COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS:
Last week I was only 8-12; I'm 40-35-2 for the year. Time to improve:
ALABAMA 17 over South Carolina. PICK: CRIMSON TIDE. That defense keeps the Tide rolling.
AUBURN 13.5 over Kentucky. PICK: TIGERS. Auburn's offense is far too dynamic for Kentucky's porous defense.
FLORIDA 25 over Arkansas. PICK: RAZORBACKS. Not to win; but to keep it closer. I'm not convinced Tebow and that offense are clicking on all cylinders yet. And the Hogs looked mighty tough last week; they've got confidence, and a QB with a big arm in Ryan Mallett.
Kansas 9.5 over COLORADO. PICK: JAYHAWKS. Colorado won't be able to slow down Todd Riesing.
MICHIGAN STATE 13.5 over Northwestern. PICK: WILDCATS. Not to win, but to keep it close. The Spartans have a history of having a hard time dealing with prosperity, not to mention sometimes playing down to the level of their competition.
Navy 8.5 over SMU. PICK: MIDSHIPMEN. That option offense is rolling; SMU's defense is suspect in any case, and they haven't had long to prepare.
NEBRASKA 10.5 over Texas Tech. PICK: RED RAIDERS. They'll at least keep it close, and maybe win outright. It doesn't matter who Mike Leach puts in at QB (and it may be that Taylor Potts is still too dinged up to play). His backup QB rang up 66 pts last week. Look for Tech to score and keep this one tight.
Ohio State 13.5 over PURDUE. PICK: BUCKEYES. OSU will squash another Big 10 never-was-a-contender. But can they ever beat one of the big boys?
TCU 22.5 over Colorado State. PICK: HORNED FROGS. Finally TCU will get to play in good weather, on a fast track. Look for the Frogs to pound CSU with its ground game.
Texas 3 over Oklahoma. PICK: LONGHORNS. The Horns have been pointing to this game all season. I'm not convinced Bradford and the OU offense are where they want to be after the injuries etc. Colt McCoy meanwhile is turned up and will undoubtedly hit Jordan Shipley for at least one big play. It won't be a blowout at all, but look for the Horns to prevail.
Virginia Tech 3 over GEORGIA TECH. PICK: HOKIES. That defense is just too tough.
I was 7-7 again last week; I'm 41-34-1 for the season. Time to get off the .500 mark!
ATLANTA 3.5 over Chicago. PICK: FALCONS. They're on a roll, tough at home...and the Bears and Cutler aren't a great road team.
Carolina 3.5 over TAMPA BAY. PICK: PANTHERS. Tampa Bay to continue to suffer along with a rookie QB.
CINCINNATI 5 over Houston. PICK: BENGALS. Maybe Marvin Lewis has finally taught these guys how to win. Even better: their defense is much improved.
GREEN BAY 13.5 over Detroit. PICK: PACKERS. Probably no Stafford and no Calvin Johnson for the Lions, and they haven't won, or played well, in Packerland since 1991. Even more important: their secondary stinks. Aaron Rodgers can't wait.
JACKSONVILLE 9.5 over St. Louis. PICK: JAGUARS. Even coming off their incredibly poor performance in Seattle, you have to go with the Jags--for the Rams are even worse.
MINNESOTA 3 over Baltimore. PICK: VIKINGS. Brett Favre to school another young QB at home. Having Adrian Peterson and a tough defense helps.
NEW ENGLAND 9.5 over Tennessee. PICK: PATRIOTS. It's hard to remember the Patriots ever, in the Brady era, under-performing in a game like this--at home, against a team in trouble and turmoil whom they should beat.
NEW ORLEANS 3 over NY Giants. PICK: SAINTS. I like the Saints, at home, and now with a decent defense and running game.
NY JETS 9.5 over Buffalo. PICK: JETS. If Buffalo can't score against Cleveland at home, they'll really have trouble against Rex Ryan's defense--which will want to make up for Monday night's letdown.
Philadelphia 14 over OAKLAND. PICK: EAGLES. The Raiders, especially offensively, are just bad.
PITTSBURGH 14 over Cleveland. PICK: STEELERS. Cleveland offensively is just bad.
SEATTLE 3 over Arizona. PICK: CARDINALS. Kurt Warner and all those weapons seem to be improving, and they'll get a big win on the road.
WASHINGTON 6.5 over Kansas City. PICK: REDSKINS. The Chiefs offensively struggle so much that the Redskins here have a chance to get well--if only temporarily.
SAN DIEGO 3.5 over Denver. PICK: CHARGERS. The Broncos have a better defense, but offensively they lack explosiveness. This week that will finally cost them, against a good Chargers team at home.