I went 2-2 last week bringing my season total to 28-23, while Chris tallied a 1-3 mark (25-26 on the year). What we learned: UCLA is taking over the Los Angeles football scene, I may have jinxed USC by hoping nobody of importance gets injured, I will always hate Oregon and Kansas State for losing, and as Chris says: the Purdocalypse is upon us. What we didn't learn because we already knew it: Lane Kiffin isn't an elite coach. We're getting down to the last few weeks of picks, but more importantly this is Danny Hope's last regular season game as the Purdue head coach!
Purdue (-5.5) vs Indiana
12:00 PM ET BTN
Chris: The Old Oaken Bucket game. Both of these teams were dubbed as dark horse contenders at one point this season. Now both have losing records and only Purdue can still make a bowl game (I hear there will be reps from the poop.org Toilet Bowl in Ross-Ade Stadium this week). Purdue is somehow winning games with a backfield that has a lot of ACL tears, led by Robert Marve who has been an extremely EFFICIENT quarterback since taking over as starter. IU has recovered nicely from losing starting QB Tre Roberson to have a nice season (by their standards). Both of these teams have only beaten Illinois and Iowa in conference and neither is very good. Here's what will happen: The Boilers come out ramming the ball down IU's throats and mixing up a few passing plays en route to gaining a two touchdown lead. Mysteriously they abandon the run and IU comes back to tie it going into the fourth quarter. That's when Akeem Shavers and Ralph Bolden put their eff-you faces on and lead the Boilers to a two touchdown victory. Shavers should have a huge day against IU's porous-at-best run defense and the Boilers retain the Bucket and go bowling.
Pick: Purdue -5.5
Slick: I'll give credit where credit is due and this Indiana team has definitely improved and didn't fold when Roberson went down. I said I was going to pick against Purdue the rest of the year and I will continue to do so. Even though I'm not a fan of Robert Marve, I do respect him for playing with a torn ACL and somewhat salvaging this season despite an incompetent head coach.The Boilers will send Hope off to his next job coaching Pop Warner with a 4 point victory. Win or lose, every Purdue fan should pop that champagne because Danny Hope will be gone from West Lafayette forever!
Pick: Indiana +5.5
Ohio State (-3.5) vs #19 Michigan
12:00 PM ET ABC
Chris: Can you imagine the hype around this game if Ohio State wasn't a pack of rabid cheaters? As it is, there is still plenty on the line as the Buckheads can have an undefeated season and Michigan has an outside shot at the Legends title (although Iowa beating Nebraska is about as likely as Honey Boo Boo eating salad on Thanksgiving). Michigan's offense is suddenly potent with Devin Gardner playing quarterback, however they have not really beaten a good team this year, failing against Notre Dame, Nebraska and Alabama. Ohio State on the other hand has been the epitome of a bend-don't-break team, living on edge week to week, needing a Montee Ball fumble on the goal line to escape last week. I think Michigan plays with a chip on its shoulder and ends Urban Meyer's dream season (I have a really hard time believing in a team that needed OT to beat Purdue).
Pick: Michigan +3.5
Slick: Denard Robinson finally played last week, but it was at running back. He said his hand is still a little numb, which means Michigan doesn't stand a chance. The only way the Wolverines could win was if Shoelace had an unreal performance. Gardner has played well but it was against garbage opponents. Congrats Ohio State, you're going to finish the season undefeated and nobody cares! It is a little scary though that in his first season, Urban Meyer didn't lose a game. This rivalry is about to heat up again with both teams locked in with elite coaches for the foreseeable future, you know, until Meyer quits on his team again.
Pick: Ohio State -3.5
#10 Florida State (-8) vs #4 Florida
3:30 PM ET ABC
Chris: I like it when this game means something on a national level, I just wish it was Bobby Bowden patrolling the sidelines and talking like Foghorn Leghorn. This line seems preposterous, considering Florida made it through the SEC with only a close loss to #3 ranked Georgia. Jeff Driskel is expected to play this week, but will face a stiff defense led by the best name in college football -- Bjoern Werner -- at defensive end. Florida State has a tremendous amount of speed on offense led by senior quarterback EJ Manuel and running back Devonta Freeman. The Noles are also playing with a chip on their shoulder as they believe their #10 ranking is far too low. I like Florida State in this game and because I need to make up ground on Slick (I'm guessing he's going Florida) I'll give the points too.
Pick: Seminoles -8... Gonna hear this a lot Slick.
Slick: Someone needs to explain this line to me. I get that Florida starting quarterback Jeff Driskel isn't 100% but it's not like Florida State is a juggernaut. The Seminoles play in the weak ACC so they haven't really been tested. They're in for a rude awakening playing the Gators 3rd ranked defense in points allowed (11.4). I expect Florida to go into Tallahassee and come out victorious. It's got to be weird that Will Muschamp and Jimbo Fisher are best friends -- they share a beach house -- and coach in one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports.
Pick: Florida +8
#8 Stanford (-2) at #17 UCLA
6:30 PM ET FOX
Chris: Both of these teams impressed last weekend and they could meet again next weekend for the Pac-12 championship (if Stanford wins). Stanford's defense has played tremendously all year and last week was no different, holding down a potent quack attack. Their pro-style offense is perfect for their personnel with a great TE in Ertz and a strong running back in Stepfan Taylor. UCLA on the other hand has returned to prosperity under the guide of Jim Mora Jr. and a redshirt freshman QB Brett Hundley who has passed for nearly 3000 yards and 25 scores. They also feature a strong running attack, with Johnathan Franklin, who should eclipse 1500 yards for the season in this game. I like the Bruins in this one to get an early lead and ride Mr. Franklin to the Pac-12 championship game where they could face either Stanford or Oregon.
Pick: UCLA +2
Slick: I hate Stanford for beating Oregon and not beating Notre Dame when they had the chance. But defensively, their front seven is beastly. If they can shut down that Oregon offense, then they can surely do it to UCLA. The Bruins are good but let's not get too carried away with their win over USC, the Trojans are frauds. I see the Cardinal winning comfortably. This is kind of a strange game in that these two teams could be playing the very next week. I wonder if UCLA goes vanilla with play calls since they're in the Pac-12 title game regardless?
Pick: Stanford -2
#1 Notre Dame (-7) at USC
8:00 PM ET ABC
Chris: Alright guys, let's stop this undefeated nonsense. I know you need to have some luck on the way to having an unblemished record, but this is ridiculous. The Irish had narrow escapes--at home--to Purdue and Pittsburgh, not national championship worthy. Meanwhile, USC continues to disappoint and to add injury to insult Matt Barkley is out this week. Notre Dame's stout defense would figure to feast on a weak Trojan offensive line and first time starter at QB. HOWEVER, I trust in Max Wittek, the backup, who earlier this week confidently stated the boys from LA would win. The Trojans benefit from a couple of miscues by Everett Golson and Wittek relies on the best WR duo in the country in Lee and Woods en route to upsetting the Irish. Purdue fans breathe a little easier.
Pick: USC +7
Slick: No one has ever said they trust in Max Wittek. I'm not planning on watching this game because I already know what's going to happen. Notre Dame will win in a blowout and I take one step closer to jumping off a bridge. I won't be able to enjoy the national championship or college football for the rest of the year. I just hope Alabama wins out because I'd feel much more comfortable about Notre Dame's chances of losing.
Pick: Notre Dame -7