Back to sea level after going 3-2 last week. Feels like kissing your sister.
West Virginia at Texas Tech (+4.5)
Wow, does this line look bizarre? Tech apparently got exposed by Oklahoma last week, while West Virginia is averaging something like 97 points per game.
Au contraire! Oklahoma's woodshedding of the Red Raiders last week was more about OU needing to bounce back from its early struggles than revealing deeper truths about Tech. the Red Raiders have made huge strides on D and still have an explosive offense that will test WVU's pathetic defensive unit.
The Mountaineers are in trouble here. It marks their second consecutive road trip way down to the Lone Star State. A letdown after an emotional win over Texas a week ago seems likely in wild and wooly Lubbock.
Feels like the oddsmakers are taking a position.
Pick: WVU falls from the ranks of he unbeatens.
Duke at Virginia Tech (-9.5)
Remember that '80s flick "The Last Starfighter" where the dude from the middle of nowhere gets recruited to go rock some in outer space while a robot takes his place on earth? Is it possible that Bud Foster is out somewhere in space bringing his lunchbox defense to another galaxy? That's the best explanation I can come up with to explain the play of the Hokies' defense this season.
Assuming the real Foster returned to our planet this week, this looks like a spot to play Tech. As poorly as Frank Beamer's squad has played this year, the Hokies still have a big talent edge here. Having lost three straight, Tech badly needs a turnaround performance.
Pick: Consider his null and void if we discover that Foster is still running on batteries.
Louisiana Tech vs. Texas A&M (-7.5)
The Bulldogs have become the latest Cinderella to attract the hopes of the anti-establishment crowd, racing out to an undefeated start. They've knocked off a few AQ names, garnering some cache in the process.
This constitutes their biggest test of the entire season, though. Back when this game was originally scheduled to be played on Labor Day weekend, Tech made for a chic upset pick. Now, though, the chances that the Aggies, who have a solid team, will get caught napping are slim.
Pick: A&M rolls.
Texas-San Antonio (+3.5) at Rice
Fine, I admit it: I know absolutely next to nothing about the Roadrunners. I couldn't even tell you what color their uniforms are.
Consider this a play against Rice. The Owls lost to lowly Memphis a week ago and appear to be in the process of flat-out quitting on coach David Bailiff.
Motivation in this in-state tussle should be on the side of the newbies over the nerds.
Pick: Meep meep.
Utah State at San Jose State (-3)
Sparty West is still playing a little under the national radar. SJSU has gotten off to a 4-1 start, with its only loss coming at Stanford, and is 5-0 against the spread to start the year. The Spartans are doing so on the strength of a solid defense that is giving up just 4.71 yards per play (20th nationally).
Situationally, this game favors San Jose, too. The Spartans had last week off, while the Aggies are making their second consecutive road trip and just suffered a tough defeat at the hands of in-state rival BYU. Even better, SJSU has revenge in mind after a narrow loss to USU a year ago.
Pick: Ride the San Jose wave.
(Last Week: 3-2; Overall: 15-15)