We are back with the Viewers Guide and Picks for Week 7 of the college season.
David Ash will lead Texas against Oklahoma in Dallas
I ended up 18-6 straight-up and 12-12 against-the-spread. For the year, I am now 118-36 SU and 70-73-1 ATS.
In Big Ten games, I was 5-0 straight-up and also 4-1 ATS. Through six weeks, I am 47-10 straight-up and 24-25 ATS.
There are four match-ups this weekend between ranked teams. The biggest of those will see No. 3 South Carolina visit No. 9 LSU. Also, No. 7 Notre Dame hosts No. 17 Stanford. Two of these games will be on neutral sites as No. 13 Oklahoma and No. 15 Texas stage their annual game in Dallas and No. 22 Texas A&M ventures to Shreveport, La., to face No. 23 Louisiana Tech.
Here we go with the Viewers Guide and Picks for Week 7 of the college football season:
* Arizona State (-23) at Colorado, 9 p.m. (ESPN) – ASU is 4-1, Colorado is 1-4. ASU has won all three meetings in this series by 18 or more points, including a 48-14 win last year in Tempe. Arizona State 41-20
* Navy at Central Michigan (-2), 8 p.m. (ESPN2) – Navy has won the only two previous meetings with Central in 2003 and 2010 (38-37 at Annapolis). Both teams are 2-3. Hmmm. Central Michigan 32-23
* Louisville (-3 ½) at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m. (ESPNU) -- This is Louisville’s Big East opener after a 5-0 start. Pitt is already 0-2 in the conference (and 2-3 overall) with conference losses to Cincinnati and Syracuse (14-13 last week). Pitt has won the last four meetings, including a 21-14 win at Louisville last year. Louisville has won seven straight regular season games since that loss to Pitt. Louisville 28-21
* Oklahoma (-3) vs. Texas, at Dallas, noon (ABC) -- The Red River rivalry rocks on at the Cotton Bowl. This is the first time since 1999 where neither team is in the top 10 after each suffering home losses (No. 13 Oklahoma to Kansas State and No. 15 Texas to West Virginia last week). These teams have met in Dallas for 83 consecutive years, dating to 1929. Texas leads the all-time series 59-42-5, although OU has won eight of the last 12 and the last two (including a 55-17 shiner for the Longhorns last year). QBs Landry Jones (Oklahoma) and David Ash (Texas) will be on center stage. The losing team can probably forget about the Big 12 title and maybe a BCS bowl bid as well. Oklahoma 38-30
* Iowa at Michigan State (-10), noon (ESPN) -- This is a critical Big Ten Legends Division match-up. MSU boasts a stellar defense, but has yet to put it all together. The Spartans are coming off a tougher-than-expected 31-27 win over Indiana last week. Iowa had a bye week last week after beating Minnesota 31-13 on Sept. 29. Iowa leads the all-time series with MSU 22-19-2 and has won four of the last six match-ups, although MSU won 37-21 last year in Iowa City. Which battering ram – Iowa’s Mark Weisman or Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell – breaks through? Michigan State 24-17
* Northwestern (-3 ½) at Minnesota, noon (ESPN2) -- A pair of one-loss teams will do battle in Minneapolis. Minnesota was off last week after its loss to Iowa. Northwestern fell to 5-1 with its tough loss at Penn State (39-28). The PSU defense did a number on a Northwestern offense that had 704 yards the week before against Indiana. Northwestern has won nine of its last 14 games with Minnesota, including a 28-13 win last year in Evanston. It’s unclear whether dynamic QB MarQueis Gray will go for Minnesota. We know that QB Trevor Siemian and QB-RB-WR Kain Colter will go for Northwestern, which I think pulls away late for the win. Northwestern 44-35
* Kansas State (-6 ½) at Iowa State, noon (FX) -- They call this game Farmageddon. The Wildcats, at 5-0, have jumped all the way up to No. 6 in the national rankings. K-State won 30-23 last year. A win for K-State would set up a monumental match-up at West Virginia next Saturday. But Iowa State has been a giant killer with last year’s home win over No. 2 Oklahoma State. K-State has won 18 of the last 22 meetings. Should be a fun one. Kansas State 33-20
* Wisconsin (-2 ½) at Purdue, noon (Big Ten Network) -- Purdue is smarting from last week’s rough home loss to Michigan (44-13). The Boilers were never in that one. They will try and do better against Wisconsin, which was pegged to dominate Big Ten the Leaders Division – at least among teams eligible for the conference title game – this year. Wisconsin is coming off a nice win over Illinois (31-14). The Badgers have won the last six meetings with the Boilers, including a 62-17 drubbing last year in Madison. This one could go down to the wire, but I think Montee Ball will be too much. Wisconsin 28-23
* Utah at UCLA (-8 ½), 3 p.m. (FOX) -- UCLA leads the all-time series 8-2, although Utah has won the last two match-ups (including 31-6 at home last year). UCLA has dropped two of its last three games with losses to Oregon State and at California. Utah has lost three of its last four, including a 38-28 loss at USC last Thursday when the Utes got out to a quick 14-0 lead. UCLA 31-27
* Illinois at Michigan (-23 ½), 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional, ESPN outer market) -- Illinois has hit the skids with a 2-4 start for first-year coach Tim Beckman. The four losses (to Arizona State, Louisiana Tech, Penn State and Wisconsin) have come by an average of 26 points. Michigan had, perhaps, its best showing last week at Purdue. I’m not sure the Illinois defense can do anything with UM QB Denard Robinson. Two years ago, UM took a 67-65 triple OT win over the Illini at the Big House. Last year, the Wolverines won 31-14 at Champaign. Michigan has won 11 of its last 14 games against Illinois. Michigan 42-21
* West Virginia (-4) at Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional) -- A week after a dramatic win in Austin over Texas (48-45), WVU is back in the Lone Star state for this match-up with the Red Raiders. Tech comes in off a 41-20 home loss to Oklahoma. The Red Raiders defense, giving up just 16.8 ppg, will have its hands full with WVU QB Geno Smith and a Mountaineers offense averaging 52.0 ppg. West Virginia 49-35
* Oregon State at BYU (-6), 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional, ESPN outer market) -- Oregon State was an afterthought before the season but has risen to No. 10 in the polls after a nice 4-0 start, including wins over Wisconsin, UCLA and Arizona. BYU is at 4-2 after wins over Hawaii and Utah State (6-3). The Cougars are third nationally in points allowed at 8.8 ppg. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall is an Oregon State grad and former Beavers assistant. Last year, BYU won 38-28 at Corvallis. The Beavers will be without starting QB Sean Mannion, meaning that Cody Vaz will get the start. Points should be at a premium here. BYU 17-13
* Alabama (-21 ½) at Missouri, 3:30 p.m. (CBS) -- Coming off a bye week, top-ranked Alabama makes its first SEC visit to Missouri. The Tigers are 0-3 in their first SEC season. Mizzou comes in off a 19-15 loss to Vanderbilt. Alabama 42-17
* Stanford at Notre Dame (-7 ½), 3:30 p.m. (NBC) -- No. 7 Notre Dame hosts No. 17 Stanford and the Irish will be looking to get to 6-0. Stanford bounced back from its loss at Washington by outlasting Arizona 54-48 in overtime. Stanford has won the last three meetings in the series, including 28-14 last year at Palo Alto. ND crushed Miami (Fla.) 41-3 last week as the Irish rolled up 587 yards total offense. ND’s defense is ranked second nationally in scoring (7.8 ppg). ESPN’s College Game Day will emanate from South Bend for the first time since the 2005 USC game (Reggie Bush push game). Notre Dame 27-17
* Boston College at Florida State (-27 ½), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN2) -- FSU will try and bounce back from its first loss of the season at N.C. State (17-16). BC is 1-4 with the lone loss over I-AA Maine. The Eagles fell at Army last week (34-31). Florida State 42-17
* Florida (-8 ½) at Vanderbilt, 6 p.m. (ESPNU) -- Florida can ill afford a letdown after its big win over LSU (14-6). Vandy is a dangerous team, much better than its 2-3 record would indicate. The Gators also can’t look ahead to next week’s game against South Carolina. Florida has won its last 10 trips to Vandy, dating to 1988. Florida won 26-21 last year. Florida 25-19
* USC (-12 ½) at Washington, 7 p.m. (FOX) -- USC must be on guard at Washington which handed Stanford its first loss on Sept. 27. The Huskies did lose at Oregon last week, though (52-21). USC has won eight of the last 10 meetings, but lost at Seattle the last time there in 2009 (16-13). USC won 40-17 last year at home. USC 31-22
* South Carolina at LSU (-2 ½), 8 p.m. (ESPN) -- South Carolina made a statement last week with its 35-7 win over Georgia. Now comes a trip to LSU, which has sputtered the last two weeks with a win over struggling Auburn (12-10) and the loss at Florida. Should be a great match-up with South Carolina’s offense against LSU’s stingy defense. LSU leads this series 16-2-1 with the last four by an average of 17 points. I am going to go with the visitors, who seem to be on a roll. South Carolina 23-13
* Ohio State (-17) at Indiana, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network) -- The Buckeyes are coming off their 63-38 drubbing of Nebraska. IU coach Kevin Wilson is 0-10 as the IU coach in Big Ten games. Last week’s four-point loss to Michigan State is the closest conference loss the Hoosiers have had during that losing streak. The task gets no easier as Ohio State has won its last 17 games over Indiana, dating to a 1988 loss. IU gave the Buckeyes a good game last year in Columbus (34-20). IU is second in the Big Ten in total offense this season at 472.4 yards per game, but can the Hoosiers contain QB Braxton Miller? Ohio State 49-20
* Tennessee at Mississippi State (-2 ½), 9 p.m. (ESPN2) -- Mississippi State wants to stay unbeaten after a 5-0 start. Tennessee was off last week after its 51-44 loss at Georgia on Sept. 29. The Bulldogs will have their hands full with the Vols’ passing game. Mississippi State 33-27
* Texas A&M (-7 ½) vs. Louisiana Tech, at Shreveport, La., 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU) -- Who would have thought this game would pit ranked opponents as No. 22 Texas A&M crosses over the border to face No. 23 Louisiana Tech? The game will be in Shreveport, located 67 miles from Tech’s Ruston campus. Tech (5-0) is ranked for the first time since 1999 and just the second time in school history. Tech is 5-0 for the first time since 1975. This game was actually scheduled as a season opener but was postponed by Hurricane Isaac. Both teams are ranked in the top 15 nationally in offense. Should be a shootout. Louisiana Tech 44-41
And in case you missed it, our Big Ten Blast with notes on each team:
Quickie Bowl Projections
We will try and update these each week. Here goes absolutely nothing:
* BCS National Title Game (at Miami) – Alabama vs. Oregon (These 2 just keep cruising along, WVU made major statement with win at Texas, though. Can Oregon beat USC at the Coliseum? If that doesn't happen, WVU could slide in here by winning out.)
* Rose Bowl – USC vs. Michigan State (USC would replace Oregon here, while I think MSU will survive the Big Ten massacre. Their defense is an equalizer. Their game at Michigan next week could be the determining factor.)
* Orange Bowl – Florida State vs. Louisville (FSU still the class of the ACC; Louisville or Cincinnati will end up here with the last pick in the BCS rotation is my guess.)
* Fiesta Bowl – West Virginia vs. Notre Dame (WVU comes here as the Big 12 champion as of today. After Alabama and Oregon are replaced in their home bowls -- likely by teams from their conferences -- Notre Dame would go here with first at-large pick ... it is entirely possible, however, that Sugar or Rose could take ND as a pick to replace an Alabama or Oregon)
* Sugar Bowl – South Carolina vs. Kansas State (the next bests from the SEC and Big 12 draw in here)
* Capital One Bowl – Florida vs. Nebraska (what a powerhouse match-up this would be)
* Outback Bowl – Georgia vs. Wisconsin (Michigan could be here instead of Wisconsin)
* Cotton Bowl – LSU vs. Oklahoma (another powerhouse match-up)
Enjoy this big weekend of college football and best of luck to your team!