15.5)
Houston Nutt has done wonders with the Ole Miss team this year, beating Florida & LSU and heading to a solid bowl. Sylvester Croom had another down year with the Bulldogs, though they did notch their usual upset win, this time over Vandy. Can the Rebels ride into December on a high note? I've got a good feeling about them.
The Call: Mississippi by 20
The Result: Mississippi 45-0
Seriously, Nutt and the Rebels deserve major kudos. I hope Croom lands on his feet somewhere.
Kent State @ Buffalo (-9.5)
You got this one, Bulls.
The Call: Buffalo by 14
The Result: Kent State 24-21
Aw, but you dropped it. Shucks.
LSU (-4.5) @ Arkansas
The Tigers are reeling - the last meaningful game they won was back on October 18th against South Carolina. But the Razorbacks are having a hard time standing up straight. I really don't want to pick LSU, since they've let me down this season, but I just can't see Arkansas pulling this one out. It could be ugly.
The Call: LSU by 7
The Result: Arkansas 31-30
Yeah, see - this years Tigers are last years Dawgs.
Colorado @ Nebraska (-17.5)
If the Huskers pull this one out, they go to 8-4 and a solid, probably New Year's Day bowl game. But Colorado, as maligned as they've been this season, need it to become bowl eligible. That's motivation.
The Call: Nebraska wins, but Colorado covers the spread
The Result: Nebraska 40-31
Splits the uprights. Bo has to be happy with 8-4 - they won the games they should've, and only lost ones to excellent teams.
Georgia Tech @ Georgia (-8.5)
This is a big'un. Tech has a really good shot at winning this game, and they've gotta be riding high after the successful season they've had. I think the Dawgs are flying a bit under the radar though - they've basically been written off after their loss to Florida. If their D can bend but not break, and if they don't have a full-half meltdown, they should be able to cruise.
The Call: Georgia by 14
The Result: Georgia Tech 45-42
Okay, so maybe the Dawgs are the new Dawgs. Jeez, 409 yards rushing for the Yellow Jackets? It doesn't matter what Stafford and the offense can do, if you can't stop the run (or even slow it down slightly), you're not gonna fare very well.
South Carolina @ Clemson (-1)
Two more disappointing seasons from these two. Meh.
The Call: South Carolina by 3
The Result: Clemson 31-14
Bad day for Spurrier and the SEC in general.
Virginia (+8.5) @ Virginia Tech
The Cavaliers are one of three ACC teams who aren't bowl eligible, while the Hokies can wrap up the Coastal division with a win. The Cavs have played arguably the toughest schedule in the nation this year (only Duke is under .500), so going 5-6 is actually quite an achievement. But it won't be enough - the Hokies want another shot at the title.
The Call: Virginia Tech by 17
The Result: Virginia Tech 17-14
It's a squeaker, but the Hokies are back to the ACC title game against an old nemesis.
Kansas @ Missouri (-15.5)
Remember when this was one of the biggest games of the year, back in crazy 2007? Ah, what a refreshing change of departure. 2007 will be pretty big motivation for both of these teams though - Missouri's win booted Kansas out of the Big12 and national championship picture, but the Jayhawks inclusion in the BCS (at the expense of the Tigers) really pissed the Mizzou fans off. Missouri has rebounded better this year, losing only to Oklahoma State and Texas, earning a return trip to Kansas City. But don't worry - they're not looking ahead.
The Call: Missouri by 24
The Result: Kansas 40-37
It sucks being compared to the great team they were last year, but Mizzou just isn't as potent this season. They're gonna have a really hard time next week, but they've got more of a shot than any other team in the Big12 North would.
Florida (-16.5) @ Florida State
An upset here by the Seminoles would be HUGE. But it's the Seminoles who are going to be upset. Simple as that.
The Call: Florida by 24
The Result: Florida 45-15
That looked like a fun way to spend 3+ hours if you were a Seminole fan. Florida is just rolling...
North Carolina @ Duke (+8.5)
UNC needs to get back on track, and the Blue Devils, while better this season than usual, are in losing mode.
The Call: North Carolina by 14
The Result: North Carolina 28-20
And the Dukies just barely cover the spread - well done, boys. 8-4 is a great year for UNC, and they'll be in a good bowl to boot.
Auburn @ Alabama (-14.5)
Sorry, Tommy - you don't get to keep adding digits.
The Call: Alabama by 16
The Result: Alabama 36-0
Next week's matchup with the Gators is gonna be huge, we know, but first we have to prepare for the onslaught of media hyperbole for the next six days.
Baylor (+21.5) @ Texas Tech
Well, Oklahoma showed the way to beat the Red Raiders - get pressure on Harrell, and pound them with the running game. The difference between the Sooners & the Bears is that Baylor doesn't have the athletes Oklahoma does. Tech, even though people have written them off, still has a decent shot at both the Big12 and national championship - they'll still go all out.
The Call: Texas Tech by 28
The Result: Texas Tech 35-28
Yeah, see, that's another reason that I can't put the Red Raiders in the same class as Oklahoma and Texas. Would you really give them a decent chance against Alabama or Florida?
Oregon (+3.5) @ Oregon State
Can the Civil War live up to the hype? The Rose Bowl is on the line for the Beavers, but their star RB is probably out. They pulled it out last week - can they do it again? I'd like to see them do it, but the gut is saying that the ball will bounce the Duck's way.
The Call: Oregon by 7
The Result: Oregon 65-38
And poof, the Beaver's Rose Bowl dreams go up in smoke. They kept giving it a valiant effort, nearly matching the Ducks TD for TD there, but they just didn't have the defense tonight. So now Oregon will probably go to the Holiday Bowl, and the Beavers drop all the way down to the Sun Bowl. Ouch.
Oklahoma (-7) @ Oklahoma State
Bedlam will be quite that this weekend. It'll be interesting to see if the Sooners D can change gears from a passing-heavy to running-heavy team. If they can and shut the Cowboys down, the voters are going to have a hard choice to make. (As if they don't already.)
The Call: Oklahoma by 14
The Result: Oklahoma 61-41
The Sooners roll again, but that D... I know I keep harping on it, but I'm just really curious how they'll match up against a non-Big12 team in their bowl game, whatever it is. Regardless, you've gotta admire all they've done this year. And what's a BCS controversy without the Sooners?
Notre Dame @ USC (-32.5)
Really? 32.5? Have you oddsmakers SEEN the Trojans' offense this year? Maybe you're counting on the defense running back a few pick-sixes? That would make sense - Clausen has thrown 15 INT's this year... Pete Carroll says he isn't interested in style points, but NOT crushing the Irish would look pretty bad.
The Call: USC wins, but Notre Dame covers the spread
The Result: USC 38-3
I'm going to have to look into this to see if I can't come up with some numbers about why the Trojans' offense sometimes shows up and sometimes doesn't. It's rather baffling, I gotta admit. They're almost as much of a mystery as the D is solid.
Not too great of a week, though I got on a bit of a roll there at the end of the night. 11 for 17 straight up, and only 7 for 17 against the spread. Season totals remain about the same, 163 of 231 (71%) straight up, 126 of 231 (55%) against the spread. One more week to go...