Oregon State @ Oregon (-9.5)
With the Rose Bowl on the line, both of these teams are going to be riding high on emotions and hopes - the team that wins will be the one who can focus and control their energy the best, ie, few penalties and not panicking when the momentum swings the other team's way. I like the Ducks chances here - their offense and defense have performed a bit better than the Beavers' so far, the game is in Autzen, and they can adjust better. With each team having two weeks to get ready for this one, it oughta be a doozy.
The Call: Oregon wins, but Oregon State covers the spread
The Result: Oregon 37-33
Great win for the Ducks program, especially considering how they started the year. This Rose Bowl vs Ohio State should be a great one to watch. The Beavers come oh-so close, but they should be able to get over the hump soon, especially with the Rogers brothers again next year.
West Virginia @ Rutgers (-1.5)
Hmmm... I know the Scarlet Knights have been flying under the radar a bit this year, but they're not as tested as the Mountaineers.
The Call: West Virginia by 7
The Result: West Virginia 24-21
The Mountaineers just keep on rolling. Maybe next year the Scarlet Knights will give people a reason to talk about them.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (+2)
The Panthers are still smarting a bit from that loss to the aforementioned Mountaineers, and the Bearcats have a whole bunch of potential distractions - staying undefeated & going BCS bowling, the BigEast championship on the line, Kelly's possible departure for ND, etc. I think they can get over it.
The Call: Cincinnati by 10
The Result: Cincinnati 45-44
By a hair, Cincinnati caps a fantastic season. They're gonna be a tough BCS opponent.
Arizona @ USC (-7)
What's that? I'm trying to see, but my eyesight... I can't really make it out... it kinda looks like a reasonable spread for the Trojans to cover. Nah, can't be.
The Call: USC by 9
The Result: Arizona 21-17
It was on a platter, and the Trojans still couldn't cover. They're gonna need to rethink some things this offseason, to say the least. Great win for the Wildcats - they're finally reaching the heights they'd hoped when Stoops was hired. Maybe they'll be able to reach the Roses next year...
Florida v Alabama (+5.5)
For a few weeks now, I've been pretty set on making the call for Bama. They seem sturdier, especially compared to last year's version, whereas the Gators are obviously not as strong as they were in '08. But this week I'm having second thoughts... Tebow, sure, but Dunlap, the pressure being on the Gators, not only for an SEC championship but for a national one too... They somehow have the ability to get it done when they need to. Will it be a close one? Probably. For those, we go back to the gut.
The Call: Alabama by 4
The Result: Alabama 32-13
That was a whuppin. That was the best the Tide have looked all season, and they're gonna be big favorites in the title game. Tough way for Tebow to go out, but he'll be fine.
Texas (-14.5) v Nebraska
I've been saying for the last few weeks that the Longhorns need to watch out for Nebraska, their D mainly. I still think they can hound McCoy and get him to make mistakes, but the Huskers need to play a perfect game to have any chance - I just don't see their offense making that happen. The over/under is at 44, so I'm going under and saying we won't see many points.
The Call: Texas wins, but Nebraska covers the spread.
The Result: Texas 13-12
Whew, that was a close one. Damn. To come this far and almost blow it, Longhorns... but they'll be in the title game, that's all that matters. The Huskers are most definitely on the right track, and if they can keep the D going, they're gonna give teams fits.
Georgia Tech v Clemson (+1)
So, who can rebound from their uber-disappointing rivalry defeats last week? The Yellow Jacket running attack should be able to take their frustration out on the Tigers and the turf.
The Call: Georgia Tech by 10
The Result: Georgia Tech 39-34
Second close one these two have played this season. Solid way to rebound for both, but the Yellow Jackets are just better all around.
I haven't been keeping weekly track of my picks, but this week takes the regular season to 130-57 (69.5%) straight up, and 88-99 (47.1%) against the spread. With the bowls coming up, we're gonna have to do a whole lot better on the points to break even. Stay tuned for the bowl matchups...