Tuesday, November 25, 2008

College Picks, Week 14

Last Week: 12-8 (.600)
Season: 192-68 (.738)

In many ways, this is the biggest weekend of the college football season. Big rivalries are being played this weekend. Bowl bids are on the line. Spots in the BCS National Championship Game are at stake. The only guarantee is that something really strange will happen.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: The Sooners, fresh off a 65-21 beatdown of Texas Tech, visit Stillwater to take on the Cowboys. As always, this is OSU’s Super Bowl, but the Cowboys actually have a pretty good team this year. This is a dangerous game. A win gives OU strength of schedule points in the BCS computers, possibly enough to pass Texas in the standings for a trip to the Big XII championship game. This will be quality television on Saturday night. That’s good, because you can’t buy a ticket to this one unless you buy OSU season tickets. It’s a lot cheaper to stay home and watch and listen to Brent and Kirk. Pick: OU

Texas A&M at Texas (Thursday): Poor Aggies. The worst A&M team in a quarter-century has to visit Austin when the Longhorns need BCS style points. If you don’t get enough turkey at dinner on Thanksgiving, you’ll get more of it from this game. Pick: Texas

Baylor at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders went home with their heads between their legs after the butt-kicking they took in Norman last week for their first loss. Baylor will show up and represent themselves. Tech will be on the rebound, though, and should be dangerous. Pick: Tech

Colorado at Nebraska (Friday): Believe it or not, the Huskers can win their eighth game of the season by beating the Buffs. They should be able to do so with relatively little problem. Pick: Nebraska

Kansas vs. Missouri at Kansas City: A disappointing season ends for the Jayhawks at Arrowhead Stadium. After losing two mid-season games to Texas and Oklahoma State, the Tigers have feasted on Big 12 North opposition. They’ll do so again while awaiting their chance to mess up the BCS next week in the Big 12 championship game. Pick: Mizzou

Auburn at Alabama: The Iron Bowl. Tommy Tuberville better have an iron posterior, because his seat is hot after this debacle of a season. All will be well on the Plains if War Eagle can upset the hated Tide. Auburn has won five in a row in this series. Bama looks to erase that record of futility while they keep their undefeated season alive. There is way too much going Bama’s way. Pick: Alabama

Florida at Florida State: The Seminoles finally had a great game last week as they plastered Maryland on the road. They’ll need another one this week at home if they want to beat the Fighting Tim Tebows and truly mess up the BCS. At least a couple of Big 12 teams will be rooting for them. Even in Tallahassee, though, the Gators are too good. At least this year, they are. Pick: Florida

Oregon at Oregon State: With a win, Oregon State can go to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the days of leather helmets. It hasn’t been quite that long, but it’s been long enough for the Beavers. As far as the Ducks are concerned, which set of ugly uniforms will they wear this week? Pick: Oregon State

Georgia Tech at Georgia: This game is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. Both teams have looked awesome at times. At other times, they’ve been pretty mediocre. Go with the home team here. Pick: Georgia

South Carolina at Clemson: No matter how much Clemson seems to disappoint on a yearly basis, they usually seem to find a way to beat the Gamecocks. USC-East ought to be able to win this game. They’ll find a way not to. Pick: Clemson

Virginia at Virginia Tech: The Hokies actually have a chance to come out of the scrum in the ACC to advance to the ACC championship game. All they need to do is beat the Cavaliers. Virginia has looked really good at times, and really awful at times. Pick: Hokies

Maryland at Boston College: The Eagles have a chance to survive the other half of the ACC to make the championship game with a win. They got a big road win last week at Wake Forest, while the Terps laid a big egg at home in being squashed by Florida State. It’s really cold in Boston at this time of year. Pick: BC

West Virginia at Pittsburgh: The Backyard Brawl. Both teams have shown flashes of brilliance. Both teams have also shown flashes of inconsistency. The Mountaineers will be looking for revenge, after the Panthers knocked them out of a shot at last year’s national championship. Pick: Pittsburgh

Western Michigan at Ball State (Tuesday): Ball State is still undefeated, but must face a strong and dangerous Western Michigan team. The Cardinals are kings of the mid-week MAC games. Give them another one. Pick: Ball State

Houston at Rice: The battle for the Bayou Bucket is also a battle for the Conference USA West division championship. If you like offense, this is your game. Pick: Rice

LSU at Arkansas (Friday): These teams play for a trophy that looks like a golden boot, but is really the states of Arkansas and Louisiana on top of each other. Both teams will be glad to end this season. LSU has more talent, though they have struggled of late. Pick: LSU

Notre Dame at USC: Yawn. When Notre Dame loses this game, they’ll be 6-6. What bowl will pick them in spite of that record? Some bowl will, and that game will be ugly. Not as ugly as this will be, though. Pick: SC

Kentucky at Tennessee: Phil Fulmer’s farewell as coach of the Vols. Rocky Top bounced back last week to beat Vanderbilt. Kentucky is bowl eligible, but still hasn’t beaten the Vols in a coon’s age. They won’t win this year, either. Pick: Tennessee

North Carolina at Duke: Blue Devils have won four games this year, and have a chance to spoil the Tar Heels’ season. Carolina was embarrassed last week by rival N.C. State, 41-10. The Heels won’t let that happen two years in a row. Pick: UNC

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest: Both teams are looking for more respect and a better bowl. Vandy has been slipping in the second half of the season, while Wake lost a nail-biter at home last week to Boston College, most likely costing themselves an appearance in the ACC championship game. The Deacons are a little better than Vandy. Pick: Wake Forest

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