No time to dilly dally this week. On to this week's picks.
BLATANT HOMERISM--Week 12
Last week: 3-2; Overall: 29-25-1
Texas Tech at Iowa State (+3)
The forecast for Ames on Saturday calls for temperatures in the 30s and low 40s, which doesn't exactly suit the boys from Lubbock. Also, it might not show up in the win-loss record, but the Cyclones have played above their heads this season at Jack Trice Stadium.
The pick: Look for ISU to collect its best win of the year.
Oklahoma State at TCU (-4.5)
That Tech-ISU line is so conspicuous that it should be plastered on a billboard. This one is like a bullhorn blaring in your ear.
The Horned Frogs are setting up for a strong finishing kick to the year. Plenty appeared to be clicking in their last game against Baylor, and coming off last week's bye, they have healed up on both sides of the ball.
Also, they don't get much more irascible than Gary Patterson, who will want to get some revenge for the whipping his team received from the Cowboys a year ago.
The pick: TCU by a TD.
Miami at North Carolina State (+3)
The Wolfpack have played well in their last two games behind one of the more underrated defenses in the country. To be fair, so has Miami.
I'll go against the grain and take N.C. State in a must-win scenario for Dave Doeren – primarily because I don't like many of the games on this week's card, but I've promised y'all five every week. At least the Wolfpack have a little motivational angle.
The pick: N.C. State wins the right to play in a bowl game in Shreveport or something.
Kansas State (-2) at Baylor
Wrote about this game for Athlon. Look at this one as fading Baylor.
The pick: Wildcats by six.
Duke at Pittsburgh (-7.5)
The Letdown Bowl. Duke got the satisfaction of beating its arch rival last week. Meanwhile, Pitt gave Clemson its first L of the season.
From a style standpoint, the Panthers have the benefit of knowing how to play and win grinders. Duke has thrived this season by slowing down games to milk the clock against teams that like to run and gun. For example, check out how the Blue Devils took down North Carolina last week.
Pitt probably won't get flustered if Duke continues to slow it down. That bodes well for the Panthers.
The pick: Pitt, 28-17.
The Skinny--Week 12
Last week: 2-2-1; Overall: 21-31-2
Duke (+7.5) at Pittsburgh
Kansas St. (-2) at Baylor
Washington State (+4) at Colorado
Texas at Kansas (+24)
Miami at N.C. St. (+3)