Last week’s record: 3-3
While I am thrilled that Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri and the entire Arkansas and Illinois rosters must have been reading my picks last week, I am mad that they collectively decided to prove me wrong. I went .500 in week five, and I am thinking these six games will be both entertaining and healthy padding for my 9-9 record so far.
1st Pick: #5 Boise State at Fresno State
(Friday @ 9 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- Is anyone else tired of the Boise State formula? Or is it just me this year? They schedule an early game against a ranked BCS team and then cruise against a weak conference slate on their way to a big bowl game. Just like with Gonzaga in college basketball, everyone loves to root for the underdog until they become the stale success story that thrives on a mix of selective scheduling and untouched recruiting channels. While the Broncos are once again 4-0 behind Heisman candidate Kellen Moore, they are heading into a tough atmosphere after a mediocre game. Moore struggled last week against Nevada throwing two picks and recording his lowest QB-rating of the young season, and this would be the week for Fresno State to ruin the Broncos’ outside BCS championship hopes. Boise State pulls this one out away from the blue turf with a 30-21 win.
Rivalry Pick: #3 Oklahoma vs. #11 Texas
(Saturday @ 12 p.m. ET on ABC)
- The Longhorns and Sooners are both looking good and making the Red River Rivalry relevant again in regards to BCS title race. While Oklahoma is proven, Mack Brown’s team has not entirely removed itself from the terrible season a year ago. This is the game they desperately need to win for that realization to happen on a national scale. The odds are in their favor in two ways: the early kickoff in the state of Texas and their role as the underdog. Bob Stoops, however, is much too seasoned to ever overlook his fiercest rival. Oklahoma is fired up about being relegated to its number three ranking, and is sure to send a message through the air on Saturday. Landry Jones throws for four touchdowns as the Sooners make their case for the number one spot, winning 41-24 at the Cotton Bowl.
Upset Pick: Missouri at #20 Kansas State
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN)
- Kansas State got a big home win last week against the previously undefeated Baylor Bears and now they look to boost their new ranking against an old Big 12 North foe in Missouri. The Tigers go into Manhattan desperate for a win after a much needed bye week, and they will be looking to RB Henry Josey to counter their passing attack against the surprising Wildcat defense. Even though Kansas State was able to outplay Robert Griffin III, they have not beaten Missouri since 2005. Over the past five years, Gary Pinkel has mostly dominated the members of the Big 12 North and this year will be no different. Another ranked team goes down in the Big 12 this week as the Wildcats lose to Mizzou by a field goal, 27-24.
Marquee Pick: #17 Florida at #1 LSU
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Like I touched upon last week, Florida had a golden opportunity against Alabama and LSU to launch itself atop the rankings. Alabama ran wild instead and took out the Gators’ starting quarterback right before the Orange and Blue head to Louisiana to play the top-ranked team in the land. This is an open-and-shut case as the Tigers will have a defensive field day against the Florida offense that hardly phased the Crimson Tide in Gainesville. Watch this one to marvel at LSU, but don’t look at it for a great match-up. LSU runs it up, 56-10.
5th Pick: #15 Auburn at #10 Arkansas
(Saturday @ 7 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- I went against Arkansas for the second time last week and it cost me another close loss at the hands of the collapse known as the Aggies of Texas A&M. Tyler Wilson looked great in the second half, overcoming an 18-point deficit with over 500 yards of passing to show for it at the end. This week they go back home against another unpredictable SEC team, the Auburn Tigers. War Eagle pulled off a huge road win against #10 South Carolina and it looks to continue its second rise up the rankings the season. Someone has to pull it together this week and continue its rise towards the top, and I feel that the Razorbacks are that team. It is all about taking advantage of the opportunity at hand in college football, and Arkansas has the #15 team at home as it looks to step inside of the top ten again without the likes of Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis. The SEC’s depth shows its teeth again in this thriller as Arkansas squeaks out a 28-27 win over Auburn.
6th Pick: Ohio State at #14 Nebraska
(Saturday @ 8 p.m. ET on ABC)
- Just like I predicted, Nebraska’s welcome game into their new conference was less than warm and friendly. Wisconsin bottled up Taylor Martinez and showed the Huskers how to run the ball successfully. Now it is Nebraska’s turn to do the same to a hapless Ohio State team that keeps paying for previous mistakes. While it seems that the Huskers still don’t have the experience to romp any Big Ten competitors, they will pull away from the shorthanded Buckeyes in the second half. This is a must-win for both sides, but Nebraska can firmly mark down The Ohio State as its first conference win. The Buckeyes lose handily in Lincoln, 33-14.