|Kent State makes its GameDay picks column debut. (AP photo)|
Just like the Thanksgiving holiday itself, we're going big here at GameDay this week. In fact, we're going ginormous. We will preview and pick winners for the best college football games of the week, as we always do. But this week we're doing a full slate of selections ... twice. As in, we're breaking down the best games from Thursday and Friday below in Part I of our picks column, and then Part II will feature the best games from Saturday's schedule of games.
It's big, just like the amount of turkey, stuffing and pieces of pie all three of us will down Thursday and throughout the weekend while watching plenty of college football. So, with no time to waste, let's jump right in. Of course, I'll take one extra second to mention I'm on a 22-9 run picking games and looking to improve on that here. Glenn still leads the season-long race, with Craig a close second.
Brad Last Week: 8-4 (spread); 7-5 (straight-up); 1-0 (upset picks)
Brad's Season: 54-59-1 (spread); 77-37 (straight-up); 3-13 (upset picks)
Brad's Money: DOWN $1,090
Craig Last Week: 5-7 (spread); 6-6 (straight-up); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig's Season: 57-56-1 (spread); 81-33 (straight-up); 4-11 (upset picks)
Craig's Money: DOWN $460
Glenn Last Week: 6-6 (spread); 6-6 (straight-up); 1-1 (upset picks)
Glenn's Season: 59-54-1 (spread); 85-29 (straight-up); 6-8 (upset picks)
Glenn's Money: DOWN $40
TCU +7 at No. 16 Texas
Thursday ... 7:30 p.m. ... ESPN
Brad's Pick: Texas could be in for a slow start in this game, as its over 100-year-old rivalry with Texas A&M ended after the latter's move to the SEC. The two programs played mainly on Thanksgiving for more than a century, and Longhorns players have made it known they miss that game. That could benefit a TCU team looking to pick up the slack in that rivalry department. Since losing to West Virginia and Oklahoma, Texas has won four straight and is finally playing up to the level that was attached to it before the season. TCU, on the other hand, has allowed almost 40 points per game in losing three of its last four games. The Horned Frogs have proven over the years, however, they play big when the bright lights are shining on them. The lights will be on Thanksgiving night, and TCU will respond. TCU 27, Texas 24.
Craig's Pick: TCU 34, Texas 30.
Glenn's Pick: Texas 31, TCU 21.
Ohio +9.5 at No. 23 Kent State
Friday ... 11 a.m. ... ESPNU
Brad's Pick: Kent State is making its debut in our GameDay picks column, and for good reason. The Golden Flashes are looking for their 10th straight win and have moved into the BCS rankings for the first time last week in 39 years. Running back Dri Archer will be key against Ohio Friday morning, as he has rushed for 1,284 yards and 14 touchdowns this year. He's averaging over 10 yards per carry. Ohio has allowed an average of almost 250 rushing yards in its last three games. That doesn't bode well for the Bobcats, who started the season 7-0, but have lost three of four since.
Kent State 35, Ohio 24.
Kent State 35, Ohio 24.
Craig's Pick: Kent State 38, Ohio 21.
Glenn's Pick: Ohio 27, Kent State 24.
Syracuse -7.5 at Temple
Friday ... 11 a.m. ... ESPN2
Brad's Pick: Syracuse is coming off two huge victories, ending Louisville's undefeated season two weeks ago and then topping Missouri of the SEC on the road last week. Overall the Orange have won four of five and appear to be making great strides in becoming a contending football program again. Temple has lost four of its last five games, snapping a four-game losing skid with a big win over Army last week. Before that, the Owls lost by 24 to Cincinnati, 28 to Louisville, 30 to Pittsburgh and 25 to Rutgers. That adds up to a big Syracuse win on the road. Syracuse 42, Temple 31.
Craig's Pick: Syracuse 35, Temple 17.
Glenn's Pick: Syracuse 41, Temple 28.
No. 14 Nebraska -15 at Iowa
Friday ... 12 p.m. ... ABC
Brad's Pick: Iowa is one of the worst teams in the Big 10, and in its own team history as well, as the Hawkeyes have lost five straight games and will finish with their worst record since 2000. Iowa's only chance in this game might have been catching Nebraska sleepwalking through the game. But that's not likely to happen, as the Huskers have everything to play for. If Nebraska wins, it will clinch a spot in the Big 10 championship game. Nebraska won this game last year 20-7 in Lincoln, but this one shouldn't be as close.
Nebraska 40, Iowa 20.
Nebraska 40, Iowa 20.
Craig's Pick: Nebraska 44, Iowa 20.
Glenn's Pick: Nebraska 35, Iowa 17.
No. 7 LSU -12.5 at Arkansas
Friday ... 2:30 p.m. ... CBS
Brad's Pick: LSU barely slipped past Ole Miss last week, even though it was a huge favorite. That close call should be a wake up call for the Tigers, as they travel to take on a beaten-down Arkansas squad. Last year Arkansas came into this game as the third ranked team in the nation. LSU won that game and then everything fell apart for the Hogs. Coach Bobby Petrino left the program in disgrace and the team has looked terrible this season, with a 4-7 season that will end without a bowl game. While LSU hasn't done well this year covering double-digit spreads, there should be no reason to believe Arkansas can keep it close, especially with the Tigers still having an outside chance at an SEC title game appearance. LSU 31, Arkansas 14.
Craig's Pick: LSU 28, Arkansas 10.
Glenn's Pick: LSU 28, Arkansas 10.
No. 25 Washington -13.5 at Washington State
Friday ... 3:30 p.m. ... FOX
Brad's Pick: Washington comes into the Apple Classic with its longest win streak in more than a decade, including a huge victory over Colorado last week. Washington State has struggled this season under coach Mike Leach, winning just two games, while allowing almost 35 points per game on defense and scoring just under 20 points on offense. Washington hasn't allowed over 17 points in its last four games, which is not only a sign things are turning around on defense for the Huskies, but gives the Cougars little chance of making a dent in the scoreboard. It's a rivalry game, and that will carry Washington State to keeping it relatively close in the early going, but Washington should be two touchdowns better. Washington 35, Washington State 21.
Craig's Pick: Washington 36, Washington State 21.
Glenn's Pick: Washington 38, Washington State 28.
West Virginia -1.5 at Iowa State
Friday ... 3:30 p.m. ... ABC
Brad's Pick: If the Mountaineers can get over the emotional let down of losing last week at home in the final seconds to Oklahoma, they should win this game at Iowa State. After a 5-0 start, West Virginia has now lost five straight games entering this matchup. To say the Mountaineers are due for a win would be an understatement. Iowa State will pose a challenge at home, but the Cyclones have lost four of their last six games, including a 15-point loss to Oklahoma and a 26-point setback against Texas. It did beat Baylor, however, and is 6-5 on the season. The Cyclones average just over 25 points per game on offense, so West Virginia's defense might finally be able to hang with an opposing offense. If it does, the Mountaineers win. West Virginia 45, Iowa State 38.
Craig's Pick: West Virginia 49, Iowa State 45.
Glenn's Pick: West Virginia 45, Iowa State 41.
South Florida +13 at Cincinnati
Friday ... 7 p.m. ... ESPN
Brad's Pick: Cincinnati could do absolutely nothing on offense against Rutgers last week, managing just a late field goal in a 10-3 loss at home. That loss knocked the Bearcats out of the Big East title race. Up until a 41-9 loss to Miami last week, South Florida has been in almost everything game this season, despite its 3-7 record. The Bulls lost to Syracuse by one, Louisville by two, Temple by nine, Florida State by 13, Ball State by four and Rutgers by 10. Those latter numbers would lead into a pick on the Bulls against Cincinnati. But the big loss to an average Miami team may be a sign South Florida is ready for the season to end. The key could be the Cincinnati defense, which allows just 17.9 points per game. Cincinnati 28, South Florida 10.
Craig's Pick: Cincinnati 38, South Florida 7.
Glenn's Pick: Cincinnati 24, South Florida 13.
Arizona State +3 at No. 24 Arizona
Friday ... 10 p.m. ... ESPN
Brad's Pick: Arizona has won four of the last five meetings in this heated rivalry game, one that will feature new coaches on both sidelines. Former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez has turned the Wildcats around in short order, as Arizona has won four of its last five games, including a win over Southern Cal that looked better when it happened instead of today. The Wildcats' four losses this season have come against Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA, all highly ranked opponents. Arizona State lost by 21 points two weeks ago to Southern Cal. Arizona 33, Arizona State 27.
Craig's Pick: Arizona 24, Arizona State 20.
Glenn's Pick: Arizona 31, Arizona State 20.