Shortened post this week, as reporting is on-location from a not even close to top three Ohio State-Michigan game. The three games this week are pretty clear.
#2 Texas Tech at #5 Oklahoma. Definitely shaping up to be the biggest regular game all year. Texas Tech puts themselves in the Big 12 title game, and probably the national championship game, with a win. Oklahoma would create a three-way tie at the top of the Big 12 South, although it's anybody's guess whether they'd take the tiebreaker away from Texas. For losing last, Texas Tech would probably be out.
As a side bonus, it might help decide the Heisman. If Oklahoma wins convincingly, Sam Bradford probably takes the lead. If Texas Tech wins, Harrell gains—although his top receiver Michael Crabtree could make a run if he gets a signature play against both Texas and Oklahoma. Style-wise, we already know they're both all about passing.
#14 BYU at #7 Utah. This decides the minor conference representative to the BCS. Win and in for Utah; lose and in for Boise State. Also, I have no idea who would win the three way tie in the Mountain West. Hopefully TCU, who I still think is the best team.
#15 Michigan State at #8 Penn State. Rose Bowl trip on the line for Penn State, and possibly Michigan State too, if Michigan upsets Ohio State earlier in the day. The key, as always for Michigan State, will be whether they can pass well enough to open space up for Javon Ringer. The Iowa game is the only one, including Ohio State, in which Penn State has really had a problem defending the pass.
Predictions: BYU is a good example of ranking inertia. They have played more close games than either of the other Mountain West elite, haven't beaten anyone close to a good team, and lost by 27 to TCU, but they're a team with tradition and a preseason ranking, so they're still ranked 14th. Utah has wins over TCU and Pac 10 leader Oregon State. I'm taking the Utes. The other two games are trickier. Oklahoma and Penn State are more talented and at home, so they should be favored, but I think both are bigger favorites than they ought to be. Go, upsets.
Picks: Texas Tech (30/70), Utah (69/31), Michigan State (14/86).
Overall Adj. WPct: 920-503, .647