13. Baylor (3-3) at Iowa State (4-3), 7 p.m. Eastern (FSN)
Why Watch: This game features two teams that will be appearing in the postseason, but just because they are out of the Big 12 title picture does not mean they cannot entertain us. Nick Florence has a future first round receiver to throw to in Terrence Williams whereas the Cyclones are a squad that should give a better showing than last week’s beatdown to Oklahoma State.
Danny V’s Pick: Baylor 38, Iowa State 34
12. UCLA (5-2) at Arizona State (5-2), 3 p.m. Eastern (FX)
Why Watch: This game is not getting any hype because ever since the Bruins lost at home to Oregon State, they have not been their typical selves that we saw in September. ASU had a chance to shock the nation and they were taken to the woodshed by Oregon. We would like more points scored, but these defenses should play a vital role in this matchup. Two young quarterbacks have been struggling a bit, so we shall see if they can bounce back quickly. The Bruins could afford to lose this game more since their schedule isn’t as tough as the Sun Devils, but victories have not been easy in the Pac-12 as of late for either team.
Danny V’s Pick: Arizona State 31, UCLA 24
11. No. 18 Clemson (6-1) at Wake Forest (4-3), 7:30 p.m. Eastern (ESPN)
Why Watch: The Clemson Tigers have been disrespected by the BCS as having the entire ACC, but another impressive showing cannot help but increase their chances of moving up in the polls. The offense has been incredible and even against a desperate WF team, the Tajh Boyd and company should reap the benefits.
Danny V’s Pick: Clemson 38, Wake Forest 24
10. No. 9 USC (6-1) at Arizona (4-3), 3:30 p.m. Eastern (ABC)
Why Watch: The Trojans are quickly moving up the polls and another road victory would be just what the doctor ordered. Matt Barkley is making a move for the Heisman, but more importantly USC is attempting to prepare for next week’s heavyweight matchup with the Ducks. They better look past a sneaky ‘Cats squad that can roll up half a hundred if you play undisciplined. Luckily, the Trojans are playing lights out on defense and the passing game is next to impossible right now. Arizona is coming off their obliteration over Washington thanks to quarterback Matt Scott playing his best ball of the season thus far.
Danny V’s Pick: USC 37, Arizona 22
9. Michigan State (4-4) at No. 24 Wisconsin (6-2), 3:30 p.m. Eastern (ABC, ESPN 2)
Why Watch: Wisconsin needs a few more wins and or another Purdue loss to secure a Big Ten title appearance. Remember, the Badgers still host Ohio State so a loss here would be a killer for a team that has appeared in Pasadena for two consecutive seasons. Sparty’s offense has been abysmal all year long, which has put all of the onus on a solid defense. The receivers have been brutal and Andrew Maxwell is just starting to play relevant football under center. All in all there hasn’t been a more disappointing team in the conference and the Badgers will look to go from busts back to Big Ten contention with another solid victory.
Danny V’s Pick: Wisconsin 24, Michigan State 16
8. Tennessee (3-4) at No. 13 South Carolina (6-2), Noon eastern (ESPN)
The Gamecocks would love to have a dominating performance after suffering two tough losses in a row. Their last three games seemed as if they played against Brett Favre’s Packers (late 90s), Joe Montana’s Niners (80s) and Walter Payton’s Bears (1985). That SEC gauntlet may have knocked off Alabama once although that in itself still seems a bit questionable. The Gamecocks defense is still relentless up front whereas the Vols are a bit soft when compared to all the team they have lost already (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State). Tyler Bray needs to ‘man up’ according to Derek Dooley and it will unfortunately be another tough go around in Columbia.
Danny V’s Pick: South Carolina 30, Tennessee 21
7. Cincinnati (5-1) at No. 16 Louisville (7-0), 8 p.m. Eastern (ESPN 2)
Teddy Bridgewater and Charlie Strong have been carrying the ‘Ville towards a flawless season, but they have been escaping with such ease as of late. It is never smart to play with fire for very long or else it will eventually catch up to you (or on you) and this might be the case with an angry Bearcats team. Is Louisville the best the Big East? I have been slotting them for my BCS projections for the entire season, but the defense for the Cardinals has been disappointing in the second half by allowing a ton of big passing plays. Munchie Legaux is the perfect signal-caller to avoid a solid pass rush by creating plays on his own. Even at Papa John’s Stadium, I am banking on the upset in this colossal Big East tilt.
Danny V’s Pick: Cincinnati 24, Louisville 20