Wisconsin upsets #5 LSU at Lambeau

The Badgers tried to give this game away, but they made the plays in the fourth quarter to finish off an impressive upset over #5 LSU at Lambeau Field. The Badgers can celebrate while Big Ten fans throw some shade at the SEC.

Meanwhile, Les Miles came into this season with very high expectations after he almost got pushed out the door in the offseason. A loss on the road against Wisconsin won’t by itself ruin the season for LSU. They’ll have plenty of shots at redemption in the touch SEC with Leonard Fournette leading the way. But now Les will have to listen to all the doubters again as the season progresses. And LSU will need to play better if they want to turn the tables against Alabama.

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College Football Week 11, NFL Week 10 Free Picks

LSU vs. Alabama, 8:00PM ET
This shouldn’t be the typical LSU-Alabama defensive slugfest for four quarters. The Tigers have had communication issues in their defensive backfield all season, which has led to some big plays for the opposition, and their pass rush has been inconsistent as well. On the other side, the Tide’s secondary is thin and the defense as a whole hasn’t looked as dominant as it has in recent years. But perhaps the biggest difference in this year’s matchup compared to recent meetings is that LSU finally has a quarterback capable of making plays down the field. Zach Mettenberger has given the Tigers a true vertical passing game and with that, scoring shouldn’t be an issue in this one.
FREE PICK: OVER 54.5

Houston vs. Central Florida, 7:00PM ET
Despite being 7-0 and 4-0 in conference play, Houston has received no love from oddsmakers. That’s been great for bettors, however, as the Cougars have covered the number in all but one game this season (last week versus South Florida when they won but failed to cover as a 19-point favorite). Houston is 5-0 against the spread in its last five road games and 4-0 ATS in its last four games following a bye week. The Cougars are also 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall, 6-2 ATS in their last eight games in November and 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win. Take the points.
FREE PICK: HOUSTON +12.5

Cowboys vs. Saints, 8:30PM ET
When teams are able to generate pressure from the interior of their defensive line and push the pocket into Drew Brees’ face, he struggles. That’s what happened last week when the Jets shocked the Saints in East Rutherford. That said, the Cowboys don’t employ Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson or Quinton Coples on their defensive line, so Brees and the Saints should have a bounce back game on Sunday night. New Orleans is 20-6 against the spread in its last 26 home games, 5-2 ATS in its last seven games versus NFC opponents and 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games in Week 10. The Saints are simply a different team at home and should win this one by a touchdown-plus.
FREE PICK: SAINTS -7

Raiders vs. Giants, 1:00PM ET
Let’s see, neither of these teams can run the ball with much success and both defenses have been downright brutal this season – smells like an over to me. The Raiders allowed Nick Foles to throw for seven touchdown passes last week and while Eli Manning is in the midst of another down season, he should pick apart Oakland’s ragtag secondary. The over is 4-1 in the Giants’ last five home games and 5-2 in the Raiders’ last seven games in November. This one should sail over.
FREE PICK: OVER 44

College Football Week 6, NFL Week 5 Free Picks

LSU vs. Mississippi State, 7:00PM ET
Zach Mettenberger joined the Heisman race with his stellar performance last Saturday versus Georgia. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the Tigers, the defense was downright brutal trying to defend Aaron Murray and the UGA offense. LSU has issues in its defensive backfield and it uncharacteristically didn’t generate any pressure with its front four last weekend. The Tigers are 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four conference games, while the Bulldogs are 5-1 against the number in their last six home games and 5-1 ATS in their last six home games versus a team with a winning road record. Take the value with the home dog.
FREE PICK: MISSISSIPPI STATE +7

Arizona State vs. Notre Dame, 7:30PM ET
While Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix remain some of the best defenders in the country, Notre Dame’s defense hasn’t been nearly as impressive this season as it was a season ago. Meanwhile, junior quarterback Taylor Kelly has thrown for more than 300 yards in each of Arizona State’s first four games and junior transfer Jaelen Strong has racked up 433 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Fighting Irish could have a difficult time keeping up on the fast track of Cowboys Stadium and their offense isn’t nearly consistent enough to keep pace. Brian Kelly’s squad is 0-5-1 against the spread in its last six games overall and 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games versus a team with a winning record. Lay the points with ASU.
FREE PICK: ARIZONA STATE -6

Lions vs. Packers, 1:00PM ET
The Lions are coming off a statement game against the Bears but they’ve always struggled in Green Bay. They’re 0-4 against the spread in their last four games versus the Packers and 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 trips to Lambeau Field. Detroit has also had trouble over the years away from Ford Field, and is 1-4 against the number in its lat five road games. Green Bay should be well rested coming off the bye and is well aware that it can’t fall further behind in the NFC North. Expect Aaron Rodgers’ best effort and for the Pack to win in a rout.
FREE PICK: PACKERS -7

Saints vs. Bears, 1:00PM ET
The Saints are firing on all cylinders offensively, while Rob Ryan has made an immediate impact for their defense. Despite injuries, Ryan is getting the most out of his players and is generate consistent pressure on a weekly basis. That said, the Saints are coming off a short week of practice and had to leave a day early for Chicago because of inclement weather. Not only has their routine been affected, but they’re also taking on a Bears team that will be plenty pissed off after their ugly performance a week ago in Detroit. The Bears are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game, while the home team is 4-0-2 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams.
FREE PICK: BEARS PICK’EM

Keep tabs on the latest football lines at www.canadiansportsbooks.ca.

Let it go, Les Miles…

Remember Gunner Kiel? He’s the quarterback recruit from Indiana that spurned Les Miles and LSU for Notre Dame back in January. While speaking at an LSU national signing day banquet shortly after Kiel changed his mind, Miles publicly questioned whether Kiel even had the “chest” to lead the Tigers.

And now Miles is opening his mouth again.

From CBS Sports.com’s Dennis Dodd:

“I’m not bitter. I’m glad he stayed there. I really mean it. Here’s the truth: If you don’t have some swagger to you and you can step into this stadium and be able to know the advantage that you’re playing with the Tigers and you’re leading the program that has some real weight and clout, then you really need to stay home with your brothers.

“I don’t mean that [negatively]. I’m for him. He gets a chance to come in here and compete and start on a team that is a great team. I really meant what I said. I was talking more about the confidence and swagger. I was not demeaning. If he shows up, it means he has all those things …

“I mean it honestly, if it’s more about family for him, if it’s more being close to home … he would have never been successful as he needed to be. I mean it very respectfully …

“The guy we got now [Zach Mettenberger], he’s a confident son of a buck. He’s a throwin’, tough kid. If he continues to develop and learn and grow as a leader, no question.”

If you want to take Miles at his most literal word (and I know some will), go right ahead. But those comments reek of a man who is still bitter that a kid inevitably left him, the all mighty Les Miles, standing at the altar. When you have to say things like “I’m not bitter” and then go into a diatribe explaining yourself, guess what? You’re still bitter.

Recruits change their minds all the time. It’s just part of the business. After all, they’re kids, and they get swept up in the emotion and excitement of being recruited by big-time universities. Eventually their true feelings come to the surface and Kiel clearly wanted to stay close to his family in the end.

Miles should respect that but clearly he can’t. I’m not suggesting that Miles doesn’t believe what he says but it just looks like he’s trying too hard here. It’s like watching a guy get dumped by his girlfriend and then telling his friends that he’s better off because he never liked her much anyway. The whole thing is just sad for Miles.

Oklahoma State should get a shot at the BCS title

Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden throws the football in the first quarter against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri on October 22, 2011. Oklahoma State won the game 45-24. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Oklahoma State proved Saturday night that it, not Alabama, should be playing for the BCS national title against LSU.

The Cowboys thoroughly dominated their rival Oklahoma, which just so happened to be a top 10 team. Offense, defense, you name it, OSU dominated it. The win was the kind of performance we needed to see from a team in the one-loss pack, as someone needed to distance themselves from the others.

Well, it should be that way, anyway. I’m doubtful it will, however.

It was decided when Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State that Alabama and LSU would be playing each other again in the BCS title game, and nothing was going to change the voters minds to change that. Not even this blowout victory. It was well before the Iowa State/OSU game, however, that folks decided Alabama and LSU were the two best teams in the country, and many said it wasn’t even close.

That very well may be true. LSU’s schedule, which includes a neutral site win against Oregon and a road win against West Virginia, helps prove that it is undoubtedly the top team in the country this year. The Tigers are also the country’s only unbeaten team, which helps make things easy.

But Alabama’s best win is an overtime loss to LSU. Seriously. The Tide beat Arkansas, and did so handily, which was also a big win. Outside of that, the Tide have two wins against teams with winning records (Auburn and Penn State). Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has six wins against teams with winning records. Sure the Iowa State loss was bad, but it also came on the road and the day after Oklahoma State lost two women’s basketball coaches in a plane crash. It’s awful to use that as an excuse, but it’s certainly something to think about.

Beyond that, however, there’s also the fact that the BCS’ goal is to crown a national champion. They say the goal is to find the top two teams, but in reality, it’s to find the top one, and we already know that’s not Alabama. The Tide had their chance to knock off LSU, and had it at home, but couldn’t do it. In a college football world where big-time nonconference games are a rarity, we’ll never know who the best team is if we allow divisional rematches in the BCS title game. Especially when there are deserving teams, capable of beating other top 10 teams by more than 30, sitting out there, waiting for their opportunity.

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