Minnesota (+27.5) @ Michigan State
Okay, no more of this calling for the favorite. Top 10 teams have started falling fast and heavy, so we're going to make some calculated upset calls this week. Starting with the Spartans & Golden Gophers. No, Minnesota isn't going to win this one, but that's a pretty big spread. The Spartans are only averaging 26 points per game, and except for their blanking at Michigan the Golden Gophers are averaging over 20ppg themselves. I could get ugly fast, but I don't think it'll stay that way.
The Call: Michigan State wins, but Minnesota covers the spread
The Result: Michigan State 31-24
I love it when the numbers work out. The Spartans luster has dulled a bit, but they're still in the running for a BCS bowl spot.
Texas Tech @ Texas (-14)
The Red Raiders were rolling along, doing well offensively until last week's 1TD abomination against Iowa State - I think they'll find their mojo again this week, though maybe not as much. The Longhorns are a solid 5-2 on the season though they haven't really beaten anyone of note. I don't know that I'm ready to give this one to the boys from Lubbock just yet, but I think it'll be a close one.
The Call: Texas wins, but Texas Tech covers the spread
The Result: Texas 52-20
I'd bet that Longhorn fans would take 6-2 at the beginning of the season, considering how last season went. That win over Oklahoma is looking more and more like lightning in a bottle for the Red Raiders...
Michigan @ Iowa (+3.5)
An interesting one here. The Wolverines are a stellar 7-1, but they have the toughest games of their schedule coming up in November. Still they can put points on the board, and this year's Hawkeye team isn't as good defensively as they've been in the more recent past.
The Call: Michigan by 9
The Result: Iowa 24-16
Are the Wolverines regressing, or is it just me? Solid W for the Hawkeyes, who are turning things around.
New Mexico State @ Georgia (-32)
Normally I wouldn't call this one, but Georgia is having some personnel issues and the Aggies have been decent at putting points on the board this season (as well as covering the spread in their last five games).
The Call: Georgia wins, but New Mexico State covers the spread
The Result: Georgia 63-16
Yeah, I guess Aaron Murray doesn't need RB's sometimes. The Dawgs are on a roll, to say the least.
Duke (+15.5) @ Miami
The Blue Devils were going fine there for a while, but losing their last three has put them at 3-5 on the year (though they have been 5-3 against the spread...) Miami is a mystery, losing when they should win and winning when they might not... Tough call this one.
The Call: Miami wins, but Duke covers the spread
The Result: Miami 49-14
Yeah, thought the Dukies could hang. They were so close to bowling a month ago, but it's not to be this season. Good win for the Canes - they needed it and I'm sure will take what they can get this year.
Northwestern @ Nebraska (-17.5)
Okay, enough of these field goals - let's go for a TD.
The Call: Nebraska by 24
The Result: Northwestern 28-25
Ouch - stuffed at the line. That's gonna be rough not only on the Huskers but on the Big10 too... I guess it's not that surprising, since the Wildcats have a history of knocking off a top team every season or so.
Texas A&M @ Oklahoma (-13.5)
And you thought the Aggies had trouble with Missouri & Arkansas...
The Call: Oklahoma by 21
The Result: Oklahoma 41-25
The Sooners are neck and neck with Alabama for the top of the 1-loss squad, if you ask me.
Stanford (-21) @ Oregon State
The Cardinal should be able to get back to their big wins, while the Beavers just need to do something. Not the week to get back on the horse...
The Call: Stanford by 27
The Result: Stanford 38-13
The Cardinal didn't want to go into the game with Oregon with injuries, but they can probably handle the hits (as Oregon has this season). And it's more important to be ready to play in January.
Utah (+3.5) @ Arizona
Well the Utes finally won a Pac12 game, and Arizona is finally into an easy slate of games after a tough few months. I think the Wildcats will get it done at home.
The Call: Arizona by 10
The Result: Utah 34-21
Nope. The Wildcats are quite dysfunctional, unfortunately. The Utes didn't really need that one, since they have three of the worst teams in the Pac12 to finish out the year, but an 8-4 finish is looking mighty fine should they run the table.
South Carolina @ Arkansas (-5)
The Gamecocks were able to pull it off against Tennessee last week, but I still think they don't have enough in the tank. Especially for a team like Arkansas (who's way overrated at #8 in the country, but they should be able to handle this one.
The Call: Arkansas by 10
The Result: Arkansas 44-28
Still think the Razorbacks are overrated, and all the talk of them beating LSU and throwing the SEC West into chaos is really just a pipe dream.
Arizona State @ UCLA (+8.5)
The Bruins finally put the pieces together against Cal last week, which they sorely needed to keep their bowl hopes alive. Too bad this week'll be a setback - the Sun Devils are hitting the right mixture of relaxed and hungry for more right now.
The Call: Arizona State by 17
The Result: UCLA 29-28
Wow, the Bruins needed that one bad. I think Neuheisel needed it more though. One more for bowl eligibility, which is very doable, but the Pac12 South is gonna be tough...
Kansas State (+21) @ Oklahoma State
The Wildcat bubble was burst last week, but Oklahoma has a really tough D. Oklahoma State has an opportune D. There's a difference.
The Call: Oklahoma State wins, but Kansas State covers the spread
The Result: Oklahoma State 52-45
While I think Stanford would match up better with LSU, it seems that the Cowboys are the offensive juggernaut to the Tigers defensive blockade. The Bedlam game is going to be a doozy.
LSU (+4.5) @ Alabama
I gotta admit, I'm not a huge believer in Trent Richardson. Not that he's not a good back, he is. And I understand the best skill player on one of the best teams has to get Heisman votes, but he hasn't blown anyone's socks off yet. This is his opportunity, but I still think we'll see an average effort. The ball bounces the Tigers' way and they squeak it out.
The Call: LSU by 7
The Result: LSU 9-6
Yeah, not the game everyone was hoping for (especially the Tide fans), but that would've been hard to pull off given the over-the-top hype this game received. Sure the D was outstanding, and I think Alabama would still be favored against any other team out there, but they definitely have their weak points.
Oregon (-16.5) @ Washington
There's a whole lotta disgruntled feelings in this one, and for good reason. The Ducks are reeling a bit, and if there's a team that can out-physical them, it's the Huskies.
The Call: Washington by 3
The Result: Oregon 34-17
Ah, dammit. I thought it was a good call, but being off by 1/2 point against the spread hurts. Both of these teams have good matchups next week against Stanford and USC, so they can't focus too much on this one.
Another tough week. 9-5 Straight up, 6-8 against the spread. Only a few weeks left to get things straightened out before bowl season...