The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 7, 2007

PiRate Game Previews and Selections for November 8-10, 2007


This Week’s Key Games and Interesting Match-ups

Disclaimer: I am giving advice on pointspreads totally as an act of fun.  I do not personally wager money on these games, and I do not advocate you doing so either.  It’s just a game like Monopoly to me.

About Teasers:  A Teaser allows you to adjust the pointspread in your favor by a certain number of points.  With this adjustment, the odds change in favor of the sports book.  Most college football teasers are 6-7½ points, but you can find 10 and 13-point teasers as well.  If you play a 10-point teaser, you must pick three teams correctly to win the wager at 10-12 odds.  If you play a 13-point teaser, you must pick four teams correctly to win the wager at 10-12 odds.  Some places will allow you to play 21-point teasers on a 3-team parlay at ridiculous odds.  While they look like easy wins, just one loss can cost you 15 to 20 times the amount you were trying to win.  You could win this wager every week until the final one, lose that one, and lose for the season even though you were 14-1!

Last Week Picking Outright Winners:(*)             40-11    78.4%

For The Season Picking Winners:                    375-132  74.0%

Hurray!  The PiRate percentage of picking outright winners has now surpassed 15 of 16 of the largest services that pick winners, some of which appear in very large media throughout the country.  The only rating beating it is correctly picking winners at a 74.1% rate.


Last Week Picks vs. Spread:                             4-9-0   30.8%

For the Season Picking Winners vs. Spread:      64-78-2  45.1% (over 52.4% returns a profit)

Ugh!  This is getting monotonous and ridiculous.  Four consecutive losing weeks! To make matters worse, so many of these losses have been by one or two points.  The PiRate Computers should make my picks.  I kind of know now what it feels like when your child becomes competent enough to tell you how to do something.

This week, we go back into coach watch.  Karl Dorrell at UCLA may have moved himself up onto the top rung along with Bill Call-a-cab at Nebraska and Dennis FranchiGone at Texas A&M.  With Time Brewster’s Minnesota Gophers performing so pitifully, Gary Kubiak not doing all that well with the Houston Texans, and now Dorrell’s Bruins stinking up the Rose Bowl, it doesn’t look good for former Bronco assistant coaches of Mike Shanahan.

Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss, Greg Robinson at Syracuse, Brent Guy at Utah State, Mark Snyder at Marshall, and Bill Doba at Washington State may be in trouble but could still survive if their teams pick up big wins.  Guy Morriss at Baylor is in an impossible situation, but he may be shown the door.  Colorado State’s Sonny Lubick may be encouraged to retire and stay on in some capacity in Ft. Collins.  Then, there is the Lloyd Carr situation at Michigan.  If the Wolverines beat Wisconsin and Ohio State to take the Big 10 crown and then win the Rose Bowl, how could he be asked to leave?

Now for the way out there thought.  I am not the only person who believes there is a chance that either Joe Paterno or Bobby Bowden will decide to retire after this season.  Paterno has been through a lot (on and off the field) this year that might make him want to leave the public spotlight.  Bowden had enough talent to win the ACC this year, but the Seminoles did not gel.

Coaches who may move on to more prestigious and/or higher paying positions include:

Les Myles might move from LSU to Michigan

Tommy Tuberville could move from Auburn to Texas A&M (I think it’s a mistake).

Kentucky’s Rich Brooks could get an offer out West.

Texas Tech’s Mike Leach is always rumored to be going somewhere.

Missouri’s Gary Pinkel could be in the mix if a job like LSU or Auburn became available.

Mark Mangino of Kansas will probably be given a chance to take a big-time job.

Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe is ready to move to a big school.  Nebraska might suit him.

I could see Cal’s Jeff Tedford getting a job offer at some place like Nebraska or even UCLA.

West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez could be offered a bank if Phil Fulmer leaves Tennessee or Bobby Bowden retires.  Any big-time opening will include his name in its list of candidates.

South Florida’s Jim Leavitt has been in the hunt before, and he could fit perfectly in any SEC opening.

Brian Kelly has only been at Cincinnati one season, but he could be a great choice for many schools, especially those needing to add offense.

Connecticut’s Randy Edsall may be on some school’s short list.

TCU’s Gary Patterson will be mentioned in any opening in the Big 12 and possibly in the Pac-10.

Houston’s Art Briles could be a contingency plan at Texas A&M if Tuberville decides to stay at Auburn.

East Carolina’s Skip Holtz would be a popular candidate at Arkansas if Houston Nutt is dismissed.  Holtz could be on several other school lists.

Boise State’s Chris Petersen will be on short lists at more than one school, just like his predecessor Dan Hawkins was.

Paul Johnson at Navy is a terrific coach, but his spread option system would not be what the doctor ordered at many places.  If Nebraska decided to switch back from West Coast Passing to option running, I can think of no better man.  Johnson could be the answer at Baylor, and if Bobby Johnson were to leave Vanderbilt for, say Clemson, Paul Johnson would be a great fit there.  Syracuse might be another option for him.

Ohio’s Frank Solich may be ready to return to the big time.  If Mangino or Pinkel leave, it would be interesting for him to return to the Big 12.

Turner Gill could be the leading candidate at Nebraska.

Larry Blakeney at Troy could be on the radar screen at Auburn if Tuberville leaves.

This week, rather than having one big game, there are multiple fairly big games.  I have targeted five of them as the biggest, most interesting, and most important.  I will use the symbol [G] by the game to signify that it is one of the big five.

(*): Games predicted as tossups (0 points) are not included.

Point spreads and totals are those listed as of 11:00 AM ET Wednesday.

Thursday, November 8

Louisville at West Virginia

Vegas:  West Virginia by 16  64 O/U

PiRate: West Virginia by 21  

Mean: West Virginia 41 Louisville 24  

This was supposed to be the Thursday Night Game of the Year and one of the top overall games of the year.  In the preseason, many experts thought these two teams would be unbeaten when they faced off. 

Louisville’s defense has begun to play a little more like they were supposed to in recent weeks.  Giving up just 24 points to Cincinnati and their spread offense means UL could conceivably hold West Virginia to 24 points.  Conceivably, yes, but probable, no.  West Virginia can run the ball much better than Cinti, and while Patrick White isn’t Ben Mauk, he can exploit any defense that concentrates on stopping the running of Steve Slaton, Noel Devine, and himself.

Louisville will score points in this game, but I don’t see an upset in the cards.  Go with the hometown Mountaineers to improve to 8-1.


West Virginia -16

Over 64

West Virginia -6 and -3 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 54 and 51 in 10 and 13-point teasers


T C U at Brigham Young

Vegas: B Y U by 7  46 O/U

PiRate: B Y U by 4

Mean: B Y U 24 T C U 16 

Like the game above, this one was supposed to be a battle for a conference championship.  TCU has been a slight disappointment this year losing four times thus far. 

The Horned Frogs just shut out and destroyed a fairly good New Mexico team last week, but they are facing several negative intangible factors this week.  To start off, they must travel 1,200 miles on two fewer than normal preparation days.  This will destroy any momentum TCU picked up with the big win.  BYU is coming off two rather easy home wins and will be playing at home for the third consecutive game.  The Cougars have won five games in a row and appear to be on a roll.  Bronco Mendenhall’s complex offense is extremely difficult to prepare against when the opponent has a full week.  Having to face it on a Thursday is next to impossible.  To the contrary, TCU’s offense is not as hard to prepare against.

I look for BYU to win this game by around a touchdown.  The ratings are too close to the Vegas line, so I’d recommend not playing it straight up.  The money line may be your best bet here.


B Y U -275

B Y U +3 and +6 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 36 and 33 in 10 and 13-point teasers



Saturday, November 10

Michigan at Wisconsin [G]

Vegas: Michigan by 3  46½ O/U

PiRate: Wisconsin by 3     

Mean: Michigan 25 Wisconsin 24  

I have listed this game as one of the top five this week.  Not only is it a big game for both teams’ bowl positioning, this one should be close and go down to the wire.  The two different ratings pick separate teams here.

Wisconsin’s three losses have come at the hands of Illinois, Penn State, and Ohio State by a combined score of 107-50.  Those three teams combined average out to the strength of the Wolverines, so Michigan should be a prohibitive favorite, right?  Wrong!  Wisconsin lost those three games on the road, and this week’s game is in Madison.  Bucky Badger may be smiling Saturday.

Michigan is hurt by the status of quarterback Chad Henne and tailback Mike Hart’s injuries.  If the duo doesn’t play, Michigan could be in trouble.  If Michigan can win this game to improve to 9-2, they should not win by double digits.  That gives you a smart teaser play.  I also don’t think Wisconsin can win by more than a touchdown, so that gives you a second teaser play.  If you want to go for the trifecta, 36½ points could fill out one teaser parlay.


Wisconsin +13 and +16 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Michigan +7 and +10 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 36½ and 33½ in 10 and 13-point teasers 



Wake Forest at Clemson

Vegas: Clemson by 9  51 O/U

PiRate: Clemson by 10  

Mean: Clemson 28 Wake Forest 20

The PiRates now believe that Clemson is the team to beat in the ACC.  The Tigers have a history during the Tommy Bowden years of being better in November than they were in September.

Wake Forest’s loss to Virginia last week eliminated the Demon Deacons from the divisional title race.  That loss may also deflate them just enough to ensure that Clemson will win this game by at least a touchdown.

Clemson’s defense is tough enough to hold Wake to 250-300 total yards.  Wake’s defense is good, but the Deacs cannot hold CU under 350 total yards.  I think the Tigers will pick up 100 more yards than Wake in this game, and barring a huge turnover differential, I just cannot see any way Wake Forest can win at Clemson.  Since CU is favored by less than 10, a 10-point teaser is quite inviting here.


Clemson +1 and +4 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Under 61 and 64 in 10 and 13-point teasers



Penn State at Temple  

Vegas: Penn State by 24  47 O/U

PiRate: Penn State by 25  

Mean: Penn State 32 Temple 10  

Penn State won this game at home in 2006 by the score of 47-0.  This year, the Lions must play this game on the road.  Just what type of home field advantage will their opponent enjoy?  Absolutely none.  When Joe Pa takes his squad to Philadelphia, they will be the real home team.

Temple last defeated Penn State seven weeks before Pearl Harbor was invaded.  The chances of the Owls pulling off the upset Saturday are about the same as Pearl Harbor being invaded this weekend.  Temple may keep it close for a quarter or even a half, but Penn State is too physical and too fast for the Owls. 

Temple will not be able to run the ball and will pick up less than 75 rushing yards.  Their passing game will not be able to compensate for that deficiency, so the Owls will be lucky to score more than one time.

Penn State should be able to top 200 yards rushing and passing.  With 400+ total yards gained, that should allow them to top 30 points.  It may not be another 47-0 pasting, but the Nittany Lions should win by more than three touchdowns.


Penn State -24

Penn State -14 and -11 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 37 and 34 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Indiana at Northwestern   

Vegas: Indiana by 2  61½ O/U

PiRate: Indiana by 5

Mean: Indiana 32 Northwestern 30

Indiana won their sixth game last week.  One more win virtually guarantees the Hoosiers that 13th game that former head coach Terry Hoeppner talked about before he passed away earlier this year.

Northwestern isn’t going to roll over and allow IU to easily pick up that seventh win.  The Wildcats need one more victory to become bowl eligible and probably need wins over both Indiana and Illinois to get a bowl invitation.

Since back-to-back overtime wins over Michigan State and Minnesota, Northwestern seems to have lost some steam.  They didn’t clobber Eastern Michigan, and then Purdue and Iowa handled them easily.

Indiana lost three consecutive games before beating Ball State last week.  The Hoosiers cannot move the ball as well as Northwestern, but their defense is a little better.  This game should be close, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the teams took turns scoring.  The only fly in the ointment here is that it could be raining in Evanston Saturday.  If it is really wet, the score could be lower than expected, and the game could turn on which team holds onto the pigskin.  Indiana tends to turn the ball over more than Northwestern, so any physical advantage would be negated.  On a wet field, I like the home team in this one.  So, before getting action on this game, wait until Saturday morning and check the weather.  If it’s dry on the north side, take Indiana.  If it’s wet in Chicagoland, take Northwestern and the Under. 



Indiana -2

Indiana +8 and +11 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 51½ and 48½ in 10 and 13-point teasers      


Northwestern +2

Northwestern +12 and +15 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Under 71½ and 74½ in 10 and 13-point teasers



North Carolina at North Carolina State   

Vegas: N. C. State by 3½  44 O/U 

PiRate: N. C. State by 6  

Mean: N.C. State 28 North Carolina 23   

Tom O’Brien must be a miracle worker.  He inherited a mess in Raleigh when he took over at North Carolina State.  The Wolfpack had some talent, but they lacked discipline under former coach Chuck Amato.  When Amato was dismissed last season, he left the school at the bottom of the Atlantic Division of the ACC.  This year, State began the season with a 1-5 record and the only win coming against Wofford.  Four of the five losses were not close, and it looked like the Pack might go 1-11 or 2-10 at best.  Three weeks ago, the team put it all together and upset East Carolina.  They didn’t just win; they blew the Pirates off their home field.  Following that win, O’Brien’s troops knocked off Virginia and Miami.  Now, they are talking bowl game at Carter-Finley Stadium.  Wins over North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Maryland will give them a 7-5 record and pretty much assure them that they will play game number 13 in December.

North Carolina is almost as improved this year as their opponent this week.  Butch Davis has the Tar Heels competing against the good teams.  However, North Carolina hasn’t done well in road games.  Of course, this road game is nothing more than a 40-minute bus ride from their campus (or about the same amount of time it takes to travel four miles on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago in the morning.)

I expect this game to be a defensive struggle.  Both teams have gotten better defensively since the start of the year, and the odds makers may not have caught up with the trend.  Therefore, playing the Under may be the best bet on this game, especially if it’s played in a teaser.  Of course, because this game is almost even, there is always the threat that an overtime game could spoil your day.  When you change the teaser to an over, 34 or 31 points look enticing.


N.C. State +6½ and +9½ in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 34 and 31 in 10 and 13-point teasers



Michigan State at Purdue

Vegas: Purdue by 4  57½ O/U    

PiRate: Purdue by 4  

Mean: Purdue 34 Michigan State 26

Mark Dantonio’s first four weeks of his inaugural season at Michigan State produced a 4-0 record.  It looked like the Spartans were a cinch for obtaining one of the Big 10’s seven bowl spots.  Then, the roof collapsed.  A close loss at Wisconsin and an overtime loss against Northwestern brought on thoughts of another mid-season collapse in East Lansing.  The Spartans recovered to trounce Indiana, but then losses to Ohio State, Iowa, and Michigan dropped their record to 5-5.  MSU closes with this game and a home tilt against Penn State, and they must win both to have any bowl chances.

Purdue is one of those teams that can punish a weak opponent, just edge a rather good opponent, and get clobbered by a strong opponent.  Luckily for the Boilermakers in 2007, they have played only three strong opponents this season; they have lost all three by a combined score of 97-47.  Michigan State qualifies as a rather good opponent, meaning Purdue should edge but not clobber MSU.  The Spartans will have to wait another year to go bowling.


Purdue +6 and +9 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 47½ and 44½ in 10 and 13-point teasers


Minnesota at Iowa   

Vegas: Iowa by 14½  47½ O/U       

PiRate: Iowa by 15  

Mean: Iowa 34 Minnesota 18

Minnesota will be leaving with less baggage than when they arrive in Iowa City.  One bronze pig by the name of Floyd of Rosedale will not be heading back to Minneapolis when the Gophers return home with their 10th loss in hand.

It surely cannot be serious, but there is talk in the Twin Cities of letting go of Gopher coach Tim Brewster after just one season.  Many boosters believe he is in over his head and will place the program back to where it was in the early to mid 1990’s.

As for the game, this should be interesting for a short time.  Iowa’s defense may give up a few more yards than normal this week, but their offense is going to look more like it did in 2002.  Minnesota is giving up an average of 552 total yards and 38 points per game.  In Big 10 play, the Gophers are ceding more than 40 points per game.  Look for the Hawkeyes to score their most points and pick up their most yardage this season and cruise to a two to three touchdown win over the hapless Gophers.  A win gets them to bowl eligibility.


Iowa -4½ and -1½ in 10 and 13-point teasers

Minnesota +24½ and +27½ in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 37½ and 34½ in 10 and 13-point teasers



Texas A&M at Missouri   

Vegas: Missouri by 19  62 O/U  

PiRate: Missouri by 25

Mean: Missouri 35 Texas A&M 17

This game has the capability of getting really ugly.  Missouri won by 45 at Colorado last week and returns home with loads of momentum.  Texas A&M took a beating last week at Oklahoma and must travel on the road again this week.  What’s more, the Aggie players probably have given up on the lame-duck coaching staff (at least until the Texas game), and they may be ill-prepared to take on the mighty Chase Daniel and company. 

Daniel was a star quarterback at Southlake Carroll High School in the greater Dallas area, and Texas A&M didn’t recruit him.  Even though he probably wanted to attend Texas (Mack Brown went after Ryan Perrilloux then Colt McCoy), he felt snubbed.  Look for him to take a little revenge against the weak Aggie defense.  He could easily pass for 300-350 yards and pick up a nice chunk on the ground as well.

The Missouri defense should hold the A&M rushing game below its average of 228 yards per game, and in doing so hold them under 21 points.  When A&M has scored less than 21 points this year, they have lost all four times, and they are 2-11 overall during the Dennis Franchione tenure.  With ideal weather expected, you can also expect a big Missouri win.  Look for a score in the range of 42-17.


Missouri -19

Missouri -9 and -6 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Under 72 and 75 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Arkansas at Tennessee [G]

Vegas: Pk  63 O/U

PiRate: Arkansas by 1

Mean: Tennessee 35 Arkansas 33

This is one of the five big games of the week.  Even though Tennessee has been wiped off the field three times this season, including twice in the SEC, the Volunteers are still the current true leader in the SEC East inasmuch as they are the only team in the division that controls their own destiny.

Arkansas is only 2-3 in the league, but the Hogs could easily be 5-0.  Their three conference losses have been nothing like the losses Tennessee has suffered.  After putting the pieces together at Ole Miss in a 44-8 win, the Razorbacks have begun to play like they did in the latter part of 2006.  Superstar tailback Darren McFadden is now a true single-wing-type dual threat (hey, he might even be the old tried and true triple threat and surprise somebody with a quick kick).  McFadden can pass the ball, and that really puts pressure on opposing defenses.  If Vince Lombardi were still alive and coaching the Packers, he would move Heaven and Earth to get McFadden in the draft, as he would be the next Paul Hornung (didn’t he win the Heisman Trophy?).  Throw near superstar Felix Jones into the backfield, and this becomes the scariest skilled positioned offense in college football.  While Arkansas may not win the SEC Championship, right now, they could very well be the strongest and most exciting team.

Tennessee must try to outscore the Razorbacks.  Quarterback Erik Ainge has the ability to pass for 250-300 yards and lead his team to a 35-point game.  That still may not be enough points to win this game, because Arkansas averages 41 per game.

The two ratings disagree on which team will win, but they both believe the final margin of victory will be less than a field goal.


Tennessee +10 and +13 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Arkansas +10 and +13 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 53 and 50 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Colorado at Iowa State  

Vegas: Colorado by 5  49 O/U  

PiRate: Colorado by 2

Mean: Colorado 22 Iowa State 14

Iowa State may be the most improved Big 12 team since the end of September.  This is a team that went 0-3 against middle of the pack MAC teams in September.  In the past three weeks, ISU has taken Oklahoma to the wire before losing a close game, given Missouri fits, and knocked Kansas State for a loop.  The Cyclones may be the best 2-8 team in the past 15 years.

Colorado was in that same position last year.  One year later, the Buffs find themselves at 5-5, needing one more win to become bowl eligible.  The five teams that beat CU have a combined record of 36-9, as the boys from Boulder have played one hellacious schedule this season.

Colorado will be fortunate to escape with a one or two-point win.  The Vegas smart guys list them as a five-point pick, and adding 10 or 13 to that makes it a comfortable teaser play in favor of the home team.


Iowa State +15 and +18 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Iowa State +185 (combine with other underdogs in money line parlay for big odds)


Kansas State at Nebraska   

Vegas: Kansas State by 7  64 O/U  

PiRate: Kansas State by 14  

Mean: Kansas State 38 Nebraska 33

Both of these teams are falling, but Nebraska has fallen farther and for a longer period of time this season.  For Kansas State, a loss in Lincoln may bring their bowl aspirations to an end this year.  The Wildcats must still face Missouri and finish on the road at Fresno State.  If they cannot beat Nebraska, they will not win either of the final two and finish 5-7.  6-6 will get them into a bowl this year, especially since it looks highly likely that the Big 12 will supply two teams to BCS bowls and need nine teams to fulfill their allotment.

Even if Nebraska rebounds and wins out by an average score of 50-0, the Bill Callahan days are done.  This once proud program has fallen to the bottom of the Northern Division and isn’t much better, if at all, than Baylor.  Giving up 76 points to Kansas is more than a black eye; it’s a beheading!  There were a couple of seasons back in the Bob Devaney days where NU gave up only a few points more in an entire season than they surrendered last week.

All of this makes me a little gun-shy to pick against the spread this week.  Nebraska may be down and close to out for the count, but they still have some pride left.  I’m guessing the defense will come out and play as competently as they are capable of playing.  I think the offense will produce a complementary effort.  That may be enough to if not beat Kansas State, keep the game close.  The only way I would play this one is with Nebraska in a 10 or 13-point teaser.  I wouldn’t want to rely on KSU covering on the road as a touchdown favorite, even against the bottom team in their division.


Nebraska +17 and +20 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Under 74 and 77 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Alabama at Mississippi State   

Vegas: Alabama by 5  50 O/U   

PiRate: Alabama by 4

Mean: Alabama 24 Mississippi State 19

This game almost qualified as one of the most interesting games of the week, but there just isn’t enough on the line here.  Alabama is bowl eligible and will more than likely finish with eight wins.  That will give them a shot at a Cotton, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, or Liberty Bowl bid.  Mississippi State still has Ole Miss to play and will become bowl eligible with a win in that game.  They probably need a win here to actually get a bowl bid, for at 6-6, it looks like they will be left out in the cold.

Added to the excitement is always the fact that current Bulldog coach Sylvester Croom is an Alabama alum and former football star.  He has slowly rebuilt the State program to the precipice of bowl eligibility.  Croom’s defense has kept the Tide offense out of the end zone for both of the last two years.  Last season, State won in Tuscaloosa to seal Mike Shula’s fate in Crimsonville. 

Nick Saban’s offense will score at least two touchdowns against the Bullies.  The Tide will give up a couple of touchdowns as well, so this game should be another close one.  The intangibles almost balance out, but they do tilt slightly in State’s favor.  The maroon and white had an extra week to prepare for this tilt, and the Tide had an emotional setback last week when they almost won against LSU to take the SEC West lead but came up a bit short at the end.

The line looks really honest here, but the over/under may be a bit high.  These teams usually play a low-scoring game when they square off.  The last time more than 50 points were scored in this series was 1997.  By teasing this one 10 points, you have to go back to 1993 to find a game where more than 60 points were scored.  A 13-point teaser gives you the confidence in knowing that 1988 was the last time these teams combined for more than 63 total points.


Under 50

Mississippi State +15 and +18 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Under 60 and 63 in 10 and 13-point teasers 


Kentucky at Vanderbilt

Vegas: Kentucky by 3½  57½ O/U  

PiRate: Kentucky by 3

Mean: Kentucky 28 Vanderbilt 24

Kentucky has won five out of the last six games in this series, and Rich Brooks is 3-1 against Bobby Johnson including beating him twice when his Commodores were favored.

This game has a familiar ring to it.  The situation is similar to the ones from 2005, 1999, 1984, and 1973.  Vanderbilt had five wins entering  three out of four of these games (they were 4-5 in 2005) and was favored to pick up the decisive 6th win (guaranteeing a winning season) in the earliest three and a 5th win with a weak Tennessee team to follow in 2005.  The Commodores each time had a momentary breakdown in all four of these games and saw their chances slip away.  Kentucky won all four of these games, and Vanderbilt finished with five wins (they beat Tennessee in 2005 after losing a heartbreaker at home to the Wildcats).

If the Commodores are ever going to break the jinx against Kentucky and the five-win plateau, this might be the season.  The Wildcats have not purred since they upset LSU.  Injuries were a huge contributing factor, and some of those key players will be available for action this week-namely Rafael Little and Keenan Burton.

Just how well these two stars play after missing action may decide whether Kentucky wins its all-important seventh game or whether Vanderbilt finally breaks the cat curse and becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 1982.

I believe this will be a close game with more points scored than expected.  The last two years, these teams hooked up for 64 and 81 total points, and the totals line is at 57½ this week.  Tease that down to 47½ or 44½, and you have yourself a good shot at getting part of a winning parlay.  As for the game itself, I don’t think the Commodores will be able to stop Andre Woodson passing to Burton and Dicky Lyons and also shut down the Wildcat running game.  Vanderbilt cannot win in a shootout, so give the blue and white the edge by about four points.  If Kentucky tops 30 in this game, then they should beat the spread.  They have a good shot at getting there.  


Kentucky -3½

Kentucky +6½ and +9½ in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 47½ and 44½ in 10 and 13-point teasers  


Air Force at Notre Dame

Vegas: Air Force by 3  44 O/U  

PiRate: Air Force by 4  

Mean: Air Force 30 Notre Dame 23

Keep your chin up Notre Dame fans.  While your team faces a stronger service academy this week compared to last week, your defense should be ready to slow down the ground game of the Air Force Academy after facing a better option offense last week.  It means the Irish stand a decent chance of pulling off the upset.

Normally, AFA would be a good touchdown to 10-point favorite in this game.  However, Notre Dame has now had two weeks to prepare its defense against the option.  Most college teams can shut down most of the veer plays when they get two weeks to prepare against them.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not predicting ND to hold AFA to 125 yards rushing and seven points.  No, I’m predicting the Irish to hold the Falcons under their normal rushing average of about 275 yards per game.  Air Force might “only” rush for 200 yards in this game.  Their passing game may top their usual 125 yards, but it could also lead to a crucial interception and long return.  That’s about the only way Notre Dame can win a game this year, as their offense is just plain bad.

I predict Notre Dame will hold Air Force under 21 points.  If the Irish can score or set up a score with defense or special teams, they can compete for a win.  I think they will pick up 200 passing yards and score two touchdowns.  That third touchdown is the key to the game.  If they get it, they win it.


Notre Dame +13 and +16 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Under 54 and 57 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Illinois at Ohio State  

Vegas: Ohio State by 15  46 O/U

PiRate: Ohio State by 23

Mean: Ohio State 34 Illinois 16

This one might be tricky for most other top 10 teams getting ready to face their arch rival a week later for the conference championship. Might Ohio State find it hard not to be thinking about the game next week in Ann Arbor?  You know, Illinois is not a team you can overlook.

A Jim Tressel-coached team won’t play with much deviation.  What you see is what you get when the scarlet and gray take the field, be it against a team from the Bowl Championship Series or against the number two team in the nation.  The Buckeyes should control the vaunted Illini running game and hold Rashard Mendenhall and company to no more than 150 rushing and 130 passing yards.  Illinois cannot score more than 17 points with less than 280 total yards.

Ohio State will be able to move the football against the Illini.  This should be quarterback Todd Boeckman’s chance to move into Heisman Trophy contention, as I think he will pass for 250-300 yards and multiple touchdowns.  The OSU running game will produce a little less than normal, probably about 150-175 yards.  It adds up to 400 total yards minimum, and that should give the Buckeyes a chance to top 30 points.  I like teasing the spread down to five or two in this game and going with OSU at the Horseshoe.  Taking 10 or 13 points off the totals is another good teaser choice.


Ohio State -5 and -2 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 36 and 33 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Arizona State at U C L A

Vegas: Arizona State by 6½  51½ O/U    

PiRate: Arizona State by 8

Mean: Arizona State 30 U C L A 20

Remember what I said earlier this season:  do not wager on UCLA games.  The Bruins are the most unpredictable team in many years.  They beat BYU, slaughtered Oregon State, and upset Cal.  They also lost by 38 to Utah, by 20 to Washington State, and they gifted to Notre Dame their only win of the season, scoring just six points against the Irish. 

I cannot see any possible scenario where Karl Dorrell keeps his job in Westwood.  This is a program with the resources to consistently stay in the top 10 to 15 every year. 

Arizona State’s loss at Oregon probably ends any hope for the Sun Devils to win the Pac-10, but they can still earn a BCS Bowl at-large invitation by winning out.  Thus, I don’t believe ASU will suffer a letdown after losing their first game.  I look for the Devils to win at the Rose Bowl, but once again, I don’t predict the outcome of UCLA games.  The PiRates and Mean ratings agree ASU should win by just more than a touchdown.


Forget it 


Auburn at Georgia [G]  

Vegas: Georgia by 1½  44½ O/U      

PiRate: Georgia by 3   

Mean: Georgia 23 Auburn 20

I have this game listed as one of the five key games this week because both teams are vying for a New Year’s Day Bowl bid.  Georgia needs Tennessee to lose to have a chance at winning the Eastern Division flag, and I believe the Vols will oblige-if not this week, then at Kentucky.  The Bulldogs will win the division title and advance to the Championship game if they beat Auburn this week and Kentucky next week.  Both games are between the hedges in Athens, and I give UGa better than a 50-50 chance of pulling off the feat.

This game should be similar to the one these teams played two years ago, only a little lower scoring.  In 2005, Auburn won 31-30.  Both teams should run for about 175 yards in this game and pass for 200.  The only reason I (and the two ratings) favor the Bulldogs is home field advantage.  This one could turn on one important play, so my suggestion here is to force Auburn to beat you by winning by more than a touchdown.


Auburn +8½ and +11½ in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 34½ and 31½ in 10 and 13-point teasers


Florida State at Virginia Tech   

Vegas: Virginia Tech by 6  O/U 39½   

PiRate: Virginia Tech by 10

Mean: Virginia Tech 28 Florida State 10

Can Florida State pull off back-to-back road upsets?  The old Seminole teams could go on the road in consecutive weeks and win big games, but I’m not sure this team can do it.

Virginia Tech’s defense should contain the Seminoles most of the day.  I doubt FSU will see triple digits in their rushing yardage, and they will be lucky to pass for 225 yards.  I’m figuring about 300 total yards and 10 to 16 points for Bobby Bowden’s boys.

Virginia Tech’s offense is no juggernaut, and Florida State’s defense is almost up to their old standards.  Tech may not top 100 yards rushing, and they will be fortunate to top 200 yards passing.  The Hokies just so happen to score a point for every 12.1 yards they gain.  If VT gains 300 yards in this game, they should score about 25 points.  Since I cannot see any possibility of FSU scoring more than 17 points, it means Virginia Tech should win and cover the spread.


Virginia Tech -6

Virginia Tech +4 and +7 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 29 ½ and 26 ½ in 10 and 13-point teasers


Connecticut at Cincinnati [G]

Vegas: Cincinnati by 6½  48 O/U  

PiRate: Cincinnati by 4

Mean: Cincinnati 25 Connecticut 23

This qualifies as one of the big five games this week because the Big East race is still up for grabs.  Connecticut is 4-0 and a game and a half ahead of its nearest competitors in the conference.  A road win here means they just might have what it takes to run the table in the league including winning at West Virginia. 

Cincinnati has lost twice in league play.  However, they still must play West Virginia, and they get the Mountaineers at home at Nippert Stadium.  The Bearcats are strong enough to win both this week and against WVU, and if WVU beats UConn, Cinti would be Big East Champs in this scenario.

I believe this will be a happy Saturday for the Binturongs.  Their spread offense may be just strong enough to penetrate the Huskies’ tough defense for 150 rushing yards, 230 passing yards, and 21 to 28 points.  Connecticut is the only team other than Ohio State to yield less than 20 points in every game so far this season, so 21 points would be monumental for the Bearcats.

Connecticut’s offense has been overshadowed by their stop troops, but it is well-balanced and capable of producing points in a hurry.  Ask Rutgers how good it is.

This one is tough to figure, but I think the home team will win.  Vegas never ceases to amaze me; I thought this game might be a pick‘em, but they made UC a 6½-point favorite.  So, I’d recommend using the totals in a teaser and maybe taking the Huskies in a teaser.   


Connecticut +16½ and +19½ in 10 and 13-point teasers 

Over 38 and 35 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Texas Tech at Texas   

Vegas: Texas by 6½  65 O/U      

PiRate: Texas by 9

Mean: Texas 31 Texas Tech 24

I expected Texas Tech to win only six or seven games this year.  I expected Texas to win at least 10.  Tech has seven wins with Oklahoma yet to play in addition to this one.  Texas is 8-2 with a chance to get to 10 wins if they win here and against a falling Texas A&M team.  So, why do I think both of these teams are not matching my expectations this year?  It’s because I expected Texas Tech to struggle on both sides of the ball and just barely win their games, and I thought Texas would outscore their opposition by an average of close to 20 points per game.  Neither expectation is true.

Texas has already faced a similar offense four times this year, so the Tech passing game should not present many surprises.  I believe the Longhorns will limit the Red Raiders to about 350 passing yards; I say limit due to the fact that TTU normally throws for almost 500 yards per game.

When Texas has the ball, they should be able to control the clock with a dominating rushing game this week.  I think Mack Brown will have his ‘Horns running the ball 5-10 more times than normal this week.  UT should gain well over 200 yards on the ground.  I think it leads to a touchdown or more victory for Texas, and I think the chances that Tech pulls off the upset are less than 5%.


Texas -6½

Texas +3½ and +6½ in 10 and 13-point teasers  



Baylor at Oklahoma

Vegas: Oklahoma by 38  56 O/U  

PiRate: Oklahoma by 43

Mean: Oklahoma 41 Baylor 7

This is the type of game that gives me fits.  Oklahoma can name the score in this one.  They are favored by 38 and could lead by that much by halftime.  Then again, Coach Bob Stoops could decide to take it easy on the Bears and Coach Guy Morriss and control the clock with time-consuming drives.  The Sooners might only win 42-7, and that wouldn’t cover against the spread.

Here, I would recommend looking at the totals.  The over/under line is 56.  If you think Oklahoma will win 42-7, then the under becomes an attractive play.  If you think they might win 56-14, the over becomes a great choice.  I believe OU will win by as little as 45-10 and as much as 56-7.  That puts my personal totals range between 55 and 63 points.  So, it might be possible to tease both ends of the total.


Over 46 and 43 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Under 66 and 69 in 10 and 13-point teasers 


Virginia at Miami-FL

Vegas: Miami by 3½  41½ O/U    

PiRate: Miami by 5

Mean: Virginia 21 Miami 20

Here’s another game where the two ratings disagree, and the difference is by six points.  Virginia has been a rather consistent team this year.  Since the opening loss at Wyoming, the Cavaliers have won their games by the skin of their teeth.  In their past five games, they have won by two, won by one, won by one, lost by five, and won by one.  That is a strong and consistent pattern.

Miami is an above-average, but not outstanding team.  They are on par with Virginia in talent, but they are a little less predictable.  The Hurricanes could win this game by 10, win by a few points, or lose by a point or two.  I like the teaser here, because when you move the line by 10 or 13 points in Miami’s favor, you force the Cavs to win by at least a touchdown or 10 points to beat you.  Can you see Virginia winning by double digits in Miami?  I can’t.


Miami +6½ and +9½ in 10 and 13-point teasers


Florida at South Carolina

Vegas: Florida by 6½  59½ O/U     

PiRate: Florida by 5

Mean: Florida 31 South Carolina 26

Coach Steve Spurrier has never had a team fold up at the end of the season, and I don’t think the Gamecocks are going to carry the string out and finish 6-6 after beginning 6-1.

Florida has not played two complete, 60-minute games in back-to-back weeks this year.  The Gators just played a terrific game at home last week, and I believe they will be less than terrific this week.  Florida has not performed well against their old coach.  Even in last season’s national championship run, they beat USC by one point in Gainesville and were out-gained by nine yards.  The year before, Carolina won in Columbia.

Last year, Gamecock quarterback Blake Mitchell completed 24 of 33 passes for 275 yards at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  This Gator defense is more penetrable than last year’s edition, so I expect Mitchell to have an outstanding game.  I give the Gamecocks a strong chance to pull off the upset outright, so I like them straight up getting five points at home-even though the PiRates say otherwise.


South Carolina +6½

South Carolina +16½  and +19½ in 10 and 13-point teasers


Louisiana Tech at L S U   

Vegas: L S U by 36  55 O/U  

PiRate: L S U by 37

Mean: L S U 38 Louisiana Tech 3

This game bears the same warning as the Oklahoma-Baylor game.  Les Myles is a nice fellow, and he just may not run the score up against an in-state rival.  Last year, the Tigers could have beaten Louisiana-Lafayette by 50 or more points, but Myles pulled the plug in the second half and kept the final margin at 42.

Louisiana Tech isn’t a horrible team.  First year coach Derek Dooley, the son of Vince, has guided his version of Bulldogs to a 4-5 record.  Dooley was on Nick Saban’s staff at Baton Rouge and recruited many of the upperclassmen on the Tigers’ roster; he could be on a list of replacements if Myles bolted for Michigan.

Like his dad, the younger Dooley believes in playing solid defense and puts an emphasis on strong special teams along with a ball-control offense stressing the running game.  Of course, this is not going to feed the bulldog against the mighty Tigers.  LSU will not allow LT to run the ball with much success.  I look for Tech’s rushing line to look something like 35 attempts for 90 yards. 

While 36 points are a lot to cover, it can be done.  I think LSU will score 35 to 45 points and hold Tech to single digits.  Therefore, I like LSU giving only 26 or 23 points as part of a teaser, and I would stay away from taking Tech at +46 or +49.  LSU should cover at -26, and if they do win by 45-55, you still win.


L S U -26 and -23 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Kansas at Oklahoma State [G]  

Vegas: Kansas by 6  66 O/U  

PiRate: Kansas by 2  

Mean: Kansas 34 Oklahoma State 24

It may be becoming a broken record, but lately every game Kansas plays has been one of the games of the week.  The Jayhawks were the talk of the nation when they lit up Nebraska for 76 points.

Oklahoma State blew a big lead to lose to Texas at home last week.  The Cowboys have a potent offense, but they lack depth on the other side.  Hence, as games wear on, their defense becomes easier and easier to exploit.

Kansas’s offense will most assuredly bounce this week.  There is no way this team can produce 572 yards of offense, let alone come close to scoring 76 points.  On the plus side, the KU defense has nothing to be proud of for allowing Nebraska to score 39 points and to gain close to 500 yards.  Look for an improvement this week, even against the potent OSU offense.

On a neutral field with both teams getting two weeks to prepare for this game, I’d rate Kansas a two TD favorite.  Coming off the results of last week, and giving OSU about four points for home field advantage for this game, I’d move that spread eight points in favor of the Cowboys.  That leaves KU about a six-point pick, which is exactly what the geniuses in the Nevada desert think as well.  I don’t really favor the teasers in this game, and the money line is -230 if you take Kansas.  Those odds just don’t do anything for me.  The one play I like here is teasing the totals.  It will be hard for these teams to combine for 76 points, especially if I believe that Kansas will be concentrating on improving their defensive performance this week.

In the end, look for the KU offense to wear down OSU’s defense and pull out the win.


Under 76 and 79 in 10 and 13-point teasers



Boston College at Maryland

Vegas: Boston College by 6  46½ O/U    

PiRate: Boston College by 8 

Mean: Boston College 31 Maryland 23

Maryland has their backs against the wall after losing three consecutive games.  At 4-5, it doesn’t appear that the Terps can win out and get to 7-5, not with games at Florida State and at North Carolina State left to play after this one.  As a matter of fact, this game could be their best chance of the three of seeing another victory prior to next season.

Boston College can no longer consider themselves national title contenders, but the Eagles can still make it to the Orange or Sugar Bowl if they win 11 games.  They are currently 8-1 and close out the regular season by playing at Clemson and at home against Miami after this one.

In this game, I look for the defenses to have the upper hand.  Maryland should score no more than 17 points and produce about 300-325 total yards, most of which comes via the pass.  Boston College will move via the arm of quarterback Matt Ryan.  Ryan should pass for 275-300 yards and lead the Eagles on at least three scoring marches.

I look for BC to win by about a touchdown, and since the spread is BC -6, it doesn’t become a recommended play.  However, moving the spread 10 or 13 points in BC’s favor gives you an excellent choice since the Eagles would now receive four or seven points.  I also like playing the totals in a teaser.  36½ or 33½ points looks like a safe enough number to play the Over. 


Boston College +4 and +7 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 36½ and 33½ in 10 and 13-point teasers


Southern Cal at California

Vegas: Southern Cal by 4  51 O/U  

PiRate: Southern Cal by 7

Mean: Southern Cal 25 California 23

Since pulling off the big upset at Oregon (and it was gift-wrapped for them), Cal has fallen on rough times.  The Bears lost to Oregon State, UCLA, and Arizona State, and then struggled to survive a three-point win at home against Washington State. 

Southern Cal should have never lost at home to Stanford, but the loss to Oregon was legitimate.  The Trojans are a close second place to Louisville for biggest disappointment of the season.  This was supposed to be a team that would rank up there with Army of 1944 and 1945, Oklahoma of 1956, and Nebraska of 1971 and 1995.  This team is struggling just to match USC of 2006.

When you break down the Trojans’ schedule, only the most previous two games could be considered quality opposition.  USC has defeated Idaho, Nebraska, Washington State, Washington, Arizona, and Notre Dame, who have a combined 16-41 record. 

California owns a win over Tennessee in addition to Oregon.  On paper, it looks like the Bears should win at home, but I think the Trojans are about to exchange their cheap draft-quality paper for high quality linen paper.  I’m taking USC to pick up the road victory and win by more than four points.  A 28-21 win would be typical in my opinion.


Southern Cal -4

Southern Cal +6 and +9 in 10 and 13-point teasers

Over 41 and 38 in 10 and 13-point teasers


Fresno State at Hawaii

Vegas: Hawaii by 17½  72 O/U

PiRate: Hawaii by 15

Mean: Hawaii 38 Fresno State 27

If you take a long nap Saturday or go to bed with the chickens and get up at midnight, you might want to find a way to tune into this game on the Internet.  Just the mere fact that the over/under line is 72 tells you that it is sure to be a shootout.

Hawaii has enjoyed a week off, while Fresno had to deal with a pesky but winless Utah State Aggie team.  As always, the flight from the mainland to the islands plays a part in this game, and Hawaii is already a touchdown to 10 points better than the Bulldogs.

Hawaii averages less than 75 yards rushing per game this year, but I think they will surpass that amount by at least 30%.  Fresno has trouble against the run, and the Warriors should try running the ball a few extra times.  I look for one of their draws or delays to break away for a big gain.  Throw in more than 400 passing yards from the arm of Colt Brennan, and Hawaii should score 40 points or more.

Fresno State needs to run the ball with authority in order to keep this game close.  Hawaii’s run defense doesn’t get much publicity, but it is strong enough to keep FSU from achieving the running success it needs.

I am picking Hawaii to win by at least two touchdowns, so the teaser once again becomes the logical way to go. 


Hawaii -7½ and -4½ in 10 and 13-point teasers


PiRate Predictions For All Games

This Week’s Games

Home Team in Caps (N) Denotes Neutral Site



Thursday, November 8



Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score




B Y U T c u





Friday, November 9



Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score




Rutgers ARMY





Saturday, November 10



Favorite Underdog

Pred. Spread

Approx. Score




South Florida SYRACUSE



CLEMSON Wake Forest






N. C. STATE North Carolina



Penn State TEMPLE



IOWA Minnesota



PURDUE Michigan State












Kansas State NEBRASKA






Georgia Tech DUKE









Boise State UTAH STATE



NEW MEXICO Colorado State



Houston TULSA



S M U Rice






Arizona State U C L A









CINCINNATI Connecticut



TEXAS Texas Tech



UTAH Wyoming






SAN JOSE STATE New Mexico State












East Carolina MARSHALL















U t e p TULANE



MIAMI-FL Virginia



Central Florida ALA.-BIRMINGHAM






Boston College MARYLAND



L S U Louisiana Tech












San Diego State U N L V



HAWAII Fresno State





This Week’s “Picks”


Last week hit me hard.  I thought for sure I had a can’t miss winning weekend before the games began.  As the day progressed, the blood-letting was slow and torturous.  Late, meaningless scores killed me multiple times.  The 4-9 result could have easily been 8-5.  Well, it’s time to continue with the weekly masochism.  Here goes with a boat load of picks.

I am going to try something different this week.  If you follow horse racing, you are familiar with playing boxes and wheels and keying one or two horses with other horses.  If you don’t, here is a brief explanation:  Say that you like two horses in a race and think both will finish in the money (first, second, or third).  If you want to bet a trifecta (picking the winning, second place, and third place horse in order), you might key both of the horses to finish first and second with the rest of the field or a select group of horses to finish third.  It would result in you having numerous possible plays in the trifecta.

Okay, so how does it apply to football?  I am simply going to isolate a couple of games that I believe are great opportunities as part of a teaser parlay and match them with different games to make multiple teaser plays.  It’s a risky proposition, for if either of the key games misses, it means multiple losses instead of just one.  I would never consider it, except this season is proving to be one where you have to think out of the box.


Straight Plays Against the Spread

# 1:  Virginia Tech -6 vs. Florida State

# 2:  Texas -6½ vs. Texas Tech

# 3:  Southern Cal -4 vs. California

Straight Plays Totals

# 4:  Alabama and Mississippi State Under 50

Money Line Picks

# 5:  Rutgers -1000 vs. Army (a loss here greatly raises % needed to break even)

# 6: Purdue -180 vs. Michigan State

# 7:  Clemson -330 vs. Wake Forest

# 8: East Carolina -260 vs. Marshall

10-point Teasers

# 9:  Clemson +1 vs. Wake Forest

        Rice +16 vs. SMU

        Arkansas +10 vs. Tennessee

#10: Clemson +1 vs. Wake Forest

        Rice +16 vs. SMU

        Texas +3½ vs. Texas Tech

#11: Rice +16 vs. SMU

        Arkansas +10 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 3½ vs. Texas Tech

#12: Clemson +1 vs. Wake Forest

        Arkansas +10 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 3½ vs. Texas Tech                                                  

13-point Teasers

#13: Clemson +4 vs. Wake Forest

        Arkansas +13 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 6½ vs. Texas Tech

        Rice + 19 vs. SMU

#14: Clemson +4 vs. Wake Forest

        Rice +19 vs. SMU

        West Virginia -3 vs. Louisville

        Rutgers -5½ vs. Army

#15: Clemson +4 vs. Wake Forest

        Rice +19 vs. SMU

        Miami +9½ vs. Virginia

        Penn State -11 vs. Temple

#16: Clemson +4 vs. Wake Forest

        Rice +19 vs. SMU

        Connecticut +19½ vs. Cincinnati

        Iowa State +18 vs. Colorado

#17: Clemson +4 vs. Wake Forest

        Rice +19 vs. SMU

        Notre Dame +16 vs. Air Force

        Utah State +37 vs. Boise St.

#18: Clemson +4 vs. Wake Forest

        Rice +19 vs. SMU

        Mississippi State +18 vs. Alabama

        Auburn +11½ vs. Georgia

#19: Arkansas +13 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 6½ vs. Texas Tech

        Minnesota + 27½ vs. Iowa

        Iowa – 1½ vs. Minnesota  


#20: Arkansas +13 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 6½ vs. Texas Tech

        Missouri -6 vs. Texas A&M

        Wisconsin +16 vs. Michigan

#21: Arkansas +13 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 6½ vs. Texas Tech

        Ohio State -2 vs. Illinois

        Boston College +7 vs. Maryland

#22: Arkansas +13 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 6½ vs. Texas Tech

        North Carolina State +9½ vs. North Carolina

        South Carolina +19½ vs. Florida

#23: Arkansas +13 vs. Tennessee

        Texas + 6½ vs. Texas Tech

        LSU -23 vs. Louisiana Tech

        Southern Cal +9 vs. California

#24: West Virginia -3 vs. Louisville

        Rutgers -5½ vs. Army

        Miami + 9½ vs. Virginia

        Penn State -11 vs. Temple

#25: Utah State +37 vs. Boise State

        Mississippi State +18 vs. Alabama

        Minnesota + 27½ vs. Iowa

        Missouri -6 vs. Texas A&M

#26: Iowa -1½ vs. Minnesota

        Wisconsin +16 vs. Michigan

        Ohio State -2 vs. Illinois

        Boston College +7 vs. Maryland

#27: North Carolina State +9½ vs. North Carolina

        South Carolina +19½ vs. Florida

        L S U -23 vs. Louisiana Tech

        Southern Cal +9 vs. California

This week’s unofficial three-game parlay upset picks on the money line: How about this great 3-team parlay of upset winners?  If you win it, you would receive odds of 44 to 1.  Not too bad for these three games:

Rice +200 vs. SMU

Stanford +360 vs. Washington State

South Carolina +225 vs. Florida



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