Rankman's picks: Week 6

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It may be time for counseling and\or rehab when your top moment on a college football Saturday is Massachusetts scoring a late touchdown to back-door cover Ohio in a 58-50 loss. Hey, it's the little things in life, right? Anyway, that "save" salvaged a 3-3 weekend that kept me in alive in the mad-dash scramble back to .500 for the season. We're not there yet, but someday we'll look back at that UMass "comeback" as the game that turned everything around. We remain infatuated, as you can see, by the United States military service academy at West Point. Let's just say cheering for Army against a point-spread is just about the most patriot thing a God-fearing American can do. Army fascinates me for one simple reason: its existential and complex relationship with the forward pass. The Cadets lost at Tulane because they foolishly completed two passes--both to the other team. Last week, at home against UTEP, our heroes from West Point got cocky with a come-from-no where "trick" touchdown pass. Allowing a touchdown pass to Army is like getting dunked on by Richard Simmons. It was so disturbing UTEP Coach Coach Sean Kugler resigned after the game. Army's "miracle" pass, though, was was completely off-set in the end, by another foolish pass attempt that was returned for a Pick Six. Check out these five-game numbers: Army quarterbacks have completed 7 of 30 passes this year, with three interceptions and one touchdown. The Cadets are dead last nationally, averaging 23.2 passing yards per game. That's absurdly wonderful given that Army is good team likely headed to another bowl game this year.

The Games

Army giving 11 1\2 at RICE

LSU getting 2 1\2 at FLORIDA

Oregon State getting 34 at USC

Over\Under

Texas Tech at KANSAS (80)

Washington State at OREGON (60 1\2)

Maryland at OHIO STATE (60 1\2)[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Army giving 11 1\2 at RICE

It's no surprise that the nation's top three rushing teams all run option offenses: Navy, Georgia Tech and Army. This line jumps off the page given how bad Rice has been this year in relation to how effectively West Point has controlled the ground and the clock. Rice's only defense against Army's ground machine is a pretty good rush defense (No. 35 nationally at 122.2 yards per game). But that's not going to be enough to hold the 11 1\2 point line.

The Pick: Army

Score: Army, 32-14

LSU getting 2 1\2 at FLORIDA

Coach O's Flying Tigers have some advantages here. LSU should be highly and desperately motivated after last week's embarrassing home loss to Troy. The Tigers should also be riled that Florida made this its homecoming game and is also playing without quarterback Luke Del Rio. Yet, there appears to be something fundamentally unsound about this year's LSU squad that can't be fixed during 60 minutes in one of the nation's most inhospitable work environments (The Swamp).

The Pick: Florida

Score: Florida, 24-15

Oregon State getting 34 at USC

USC is going to win this game by plenty only because Oregon State is so bad this year. That said, the Trojans are hardly a well-oiled machine right now and are working with a patch-work, injury-riddled offensive line. Quarterback Sam Darnold needs to use this game to re-focus on fundamentals and clean up mistakes in advance of tougher games down the schedule. Until otherwise convinced, though, we just don't see USC as five touchdowns better than any team right now.

The Pick: Oregon State

Score: USC, 45-14

Texas Tech at KANSAS (80)

Take: UNDER

Washington State at OREGON (60 1\2)

Take: OVER

Maryland at OHIO STATE (60 1\2)

Take: OVER

Last week: 3-3

Season: 13-18[/membership]

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