No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes @ Purdue Boilermakers (Noon on BTN)
Welcome to another day of crappy games. Hence why a game where Ohio State is a 32 point favorite is considered the game to watch at noon. But as heavily as the Buckeyes are favored, there is a some intrigue in this game. For some miserable, inexplicable reason, Ohio State struggles against Purdue. They were the source of the biggest scare for the Buckeyes's undefeated season last year in Columbus and are good at home against OSU, winning three of the last four. Yet Purdue has normally been pretty solid in those years. Not so much the case this year. Purdue is a dreadful this year, having only one win against Indiana State while ranking in the bottom third in most meaningful offensive and defensive statistics. Still, as much as I may die inside for saying this, don't count out Purdue giving Ohio State some trouble. I ultimately expect Ohio State to win this though being the better team, 42-17.
No. 21 Michigan Wolverines @ No. 22 Michigan State Spartans (3:30 on ABC)
Almost any other year, this spot would belong to Georgia vs. Florida. But because both teams are having a down year, we focus our attention on these two teams who have aspirations of playing in the B1G Championship game. Both teams have one loss, but Michigan has an conference loss to Penn State while Michigan State's only loss was at Notre Dame. A loss by one team here puts the other in prime contention for a spot in Indianapolis. Michigan has been all over the place this year, having close low scoring wins against Akron and UConn while winning a shootout against Indiana. Michigan State has been more consistent this year by comparison. They have a stifling defense that ranks third in points against, but has an offense that can be very underwhelming. Because this game is in East Lansing and because of Michigan's enigmatic offense, I can't see them scoring enough points to keep up with the Spartans. Devin Gardner shows flashes of brilliance and then completely tanks while Brady Hoke refuses to utilize Derrick Green this season. Expect Sparty to take this one, 20-10.
No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys @ No. 15 Texas Tech Red Raiders (7:00 on FOX)
Both of these teams are going to fight tooth and nail to get this victory here. Each has an in conference loss (OK St. to WVU; Tech to Oklahoma) and need this win to stay within one game of Baylor, who currently sits at fifth. As with the previous game, a loss by either one here pretty much eliminates them from snatching the Big12 title. What's interesting about these teams is that unlike in previous years, they are actual fielding a defense that can make stops. Oklahoma State's defense ranks 19th in points against (19.6 per) while Texas Tech ranks 26th (21.1). Tech also has the third best passing in the country at a ridiculous 412 yards per game while the Cowboys boast a more balanced attack, yet each is averaging about 39 points per game. The fact that Oklahoma State couldn't put up enough points on the road against West Virginia is one of the biggest factors for me picking the Red Raiders to take this one 38-30 and close the gap with Baylor.
No. 7 Miami, Fl. Hurricanes @ No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (8:00 on ABC)
Unfortunately, I don't think that his game is going to be as good as the rankings suggest. Miami has struggled in consecutive weeks to beat 2-5 UNC and 4-4 Wake Forest while the Seminoles have been decimating teams. Miami has got some quality talent on both sides of the ball, but it hasn't fully come together in convincing fashion this year. Stephen Morris can be very up or down (and I bet he'll be down against Florida State's 4th ranked defense) which has only been exacerbated by the loss of his favorite receiver, Philip Dorsett. Canes running back Duke Johnson is a fantastic player, but if Morris can't get going expect the Noles to crowd the box and challenge Morris to lead Miami to victory. When Florida State is on offense, don't look away for a second. They have huge playmakers at every key position that allows them to score on explosive plays. This bitter rivalry game might have the rankings here to make it a compelling match up, but I can't see how Miami is able to stop Jameis Winston and the stable of running backs Jimbo Fisher utilizes. Florida State needs to score some style points here for voters and needs points for the BCS system if they want to give Oregon a taste of their own medicine. I got Florida State by a landslide, 49-24.