Last week: 1-5; Season: 31-22
Pitt vs. Louisville: If this matchup came during basketball season it would be something to be excited about. But we’ll have to wait until Jan. 17 to see a couple of top five hoops teams battle it out. This is a game between two so-so football teams. Louisville somehow managed to lose to Syracuse last week. That alone gives me reason to pick the Panthers, 30-21.
Penn State at Iowa: This game could be tricky for the Nittany Lions. The Hawkeyes have the top-rated rushing defense in the Big Ten and the No. 3 scoring defense, giving up just 18 points per game. Penn State can afford to be patient on offense because the Iowa offense is not prolific. I like Iowa to keep it close, but the Lions will win, 23-16.
West Virginia at Cincinnati: The Mountaineers finally appear to be rounding into form with a healthy Pat White. The Bearcats have six wins, but none against teams that are currently ranked. Look for the Mountaineers to keep their winning streak alive, 28-17.
TCU at Utah: The winner has the inside track to a BCS bowl game. Undefeated Utah showed some signs of wear at New Mexico State last week when they eked out a 13-10 victory. TCU’s only loss came at Oklahoma and the Horned Frogs have run it up on just about everyone else on the schedule. I’ll take the Horned Frogs in a mild upset, 34-33.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina: A victory would give the Yellow Jackets the edge in the ACC Coastal Division and a place in the conference championship game. Other than an early-season slip-up against Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels have been impressive at home. North Carolina will muddy the ACC waters even more with a 27-20 win.
Alabama at LSU: Nick Saban won a national championship at LSU in 2003. Now his road to a second national title goes through Baton Rouge. The fact is this is not a very good LSU team. The Crimson Tide will roll to a big victory, 34-14.
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders must demonstrate that they can come down from the high of beating top-ranked Texas last week. This is a tough game for them for two reasons. Oklahoma State has a great running game and a stout defense, two components that shorten the game. I’ll go out on a limb and say the Cowboys pull the upset, 27-26.