Kind of scraping for five quality games this week, but as the conference and BCS pictures come into clearer focus, every game starts to carry more weight. Home teams, as always, in CAPS.
Michigan State (+6.5) over IOWA
I may be kicking myself because usually when a line jumps out at me I go the other way, but I don't get why this isn't a 3-point spread, especially with Iowa coming off a loss last week and Michigan State entering 8-0. I know the Spartans created an undue amount of work for themselves with Northwestern, but like Kevin said, it seems that everyone is ignoring the fact that Iowa allowed Wisconsin to trick them out of a game in which they had control. If I'm Michigan State, I'd start smelling blood this week, because if they can escape Iowa with a W then a perfect regular season is well within reason.
Oklahoma State (-5) over KANSAS STATE
It's no secret that Kansas State should try to run all day, seeing that they are #24 in the nation in rushing and would like to bleed the clock as much as possible to keep Oklahoma State and its 3rd-ranked passing attack at bay. Also not going the Cowboys' way is wide receiver Justin Blackmon likely being out after getting a DUI this week. However, Oklahoma State can run it too (179.7 yards/game), so just because they may not throw 40 up on the board doesn't mean they can't beat K-State by a touchdown.
Missouri (+7.5) over NEBRASKA
The Tigers became the latest to knock off #1 last week with their 36-27 conquest of Oklahoma, and some may say they're due for a letdown. From what I saw, it was a game that Missouri was prepared to win, not lucky to win. Nebraska, on the other hand, solidified themselves with a road win over Oklahoma State and returns home this week, where in an odd trend they have not covered a spread this year (0-3-1 ATS). Missouri's defense will face a tall task in containing Taylor Martinez, but an offense that hinges too much on one player becomes more predictable as the game goes on and stays close - provided the defense in question has the talent to cover its gaps, which Missouri does. The winner of this game will go a long way in securing itself a spot in the Big 12 title game. I'll take the points and have my popcorn ready.
Michigan (-3) over PENN STATE
As Kevin said, he and I will be in attendance for this one, and since my write-up on this game would never hold a candle to his, just read his entry for anything you'd want to know. We all know how I don't like Penn State, and I hope I enjoy my day as a Michigan fan at their expense. Hail to the Victors.
Oregon (-6.5) over USC
There has been a lot of chatter this week about the emergence of Matt Barkley, how USC is a quiet 5-2, and how this will be the Trojans' "bowl game" this year since the program is bowl-ineligible. Those are all fair points, but how can you go against an Oregon team that seems to start the game with 35 points already on the board?
Last Week: 2-3-0