We warned you that today would be the good, the bad and the ugly. That is, "Oklahoma, Alabama, Arizona, and maybe West Virginia", "Texas Tech and the B1G", and "everyone else in this article."
Thankfully, now that we're getting firmly into conference play, at least we're getting enough games each week to provide ten reasonably decent selections for Luke and I to consider. And as always, we offer you our dubious wisdom... For Entertainment Purposes Only, of course.
Texas (+15) over Oklahoma, 11 a.m., ABC
Cotton Bowl, Dallas TX
JM: This choice on my part is less a reflection of Oklahoma's performance against TCU than it is a recognition of two things: one, Texas has actually been pretty stout defensively this year by the numbers (BYU aside), and two, unless one of the two teams is a raging dumpster fire this game has a tendency to be close more often than not. I think Oklahoma's going to win; I think Oklahoma's probably going to win by 10 points or two touchdowns. The problem is that 15 is a larger number than either of those. Texas covers.
LT: On the one hand, teams don't usually fare well the week after facing TCU. Then again, that's not often happening after an upset road loss at TCU, like the one the Sooners suffered last week. Also, your assertion that this game is close "more often than not" might be true, but it has been decided by more than 15 points the last three seasons. Texas pulled off a stunner a year ago, but OU and Trevor Knight are the better team here and won't be unprepared. Sooners cover.
Indiana (+3.5) over IOWA, 11:00 a.m.. ESPNU
Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City IA
JM: I know, Luke. I don't like subjecting you to the B1G anymore than you do, although I won't pretend inflicting Indiana on you isn't sort of fun. But I couldn't resist. Iowa is favored? Has Iowa even done anything to warrant that? I mean, they're 4-1, but those wins are against Ball State, Pitt, Purdue, and Northern Iowa (who, I should note, is floundering around at 2-3, so it's not like we're talking about North Dakota State here). Speaking of North Dakota State, who beat Iowa? Iowa State. Come on. You can't expect me not to take Indiana and the points here.
LT: Rather than spending an ounce of brainpower thinking about this game, I'm flipping a Maryland quarter, since the Terps crushed Indiana last week and will likely crush Iowa next week. Heads is Indiana. Tails is Iowa. It's tails. Iowa covers. I hate you, Jon.
West Virginia (-6) over TEXAS TECH, 11:00 a.m. FS1
Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock TX
JM: I'm stunned at this line. West Virginia is now a top-half Big 12 squad. Offensively, they are probably more potent than Kansas State, and the Wildcats eviscerated Tech despite not running wild over them; Tech can't stop you no matter how you decide to attack them. And there's no way in hell Tech is going to fight off Clint Trickett and his arm. Mountaineers cover. Easily.
LT: You pretty much covered this one. I've been a believer in West Virginia for a while now. it's tempting to be concerned about them only beating KU by 19 last week, but I'm going to assume the Mountaineers just got bored after taking a 26-0 halftime lead. WVU covers.
Alabama (-10) over ARKANSAS, 5:00 p.m. ESPN
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville AR
JM: This game, interestingly, will probably say more about the teams involved going forward than it will about Saturday's result. If Alabama handles Arkansas the way Auburn did, we know the SEC West is suddenly a three- or four-team dogfight to the end, and Arkansas may be on their way to another miserable season. If it's close? Well, if it's close, it's going to be a black eye for the West, as the winner of the Auburn-Mississippi State game will be in the cockpit along with Ole Miss. Neither of those options, however, becomes our answer if this game is a push. It won't be. Alabama covers easily.
LT: Poor Arkansas. They're not a bad team, and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they knock off both Georgia and Missouri, the two best teams in the SEC East. The bad news for the Razorbacks is they could do that and still finish 2-6 in conference play. Alabama hasn't lost two games in a row since George. W. Bush was president, and their defense will prove far too powerful in this won. The Tide covers.
ARIZONA (+2.5) over Southern Cal, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2
Arizona Stadium, Tucson AZ
JM: No. Come on. Arizona just jumped into the top 10, while USC just jumped out the window, and the Trojans are favored? Did we learn nothing from USC's inability to handle a run-heavy ACC team? Wildcats aren't just going to cover. They're going to win. By a bunch.
LT: USC is one of those teams that terrifies me, because you know they've got a bunch of talent, but you just never know when they're going to use it. Meanwhile, I'm not totally convinced about Arizona based on one weird Thursday night game in Oregon. But Jon's right. It's absolutely ridiculous that USC is favored in this game, so I've got to agree and take the Wildcats.