I'm passing on the Southern Cal at Utah game Thursday, because I refuse to take USC in this spot but don't think I can back Utah with the Utes' inability to score points.
But I will get things started on Friday with Utah State +7 at BYU. BYU has plenty of trouble scoring and Utah State has decent athletes and a lot of reason to be motivated in this one.
Moving on to the Saturday action, I like Florida State/N.C. State under 56 total points. I am of the mindset that N.C. State's offense is overrated and will struggle against Florida State's defense, and that the Wolfpack defense is not as bad as when it allowed Miami's quarterback Stephen Morris to set the ACC record for passing yards in a single game. They should fix some of their communication issues in the secondary, and Florida State's offensive line is still young.
I think the other primetime game will also go under the total here, and that's Georgia/South Carolina under 55 total points. I expect both teams to play in a conservative fashion and I think the talent on defense is considerably greater than the talent on offense. Just don't tell Marcus Lattimore.
Oklahoma has plenty of issues, but I am still taking Oklahoma -5 at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders really haven't played anyone yet, and OU is due to force a few turnovers. If OU runs the ball, it should help out Landry Jones more in the play-action passing game.
South Florida put everything it could into its game last week against Florida State. And lost. Temple is the worst team in the Big East, but I don't think USF will be up to play this game. Temple +4.5 it is.
Miami has allowed its last four opponents to rush for more than 1,000 yards. The temperature at game time could be lower than 40 degrees. Miami's players are from South Florida. The game is being played at a "neutral" site in Chicago, which happens to be one of Notre Dame's biggest alumni bases. Notre Dame -12.5 is the pick.
Geno Smith and West Virginia are lighting up scoreboards, but they've yet to hit the road against a decent opponent. Nor have the Mountaineers played a decent defense. Texas has just that, and the Longhorns -6.5 are my choice.
Boise State should not be laying double digits to a Southern Mississippi team that has played slightly better than its record. Golden Eagles +11 at home.
Nebraska at Ohio State -3: The Huskers really struggled with a mobile QB when they tripped to UCLA. Oh, and I don't trust Taylor Martinez on the road in the Horseshoe. Ohio State's defense will create a few turnovers and the Buckeyes' offense will do enough.
Arkansas at Auburn -9.5: Two teams started the year terrible, but one is still fighting. That's Auburn. Arkansas has quit on the season, and Auburn looked somewhat improved in a close loss hosting LSU.
Navy +10 at Air Force: double digits in a rivalry game and I expect Navy's luck to improve a bit.
Iowa State +11.5 at TCU: I am bailing on this TCU team. Iowa State is slightly better than how it played last week hosting Texas Tech.
Illinois +14.5 at Wisconsin: This is a play on the notion that Wisconsin will have a hangover from its loss last week at Nebraska.
Mississippi State at Kentucky +10: Tennessee is on deck for the Bulldogs, who have been quite lucky so far. Think they sleepwalk through this one?
Georgia Tech +10.5 at Clemson: I expected (and bet on) a letdown last week against Middle Tennessee State for Tech. The Yellow Jackets may have quit on the season, but I'll ride them here one last time because Clemson's defense is horrible.
Vanderbilt +7 at Missouri: I think Missouri is perhaps a win worse than its record (see close games against Arizona State and UCF). Vanderbilt's defense isn't bad, and if it can create turnovers, the Commodores have a chance.
UConn +7.5 at Rutgers: I'll ride UConn's defense again here as Rutgers' record becomes less and less impressive each week.
Michigan at Purdue +3: The Boilermakers have a good front seven capable of corralling Denard Robinson. Michigan simply isn't anything special and were the luckiest team in America last season.