I've figured out what my problem picking games was - I was picking 13 of them per week. Now I'm not a superstitious person at all, but I fully believe that this was the reason I was getting so many games wrong. It has to be. So this week I'm picking 12, a nice round number. In addition, I'm adding a little something extra to each pick - just for a little oomph.
Auburn @ Arkansas (+2.5)
The Tigers are rolling right now, taking their opponents (and polls) by storm. Has anyone found the key to stopping their offense yet? We'll have to see... Their D is a bit shaky, and the Razorback offense can definitely put up the points.
The Call: Auburn by 14, but Arkansas by 4 if the Razorbacks go for more than 450 total yards
The Result: Arkansas 44-23, 495 yards
Well that'll put a damper on the plains. Yup, the Razorbacks found a way to stop the Tiger offense - it'll be interesting to see if other teams can follow suit or if Malzahn can figure out a way to regroup.
Georgia @ Tennessee (-1.5)
Perhaps this line was made considering the fact that the Dawgs are getting screwed royally this year. I can't really see any other reason to think that the Vols should come out ahead. On the other hand, the Dawgs are racking up a whole lotta karma points...
The Call: Georgia by 10, but Tennessee by 3 if the Dawgs get bitten again
The Result: Tennessee 45-19
45-19 means that the refs didn't cost you the game. Not being able to defend the roll-out pass and only rushing for 89 yards certainly will though. This Georgia team is fluttering and need to regroup quickly. The Vols finally got something going and have a two weeks to prep for Alabama.
Oklahoma State @ Texas A&M (+5.5)
No Dez Bryant for the Cowboys, and the Aggies are starting two freshmen on the O-line. This one might could be ugly.
The Call: Oklahoma State by 7, but the Aggies win at the end if the total points are under 30
The Result: Oklahoma State 36-31
Ah, nicked by the spread again.
Houston (+2.5) @ Mississippi State
Another big-time game for the Cougars... They've proved that they're capable of winning these, while the Bulldogs are just not looking good this year. They can put up some points, but they give up more.
The Call: Houston by 7, but Mississippi State by 7 if the game is played mainly in the rain
The Result: Houston 31-24
Sunny skies for the Cougars. That's three BCS teams they've taken down this season... too bad they have CUSA conference play next.
Oregon @ UCLA (+3.5)
I know Masoli might not play for the Ducks, and that the Bruins are getting their broken-jaw QB back, but Oregon is on a mission this year. (Wait... that line really hasn't worked well for me so far... Let me rephrase.) Oregon has been able to deal well with adversity (not counting the first week that is.) Aw hell.
The Call: Oregon by 7, but UCLA wins if their QB's throw zero picks and don't put the ball on the ground
The Result: Oregon 24-10
Hmmm... even without Masoli the Ducks are able to get it done, their D having a lot to do with that. It's hard not to point to that Halloween game with USC as the deciding game in the Pac10. (Though we know we shouldn't seeing what happened to Cal... but it's just so tempting!)
Alabama (-4.5) @ Mississippi
Everyone knows this is the Rebels chance to get back into the thick of things in the SEC - a loss won't kill their season, but at 3-2 with LSU and Auburn still on the docket, it'll be hard to match their success of last year. The Tide might have their hands full, but I don't see them having too many problems.
The Call: Alabama by 14, by 31 if Saban cracks a smile at any point.
The Result: Alabama 22-3
I didn't see a smile, did you? Didn't think so. Alabama is looking like the most complete team in the nation right now, including Texas and Florida. Ole Miss is back to the usual, though they can still shake things up in the SEC West...
Wisconsin @ Ohio State (-16)
Hmmm... I know the Buckeyes have rebounded from their loss to USC, but that's an awful high spread going up against a 5-0 team. Wisconsin doesn't really have a signature win, though their competition hasn't been too tough so far.
The Call: Ohio State by 21 if Pryor rushes for more than 100 yards, Wisconsin covers if he doesn't
The Result: Ohio State 31-13
Well, it's a good thing the Buckeye D showed up today, since their offense had a pretty awful day. Less than 200 yards of offense? Jeez. Pryor accounted for 35 on the ground and 87 through the air... not what they were expecting at this point in his season, I'm sure. It's gotta be frustrating for the Badgers dominating the time of possession over 2-1 and still not being able to make anything out of it. I guess this is what happens when you play decent teams, huh?
Stanford @ Oregon State (even)
The Cardinal have become everybody's favorite dark horse in the Pac10, and to their credit they have been playing really solid as of late. The Beavers have been iffy this year, dropping games to Cincy and Arizona while allowing anywhere between 7 and 37 points. But this game's all about the yards on the ground.
The Call: Stanford by 7, but Oregon State by 3 if Jacquizz Rodgers outrushes Toby Gerhart
The Result: Oregon State 38-28
189 Yds + 4TDs vs 96 Yds + 2TDs - Yeah, I'd say Jacquizz won that one. Stanford is still doing well, and this is a bit of setback, but they're still in good shape since it looks like the Pac10 champion is going to have at least one loss. The Beavers are hitting their mid-season stride, as usual.
TCU (-10.5) @ Air Force
This is one of the big hurdles for the Horned Frogs on their way to BCS-busting glory. Their D is getting a lot of credit, but the Falcon's D is actually gives up fewer points (against admittedly much weaker opposition). I actually had a dream last night that they beat Texas - that's gotta count for something, right?
The Call: TCU by 14, but Air Force covers the spread if they can put up anywhere near their usual 30+ points.
The Result: TCU 20-17
The Horned Frogs do have to worry about style points, and I'm not sure beating a 3-3 Falcons team is going to get it done. They need to hope that Air Force (and the rest of their opponents, especially the non-conference ones) start to win more.
Georgia Tech @ Florida State (-3)
Emotions are gonna be high with this one, which doesn't bode well for figuring out a Seminole team whose personality is already split. The safe bet is to go with the Yellow Jackets and their steam-building running attack...
The Call: Georgia Tech by 10, but Florida State wins if they win the turnovers
The Result: Georgia Tech 49-44
Even those turnovers can't slow down the Ramblin' Wreck, dadgumit.
Michigan @ Iowa (-8)
The Wolverine's D is terrible, but Iowa's O really isn't anything to brag about either. One of these two jumps to the top of the Big10's pecking order behind Ohio State.
The Call: Michigan by 7 if it's high-scoring (>30), Iowa by 3 if it's low-scoring (<30)
The Result: Iowa 30-28
As we saw tonight, the Wolverines are still a very young team, and they're gonna have to stop turning over the ball so much. The Hawkeyes are definitely looking like a top ten team right now, and that matchup with Ohio State on November 14th is looking huge.
Florida @ LSU (+7.5)
We know all the stories around this one by now. Let's just get to it.
The Call: Florida by 6, LSU by 3 if Miles goes into his Bag-O-Tricks'n'Balls 3 or more times, Florida by 14 if Tebow plays more than 4 drives.
The Result: Florida 13-3
Not a very exciting game, I'm willing to say. Some more bad reffing (LSU might as well keep up the helmet-to-helmet hits if they're not going to get flagged for them). The Gators played it safe on offense, helped by the Tigers shooting themselves in the foot a few times, while the Tiger offense was pretty weak all around. Florida will stay #1, though Alabama should be, and LSU will probably stay in the top ten, though they really shouldn't be.