UH's Keenum prepares to break record under radar

Poor Houston.

College football's most overlooked undefeated team will spend another week toiling in relative obscurity. Record-breaking quarterback Case Keenum and the super-charged and 14th-ranked Cougars (8-0) are at lowly Conference USA rival UAB on Saturday.

The game kicks off at old and antiquated Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., at 7 p.m. EDT.

That's right, an hour before No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama get going in Tuscaloosa.

The Blazers don't draw well even when they are the only game in town. The announced attendance for UAB's home game against Central Florida on Thursday, Oct. 20 was 8,872. Overall, UAB has averaged 18,294 for its three home games, 108th in FBS.

Even if a huge contingent of Cougars fans makes the trip East, there will be plenty of seats available at Legion Field — capacity about 71,500 — for what is likely to be another record-breaking night for Keenum.

The sixth-year senior tossed nine touchdown passes in 73-34 victory against Rice last week to become the NCAA's career leader in TD passes. He's already passed the career total offense mark held by Hawaii's Timmy Chang this season and with 267 yards passing against the Blazers — a solid half for Keenum — he'll break the NCAA career record of 17,072 held by Chang.

If a record falls in a stadium with nothing but empty seats, does it count?

The game will be on national TV, too. CBS Sports Network, with former Michigan and West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez as the analyst, will carry it.

Of course, it was CBS that put Houston at UAB in this unfortunate position. LSU vs. Alabama would have normally been played at 3:30 p.m., but the network negotiated with ESPN to put the game of the year in prime time.

The Cougars may be relegated to the small stage, but there's a good chance they'll outscore both of those other undefeated teams playing at Bryant-Denny Stadium all by themselves.

The picks:


No. 21 Southern California (minus 21 1-2) at Colorado

Lane Kiffin has already submitted his preferred timeout schedule ... USC 45-14.


No. 1 LSU (plus 5) at No. 2 Alabama

Round 1? ... ALABAMA 23-17.

No. 17 Kansas State (plus 21) at No. 3 Oklahoma State

From undefeated to consecutive blowout losses for Wildcats ... OKLAHOMA STATE 54-24.

No. 4 Stanford (minus 21) at Oregon State

Cardinal winning streak is at 16 ... STANFORD 42-20.

No. 5 Boise State (minus 41) at UNLV

Kellen Moore goes for record-breaking win No. 46 ... BOISE STATE 56-14.


No. 6 Oregon (minus 16) at Washington

Ducks have won seven straight over Huskies ... WASHINGTON 38-33.

Texas A&M (plus 13 1-2) at No. 7 Oklahoma

Sooners start a new home winning streak ... OKLAHOMA 42-20.

No. 12 South Carolina (plus 5) at No. 8 Arkansas

Georgia rooting hard for Razorbacks ... ARKANSAS 28-14.

Northwestern (plus 17 1-2) at No. 9 Nebraska

Wildcats are 0-2 in Lincoln, last visit was 1974 and they lost 61-7 ... NEBRASKA 45-21.

No. 13 Michigan (minus 4) at Iowa

Hawkeyes have won two straight but never beaten Michigan three in a row ... MICHIGAN 24-21.

No. 14 Houston (minus 28) at UAB

Even Cougars will be more interested in LSU-Alabama by halftime ... HOUSTON 66-28.

Minnesota (plus 28) at No. 15 Michigan State

Perfect bounce back for Spartans ... MICHIGAN STATE 35-6.

New Mexico State (plus 33) at No. 18 Georgia

If ever there was a good time to suspend all your tailbacks, Mark Richt found it ... GEORGIA 41-10.

Purdue (plus 26) at No. 19 Wisconsin

Boilermakers will pay dearly for Badgers' losses ... WISCONSIN 48-14.


UCLA (plus 9 1-2) at No. 20 Arizona State

Sun Devils put up 55 on Bruins last year ... ARIZONA STATE 45-17.

No. 23 Cincinnati (minus 2 1-2) at Pittsburgh

Bearcats last trip to Pittsburgh was snowy 45-44 victory to clinch Big East title in '09 ... CINCINNATI 28-21.

Louisville (13 1-2) at No. 24 West Virginia

Mountaineers fans to Cardinals fans: "Ha-ha, you have to stay." ... WEST VIRGINIA 38-21.

Last week's record: 14-4 (straight); 10-8 (vs. spread).

Season record: 146-31 (straight); 86-67-1 (vs. spread).

Best bets: 7-2.

Upset specials (vs. spread): 5-4.


Follow Ralph D. Russo on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP