This second weekend of November will help to clear out many pretenders to the Conference crowns, with the exception of the Big 10 since Ohio State and Iowa don't meet. While the Hawkeyes do have a loss to in-state rival Iowa State, they remain undefeated in the Conference and should both Iowa and the Buckeyes finish unbeaten, Ohio State will get the nod for having the highest ranking.
In the aftermath of my worst week of picking yet, a horrid 5-7 SU & ATS, here we go with this week's guesses:
All times EST, Odds as of this morning
Noon on ABC & GP
N.C. State @ Maryland (-6.5): After suffering their first defeat at the hands of Georgia Tech, the Wolfpack travel North to face the Terps. The Fridge's charges have staged quite a turnabout and are playing quite well and only have one ACC loss to FSU, whom the Pack face in their last game of the season. Hard to go against the home team, but I like the Pack to rebound this week.
Noon on ABC & GP
Ohio State (-6.5) @ Purdue: The #3 ranked Buckeyes go on the road to face the deceiving 4-5 Boilermakers. Purdue's losses have been by an average of just over 4 points a game and they have played tough at home. With many doubting the strength of Ohio State, an impressive win would go a long way in shoring up their ranking. Buckeyes have too much Defense and cover as well.
12:30 on JP & GP
Arkansas (-4) @ South Carolina: A crucial game for both teams and more so for the Gamecocks. Standing at 5-4 overall, Lou Holtz's boys face an almost must win situation if they wish to go bowling again for they hit the road to end the season at Florida and at Clemson. The Hogs are 5-3 and still alive in the SECW with MSU and LSU still to play. I think the Hogs have more running game than the struggling Cocks can handle, Arky wins going away.
12:30pm on JP & GP
LSU (-5) @ Kentucky: With a week off to get over their pasting at Auburn, the Tigers of Nick Saban head to Lexington to face the surprising Wildcats. The biggest question in this one is can LSU's Marcus Randall QB the Tiger attack to enough scores to win? While LSU has the best Defense in the SEC statistically, Jared very nearly beat them in Baton Rouge last year, you can slow him down but nobody has stopped him yet. UPSET SPECIAL!!! Kentucky!
3pm on ESPN
Air Force (-18) @ Army: After getting off to a 7-0 start, the wings came off the Falcon's jet as they've dropped three in a row. The winless Black Knights are simply horrible giving up 42 points a game and having almost no rushing Defense. The Falcons win in a walk and capture the Commander in Chief's Trophy.
3:30pm on ABC
Florida State (-7) @ Georgia Tech: Fresh off their upset of NC State, the Jackets welcome the Seminoles to Bobby Dodd Stadium. The switch to McPherson at QB worked well for Bobby Bowden last week but losing Jones for the year was a definite downer. Chan Gailey's patience with A.J. Suggs was finally rewarded and the GT Defense found some grit as well and both will be needed for an upset of the deeper Noles. Just a gut feeling here, UPSET SPECIAL!
3:30pm on ABC & GP
Virginia @ Penn State (-15.5): Two 6-3 teams who need a win to improve their bowl prospects are matched up in this game. The surprising Cavs have had a week off to recover from their loss to GT while the Lions' Larry Johnson ran wild in the win over the Illini. I'll guess that this one has been circled on Joe Pa's calender since it was Virginia that cemented a losing season for PSU last year with their surprising win. I like the Lions to win but they won't cover that large a margin.
3:30pm on ABC & GP
Oklahoma (-9) @ Texas A&M: Back in August, many of us pointed to this as a landmine game for the Sooners but that was before the Aggies forgot what an Offense was. Playing about as well as they have all season, the Sooners will not be intimidated by the Corps of Cadets tomorrow and will continue their march to the B12 Championship.
3:30pm on ABC & GP
Oregon @ Washington State (-5): If you like scoring, then this is your game of the day! The Quack Attack makes the long journey to Pullman with a sore Onterrio Smith and they'll need him to keep pace with the Jason Gesser led Cougars. Since playing Defense is the second consideration in the PAC 10, I'll go with the Cougars since their pass D is a tad better than Oregon's.
3:30pm on CBS
Miami (-9) @ Tennessee: Newly degraded #2 Miami meets the Vols in a game that has lost some of it's luster. Unimpressive in their last couple of games, the Canes are still riding their impressive unbeaten streak but only chose to play the 4th quarter last week at Rutgers and were demoted as a result. The Vols won at South Carolina last week but are not the powerhouse they usually are, but they typically play well at home. When was the last time UT lost 3 games at home in a season? Miami in a rout.
7pm on ESPN 2
Ole Miss @ Georgia (-15): The Rebs come to Athens desperately needing a win after dropping the last three games while the Dawgs look to rebound from their disappointing loss last weekend. It seems like Ole Miss just fell apart after upsetting Florida and will likely point to that victory for inspiration. Mark Richt is not likely to forget what could have been vs. UF, which means that the Rebs will get a relentless diet of the Dawg rushing attack. With their goal still within reach, Georgia will layeth the smackdown on Ole Misses....and by more than 15.
7:45pm on ESPN
Michigan (-6) @ Minnesota: The Battle for the Little Brown Jug may be a slugfest as the Golden Gophers look to rebound from their poor showing at Ohio State last week while the Wolverines were crushing the Spartans. With both teams at 7-2, this is a critical game with bowl implications. Since Michigan has stuggled on the road and lost to Iowa on the carpet, I'm taking Minnesota in a mild upset.
GAME OF THE WEEK
7pm on TBS
Iowa State @ Kansas State (-13.5): Showdown time in the B12 North Division! The Cyclones and Wildcats are both a game behind Colorado in the race, with KSU having lost to the Buffs and the Cyclones facing them next week. While winning the North title all but assures a meeting with Oklahoma, getting a good bowl invitation is just as much motivation to win. The 'Cats of Bill Snyder are playing KSU Defense again this year having only lost to Colorado by 4 and Texas by 3, but are coming off consecutive games against two pitiful teams in Baylor and Kansas. The Cyclones with the exciting Seneca Wallace at the helm have done as well as he has, meaning when he's rocking they win. At home and with the better Defense, I like KSU to win, but I just think the spread is too great, maybe a 35-28 kinda thing.
Have a great weekend!