Last week’s record: 5-1
Week 7 brought with it another great set of games for PickSix, as well as the first correct upset pick of the season as Ohio State refused to pass on its way to a traditional Big Ten win in Champaign. This week may seem easy at first, but is very unlikely that all of the remaining unbeaten team will stay that way for Week 9.
Upset Pick: #4 Oklahoma State at Missouri
(Saturday @ 12 p.m. ET on FX)
- Oklahoma State continues to climb the rankings and seems to be writing off all competition that does not wear crimson and cream. Right now we know two things about the Cowboys: their offense puts up a lot of points and their defense can’t seem to stop many teams from moving the ball. At first glance, Missouri does not have an offense that can go toe-to-toe with their conference foe. This game, however, will be decided by Missouri’s defense. Even though the Tigers are 3-3, their defense is 25th nationally in points allowed per game (20.3). I think Missouri cranks up the pressure early with turnovers and long runs from Henry Josey to take out the Cowboys in Columbia for a much-needed victory, extending its home winning streak to 11. Mizzou stuns OK State, 31-28.
Bandwagon Pick: North Carolina at #7 Clemson
(Saturday @ 12 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- My admiration for the Clemson Tigers has been well documented in this column and I will continue to write about them until they lose. Sammy Watkins has been the most scintillating freshman this season, and you should tune in after College Gameday to see the guy who has replaced C.J. Spiller as Clemson’s do-it-all guy. The Tar Heels have managed to win four close games this season, but Saturday’s defeat will not be close in the slightest. North Carolina stays in the cellar of the ACC as the Tigers pound them at home, 52- 10.
Tiger Pick: #20 Auburn at #1 LSU
(Saturday @ 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
- LSU is still rolling through everyone that they face, and there is no reason to think that the 20th ranked Auburn Tigers will spoil Les Miles’ undefeated match-up with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Auburn has moved on from its opening day QB Barrett Trotter, giving sophomore Clint Moseley the nod against the best team in the country. While Auburn’s offense has the pace to possibly wear down LSU’s stellar defense, a signal caller with only six completions on the season is not the answer. Auburn scores early in the first quarter, only to stall from that point on as number one stays that way. LSU wins a laugher, 48-14, and gets closer to judgment day with Alabama.
Elder Statesmen Pick: USC at Notre Dame
(Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC)
- While neither team is ranked this year, the Trojans and Fighting Irish aren’t bad enough to ignore their primetime rivalry game this year. As Matt Barkley gives you a look into one NFL team’s future, Manti Te’o and Michael Floyd will also be impact players very soon on Sunday afternoons. Any game under the lights in South Bend can turn into an instant classic, and these two traditional powerhouses are playing for pride and big-time recruits. Notre Dame has not treated me well and I assume that they will prove me wrong once again. I am going with Lane Kiffin’s crew on Saturday night in a 24-22 nailbiter.
Heisman-Watch Pick: #25 Washington at #8 Stanford
(Saturday @ 8 p.m. ET on ABC)
- Is anyone else tired of hearing about which NFL team will “Luck” into getting the first pick in the 2012 Draft? Join the club with me. Andrew Luck is the next big thing, though, and this is his chance to cash that check in a ranked PAC-12 tilt on national television. I do not have the gall to pick the Huskies but their quarterback is pretty good, too. Keith Price is a sophomore with 21 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He won’t be able to steal the spotlight from Luck, but he will make his name known just enough for you to remember him next year when the conference race starts to heat up again. This game will show the nation just how good Andrew Luck is and how mediocre the supporting cast is behind him. Washington hangs tough until the fourth as Luck strings two scoring drives together for a 34-24 win.
Marquee Pick: #6 Wisconsin at #16 Michigan State
(Saturday @ 8 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- The only thing holding the Badgers back this season is their opponents’ inability to crack the top ten. However, that scheduling snafu will ultimately write their ticket to the BCS championship game as long as they can take care of games like the one they have this weekend. No, Michigan State is not a top-five team but their defense is stout. They quelled a Heisman candidate last week and they will have a game plan for Russell Wilson and Montee Ball this week. Just like Andrew Luck out west, this game could very well be a launching pad for one of Wisconsin’s weapons in the race for the bronze stiff arm. Michigan State is definitely a trendy upset pick this week, but the stats don’t lie. Wisconsin’s defense stands firmly in the shadow of its own offense, but the Badgers are averaging 9.7 points allowed per game and their smallest margin of victory was the 31-point win against Nebraska. The Badgers will finally look somewhat human during their first road test this season, but they simply won’t be halted by the mighty Spartan D. Wisconsin escapes heartbreak with a 41-10 win.