Last week: 3-2
Ohio State +2.5 at Miami – The Hurricanes are a decent team, but they haven’t proven a lot this season, falling short to Maryland two weeks ago. I’m not convinced of the decision to start Jacory Harris at QB over Stephen Morris; Harris struggled with turnovers down the stretch in 2010. The Buckeyes struggled in a narrow win against Toledo, but I think that means they bounce back in a more high-profile game. These are evenly matched teams, and I’ll take the points.
Oklahoma State -13.5 at Tulsa – I can’t see the Golden Hurricanes staying within two touchdowns. The Cowboys have been dominant offensively so far this season, with QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon. No Damarris Johnson for Tulsa, and Okie State is going to win big.
Florida State + 3 vs. Oklahoma – Feature matchup of the weekend, and while it’s very possible OU covers a smaller spread, I always think it’s a good idea to take points in this situation. The Seminoles will be extremely hyped for this game, and they have their best team in years. On defense, Brandon Jenkins, Nigel Bradham, and Greg Reid are high level players. I think FSU has a good chance to pull off an upset, and if they lose by a field goal, it’s still only a push
Michigan State +5 at Notre Dame – Honestly, I’m very surprised this line is so high for the Fighting Irish. I went with ND and looked good when they led Michigan 28-7, but the D collapsed in the second half. The rivalry between these two teams is always close, which helps with this point spread.
It’s very possible ND could find it hard to bounce back off a couple of heart-breaking defeats. Plus, the Spartans had a good 2010 season and have started this year off fast. They are on the road, but QB Kirk Cousins has played in many different environments. This game is a real toss-up depending on the Irish mindset, so I think MSU getting 5 points is an easy call.
Tennessee +9 at Florida – I like a bunch of underdogs this week, and this one for a simple reason. The Vols aren’t a great team, but they have to cover 9 points against a thoroughly unproven Gators team. Beating FAU and UAB doesn’t mean Florida is back to a national championship contender.
My biggest reason for this pick is the combination of QB Tyler Bray and his weapons, WRs Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers. Bray is a very good young quarterback, and playing in the Swamp is tough, but Tennessee can put up a bunch of points here and keep it close.