Lotsa good games + tricky rivalry week = time to soar or crash & burn. Let's roll the bones.
Texas (-21) @ Texas A&M
_-McCoy needs to polish his Heisman credentials
+ Jordan Shipley
+ the Aggies porous pass D
+ the Longhorn's solid D
÷ the Aggies up-and-down offense
= Texas by 24
The Result: Texas 49-39
Big day for McCoy - he's going to make the Heisman race interesting, especially if he can do well next week too. The Texas D didn't perform all that well, but if the offense can cover, they should be fine.
Rutgers (-3) @ Louisville
_-The Cardinals' rapid descent past mediocrity
+ the Scarlet Knights' being the quietest 7-3 team ever
= Rutgers by 10
The Result: Rutgers 34-14
Illinois (+20.5) @ Cincinnati
_-The Bearcats' close calls in their last two games
– looking ahead to the date with Pitt next week
x the Illini scoring over 17 in only three games this season
= Cincinnati wins, but Illinois covers the spread (barely)
The Result: Cincinnati 49-36
Bearcats making a push - nobody is going to want to play them in the bowl. (Though a matchup with Georgia Tech might get better Orange Bowl ratings than they've had lately.)
Wyoming (+3) @ Colorado State
_-The Cowboys' ability to win when they score a lot
+ the Rams' pretty horrific D
÷ the Rams haven't won since Sept. 19
= Wyoming by 7
The Result: Wyoming 17-16
Not a lot of offense there, but Wyoming still found a way.
Alabama @ Auburn (+10)
_-Saban's need to get to 12-0 two seasons in a row
+ the Tide's solid D
– the Tigers' offense sputtering in the second half of the season
x the rabidness that is the Iron Bowl²
= Alabama by 14
The Result: Alabama 26-21
Along with the Longhorns, the Tide also showed some weaknesses today. But they're still undefeated and rolling along. The Tigers should be in good shape for their bowl & next year.
Nebraska @ Colorado (+10)
_-The Cornhuskers looking ahead to the Big12 Championship game with Texas
÷ the Buffaloes are just god-awful this year
= Nebraska by 14
The Result: Nebraska 28-20
Giving up 20 to Colorado, even with the last TD coming at time expired, probably isn't what the Cornhuskers envisioned, but their two special teams/defensive TD's show how solid they are on that side of the ball. The offense continues to struggle, and they'll need to step up next week if they're going to have any chance against Texas.
Pittsburgh @ West Virginia (even)
_-Remembering the backyard brawl of 2007 that cost the Mountaineers a trip to the national championship game
+ remembering how the Panthers' only loss this year was (inexplicably) to 4-7 NC State
+ the amount of schadenfreud in Morgantown over Michigan's troubles
÷ the number of couches needing to be put out of their own misery
= Pitt by 7
The Result: West Virginia 19-16
Ah, sweet revenge. Pitt can still win the BigEast with a win over Cincinnati next week, but that one hurt. The Mountaineers should be warm tonight.
Nevada (+13.5) @ Boise State
_-The Wolfpack's ability to run the ball
– playing on the blue turf
÷ the amount of respect the Broncos are getting in the polls
= Boise State by 17
The Result: Boise State 44-33
The Broncos are at 12-0, and they have a chance to make it 13 next week - will it be enough to get them into a BCS game? They'll have to cheer for Oklahoma today...