7:30 pm EST ESPN
  West Virginia 1-3 (0-0 Big East)
-26.5 #2 Miami 4-0 (1-0 Big East)
(Editor's Note: Beerman wrote a disparaging blurb about how bad WVU was going to get smoked in this game. I sat down at half time of Thursday's Miami/WVU game to post this article, and I had an email from Beerman telling me to "erase the blurb."  So I did. -- Will)
Pick: Miami
10:00 pm EST ESPN 2
-3 #22 Oregon 4-1 (1-1 Pac Ten)
  Utah 3-1 (1-0 MWC)
Mostly I just wanted you fine folks to be aware that we've got Friday night football going on this week.  No it's not high school, but it is the Mountain West, and that's close enough in my book.  Nah, we joke because we love.  Personally, I kind of like Utah.  Great snow!

The Fighting Highlighters.  *lol* Thanks Mr. Cockey, I think I'll keep that one :)

Pick: Utah
12:00 pm EST ESPN Regional, Gameplan
-27 #4 Virginia Tech 4-0 (0-0 Big East)
  RUTSgers 3-1 (0-0 Big East)
That's no misprint.  Rutgers is 3-1 and playing pretty well.  Their lone loss was to Michigan State, and they managed at least to cover the spread in defeat.  In fact, the Scarlet Knights are 4-0 against the spread this season.  They are not a good team ... forget it, they're not even mediocre ... but Rutgers is at least soundly beating the other bad teams that they're playing.  When you're one of the worst programs in I-A, that's a significant step in the right direction.

Also, that promo running during the UConn game for this game was killing me.  A few random VT shots, coupled with one play from the Rutgers defense.  They manage to sack the QB from some team I couldn't identify, and force a fumble inside the 5 yard line.  Faced with the prospect of a gimme score, the first lineman to the ball drops it like a hot potato.  The next lineman falls on it.  That's Rutgers football in a nutshell.  Even when things go right, they don't ever go as right as they could.

Which brings me to my pick.  A Hokie squad beset by injuries and yet another suspension to a key player (come on guys, get it together!) will wander into the Swamps of Jersey to face a Rutgers team largely thought of as the laughingstock of major college football.  So, some things will go right for the Knights.  Maybe they'll force a couple of turnovers, or get a couple of long gainers.  Maybe they'll pull a UConn and hold us to an 0-fer on 3rd downs.  Once again, they'll perform better than expected and cover the spread.  Not win mind you (perish the thought!) but keep it closer than 4 TDs.

Pick: Rutgers
7:45 pm EST ESPN
  #7 Tennessee 4-0 (2-0 SEC)
-1 Auburn 2-2 (1-0 SEC)

Auburn is all but mathematically eliminated from the MNC hunt, but all is not lost.  An SEC title is still a very real possibility, and would provide much solace for a team whose preseason hopes have been shattered.  The Tigs finally figured out how to get into the end zone in the past two games, and have some confidence back.

Tennessee is beatable.  Marshall hung tough, and South Carolina took them to the wire.  Even Florida almost came back, which proves only that the Vols are marginally better than Kentucky.  UT is not the worst undefeated team left out there, but they're on a short list.

Pick: Auburn
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-3 #11 Michigan 4-1 (1-0 Big 10)
  #19 Iowa 4-1 (0-1 Big 10)
Michigan was not terribly impressive in a victory over Indiana last week.  I guess they're bummed after losing to a Pac Ten also-ran.  Iowa must have been listening to their hype, because they didn't play very inspired ball last week either.  It's a shame, what could have been a terrific midseason gut check is now just another ho-hum Big Ten match up.
Pick: Iowa
0:00 pm EST tv
-6.5 #13 Texas 3-1 (0-0 Big XII)
  #14 Kansas State 4-1 (0-0 Big XII)
I dunno, is Ell Roberson healthy again yet?  That's pretty much what this game will come down to.  With him at 100% the Wildcats have a chance, without him ... well ... yeah.
Pick: U of T
0:00 pm EST tv
-27 #15 Washington State 4-1 (1-0 Pac 10)
  Arizona 1-4 (0-1 Pac 10)
Evidently firing John Mackovic is worth about 3 points in Vegas.  Terrific, maybe Arizona should junk the entire staff and take a run at the MNC!
Pick: WSU
0:00 pm EST tv
-27 #20 Northern Illinois 4-0 (0-0 MAC)
  Ohio 1-3 (0-1 MAC)
Through with their soft non-conference schedule, this week the Huskies of Northern Illinois take their first step through the gauntlet that is the Mid-American Conference.
Pick: OU
12:30 pm EST JP Sports
  Mississippi 2-2 (1-0 SEC)
-x #24 Florida 3-2 (1-1 SEC)
I'm undecided about which is the bigger joke:

a) Florida's presence in the Top-25
b) Mississippi's defensive secondary

Either way, if Chris Leak can't improve on his typical 150yds/1TD/2INT line in this one, he's not long for his job.

Pick: U of F
1:30 pm EST  
-14.5 #25 Air Force 5-0 (0-0 MWC)
  Navy 2-2
They ought to rename the Commander In Chief's Trophy the "Fisher DeBerry."  Seriously.  I mean how often are Army and Navy even competitive with AFA lately?
Pick: AFA
7:00 pm EST  
  Temple 0-4 (0-0 Big East)
-3.5 Middle Tennessee State 0-4 (0-0 Sunbelt)
I post this only to note how awful Temple is.  I mean it.  They're worse than usual.  0-4 with a loss to a I-AA team is bad enough, but you've got to figure that they were at least favorites over Villanova.  Now they're underdogs to another 0-4 teams barely out of I-AA themselves in MTSU.

Geez.  I can't wait for Duke to replace this bunch.

Pick: Temple
#1 Oklahoma (4-0) -20.5 @ Iowa State (2-2)
#8 Nebraska (4-0)
-27 v. Troy State (3-2)
#10 USC-West (3-1)
-11.5 @ Arizona State (2-2)
#12 Georgia (3-1)
-10 v. Alabama (2-3)
#16 Minnesota (5-0)
-10.5 v. Northwestern (2-3)
#17 Washington (3-1)
-1.5 v. UCLA (2-2)
#20 Northern Illinois (4-0)
-21.5 v. Ohio (1-3)
#21 TCU (4-0)
-30 v. Army (0-4)
#23 Purdue (3-1)
-13.5 v. Illinois (1-4)


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