Sure, this is the last week of regular season predictions, but we're going to run the competition continuously through the BCS National Championship. Get your picks in by 11:00 EST Saturday, and stay tuned next week to find out how to enter your predictions for all the bowls.
1. No. 2 OREGON at OREGON STATE, 3:30 p.m. ABC (12/4)
GRAHAM predicts OREGON
Only one chance for the Beavers: Pull a "USC '08", which entails physical dominance and an early lead. Yeah, right. Not only are the Beavers under-performing in 2010, but Oregon is ohhhh sooo close to MNC glory. Oregon by a couple scores.
JON predicts OREGON
Sure, I have excellent memories of upsets in Corvallis. But this isn't a Pete Carroll coached USC team, and Oregon State just doesn't have the offense to hang with the Ducks (The Beavers are 95th nationally in total offense. The Ducks are 1st). Oregon punches its ticket to Glendale, Civil War be damned.
Oregon - 16
Big Ten Portal* says "The last 6 games between these two have gone Over the total. During this stretch Oregon State is 3-3 SU and 3-3 ATS. The Beavers have hit the Under in 5 consecutive games, after starting the season going Over 6 times in a row. Oregon has hit the Over 8 of 10 games this season."
2. SEC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, No. 1 AUBURN vs. No. 19 SOUTH CAROLINA, 4:00 p.m. CBS (12/4)
GRAHAM predicts AUBURN
One glimpse of hope for the Cocks - They run the same kind of offense 'Bama does, an attack Auburn struggled against last week. Auburn is ohh soo close to MNC glory, so I won't kick their chances down now. Cam Newton wins a Heisman and a chance to play for a nat'l title.
JON predicts AUBURN
Had we made picks last weekend I would have picked against the Tigers and I would have smugly sat on the couch eating Thanksgiving leftovers as Alabama raced out to a 24-0 lead. Everyone in the country knows what happened next. This Auburn team came back on the road from a 24 point deficit against their greatest rival, a Top 15 defending National Championship Alabama club. Are they vulnerable to the run and play action pass? Sure, and Stephen Garcia and Marcus Lattimore will certainly chew up yards early on. But these Tigers are battle-tested. They know how to get up off the mat, how to rally, how to come back from the abyss...
South Carolina - 7
Big Ten Portal says "Auburn is 7-1 ATS and 8-0 SU against SEC foes this season, including a 35-27 victory at home against South Carolina. South Carolina is 7-5 ATS this season, and has gone Over the total 8 of out 12 games."
3. THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, No. 21 FLORIDA STATE vs. No. 15 VIRGINIA TECH, 7:45 p.m. ESPN (12/4)
GRAHAM predicts VIRGINIA TECH
Cripple fight-ish (it's no big east), but a talented cripple right nonetheless. FSU has 4 star (sometimes 5 star) talent at its skill positions and has suffered a couple defeats that really should have been wins. VT has rode the same concept (solid run game, solid defense) to another 10 win season. Both teams are riding win streaks, so what's the defining matchup factor? I'm picking the powerful Hokies over the explosive Seminoles.
JON predicts FLORIDA STATE
Speaking of comebacks the Hokies have won 10 in a row after an embarrassing 0-2 start. But I'm taking the upset points here. The Seminoles are playing fast and loose after a long overdue thumping of in-state rival Florida. Christian Ponder has a career day, and Jimbo Fisher's club claws their way into the BCS.
Virginia Tech - 4
Big Ten Portal says "The Hokies have been monsters on Saturdays this fall, going 9-1 ATS. They're also 6-1 ATS in conference play thus far. FSU has been pretty mediocre across the board spread-wise, though they are 5-3 ATS against teams with winning records."
4. THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, No. 9 OKLAHOMA vs. No. 13 NEBRASKA, 8:00 p.m. ABC (12/4)
GRAHAM predicts OKLAHOMA
Should be a great matchup, but the Cornhuskers have been halted by injuries While the Sooners have looked increasingly sharp since their loss to Texas Tech. Five weeks ago? I pick Nebraska. Now? I go with Ohhhhklahoma.
JON predicts OKLAHOMA
Man I want to see Nebraska exit the Big 12 Conference as Champions. But they proved against Texas A&M that without a healthy Taylor Martinez their offense isn't much better than the one that spun its wheels in last year's Big 12 Championship Game. Oklahoma simply has too many weapons on offense for the Cornhuskers. The Blackshirts play admirably, but it's not enough to head out on a high note.
Big Ten Portal says "Oklahoma has won most of this season through the air, but Nebraska has only allowed one team to amass more than 250 passing yards. In a battle of two average gambling teams (Oklahoma 7-5 ATS, Nebraska 5-7 ATS), the only two items that stand out are Oklahoma's ATS in conference play (6-2) and Nebraska's ATS against conference rivals (1-4)."
5. USC at UCLA, 10:30 p.m. (12/4)
GRAHAM predicts USC
True cripple fight. Great talent and no cohesion...meets good talent and no cohesion. BTW Ronald Johnson is an NFL-caliber wide receiver (from Muskegon, Michigan nonetheless), but his drop last week v. Notre Dame was tough to watch. USC wins, but does it ugly, per usual.
JON predicts USC
Clearly we ran out of games to pick this week. Matt Barkley starts and the Trojans beat their cross-town rivals for the fourth-straight time.
USC - 7
Big Ten Portal says "These two teams have been miserable ATS this year (7-14-2 ATS combined). The most glaring stat is UCLA's 1-6 record ATS in conference play this year, and the Bruins have been terribly overhyped ever since the Texas win. However, unless the Trojans passing attack comes out of its recent slump (less than 180 ypg over their past four contests), it could stay close.."
* Big Ten Portal is a website devoted to the culture and trends associated with following and betting Big Ten football. Each week their team provides recent and historic analysis so you have all the data you need to make your picks.