|Friday, 7:00 p.m. Scott Stadium, Charlottesville VA|
JM: Okay, sure, Ryan Finley is out for Boise, and they lost to BYU. Thing is, I don't know if anyone's noticed, but Virginia's not very good. They very nearly lost at home to William & Mary on Saturday, for Pete's sake. And the line has shrunk by half a point since opening at -3? Please. Broncos cover.
LT: Yeah, what? Virginia is awful. I had really hoped that by now Boise had earned more respect than this. I'm stunned. Boise covers, easily.
|Saturday, 11:00 a.m. Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette IN|
JM: Another case of the ol' name-recognition line. To be fair to the bettors, the line opened with Purdue as a 2.5 point favorite before swinging the other way. Purdue has been shelled by Marshall and Virginia Tech, although they did dispatch mighty Indiana State. Bowling Green put a lot of points up on Tennessee, hung in there with a very tough Memphis team, and... oh, yeah. Absolutely spanked Maryland on the road. Do you think Purdue is actually better than Maryland? Of course not. Falcons cover.
LT: Poor Purdue. I would really like for them to be good, but yeah, they are not. Meanwhile, Bowling Green coach Dino Babers (a former Baylor assistant) is an offensive genius, and really just a cool all-around dude. His teams put up absurd numbers while winning a ton of games at Eastern Illinois, and now they're starting to put up crazy numbers at Bowling Green. The Falcons not only scored a lot against Tennessee, they posted 433 (!) passing yards. I once heard Babers complain about how referees weren't putting the ball down fast enough for his offense. All this is to say, I'm a believer. Bowling Green covers.
|Saturday, 11:00 a.m. High Point Solutions Stadium, Corruptionville NJ|
JM: It's finally happened. We've finally fallen into the singularity. We're faced with a pointspread that I absolutely cannot ignore involving the Kansas Jayhawks, and now I have to say nice things about them. Yes, KU's opening-game loss was hilarious and humiliating. But you know what? They're actually showing signs of life over there, and they're facing a team without a head coach which got shillelaghlied by a Penn State team which is pretty bad themselves. Please forgive me, EMAW nation: Kansas covers.
LT: Nope. I can't do it. Also, when was KU showing signs of life? The second-half comeback vs. South Dakota State? The 55-23 home loss to Memphis? I just don't see it, and that roster is really, really bad. Sure, Rutgers is not a great team and might have the single most dysfunctional athletic department in America right now, but the Scarlet Knights will still find a way to beat Kansas by two touchdowns.
|Saturday, 6:00 p.m. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford MS|
JM: Is there really anyone out there who doesn't think this version of Ole Miss can just name their score on Vanderbilt? And I'm not even really knocking the Commodores here. They lost a close game to what's looking like a pretty good Western Kentucky team, and they gave Georgia some problems. The issue here is: they gave Georgia some problems and still lost by 17 at home. Ole Miss is better, and the game's in Oxford. Black Rebel Ackbars cover.
LT: Let's be honest, it took a lot of luck for Ole Miss to win that game last year. It's unlikely to happen again. On the other hand, Vanderbilt is really terrible, and the Rebels probably have the talent to win this game by 4 or 5 touchdowns. The decider for me is that the Commodores' defense has looked quite solid, particularly against the pass. Even Western Kentucky's vaunted offense could only muster 209 yards, compared to 441 yards vs. Louisiana Tech and 484 vs. Indiana. Ole Miss's offense is all about throwing the ball, and they're due some bad karma. Vandy covers.
|Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Autzen Stadium, Eugene OR|
JM: Well, Luke, you wanted it, you got it. The game actually opened as a pick'em, and now it's a two-touchdown spread for the Ducks because both Utah QB Travis Wilson and Oregon QB Vernon Adams are listed as probable. But let's step back a moment and think about this. Adams is a great quarterback, but Oregon has shown some disturbing trends so far this season. For instance, they let an Eastern Washington team not quarterbacked by Vernon Adams score over 40 points on them. They looked helpless through much of the Michigan State game, and I'm even concerned that they gave up four touchdowns to Georgia State.
Not Georgia Southern, mind you.
Meanwhile, Utah's just a damned solid football team, and they've given everyone fits for two years now. Fourteen points? Yeah, I think the Utes are going to cover that. Call me crazy.
LT: I'm not quite as sold on Utah, considering they barely beat Michigan and Utah State. Those aren't great teams. But Jon is right, this Oregon team is showing some significant cracks, especially on defense. The offense just doesn't look as explosive. They don't seem as dominant and they don't really have the singular talent at skill positions they've had in years past. Utes cover.