We are back with the Viewers Guide and Picks for Week 10 of the college season.
Alabama and LSU meet for the third time in little over a year on Saturday
Last week, I ended up 14-7 straight-up and 11-10 against-the-spread. For the year, I am now 169-53 SU and 104-107-1 ATS.
In Big Ten games, I was 3-3 straight-up (I hit Indiana-Illinois on the score, 31-17) and 4-2 ATS. Through nine weeks, I am 59-15 straight-up and 35-31 ATS.
This is the weekend of the mega match-up as No. 1 Alabama visits No. 5 LSU and No. 2 Oregon travels to No. 18 USC. Ranked teams will also collide in three other match-ups: Oklahoma State-Kansas State, Texas A&M-Mississippi State and Texas-Texas Tech.
Here we go with the Viewers Guide and Picks for Week 10 of the college football season:
* Virginia Tech (-1 ½) at Miami (Fla.), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN) – The winner can probably stay in the ACC Coastal Division race. Tech has won three straight over Miami, including a 38-35 win at Blacksburg last year. Neither team is exactly clicking: Miami has lost its last three, while Virginia Tech has lost three of its last four outings. First time since 2008 that neither team is ranked for this game. Miami (Fla.) 29-25
* Washington at California (-4), 9 p.m. (ESPN2) – A couple of Pac-12 North also-rans square off here. Washington comes in off a nice 20-17 win over previously unbeaten Oregon State. That snapped a three-game losing streak (although those losses were to Oregon, USC and Arizona, so somewhat understandable). Washington needs at least a 2-2 finish to get bowl eligible. Cal, at a dismal 3-6, must win out. UW has won three straight in the series, including 31-23 at Cal last year. Washington hasn’t won a road game yet … well, till Friday night. Washington 34-24
* Temple at Louisville (-15 ½), noon (ABC regional) -- Two former Urban Meyer assistants do battle with Louisville’s Charlie Strong against Temple’s Steve Addazio. Louisville would move to 9-0 for the first time in school history with a win. The toughest of those was last week’s 34-31 OT win over Cincinnati. Temple has been blown out by Rutgers (35-10) and Pittsburgh (47-17) the last two weeks. Louisville 41-21
* Oklahoma (-12) at Iowa State, noon (ABC regional) -- The Sooners are coming in off their deflating home loss to Notre Dame (30-13). Iowa State snapped a two-game losing streak with a 35-21 win over Baylor. OU’s last loss in Ames was back in 1960 and the Sooners have won 20 straight at ISU. Last year, Oklahoma won 26-6 in Norman. Oklahoma 35-21
* Missouri at Florida (-17), noon (ESPN2) -- Florida is in a vulnerable spot after its loss to Georgia (17-9). The Gators need to win out and hope either Ole Miss or Auburn can knock off Georgia for them to get to the SEC title game. Mizzou comes off its first SEC win against Kentucky (33-10), but this will be a big step up in class. Florida 34-14
* Texas A&M (-7) at Mississippi State, noon (ESPN) -- Could be a shootout here, provided Mississippi State gets off the mat after its 38-7 loss at No. 1 Alabama. A&M has been one of the neat stories with a strong first season (so far, at least) in the SEC. The Aggies just destroyed host Auburn 63-21 last week. QB Johnny Manziel will be the difference. Texas A&M 32-28
* Michigan (-12) at Minnesota, noon (Big Ten Network) -- It sounds like QB Denard Robinson will play for Michigan, which will get a chance to regroup after its loss at Nebraska (23-9). The Gophers notched their first Big Ten win with a 44-28 triumph over Purdue last Saturday in Minneapolis. Michigan and Minnesota play for the Little Brown Jug. Michigan leads the all-time series 71-24-3 and has won 20 of the last 21 meetings, including a 58-0 blowout last year. Michigan 31-21
* TCU at West Virginia (-6), 3 p.m. (FOX) -- The two newest Big 12 members go head to head in Morgantown. WVU got out to an impressive 5-0 start before back-to-back blowout losses at Texas Tech (49-14) and at home against Kansas State (55-14). The Mountaineers were off last week for retooling. TCU has lost three of its last four. West Virginia gets back on track. West Virginia 38-28
* Nebraska (-1 ½) at Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional; ESPN2 outer market) -- Nebraska has fought hard to gain control of its own destiny in the Big Ten Legends Division race. But that can change if the Huskers stumble at MSU. The Huskers are 6-0 all-time against the Spartans, including a 24-3 win last year in Lincoln. MSU had lost three of its last four games by a total of six points before last week’s overtime win at Wisconsin (16-13). Great match-up of Nebraska’s Big Ten-best offense against MSU’s Big Ten-best defense. Should be a tight one. Nebraska 20-17
* Texas at Texas Tech (-7), 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional; ESPN2 outer market) -- Texas escaped Kansas with an underwhelming 21-17 win last week. It looks like David Ash will be back at quarterback for UT even though Case McCoy saved the day at Kansas. Tech comes off a 55-24 loss at Kansas State. Texas has won 11 of the last 13 meetings. Should be a shootout. Texas Tech 41-38
* Illinois at Ohio State (-27 ½), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN) -- The Buckeyes are shooting for a 10-0 record for the 10th time in school history. OSU put it together in the second half last week to defeat host Penn State 35-23. Illinois has lost five in a row, including four straight Big Ten games by double digits. The closest of those was this past Saturday against visiting Indiana (31-17). These teams play for the Illibuck. Illinois has won seven of its last 11 trips to Columbus dating to 1988. OSU won 17-7 last year in Champaign. Ohio State 41-10
* Mississippi at Georgia (-14), 3:30 p.m. (CBS) -- Georgia is sky high after last week’s win over Florida. But the Bulldogs can’t afford a letdown against Ole Miss, which comes in off a 30-27 win at Arkansas. Georgia won 27-13 last year at Mississippi. Georgia 31-14
* Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (-17), 3:30 p.m. (NBC) -- Notre Dame can also ill afford a letdown after its big win at Oklahoma. Pittsburgh played its best game yet with a 47-17 win over Temple. QB Tino Sunseri is coming into his own at the right time for the Panthers. But he will have it tough against ND’s rugged defense, led by LB Manti Te’o. ND has taken tight wins over Pitt the last two years (23-17 at home in 2010 and 15-12 at Pitt in 2011). Notre Dame 27-13
* Penn State (-3 ½) at Purdue, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU) -- The Nittany Lions had their five-game winning streak snapped by Ohio State last Saturday. At 3-5, Purdue needs a 3-1 finish to become bowl-eligible. Robert Marve will start at quarterback in place of Caleb TerBush for the Boilers. Penn State 28-21
* Iowa at Indiana (-2), 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network) -- Iowa is 4-4 and Indiana moved to 3-5 after its win at Illinois. The Hawkeyes have lost double-digit games to Penn State and Northwestern the last two weeks. The Hoosiers will probably rotate QBs Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld. It doesn’t matter because the Hoosiers offense seems to produce every week. Indiana 34-27
* Oregon (-8 ½) at USC, 7 p.m. (FOX) -- Oregon, at 8-0, is sitting fourth in the BCS standings. But a road win at USC would help the Ducks in their bid to move into the national title game hunt. USC, coming off a loss at Arizona (39-36), needs a win to salvage its season. Oregon has won seven of the last 12 and three of the last five in this rivalry, but USC stunned Oregon 38-35 in Eugene. Oregon is coming off a 70-14 win over Colorado. Oregon is 8-0 for the second time in three years and third time in school history. This is going to be a fun one. Oregon 30-24
* Clemson (-13) at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) -- Duke was destroyed at Florida State last week (48-7) and now welcomes in another ranked opponent in Clemson, which has won four straight since its own loss to FSU (49-37). Clemson 37-20
* Oklahoma State at Kansas State (-8 ½), 8 p.m. (ABC) -- K-State is sitting second in the BCS rankings heading into this game with defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma State. Heisman front runner Collin Klein will be hard to beat in Manhattan. Oklahoma State has won three straight in the rivalry, including a 52-45 shootout in Stillwater last year. Kansas State 41-30
* Alabama (-8 ½) at LSU, 8 p.m. (CBS) -- These teams played the two biggest games of last season with LSU winning 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa and Alabama roaring to a 21-0 win in the BCS national title game in New Orleans. Now the Crimson Tide take their No. 1 ranking and top defense to Baton Rouge. Alabama has been the most dominant team in the country to date. LSU has squeaked by South Carolina (23-21) and Texas A&M (24-19) the last two weeks. I think the LSU defense keeps the Tigers in it, but Alabama just has too much. Alabama 27-20
* Arizona at UCLA (-3 ½), 10:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network) -- Arizona has momentum after its win over USC, while UCLA has won three of its last four. Arizona has won five straight over UCLA, including 48-12 last year in Tucson. Arizona 39-35
* San Diego State at Boise State (-14 ½), 10:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) -- Boise State, sitting at 19th in the BCS rankings, has some BCS aspirations. But San Diego State can throw the Mountain West race wide open with a win on the blue turf, where the Broncos have won 41 of their last 42 games. Boise won 52-35 at SDSU last year. Boise State 33-21
* Arizona State at Oregon State (-4), 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2) -- Oregon State will try and get back into the win column. ASU comes in off losses at home to Oregon (43-21) and UCLA (45-43). Arizona State 36-35
Quickie Bowl Projections
We will try and update these each week. Here goes absolutely nothing:
* BCS National Title Game (at Miami) – Alabama vs. Oregon (Oregon win at USC would really help the cause)
* Rose Bowl – USC vs. Nebraska (Huskers looking like team to beat in Big Ten … until Saturday, at least)
* Orange Bowl – Florida State vs. Louisville
* Fiesta Bowl – Kansas State vs. Notre Dame (Heisman winner and runner-up head to head?)
* Sugar Bowl – Florida vs. Oklahoma (loss actually works to Gators’ favor in getting a BCS bid)
* Capital One Bowl – South Carolina vs. Wisconsin
* Outback Bowl – Georgia vs. Michigan
* Cotton Bowl – LSU vs. Texas (Here’s a crazy thought: Maybe they go Texas A&M-Texas?)
Enjoy this big weekend of college football and best of luck to your team!