No. 5 David Letterman's alma mater, the Ball State Cardinals, has a really good football team this season. Those of you Husker fans may well remember being outplayed in Lincoln by this team last year. QB Nate Davis is a stud. The defense is inproved. RB MiQuale Lewis is going to get paid next year too. They took a big hit in losing WR Dante Love for the season a few weeks ago. But even so - they just keep covering.
How about 7-0 on the season, and 6-0 ats! Very nice!
Eastern Michigan has much to offer this week - in terms of looking ripe for a woodshed performance. EM is 2-6 overall, and 1-6 ats. They have injury issues. The starting QB Andy Schmidt has missed most of practice this week. Their no. 2 RB is hurting. They played pretty well at home last week and still lost at home to Akron. They have the worst run defense in the MAC - giving up about 225 a game. Ball St. averages almost 200 ypg on the ground.
One strange note on this is that the line opened at 27, and has fallen. I don't know why, but fine by me.
This is Ball St.'s biggest line yet at 24.5. You may want to buy a point here if you can and take no. 134 Ball St. at -23.5.
No. 4 People who know me have heard me suggest that Bama may be the Champ by the time the BCmesS is done. I will tell you this - I haven't changed my mind about that yet. I know, the Tide has struggled in their last two games at home. Kentucky isn't terrible. Ole Miss beat Florida in the Swamp. (And Houston Nutt knows how to cheat with the best of em.)
So we have a huge rivalry game this week in Knoxsville, as Bama enters Neyland Stadium as a 5 point favorite. (It is a big rivalry, no question about that - and normally I don't like these games.)
Bama is 7-0 overall and 4-3 ats. Tennessee is 3-4 overall and 3-4 ats. Really nothing there. However, Bama is 3-0 ats on the road or on a neutral site. Tennessee is 1-3 ats @ home.
I don't need much analysis to simply say Bama is gonna roll in this one. This is the type of game that they show up and play well for. The youth on this team really seems to be motivated in the big games. They are averaging 40+ pts away from home. The Vols can't score against good defenses - 6 to Florida, 12 @ Auburn, 14 @ Georgia. I can give you a whole lot more - but this one is simple:
Take no. 145 Alabama CRIMSON TIDE -5 and you don't have to buy squat for points.
No. 3 It is wierd to me that I haven't had Oklahoma involved in a game yet this season. I know they are solid. If they played Texas 100 times I would say 50-50 would be their record. They are not out of the Big 12 or the BCS race at all. They are 4-2 ats - although the last two games they haven't covered.
It is funny how a guy who gets beat by Texas and then comes back and goes 36-53 for 468 yds and 3TDs the next week and no one says a word about him? Sam Bradford is a machine.
Now the Sooners go to visit Grimace and the Purple Fraud - better known as Kansas St. I have no love for Josh Freeman, and would like to see him lose every game. The Kittens are 3-3 ats and have covered their last two, against aTm and Colorado. I say big deal.
The only two legit teams KSU has played against (Louisville and TTech) resulted in bad losses.
This one will be worse. Oklahoma knows how to drop the hammer on lesser teams, and they will here. Boomer Sooner.
The play is no. 159 Oklahoma SOONERS -19. Buy if you want, I say you are giving up easy money.
No. 2 This one pains me. Steve Pedersen managed to really make a mess in Lincoln. He got paid to leave, and immediately got his old job back at Pitt. I took Pitt once and went against them once this season. I am 0-2 on Pitt. They were on my original Banned List.
Rutgers travels to Pittsburgh this weekend. Digustingly enough, Pitt has worked their way back into the Top 25 at no. 17. They are 5-1. Pitt has a nice 1-2 punch right now with Bill Stull at QB and LeSean "Shady" McCoy at TB. They are going at about 400 ypg and 30 ppg in their 5-game winning streak.
The Scarlet Knights are not the same path. They are 2-5. QB Mike Teel has over twice as many Ints as TDs. Rutgers finally beat a D-I team this year by beating a short-handed UConn last week. Coach Schiano should have left two years ago when the State University of New Jersey was hot. The only thing they have done well this season is to play run defense. They have scored no more than 17 points in any game this season against a D-1 team.
I say Pittsburgh hit it's stride at South Florida, and is rolling. I say Rutgers is a shadow of itself from the last two seasons.
No. 126 Pittsburgh PANTHERS -10 is good to go. I guess you could buy the 1/2, but I don't believe it necessary.
No. 1 I was going to put Northwestern in the picks last week - and waffled, because for some reason I thought 3 was enough. So I told a guy about them anyway - and they covered just fine. The Wildcats are 6-1 overall, and 3-3 ats. The home loss against Michigan St. was misleading due to the 3 TO. Northwestern outgained the Spartans by 150 yds that game.
The Wildcats have road wins @ Duke and @ Iowa - and I promise you both of those teams are significantly better than Indiana.
The Hoosiers are in a tailspin right now. They are 1-5 ats, including 5 losses in a row. They have been outscored 100-22 in their last 2 games, including Iowa at home by 45-9. Antoine Randle-El and James Hardy could come back to school and this one still wouldn't be close.
Tyrell Sutton and no. 115 Northwestern WILDCATS -9 are my Lock this Week.