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NCAA Football Round-Up; The Luck of the Irish

Everett Golson

Golson and the Irish are a win away from the BCS Title game.

Somehow the Notre Dame Fighting Irish continue to ascend the BCS rankings and now find themselves at the top following losses by #1 Kansas State and #2 Oregon. Notre Dame finally had the convincing, home-field they were looking for in a shutout of Wake Forest while the folks in the SEC sat back and laughed as Alabama, Georgia and Florida all jumped back into the discussion for the BCS title game.

Make no mistake about it; Notre Dame is a very good football team and has done everything they’ve needed to in order to be 11-0 heading into the seaosn finale at hobbled USC. What people find strange with this Irish team is how they have seemingly walked such a fine long all season and continue to fall off on the correct side. The defense has been the backbone of the team all season long and the offense has played relatively mistake-free football especially in the last few games. The Irish have survived a couple of overtime games and overcame games where maybe they didn’t play so well in order to win and the breaks have gone their way as well. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Games this week…

Taylor Martinez

Martinez and the Huskers should win easily in Iowa City Friday.

Nebraska at Iowa (+14.5) – With a win the Huskers will win the Legends Division and will go to the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis. A loss would open the door for Michigan if the Wolverines can hand Ohio State their first loss of the season. Nebraska has won five straight but the Achilles’ heel is their poor performances on the road. Yes, the Huskers have comeback to win to some tight ones, but they have struggled too and with an Iowa team with nothing to lose that could be dangerous but not this time. The struggling Hawkeyes will probably have a normally boisterous student section home for Thanksgiving and they are having a difficult time getting anything going offensively. I like the Huskers to cover.

LSU at Arkansas (+13.5) – The Tigers got a huge scare from the Ole Miss Rebels last week at home in Death Valley and now go on the road for their rivalry game against a discombobulated Arkansas team. The Razorbacks have no chance for a bowl game and the players know that John L. Smith is as good as gone before this game even goes final. LSU is still playing for an opportunity to find itself a way into the BCS. Should Georgia, Alabama and/or Florida slip up then the Tigers could be BCS-bound. I love the Tigers to cover.

Michigan at Ohio State (-4.5) – The greatest rivalry in college football resumes in the Horseshoe where unbeaten Ohio State looks to finish their season a perfect 12-0 while Michigan looks to knock off the Buckeyes for the second straight year under Brady Hoke. This one has several intriguing angles to it. Michigan will know by game-time Saturday whether or not they can still get to the Big Ten title game with Nebraska playing on Friday. The Buckeyes will treat this game as their own personal bowl game and a chance to get Urban Meyer to 1-0 against the team from ‘up north.’ I like what Michigan is doing with Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner in the backfield but I think OSU has a little too much firepower offensively. I like Ohio State by a touchdown.

Florida at Florida State (-7) – What an incredible game this is poised to be with two 10-1 teams fighting for bragging rights, recruiting advantages and BCS bowls on the line in Tallahassee. I believe this line will come down through the week but not a ton so keep an eye on it. This game will boil down to the defenses and which one can come up bigger than the other. Florida’s offense is struggling and is riding their defense and special teams while Florida State is putting up 40+ points per game. Both teams are in the top ten in scoring defense and that will be the difference. With evenly matched defenses, I look to the home-field and the quarterbacks and both favor the Seminoles. I like the ‘Noles to win but by less than seven.

Other Games (My picks in BOLD)

Oregon at Oregon State (12.5)

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (-9)

South Carolina at Clemson (-4)


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