Last week was yet another minor setback making way for another major comeback. Going with large home favorites is a piss poor strategy as it turns out. A brutal 3-10 week last week drops us to just one game over .500 at 78-77-5.
#14 Mississippi State (-15) vs. Ole Miss
With the findings of the Ole Miss NCAA investigation imminent, this Egg Bowl will have more vitriol that any game in the series. The Rebels, however, don’t have the talent to match their hatred. Bulldogs will win easily in Starkvegas.
Pitt (+14) vs. #2 Miami
The Hurricanes survived a letdown last week, but they won’t have their home crowd to buoy them this week. The ‘Canes will be lulled to sleep by a half empty stadium and cold temperatures and although Pitt struggled early this season, the Panthers have shown signs of improvement. Having already lost seven games, this is Pitt’s bowl game and with the added emotion on senior day, expect this to be a close game in the fourth quarter.
Houston (-4.5) vs. Navy
After getting beat up by bigger and stronger competition at Notre Dame, expect the Midshipmen to come out flat at Houston. The game has little meaning for Navy as they have already clinched a bowl game and cannot make the AAC Championship Game. Plus, Navy could have their focus on their game with Army in two weeks.
UAB (-20) vs. UTEP
Blazers coach Bill Clark should win national coach of the year as he has UAB bowl eligible after the program was shut down for three years. The Miners are currently 0-11 and while they will show fight in order to avoid a winless campaign, Blazers will take care of business at home.
Rutgers vs. Michigan State – O/U: 40 – UNDER
This is the most Big Ten over/under, but you have to stick with the under. Both of these teams boast quality defenses and have had their struggles offensively.
Arizona State vs. Arizona (-2.5) – O/U: 73.5 – OVER
Khalil Tate will be licking his chops to face the Sun Devil defense who, with the exception of a three game stretch, have been one of the worst in the PAC 12. A loss here could spell the end of the Todd Graham era in Tempe.
Oregon (-24.5) vs. Oregon State
Clearly I have not learned my lesson of taking big home favorites, but the Ducks offense was in high gear a week ago vs. Arizona and Oregon State just wants the season to end.
#18 LSU (-10) vs. Texas A&M
All of the signs out of College Station point to this being Kevin Sumlin’s last game. Not saying the Aggies will quit in that circumstance, but LSU punching them in the mouth for four quarters in Death Valley will put their will to the test.
#24 South Carolina (+14) vs. #3 Clemson
The Gamecocks have lost by more than 10 points just once this year and that came in a 14-point defeat to UGA on the road. Williams-Brice will be rocking and South Carolina will ride that emotion. If Clemson isn’t careful, their playoff hopes could be dashed in Columbia.
#21 Stanford vs. #8 Notre Dame – O/U 57: OVER
I will gold the pick for the game off until our official selections, but both of these teams boast powerful running games and although both running backs are banged up, there will be points scored on The Farm. Stanford’s defense has struggled with good offenses all season, while the Irish defense has begun to show signs of decline over the past three games.
#17 Washington vs. #13 Washington State (+10)
In what will be the biggest Apple Cup in 20 years, this spread seems too big. Granted, the Cougars have looked bad in their two losses to Cal and Arizona, but UW has looked shaky each of the last two weeks. Washington will pull out the win, but it will be tight throughout.
Utah (-10.5) vs. Colorado
No team has taken a bigger step back from 2016 than the Buffaloes. Utah, while having a below average season themselves, are a different team in Salt Lake City. The winner of this game goes to a bowl and expect the Utes to win easily.