College Football Picks: HATE WEEK

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Same, tbh.

It’s finally here, rivalry week! Everyone have a happy Thanksgiving and good luck as your school’s virtuous, upstanding young role models take on those no-good cheaters across town.

LSU at Texas A&M (+6.5)

Since A&M joined the SEC, this series has produced three slobberknockers. I don’t anticipate 2016 will be any different with two defense-heavy squads that lack explosiveness on offense. But one team has trended down as the season has progressed and the other has trended up. LSU 26, Texas A&M 20

Nebraska at Iowa (-2)

Practically the same team: run-first offenses with just-efficient-enough passing, ballhawking secondaries, and stout defensive lines. The difference is at quarterback, where Iowa knows what it has in C.J. Beathard, whereas injuries could force Nebraska to play as many as three different signal callers. Iowa 20, Nebraska 16

TCU at Texas (-3)

Charlie Strong’s last stand. D’onta Foreman carries the ball two hundred times against the Frogs’ suspect defense. The Horns roll and makes Strong’s inevitable termination even more awkward. Texas 34, TCU 17

Toledo at Western Michigan (-9)

The first of two obstacles standing between P.J. Fleck and a potential New Years Six berth. Expect a lot of offense as both teams are explosive, but don’t bet against the Broncos at home with a perfect season on the line. Western Michigan 45, Toledo 28

Georgia Tech at Georgia (-4.5)

Any time these teams are even remotely evenly matched, my heart wants to pick the Jackets, whose triple option slants the field in its favor. But this Bulldog defense has come around mightily in the back half of the season. Georgia 24, Georgia Tech 17

#3 Michigan at #2 Ohio State (-6.5)

The most anticipated regular season game of all time? We’ve been gearing up for The Game Which Has National Title Implications since the day Jim Harbaugh was announced at Michigan.  Unfortunately the Wolverines don’t look quite to be at full strength. I probably would have taken the more explosive Buckeyes anyway, but the absence of Wilson Speight means I don’t know if the Wolverines can keep up. Ohio State 27, Michigan 17

#13 Auburn at #1 Alabama (-17.5)

This is a football game you could watch, or you could put up your Christmas lights and spend time with your loved ones. Alabama 38, Auburn 13

#5 Washington at #23 Washington State (+6)

The best Apple Cup in recent memory. I expect Wazzu to come out swinging, but USC toppled the Huskies with a suffocating defense that forced all sorts of uncharacteristic errors. Wazzu won’t and Washington pulls away late. Washington 41, Washington State 28

Minnesota at #6 Wisconsin (-14.5)

Minnesota’s aggressive defense will be high-risk/high-reward in this one, which could either fluster a hit-or-miss offense or whiff entirely. I think the latter. Wisconsin 27, Minnesota 14

#22 Utah at #9 Colorado (-10)

Colorado’s Cinderella season just needs one more win for Mike MacIntyre’s rebuild to be complete and the Buffs make a conference championship game for the first time since 2005. He’s got the team he needs. Sefo Liufau has been efficient and accurate enough to take the burden off a stout defense. Colorado 35, Utah 24

#15 Florida at #14 Florida State (-7)

Poooooor Florida. For the second year running they fall butt-first into the SEC Championship Game only to be met with back-to-back shellackings from Florida State and Alabama. Florida State 31, Florida 14

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