There’s just three weeks left in ESPN’s college picking game as the regular season winds to a close. While there are many teams feasting on cupcakes this week, there’s still some great games on tap for Saturday. While there may not be as many marquee matchups, there’s still sure to be some great games and you can find the top ten and my pick for them below.
Last week, my entry had 43 points which was the high for our Fantasy CPR group mostly due to my Oklahoma State pick and the fact that I didn’t have more points on the Crimson Tide as they fell to the Aggies. Overall, I’ve moved into second place behind our leader Josh Black M2 who still is out front by 21. Hopefully I can close that gap even more with these picks this week:
1 point-San Jose State over BYU: San Jose State has played will in the WAC this year losing only to Utah State after a 3-point loss to Stanford in their season opener. BYU has one of the best defenses in college football but is just 6-4 although they have played a tougher schedule than San Jose State. This a huge game for SJSU as their coach Mike MacIntyre stated to the Salt Lake Tribune earlier this week: “One of the biggest games in the modern history of San Jose State football.” BYU on the other hand is headed to the Poinsettia Bowl regardless of the outcome here. I think a motivated Spartan squad gets the win at home in an upset.
2 points-Michigan State over Northwestern: Northwestern has the better record overall and in-conference but they’ve played a much easier schedule and have lost three of their last five with wins over Minnesota and Iowa. Last week they lost to Michigan in OT. The Spartans haven’t looked good lately either as they fell last week 28-24 to Nebraska giving them three losses in their last four games. The Spartan offense has been struggling so to put up 24, their highest total in three weeks and still lose is not a good sign. I still think, however, that Michigan State has more talent and since they’re at home I’ll take them, but not with much confidence.
3 points- Cincinnati over Rutgers: In a Big East battle between two schools still in the title hunt, I think the home team will knock off the last undefeated in-confernce team. Despite the way people in the pick’em game are leaning, Cincy is actually favored int this one. Cincinnati has picked up a pair of nice wins since losing to Louisville in overtime three weeks ago and has made a quarterback change from Munchie Legaux to Brendon Kay. Kay threw for 244 yards and a pair of scores and rushed for 71 more yards last week against Temple. Rutgers defense though is sure to provide a tougher test as they rank fifth in least points allowed per game in the nation. The reason I think Cincy wins is the way Rutgers got beat at home two weeks ago by Kent State. At home, I thikn Kay can do enough to get the Bearcats the win.
4 points-Ohio State over Wisconsin: Ohio State is still unbeaten and if it wasn’t for their postseason ban who knows where they’d be headed. They are coming off their bye week after cruising past Illinois two weeks ago and will look to improve to 11-0 heading into their annual showdown with Michigan. Wisconsin meanwhile is 7-3 and dropped their last game at Camp Randall to the visiting Michigan State Spartans. They rebounded last week to crush the Hoosiers on the road, but will have to find an answer to Braxton Miller this week. I don’t think they’ll be able to contain the Buckeyes offense and they’ll find it difficult to run the ball as well leading to an OSU win on the road in Madison.
5 points-Oklahoma State over Texas Tech: The Cowboys have taken the last three games between these teams including a 66-6 beatdown in Lubbock last season. OSU is coming off a nice win against West Virginia and have won four of five with their only loss coming against K-State. Texas Tech is much stronger this year than last but have lost two of three and needed overtime to get past Kansas last week.
6 points-USC over UCLA: It’s time for the two LA-based rivals to fight it out for the Victory Bell again. The Trojans have taken the last five meetings by a dominating 158-35. However, the Bruins are nationally relevant once again and actually ranked one spot higher than the Trojans coming into this won. The Trojans have struggled a bit dropping two of their last three as Matt Barkley has turned the bal over, but the Bruins have struggled with athletic playmakers and won’t be able to contain Marqise Lee and Robert Woods in this one. The Trojans have this game and then the looming Notre Dame showdown next week left on the schedule while the Bruins face Stanford in their regular season finale next week. Both teams can score and the game should be wildly entertaining as both teams try to get into better bowl position by knocking off their rival.
7 points-Vanderbilt over Tennessee: The Commodores are headed back to a bowl and will get a shot to beat the Volunteers as Tennessee comes to Nashville on Saturday night. Tennessee is 0-6 in-conference and needs to win its last two games to avoid another losing season. They came close last week against Missouri before losing at home in overtime. Vanderbilt has been playing well having lost only to top-ten schools South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida in conference. They’ve won four in a row and will be out for revenge for all the times they’ve been the doormats as they look to make a statement against their in-state rivals.
8 points-Oklahoma over West Virginia: The Sooners two losses have come to K-State and Notre Dame both quality opponents. West Virginia has also lost to K-State but have dropped two games since then to TCU and Oklahoma State as part of their current four-game losing streak. They have allowed 49, 55, 39, and 55 in their four losses which should set up nicely for Oklahoma who is 12th in the nation averaging 39.8 points per game. The Mountaineers offense won’t be able to keep up with the points that their struggling defense will allow as they drop to 5-5 on the year which no one saw coming when they were 5-0 after beating Texas and were ranked fifth in the country.
9 points-Kansas State over Baylor: K-State heads to Baylor in a Big-12 road test for the new #1 team in the country. Baylor can throw the ball but their defense has struggled stopping anyone which is bad news when Collin Klein comes to town. The Bears are just 1-5 in conference and have lost five of their last six including losses to Iowa State, TCU, WVU, and Oklahoma all teams that the Wildcats have beaten behind their dual-threat QB Collin Klein. The Heisman candidate should be in for another nice rushing/passing week against Baylor. Kansas State has lost it’s last two trips to Waco, but I feel pretty confident that Klein and the Cats pick up the win here.
10 points-Oregon over Stanford: Oregon has looked as locked in as any team in the country and gets to play Stanford in Eugene at what’s sure to be a raucous Autzen Stadium. Oregon leads the nation in points for and is 3rd in rushing yards, but lats week Marcus Mariota showed he can take it to the air effectively as well as he threw for a half-dozen scores as the Ducks trounced Cal in Berkeley. Oregon has been incredible at home and has beaten their two ranked opponents 101-21. Stanford is sure to be excited for the chance to knock Oregon out but they’ve struggled away from home this year with a 2-2 record in road games picking up wins only at Colorado and at Washington. The Cardinal looked good with their new QB last week, but there’s no way their offense can keep up with the flying Ducks. Since Oregon is at home, I’m slightly more confident in them than I am in the Wildcats on the road.