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Week 6: Best bets for NCAA football
This year's picks continue to stay above water, barely.
We went 2-1 last week with a record two pushes — Ohio State gave up a couple of late scores to Wisconsin after going up 31-14, and Georgia had trouble putting away LSU thanks to Zach Mettenberger's stellar passing performance.
As a result we're 16-12 on the season, a robust 57 percent against the number.
But we were oh-so-close to breaking into the open field last week.
Without further ado, here are the picks this week.
Georgia -10 at Tennessee
Covers.com has Georgia at -10 right now.
This is an absolute steal.
If this line drops to Georgia -9.5 I would back up the dump truck and bet the mortgage on it.
Yes, Todd Gurley isn't playing, but do you know who Tennessee's defense also won't be able to stop? Keith Marshall. He averaged 16 yards a carry last year.
And no one is stopping Aaron Murray right now.
Especially not Tennessee's awful defensive secondary.
For some reason Las Vegas hasn't caught up to just how bad of a football team Tennessee is. But you and I have.
Take the Dogs.
LSU -9.5 at Mississippi State
Here's the deal; LSU is one of the top 10 teams in the country
Mississippi State might be one of the top 80 teams in the country.
So if LSU wins by 10, I win?
Pay up, bookie.
Mizzou at Vanderbilt -1
A massive SEC game for both teams.
If Vandy wins, the Commodores are 4-2 and pretty much assured a third straight bowl trip. But if the Commodores lose and then host Georgia, travel to Texas A&M, and then go to Florida, there's a good chance that Vandy is 3-6 needing to sweep its final three opponents to reach a bowl game.
Meanwhile, after Vandy, Mizzou gets at Georgia, then Florida and South Carolina next. Lose this one and a 4-0 start could rapidly turn into 4-4.
This is an incredibly tough call, but I think Vandy turned the corner against UAB last week.
Give me the Commodores in what's basically a 50/50 game.
Kentucky at South Carolina -21 the under at 55.5
For some reason, the over/under in this game is 55.5.
Kentucky can't score.
And I don't think South Carolina, led by injured quarterback Connor Shaw, will score that many points, either.
So you're telling me this game could end up 42-13 and I'd still win?
Pay the man.
Pay. Me. Now.
Baylor's winning by 40.
Arizona State -5.5 vs. Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are awful.
Arizona State and Todd Graham are rolling.
ASU for less than a touchdown feels like stealing.
Stick a fork in 'em, the Irish are done.
Revenge is sweet.
Oh, so sweet.
The Cardinal put away the Huskies early in this one.
Now it's time for the Saturday viewer guide:
1. Start off your day hanging out with us at FOX College Saturday, 10 a.m. ET
You might not care about seeing me at all, but Joel Klatt is the sexiest man on television.
And that hair?
2. Air Force at Navy, 11:30 ET CBS
I'm not much of a politics guy, but let me ask you this — if we replaced every member of the House of Representatives with cadets from Air Force and Navy, how many people think our country would have better leadership?
Instead, they're playing a game while the government remains shut down.
The least you can do is watch them.
3. Maryland at Florida State, noon ET, ESPN; Texas Tech at Kansas, noon ET, FS1
This is the toughest game FSU has faced so far.
Which tells you all you need to know about Florida State's schedule.
I don't think the Seminoles really need to be on upset alert, but it's probably worth tuning in just to be sure.
Meanwhile, has there ever been a greater disparity in coaching attractiveness than when Kliff Kingsbury coaches against Charlie Weis?
I don't think so.
4. Georgia at Tennessee, 3:30 ET, CBS
Tennessee has played once on ABC and twice for CBS.
The rest of the country is like, "Please make it stop!"
Not until the last week of October, when Nick Saban and Alabama ceremoniously decapitate the Vols on CBS.
Then it will all be over and Tennessee will slink back into the 12:21 kickoffs on the local SEC Network stations that you all scramble to find.
Until then, there's only one prediction for the Vols — pain.
5. LSU at Mississippi State, Ole Miss at Auburn, and Arkansas at Florida, 7 ET
Three games that all kick off at 7 ET, three games that have an awful lot of intrigue.
I only bet on LSU, but I almost took Ole Miss as well.
Meanwhile, Tyler Murphy looks like he could be pretty good, and the Bielema honeymoon is already over at Arkansas.
6. West Virginia at Baylor, 8 ET, FS1
I've been taking some heat for having Baylor in my top 10.
Watch their game against West Virginia on FS1.
All doubts will be erased.
Baylor by 40.
7. Missouri at Vanderbilt, 7:30 ET, CSS,
Mizzou fans who live in St. Louis are inundating me with tweets about not being able to see this game.
I understand, trust me.
Because this is a massive game for both teams, and you don't want to have to watch a football game on your laptop that already runs so slow because of all the viruses you've picked up visiting Internet porn sites.
I feel you.
I really do.
Next year the SEC Network will take care of issues like this.
8. Ohio State at Northwestern, 8 ET, ABC
Northwestern, ranked 16th in the country, is the highest-ranked opponent Urban Meyer has played against during his coaching tenure at Ohio State.
Seriously, this is a scheduling disgrace.
The entire nation is rooting for you, Northwestern; don't let us down.
(P.S. Northwestern is totally letting us all down).
9. Washington at Stanford, 10:30 ET, ESPN
I mean, there's no way the Pac-12, which has the best game of the weekend by far, would let that game kick off at 10:30 ET, right?
I'll tell you this much: Now that I spend my weekends on the West Coast, in addition to never having any idea what time games start — you try to keep the math straight in your head when you live in the Central time zone, all game times are listed in Eastern, but you're on the West Coast for Saturday kickoffs — there is a total East Coast bias.
But partly that's because the Pac-12 does stupid things like put its biggest games on at 10:30 ET.
There are tons of football fans who'd love to watch Washington play Stanford to see how good both of these teams are.
But this game won't end on the East Coast until 2 in the morning.
You know who has an East Coast bias?
Three-year-olds who come into your bedroom at 6:30 in the morning after Daddy stayed up half the night watching Washington at Stanford.