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We're setting high standards for ourselves and just coming up short. With a record of 71-59-2 on the season, we'd like to extend it to 78-62-2. At least. Let's do this a little earlier than normal. You've got to make your picks before the tryptophan sets in.
Iowa at Nebraska (-3), Noon ET (FRIDAY): The Hawkeyes came back after Michigan jumped out 21-7 and won at home, but can we trust them? Can we trust Nebraska at home? This has the makings of a chilly game in Lincoln that's going to make you glad that you're either shopping or sitting at home and watching. Oh, and it could also be Bo Pelini's last home game too. We've got Nebraska for no explainable reason.
Miami (OH) at Ball State (-35), 1 p.m. ET (FRIDAY): Monster line, eh? Here's why we're taking Ball State. Miami is winless and has already lost four games by more than 35 and a fifth by 34. All but two of Ball State's wins have been by 18 points or more. Miami averages the fewest yards per play of any team in the FBS. They're on the road.
Washington State (+16) at Washington, 3:30 p.m. ET (FRIDAY): What is this line if Washington doesn't drop 69 on Oregon State? We're taking the rivalry game angle here as well as fact that the Cougars are playing better after losing three straight games. We don't think Washington State wins outright, but this game stays close.
Oregon State (+21.5) at Oregon, 7 p.m. ET (FRIDAY): Same question goes for this game as well. Is it a 16 point line or so without the blowout? Oregon State has fallen from where it climbed after the season-opening loss to Eastern Washington. We're taking the rivalry game angle here too, and we simply don't trust Oregon to cover a 20 point spread at this point.
Duke (+6.5) at North Carolina, Noon ET: Duke, this is your moment. Win and Florida State is yours. The Blue Devils spotted Wake Forest 14 points on the road last week before climbing back for the win and that's not going to work against North Carolina, who has won five straight after starting 1-5. The game ends up close, either way.
Rutgers (-2.5) at Connecticut, Noon ET: This is a game that you could completely envision Rutgers losing, right? And UConn is finally off the seasonlong schneid after storming back (can we call it that?) to beat Temple on the road last week. There's nothing more endearing to say about this game other than this line seems really low, and that's why we're taking Rutgers.
Wake Forest at Vanderbilt (-14), 12:21 ET: Right now it's fair to think that the Demon Deacons' performance on the road at Miami was disguised by how good we thought Miami was earlier in the year. Vanderbilt is quietly 7-4 and should make it 8-4 with an eighth straight November win. And it's going to be easy.
Boston College (-2.5) at Syracuse, 3:30 p.m. ET: Andre Williams for Heisman? It's the Boston College running back's final chance to state his Heisman case, and he's facing a Syracuse rushing defense that, statistically, is one of the better ones in the country. No big deal for Williams, who goes over 200 again.
Baylor (-13) at TCU, 3:30 p.m. ET: This is a bounceback game for the Bears. TCU has the corners and defensive style to mimic what Oklahoma State was able to do in man coverage to the Baylor wide receivers, but Art Briles and Bryce Petty will be OK. TCU may also struggle to break 20.
Northwestern (-3.5) at Illinois, 3:30 p.m. ET: The Wildcats have to win a Big 10 game at some point, right? Illinois got its long awaited win last week and promptly had a staff member arrested for a gun offense, so please don't do anything dumb if you win Saturday, Northwestern coaches.
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