I’m riding my annual mid-season hot streak. Last week, I went 5-2 against the spread, which brings my season record to 30-18 (11-3 the last two weeks). There was the birdie; predicting Cincy to escape South Florida with a win, and the bogey; thinking Virginia Tech was going to stomp Georgia Tech.
Kind of a sluggish week of games (first time I’m predicting three ACC games, yikes). Like always, we’ll start with the Irish.
Boston College @ Notre Dame (3:30 p.m., NBC)
Bounce back week for Jimmy Clausen and the Irish. I think the mood in South Bend is positive, even after they left a golden opportunity on the 4-yard line last week. These teams share the same record, but different playing styles. BC QB Dan Shinskie is a tenth of thrower that Clausen is and the BC defense can be shaky at times. I really, really can’t see the Irish losing this one. And I’m serious this time. Prediction: ND 33, BC 21
Gotta love the classy yet cliche ACC motto: On any given Saturday. You have to go with hunches in matchups like this. One thing I do know (well, I think) is Clemson strives for big games and they possess a defensive line that will whip Miami’s front. Well, they better if they want a shot at winning. Jacory Harris will make plays, but not enough. C.J. Spiller will spill and Clemson will enrage many Hurricane fans. Prediction: Clemson 28, Miami 24
Georgia Tech @ Virginia
Let down game for the Jackets after the big win over Virginia Tech? Possibly, especially with the type of football Virginia has been playing. The Cavs were successful in stopping Tech’s triple option offense last season, and seem very motivated to stop it again. But the Jackets are rolling, and they’ll run through Virginia. Prediction: GT 35, Virginia 27
Florida State @ North Carolina (Thursday night)
This looked like an awesome matchup before the season started. Now it’s one of the worst Thursday nighters of the year. Predicting FSU games is like predicting Lotto. UNC doesn’t bring anything remotely threatening to the table. Almost mirror images of each other. Yuck. Prediction: FSU 24, UNC 17
I’m glad ESPN Gameday decided to explore this great Mountain West matchup on Saturday night. BYU QB Max Hall has his hands full with one of the nation’s toughest defenses. Last season, TCU destroyed BYU in Texas, so while Hall and company will be looking for redemption, they won’t get it. Should be a barn burner, though. Prediction: TCU 20, BYU 17
Texas @ Missouri
Two teams that are heading in two completely opposite directions. Normally, I’d look for the upset in a Big 12 game like this, but not Texas, who’s coming off a huge win over Oklahoma. I’m thinking Colt McCoy will deliver a prime time performance and light up the scoreboard. Prediction: Texas 40, Mizzou 30
Oregon State @ USC
Talk about a redemption game. Master motivator Pete Carroll will light an inferno under his team before kickoff. But the Oregon State duo of Jacquizz and James Rodgers will be able to find tiny gaps and fly through them, just as they always do. To counteract them, Matt Barkley and the USC offense seemed to have finally found their comfort zone and will put up a big number. I’m thinking minimum of 45. Prediction: USC 45, Oregon State 21