It's now just one week before Michigan and Ohio State stage their epic showdown in Columbus, with both likely to face little resistance on Saturday. The Buckeyes are nearly four-touchdown favorites at Maryland while Michigan is an 18-point home favorite against struggling Illinois.
But what about the ongoing lack of respect for No. 4-ranked TCU from the guys in Las Vegas?
The 10-0 Horned Frogs were seven-point underdogs at Texas and dominated in a 17-10 win -- with the Longhorns' only touchdown coming on a late fumble return. This week, TCU is listed as a mere 2 1/2-point favorite at Baylor.
Baylor lost 31-3 at home to Kansas State last week.
Will TCU survive the season unbeaten and crash the playoff party? As weak as the Big 12 is, there's a good chance of that happening. But the Horned Frogs do have a habit of falling behind, which can be dangerous in November. So we'll see.
Meanwhile, there's an intriguing West Coast game with USC going crosstown to face UCLA, with the Trojans needing a win to remain as the Pac-12's last playoff hopeful.
On to the picks after a much needed 5-1 showing last week:
MICHIGAN over Illinois, giving 18
The complaints about the Wolverines' non-conference schedule are valid, but here's the thing: they have been dominant on both sides of the ball, as dominant as any team in the country. If RB Blake Corum is able to dent the Illini's stout defense for another big game and then follows up with one at Ohio State he will be among the Heisman favorites. Illini have lost two straight, their best win this year has been over Minnesota and star RB Chase Brown left last week's game in the fourth quarter with a right leg injury. He is expected to play but how effective will he be? Michigan's defense should feast on Illini QB Tommy DeVito too.
Tcu over BAYLOR, giving 2 1/2
The Vegas sharpies weren't so sharp last week in making TCU a seven-point underdog at Texas. Are they more on point this week with this spread? As bad as Baylor's 31-3 loss to Kansas State was, it was made worse by the fact the Wildcats had to rely on backup QB Will Howard to inflict that embarrassing loss. Bears' running game was non-existent last week and now faces an even better defense. The Horned Frogs' combination of QB Max Duggan and RB Kendre Miller will see to it that TCU gets to 11-0 here.
Iowa over MINNESOTA, taking 3
Yeah, yeah we know: Iowa's offense stinks. If it were corn they wouldn't even feed it to pigs. It's that bad. But the Hawkeyes are somehow 6-4 and on a three-game winning streak after tough losses to Michigan and Ohio State. The defense has been dominant of late, allowing 26 points combined the past three games (it is ranked No. 3 overall nationally), and this team has proven to be opportunistic. Golden Gophers have built their three-game winning streak on the backs of Rutgers, Nebraska and Northwestern (combined record 8-24) and have a one-dimensional offense that consists of RB Mohamed Ibrahim. He's a good one; not sure the same can be said about this Minnesota team overall.
WAKE FOREST over Syracuse, giving 10
Remember that 6-0 start by the Orange? Seems like more fantasy than reality now, with Dino Babers' squad in free fall with four straight losses, the last two by a combined 57-12. The offense is a mess, though it may get some help from Wake's porous defense here, and RB Sean Tucker suddenly looks ordinary at best after early rave reviews. Liked the way Wake QB Sam Hartman bounced back last week to throw four TD passes in a 36-34 loss to 9-1 North Carolina. Demon Deacons' three-game losing streak ends here.
Utah over OREGON, giving 2
The line opened with Oregon as a 3-point favorite but has since shifted -- no doubt due to the uncertain status of Ducks QB Bo Nix (knee injury suffered late in last week's loss to Washington). But Nix was not playing defense, with Oregon yielding 522 yards to the Huskies, who scored on seven of nine possessions. Utes come in as the higher ranked team and on a four-game winning streak that includes a 43-42 win over USC, with QB Cameron Rising -- the reigning all-Pac-12 QB -- turning in another solid season. Utah is seeking its sixth appearance in the Pac-12 title game in the past eight years. Rising will look to take advantage of Ducks' banged-up secondary here.
Oklahoma State over OKLAHOMA, taking 7
Have the 5-5 Sooners done anything this year to inspire confidence? In a word, no. Oklahoma comes in on a two-game losing streak, with supposed defensive genius and first year head coach Brent Venables presiding over a defense ranked 109th overall nationally. If Cowboys' QB Spencer Sanders is fully recovered from a shoulder injury -- he came off the bench to throw the game-winning TD last week against Iowa State -- OSU rates a significant edge at the position. Neither team is very good, but OU is 2-5 in a weak Big 12. That's really bad.
Last week vs. spread: 5-1
Season to date vs. spread: 32-34
Home team in CAPs