Mississippi State @ UAB (+19.5)
The Bulldogs haven't been very good this year, going 0-3 in the SEC. But they have been solid against their non-conf opponents Memphis & Louisiana Tech. The Blazers are 0-4, and while their last two have been close, they've been against Troy & East Carolina. I think this one gets bad.
The Call: Mississippi State by 31
The Result: Mississippi State 21-3
Ah, close. Not nearly as bad as it could've been, partially because it took the Bulldogs a whole half to get their feet under them. The year-end rivalry game with Ole Miss looks like it's gonna decide whether they go bowling. The Blazers need to get something going this season - it's getting bad fast.
Maryland (+14.5) @ Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets can put points up on the board in a hurry, and I don't see the Terps D being able to stop them much. If they can keep their own offense chugging, they'll have a shot, but I don't think that's gonna happen.
The Call: Georgia Tech by 17
The Result: Georgia Tech 21-16
The Terrapins made it a bit interesting there at the end, but the Yellow Jacket offense just wasn't as explosive as expected. They've got two more games to get things smooth again before games against Clemson & Virginia Tech.
Minnesota @ Purdue (-14)
That seems like an awfully big spread for two below-average teams... The Golden Gophers are floundering, but they have the components to move the ball. The Boilermakers haven't covered the spread against any of their FBS opponents this season.
The Call: Purdue wins, but Minnesota covers the spread.
The Result: Purdue 45-17
Rough first quarter for the Gophers. Too hard to come back from that.
Oklahoma v Texas (+10.5)
I can give the Sooners the #3 ranking, but the Longhorns at #11? They're playing better than expected this season, and have worked things out with their two-QB system, but I don't think they're fully recovered yet.
The Call: Oklahoma by 14
The Result: Oklahoma 55-17
Yup. The Sooners are clicking on all cylinders right now, and while the Longhorns have their moments, they're just not at that peak level they're used to. And that's gonna show against the great teams. Should make for an interesting October & November.
Boston College @ Clemson (-20.5)
Hmmm... I know spreads don't usually go much higher than a few TD's, especially when it's two BCS teams playing, but there seems to be a lot more space than that between the Tigers and Eagles right now.
The Call: Clemson by 35
The Result: Clemson 36-14
The Tigers have started to cut back on the penalties and turnovers, which makes them even scarier. Who woulda thunk that the Halloween weekend showdown with Georgia Tech would be between top 10 teams? Looking like it will...
Kansas (+31) @ Oklahoma State
Sure the Jayhawk D isn't good, and the Cowboy offense can put up points, but the Cowboys haven't beaten anyone by 31 this season and I think their own D is somewhat suspect.
The Call: Oklahoma State wins, but Kansas covers the spread
The Result: Oklahoma State 70-28
See, the interesting part with that large spread was seeing what the Cowboys would do in the second half, after jumping to a 56-7 lead. You can bet they were trying out some new things for the next game against Texas.
Arizona (-2) @ Oregon State
Remember last week, when I said that the Wildcats were probably better than a lot of .500 teams? They're definitely better than the 0-4 Beavers, who don't look like they're going to escape their annual slow start this season...
The Call: Arizona by 14
The Result: Oregon State 37-27
Hmmm... way off the mark on that one. I still think the Wildcats might get to a bowl at 6-6, since their toughest games are behind them - the only other roadblock is the rivalry with Arizona State, and even a loss there wouldn't deep six their chances. Solid showing by the Beavers, who might just be picking up steam.
Air Force (+14) @ Notre Dame
The Irish have rebounded nicely from their 0-2 start and are playing like the team many thought they could be in August. The Falcons are 3-1, but they really haven't played anyone and haven't been covering spreads.
The Call: Notre Dame by 17
The Result: Notre Dame 59-33
There's the Irish everyone was fearing. The season-ender at Stanford should be a doozy, and the main impediment to a 10-win season.
Florida @ LSU (-13.5)
Sure losing Brantley is going to impact the Gators, but it's not like they were lighting up the scoreboard with him - the Gator passing game is ranked 86th right now. I have a feeling the Gator D is going to show up and give the Tigers a bit of their own medicine. Not enough that they'll win, but it'll be closer than two TD's.
The Call: LSU wins, but Florida covers the spread
The Result: LSU 41-11
Not quite. Time to start giving LSU more credit, especially when it comes to their offense. They might not be as balanced as Alabama or Oklahoma, but they'll put points on the board just like anyone. Another tough loss for the Gators, who will need some things to go their way to get back to the SEC championship game.
Texas A&M (-9.5) @ Texas Tech
The Aggies are feeling it after collapsing in the second halves of the past two games, and that's rough, but it's not gonna happen again and again. The Red Raiders are 4-0, but they've played Tuberville's usual slate of cupcakes. No upset here.
The Call: Texas A&M by 11
The Result: Texas A&M 45-40
And garbage-time strikes again. Argh. The Aggies are getting ready for the meat of their last Big12 season, and you can bet it's not going to get any easier.
Ohio State @ Nebraska (-11.5)
The Huskers got pounded by Wisconsin last week, but I'm not inclined to hold that against them too much. What's more problematic is that they're not covering spreads this season - just 1-4 in that area. The Buckeyes are a mystery - sure they have talent, but two games in their last three they've been held under 10 points. The Huskers know what they did wrong last week, and I think they'll adjust. No such luck for the Bucks.
The Call: Nebraska by 16
The Result: Nebraska 34-27
Heartbreaker for the Buckeyes - they're just gonna have to go through their rough patch, however long it lasts, and hope to rebound quickly. The Huskers needed that one, and while there'll be some interesting matchups in the rest of their Big10 slate, they should be favored in most if not all of them.
Solid with the straight up, as usual, 10-1, but just as bad against the spread, 3-8. Ouch.