Seriously...who else has trouble believing it's Week Ten?
Viewing plans this week
--> Pittsburgh at Louisville (last night - Louisville looked okay, and Pittsburgh sucks...nothing new here)
--> Iowa at Northwestern
--> Minnesota at Indiana
--> Texas at Baylor
--> Tennessee at Notre Dame
--> Wisconsin at Penn State
--> Army at Air Force
--> Alabama at Mississippi State
--> Illinois at Ohio State
Last week: 8-2
Iowa at Northwestern--> Wildcats really laid an egg a week ago against Michigan. 0 second-half points in a 33-17 loss. Or maybe they just fell back to Earth. Either way, Northwestern is still chasing a spot near the top of the Big Ten in a strange season, while Iowa is fighting for a chance at a respectable bowl. It's a tough call, but I'll take the home team to bounce back from a poor performance.
The pick: Northwestern
Minnesota at Indiana--> Hoosiers haven't lost to Minnesota in Bloomington in Minny's last seven trips there. And it's not like most of those Indiana teams were any good. This one has shown some promise, and the Gophers are coming off two demoralizing home losses. Even with Cupito suddenly a capable passer, it's hard to see Minnesota rebounding on the road.
The pick: Indiana
Michigan State at Purdue--> This might be the last chance for Purdue to salvage something of this disaster of a season. What looked like a potential Rose Bowl run in August has turned into a fight for pride in a season near the bottom of the league, as Purdue is already 2-6 and therefore won't go bowling. Meanwhile, Michigan State has been in a bit of a downward spiral ever since they blew that game against Michigan. That said, they have too much talent to lose this game.
The pick: Michigan State
Wisconsin at Penn State--> While Wisconsin has been given proper credit for finding ways to actually score points this year (nearly 40 per game, actually), the defense has been awful. The Badgers allowed Illinois QB Tim Brasic to run all over them last week, and they can't be welcoming the sight of Michael Robinson. The Badgers don't measure up in this game unless someone amputates Robinson's left leg before kickoff.
The pick: Penn State
Illinois at Ohio State--> Maybe tOSU has an offense after all. The Buckeyes made the Gophers' defense say "uncle" last week in Minneapolis. Troy Smith had perhaps his best passing game ever. The Illini are nothing to write home about defensively, and Brasic won't abuse the Buckeyes' defense like he did Wisconsin's last week.
The pick: tOSU
Texas at Baylor--> After seeing parts of last week's second-half comeback against Oklahoma State, I'm convinced that the officials won't let Texas lose a Big 12 game. If their linemen would have bound and gagged Okie State's defensive players, no flags would have been thrown. Then again, with Vince Young running wild, the officials probably figured that nothing was going to slow him down anyway. That's certainly the case this week, though Baylor's defense will make things difficult at times.
The pick: Texas
Tennessee at Notre Dame--> All this talk about race is making my head hurt. The Volunteers appear incapable of mounting long drives and scoring points, and the departure of offensive coordinator Randy Sanders won't solve all those issues. Coming off a bye week, Notre Dame will win handily.
The pick: Notre Dame
California at Oregon--> With Kellen Clemens' injury keeping him out, Oregon joins Cal in the group of good teams with no QBs. In a duel of running backs and defenses, Cal has too much, even on the road, for Oregon to handle.
The pick: Cal
Colorado State at TCU--> Justin Holland leads the Rams into a battle for the Mountain West title. TCU has more depth and better athletes (ask Fisher DeBerry), and they're playing at home. I like the Horned Frogs.
The pick: TCU
Texas A&M at Texas Tech--> Is Franchione really in trouble? Maybe. This one tells a lot about A&M's resolve, as they're coming off a humiliating home loss. Tech will look to run it up after their offense was rather stagnant for two straight weeks. It will be up to the Aggies to hold the score down and actually put a few points up against a potentially decent Tech defense.
The pick: Texas Tech
Miami at Virginia Tech--> Miami comes in at a disadvantage, which makes them all the more dangerous. The Hurricanes needed a second-half surge to overcome their own mistakes and beat North Carolina, while Virginia Tech has been soaring for a few weeks now. If Kyle Wright can't play out of his mind, the 'Canes have no chance, and they might not win even if Wright plays well. As dangerous as all this makes Miami, I don't see them pulling it out.
The pick: Virginia Tech