This week's national games of intrigue:
#1 Alabama at #6 Texas A&M (+7) 12:30 Pacific, CBS: This game is the one exceptions to the rule of taking Alabama minus whatever you're given. Until they show that they can stop Johnny Manziel, you've got to like A&M moving the football. Kevin Sumlin is a really good coach (as Steve Sarkisian has learned), and I almost like the Ags at home. As it is now I like the points, and am expecting a close game.
#16 UCLA (+4) at #23 Nebraska 9:00 AM Pacific, ABC: Double dipping here with a Pac-12 team, but this line seems too good to be true to me. UCLA looked good in their opener, and Nebraska hasn't been able to stop anybody. Noel Mazzone's offense is going to shred the defense formerly known as the blackshirts, and I like UCLA outright where you can get them at +140 on 5dimes. Take the points here, but I expect UCLA to win big.
Vanderbilt at #13 South Carolina (-11) 4:00 PM Pacific, ESPN: South Carolina has played tough competition so far and has looked really good against North Carolina, then ok against Georgia. I don't think Vandy has the tools offensively to test the Cackalacky defense like Georgia did, and I like taking Steve Spurrier in a bounce-back game at home. Give the points, South Carolina is destroying Vandy in this one.
Season record: 3-3
All of the interesting games this week are in the Pac-12. Seriously, this is a really good Pac-12 schedule in the nonconference. Only a couple of snoozers (seriously with your schedule Arizona? Play somebody. Anybody.) but a ton of games that I want to see.
#16 UCLA (+4) at #23 Nebraska 9:00 AM Pacific, ABC
#5 Stanford at Army 9:00 AM Pacific, CBS Sports Network
USC vs Boston College 12:00 PM Pacific, Pac-12 Network
#2 Oregon vs Tennessee 12:30 PM Pacific, ABC
#19 Washington vs Illinois (at Soldier Field) 3:00 PM Pacific, Big Ten Network
Washington State vs Southern Utah 3:30 PM Pacific, Pac-12 Network
Cal vs #4 Ohio State 4:00 PM Pacific, FOX
Utah vs Oregon State 7:00 PM Pacific, FOX Sports 1
Arizona State vs #20 Wisconsin 7:30 PM Pacific, ESPN
Arizona vs UT-San Antonio 7:30 PM Pacific, Pac-12 Network
Colorado vs Fresno State: POSTPONED