Picking the weekend’s big games

By Zac Jackson
Fox Sports Ohio
October 30, 2010

Trying to see if I know anything — anything at all — about football.

Ohio State (-25.5) at Minnesota

Ohio State is yet to really show up for a road game and might already be on mental vacation with a bye next week. But Minnesota is really, really bad, and the Buckeyes showed (again) last week what they’re capable of doing to really bad teams. I wonder a little about motivation with national championship, Heisman, etc. now out of the question, so who knows what we’ll see.

Zac’s Pick: Buckeyes 41, Minnesota 17

Syracuse at Cincinnati (-5.5)

Zach Collaros might not go, and Syracuse is 5-2 and riding high after being one of the nation’s worst teams in recent years. I’ve seen them up close and watched again on TV last week. They might be improved and certainly are optimistic, but they’re not good. UC’s postseason hopes are counting on it.

Zac’s Pick: UC 24, Syracuse 13

BONUS GAME #1: Missouri at Nebraska (-7.5)

For the second straight week a marquee game features two head coaches from Northeast Ohio. Missouri’s Gary Pinkel (Akron) beat Youngstown Mooney alum Bob Stoops and Oklahoma last week and tries for the repeat against Nebraska’s Bo Pelini this week. This is uncharted territory for Mizzou, but their offensive line and quarterback Blaine Gabbert played well enough last week that there’s no reason to think they can’t do it again.

Zac’s Pick: Mizzou 33, Nebraska 31

BONUS GAME #2: Canton McKinley at Massillon

What, you wanted a prediction on Akron-Temple? Both teams are 7-2, the game gets (and deserves) statewide interest and the winner will be #1 in Div. 1, Region 2 for the state playoffs beginning next week. Both teams are loaded with talent, but I think McKinley has a little more — enough to overcome Massillon’s outstanding wide receivers and home-field advantage.

Zac’s Pick: McKinley 21, Massillon 17

Dolphins at Bengals (-1)

The Bengals season came down to last week’s second half. In typical Bengals fashion, they dominated the third quarter then went back to meltdown mode in the fourth. They’re not healthy, Carson Palmer is only putting up numbers in chase mode and the high-profile natives are getting restless. I’d like to see them get back on track, but I can’t.

Zac’s Pick: Dolphins 20, Bengals 17

Last Week: 2-3 straight up, 1-4 ATS
Season Total: 23-13 straight up, 14-22 ATS