2009 College Football Week 12 Picks & Predictions

Last week was bitter sweet as I went 4-0 straight up but just 1-3 against the spread. Keep in mind that I try to only pick top 25 games, so they’re much, much harder to predict. Like, much harder. (Or at least that’s my excuse anyway.)

No. 8 LSU at Mississippi, 3:30PM ET
Both of these SEC teams will be looking to finish the 2009 season strong when they square off this Saturday in Oxford. The Rebels snapped a six-game losing streak to the Tigers last season but they haven’t won at home in his series since 1998. The public seems high on Ole Miss after the Rebs hammered Tennessee last Saturday, but keep in mind that the Vols were in the midst of some turmoil after three of their players were arrested for attempted armed robbery last week. Dexter McCluster went off on Tennessee for 282 yards and four touchdowns, but he’ll have a hard time repeating that effort against a stout LSU front seven. Something tells me that Les Miles’ team is still pissed off about what happened two weeks again in Tuscaloosa and will play this week with passion. I see a small upset for the Tigers and an outright win.
Odds: Ole Miss –4.5.
Prediction: LSU 20, Ole Miss 17.

No. 25 California at No. 17 Stanford, 7:30PM ET
Stanford is playing as well as anyone in the nation right now. The Cardinal have scored 106 points combined against Oregon and USC the past two weeks and senior running back Toby Gerhart has almost been unstoppable. Without running back Jahvid Best, Cal squeaked by Arizona last week, 24-16. With Best sidelined again this Saturday, many expect Stanford to roll but don’t forget that Cal has the 19th best run defense in the nation and is capable of containing Gerhart and keeping things close. Quarterback Kevin Riley might be able to take advantage of a Stanford secondary that has been inconsistent this season, although without the threat of a running game the Bears’ offense might become too one-dimensional in the second half. I think Stanford will pull out the victory but this game will be closer than people think.
Odds: Stanford –7.5.
Prediction: Stanford 35, Cal 31.

No. 10 Ohio State at Michigan, 12:00PM ET
Michigan has the offense to contend with most teams in the Big Ten, but the Wolverine defense has been horrid this year while giving up over 400 yards a game. Michigan has been fine against the pass, but that’s only because opponents have been able to run the ball with success and don’t need to put it in the air. Unfortunately for them, Ohio State’s strength is its ground attack, which means Brandon Saine should find plenty of running room against a soft Wolverine front seven. Given how this game is in Ann Arbor and is the final regular season outing for both teams, Michigan may keep things close in the first half. But after a while, mistakes will start to add up and Ohio State should cruise after halftime.
Odds: Ohio State –12.
Prediction: Ohio State 34, Michigan 20.

No. 4 TCU at Wyoming, 2:00PM ET
This will likely wind up being a free win for my straight up plays, but I’m really adding this game for my ATS plays. TCU is coming off an emotional win over Utah last week at home and now has to go on the road to face an improved Wyoming team. The last time these two teams faced off in Laramie, the Cowboys beat the Frogs 24-21 in 2007. TCU is a juggernaut and looks unstoppable at this point, but can anyone say letdown?
Odds: TCU –31.
Prediction: TCU 30, Wyoming 21.

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