Dawg Sports picks this week's national games of interest against the spread, i.e. don't expect to see any B1G picks up in here.
Last night we witnessed an historic event. If you're anything like me, you spent the evening in front of a TV watching the contest in Ohio, rooting heartily for one side in a very close campaign. Maybe you're thrilled by the outcome. Maybe you're inconsolable. Either way, it's time to congratulate the victor. So, here's to you, Ball State! Upsetting Toledo halts a two game skid and puts you right back in the race for the MAC West. Go Cardinals!
What? You thought we were going to talk politics on a sports blog? Don't Bet On It!
No. 10 Florida State (-14.5) at Virginia Tech
The Seminoles are going to win this game. The Hokies are terrible. For what seems like the first time in a decade, Frank Beamer's boys are out of the running for the Coastal/Atlantic/Whatever division and won't win 10 games. The big question is whether he can motivate them to show up against a tough opponent to try to secure a slightly better mid-December bowl bid. I'm tempted to say that the Hokies can keep it close in a night game at Blacksburg. Then again, they've started every game slowly, and FSU usually comes out guns blazing. Given the very real possibility that Va Tech may roll over if they get down early, let's take FSU in a rout.
No. 9 Louisville (-2.5) at Syracuse
Yes, the Carrier Dome is a weird place to play, and Louisville may have a hard time getting there if this nor'easter is as bad as some are predicting. But Cardinal QB Teddy Bridgewater is still the best player about whom only real football junkies are talking, and Louisville is still undefeated. Charlie Strong's squad will win by more than a field goal, and at least three SEC schools are going to come calling at year end.
No. 2 Kansas State at TCU (Pick)
This is a pick 'em, which seems crazy at first glance. The Wildcats are undefeated and have a Heisman candidate under center, while TCU is just 6-3 and has perhaps the worst defense of Gary Patterson's tenure. But look a little closer: Optimus Klein clearly suffered a concussion last week, and Kansas State was already relying on the run anyway. The Horned Frogs have the Big XII's best rushing defense, having given up just 6 TDs on the year and less than 92 yards per game on the ground. Something tells me that K State will lose a game this season, and the only other games left on their schedule (Baylor and Texas) look like easy wins. TCU pulls the upset at home.
No. 11 Oregon State (+4.5) at No. 14 Stanford
Oregon State's defense is very, very good; the Beavers allow just 18.1 points per game. Stanford's offense is very, very bad; even including last week's 48 point outburst against lowly Colorado, the Cardinal score just 29.3 points per game. This is going to be low-scoring and ugly, so we'll take the Beavers plus the points.
Baylor (+21) at No. 12 Oklahoma
The Bears defense has been a problem this season, while the Sooners' has been a secret strength. However, Baylor boasts the second highest scoring offense in the Big XII (behind Kansas State) and is the conference's model of offensive efficiency, averaging 7.28 yards per play. Plus, 3 TDs seems like an awful lot in what could turn into a track meet. It's not like Baylor is Texas or something.
Iowa State at No. 17 Texas (-10.5)
The Cyclones aren't nearly as good on the road, and they already got their annual upset out of the way against Texas Christian. The 'Horns earn back some respect with a big win in Austin.
West Virginia (+7.5) at Oklahoma State
The 'Eers have lost 3 in a row, including a heartbreaker to TCU in double overtime last week after the bye. The Cowboys have also lost 3, but did so against Arizona (on the road against an offense they hadn't seen before), Texas (questionable), and Kansas State (respectable). Oklahoma State appears to be statistically superior, but my heart says this will be a shoot-out. The Cowboys probably win, but it should be by a TD or less.
For the record, we went 3-5 last week and are now 28-49 on the season. Please remember that these picks are provided for free, and you're getting exactly what you're paying for. Go Dawgs!