Philadelphia, PA – Michigan State and Wisconsin met earlier 31 on a Kirk Cousins 44-yard touchdown pass to Keith Nichol on the last play of the game.
The over/under for the rematch is a bit higher at 54.5, but these two teams have a history of high-scoring matchups. They have met nine times since the 2001 campaign and each and every contest has gone over the posted total. In fact, only one of the nine games has had a combined score lower than 58 points.
It doesn't matter which team wins the matchup as Michigan State has walked off the field with five wins and Wisconsin with four. It also doesn't matter where the two teams play or what the line is. The two times one of the two squads was favored by a touchdown or more the final tally was 26.5 points and 17.5 points above the posted total.
Wisconsin has played eight games since Oct. 1 and has gone over the total six times. On the other side, Michigan State has gone over the number in three of its last four games.
Both teams average over 30 points per game with Wisconsin at 45 and Michigan State at 30.
Despite the 15-point difference, the Spartans have averaged 38.5 points per game in their last four contests. They also allowed the likes of Iowa and Minnesota to pick up 21 and 24 points, respectively. If the Golden Gophers, ranked last in the Big Ten in scoring at 18 points per game, can score 24 points, there's no doubt the Badgers will have little trouble picking up at least the same 31 they managed to score in the first meeting.
Wisconsin's defense has played much better than Michigan State's defense of late holding four straight opponents to 17 points or less. However, those four teams - Penn State, Illinois, Minnesota, and Purdue - are all in the bottom half of the Big Ten in scoring, and all but Purdue are in the bottom third.
A spot in a BCS Bowl is on the line so look for both teams to come out firing on offense. Wisconsin has the more explosive unit but don't count out Michigan State from matching the Badgers point for point. Whichever team wins, one thing will be for certain - both clubs will put up enough points to reach the "over" for the 10th straight time.
Take the over as the first of five, three-star plays.
The second selection is also an over/under play but this time the under is the way to go.
Virginia Tech and Clemson do battle in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday night and these two teams have been "under" machines in 2011. Counting the Orange Bowl against Stanford back on Jan 3, the Hokies are 8-3-1 to the under in their last 11 contests. They are also 13-4-1 in their last 18 games. Clemson has gone under the total in its last four battles and six of its last eight. In addition, the Tigers are 14-6 to the under going back to Oct. 9, 2010.
As is the case with Michigan State-Wisconsin, these two teams met earlier this season with Clemson taking care of business, 23-3. The over/under in that one was 51. This time it's even higher at 52.5.
Take the under.
West Virginia needs a win over South Florida along with a Cincinnati victory over Connecticut to garner the Big East crown. In order to pass the first test, the Mountaineers must go into Tampa and defeat the Bulls for the first time since 2005.
The odds are strong they will do just that as South Florida comes into this game will a boatload of injuries, including quarterback B.J. Daniels, who missed last week's contest against Louisville.
The Bulls are notorious for losing a ton of games over the second half of seasons and this year is no different. They have dropped two straight home games and surprisingly are getting only 1.5 points against a West Virginia team in need of a victory.
Take the Mountaineers minus the points.
San Diego State is averaging almost a touchdown less per game than a season ago, but that was expected with the loss of its top two receivers. On the other hand, the defense has remained strong giving up only two points more per game than in 2010 at 24. More importantly, a victory over Fresno State will match last year's eight-win regular season.
The Bulldogs come to San Diego having lost four of their last five games. The defense has played a bit better since Tim Skipper replaced Randy Stewart as defensive coordinator as the unit allowed fewer than 63 rushing yards in the two games against San Jose State and Hawaii. Nonetheless, San Diego State's running attack is a thousand times better than that of the Spartans and Warriors. Look for the Aztecs to control the clock and post a double-digit victory.
Take San Diego State minus the points.
Longtime coach Howard Schnellenberger will patrol the sidelines for the final time as his Florida Atlantic Owls host the ULM Warhawks.
FAU has had a disastrous campaign losing its first nine contests before breaking into the win column with a 38-35 non-conference victory over UAB last week. The high-scoring effort moved the Owls out of the basement in scoring offense, one point ahead of New Mexico. Running back Alfred Morris continued to shine rushing for 198 yards with four touchdowns while going over the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career.
ULM has had a very disappointing season with only three wins and just one in the last five weeks. The Warhawks have recorded only one road victory each of the last two years so it's doubtful they'll be on top of their game this Saturday at Florida Atlantic. Furthermore, every meeting in this series has been decided by a touchdown or less with the last five decided by three points or less.
Take FAU plus the points.
Go with Pittsburgh (hosting Syracuse).
Take New Mexico (at Boise State).
AFTER 13 WEEKS
The overall 12-week total now stands at 62-85-1 (4-5 in Week 12) with a 48-49-1 record over the last eight weeks. My Five-Star plays are 5-3, the Three-Star selections are 23-30-1, the Two-Star plays are 19-32, and the One- Star picks are 15-20.
As a reminder, the Five-Star plays are when my Power Plays and Key Plays coincide. The Three-Star choices are my personal picks, the Two-Star plays are the "power number" picks (games with at least a five-point differential between my line and the actual line), and the One-Star plays are my personal secondary selections.
THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK'S "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) LSU, 113.5; 2) Alabama, 110.5; 3) Wisconsin, 107.5; 4) Oregon, 104.5; 5-T) Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Houston, 104; 8) USC, 103; 9) Oklahoma, 102; 10- T) Arkansas and Florida State, 100; 12) Boise State, 99
(The Top 12 is not a reflection of a given team's won-loss record. It's based purely on power rankings used to predict spreads for the upcoming week. At the beginning of the season, all 120 FBS teams are assigned a power number, which then changes on a week-to-week basis depending on how each team played.)