I’m going to go ahead and get my one Stephen A. Smith-ism for the season out of the way right now: this weekend, the Big 12 and Pac-10 are not the SEC.
Now that I’ve blatantly stated what everyone already knows, let’s look forward to this weekend. The Big 12 has a relatively low-key Saturday as the big kahuna — which will take the forms of corny dogs and pure, unadulterated hate — between Texas and OU will be next week in Dallas. For tomorrow, The Longhorns and the Sooners take the field against interesting, but beatable, opponents.
Pac-10 conference play gets into full swing for week four, but two of the most interesting games still come out of conference as Oregon State travels to Boise State and Stanford heads to the midwest to take on Notre Dame.
As JT mentioned in his preview, we will be posting our records at the bottom of each preview. So, crack your knuckles and prepare to have written proof that I have no earthly idea what I’m talking about when it comes to college football.
No. 24 Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State (8:00 ET)
THE LINE: Boise State -18
THE PLOT: This was supposed to be round two of two for Boise’s marquee games this season. As it turns out, though, Virginia Tech hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations and Oregon State doesn’t appear to be a front runner in the Pac-10. Nevertheless, Boise has to win this game and win big if they’re going to even be in the discussion for the national title. Luckily for the Broncos, they don’t lose at home. Since 1999, Boise State is 64-2 on the Smurf Turf.
THE PICK: Despite the struggles of Tech, I still think Boise State is a really good football team who is extremely well-coached. Boise always seems to take care of business when they have to and this game is no exception
THE SCORE: Boise State 48, Oregon State 17
No. 16 Stanford at Notre Dame (3:30 ET)
THE LINE: Stanford -4.5
THE PLOT: Stanford comes in to this game averaging 51.7 points per game and has completely dominated in every aspect of the game. Notre Dame is breaking in a new coach in Brian Kelly, but has been competitive through their first three games. Right now, the Irish seem to play to the level of their competition, so if that’s any indication, this game could be closer than some people expect it to be … but not too close … don’t get excited.
THE PICK: Andrew Luck is simply the best (I’m officially jumping off the Jake Locker bandwagon) in the Pac-10 and maybe in the country. In week four, he shows why again.
THE SCORE: Stanford 30, Notre Dame 21
UCLA at No. 7 Texas (3:30 ET)
THE LINE: Texas -16
THE PLOT: Supposedly, this is a “dress rehearsal” for Texas as the Red River Rivalry against OU is next weekend, but I wouldn’t count out the Bruins just yet. Texas coach Mack Brown has been answering questions all week about his o-line and offensive production as a whole. There’s no doubt the defense has been good (allowing roughly 44 rush yards/game) but Rice, Wyoming and Texas Tech aren’t exactly known for running the ball, either. A little misleading are the Longhorns.
THE PICK: Last time UCLA rolled in to Austin, they rolled right back out with a 66-3 victory. This time, it’ll be a little different. Texas wins — but barely.
THE SCORE: Texas 24, UCLA 20
No. 8 Oklahoma at Cincinnati (6:00 ET)
THE LINE: Oklahoma -16
THE PLOT: To quote British comedy giants Monty Python, “And now for something completely different.” With Oklahoma, you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get week in and week out. Cincinnati was expected to contend for another conference title this year. Now, they’re struggling to survive in a very down Big East (maybe the understatement of the year).
THE PICK: Cincinnati is desperate enough to come out swinging in this game against the Sooners. This one is interesting for a half, then Oklahoma’s talent takes over as Bob Stoops‘ team pulls away late.
THE SCORE: Oklahoma 34, Cincinnati 17
Straight up: 1-2
Vs. spread: 0-3
Straight up: 4-3
Vs. spread: 2-5
(Week one I didn’t predict scores or display spreads)