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Black Shoe Degenerates - Week 11 Against the Spread

I think I'm going to need more televisions

I am just going to go ahead and blame a rather bland slate of games last week for my umm...significant lack of success.  Fortunately, this week is full of great matchups, most with playoff and conference title implications. Let's get to the games!

Alabama (-6.5) at LSU

When we last visited LSU in this space, I may have been a little harsh with their standing. All they did is go out and hand Ole Miss their first loss of the season. Now, I didn't see that game, since I was busy drinking beer in a parking lot before the PSU-OSU #NotARivalry game, but Ole Miss is an awful leg injury to Laquon Treadwell away from a lone loss in Death Valley. Alabama sits just 1 spot outside of the playoff, but wins this weekend, next against Mississippi State, and in the Iron Bowl against Auburn (plus an SEC title) would surely do the trick.

Alabama has struggled mightily on the road this year, eeking out a 1 point win at Arkansas, and falling in Oxford to Ole Miss. With apologies to both of those fine institutions, Tiger Stadium under the lights is a totally different animal. I think the Tide probably gets the W, but LSU getting a touchdown on the Bayou, at night, is too good to pass up. GEAUX TIGERS!

Baylor at Oklahoma (-5)

The Bears still entertain hopes of a playoff spot, but the loss in Morgantown has them needing quite a bit of help, and of course, no more slip ups. Oklahoma's hopes for a national title were done in by Kansas State, and some rather unfortunate kicking (obligatory #kickingisforquitters....and $am Ficken). The Sooners would love to return the favor, after Baylor handed them their second defeat a year ago in Waco.

Baylor has struggled with penalties all season, and as we saw against WVU last month, a road environment isn't exactly their favorite thing. That gets turned up a notch or two in Norman. I like the Sooners here, giving just 5 points at home.

Ohio State at Michigan State (-3.5)

In the traditional sense, no, this is not a rivalry. But it's also the best matchup in the Big 10 for the second straight year, between without a doubt the class of the league this season. Sparty of course knocked off the Buckeyes in last year's B1G title game, in what was Urban Meyer's first loss at Ohio State. Both teams entertain playoff hopes, although MSU's chances appear significantly better than Ohio State's should they win out.

Ohio State has struggled mightily on offense against the two toughest defenses they have faced to date, falling to Virginia Tech, and going to overtime in Happy Valley. Sparty may very well have the best unit of those 3, and they have the home field. I'll gladly give those 3 points given all that. SPARTY YES!

Notre Dame at Arizona State (-2.5)

Another game, another matchup of 1 loss teams fighting for their playoff lives. On an totally unrelated note, I love that I can use "playoff lives" so often in a college football column. The Sun Devils sit at 9th and the Irish 10th in the most recent rankings released on Tuesday. With plenty of SEC knockout games coming up, the winner of this game could find themselves in that final group of 4 should they win out.

Notre Dame is of course just the questionable offensive PI call in Tallahassee away from a perfect record, and a definite top 4 slot. Arizona State eeked out a win last week against Utah, and has had plenty of close calls on their wya to 7-1. The Irish showed me a lot on the road at Florida State, and I think they can hang with ASU in the desert. I'll take the 2.5.

Kansas State at TCU (-6)

The ND-ASU game featured #9 vs. #10, and this has #6 vs. #7. Remember when a playoff was going to hurt the regular season? We've got at least 5 games this week that impact the playoff picture, and that's just swell.  As for this game, I feel like I have written about TCU for about 4 weeks straight. This is the last stage of the Big 12 gauntlet of Oklahoma, Baylor, and WVU that the Frogs have faced. Meanwhile, K-State is just hanging around, winning games, and I'm wondering what could have been if they could just kick a football against Auburn.

I love Kansas State getting 6 here. TCU has been through a grinder for the last month, it seems. TCU may get the win, but Bill Snyder and Co. keep it close.


Iowa at Minnesota (PK)

Wisconsin at Purdue (+17)

Michigan at Northwestern (+2)