Last week was as fun a week of sweats as you could possibly have in winners. Went 4-3-1. Three games went to overtime. Could have been even better, I suppose it could have been worse. Either way, it's a pair of plus weeks to start, and the card this week again ... is lengthy.
Florida State (-3, 57) at Louisville
7 p.m. ET on ESPN, Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
Van Pelt's pick: Louisville (+3)
You know how we feel about Friday night games, lose and go to bed bummed before the Saturday slate. But win it and you're off like a rocket ship, and we have a line that is screaming at us ... and we are listening.
Florida State is laying less than 3 to Louisville, huh? Not many takers. Well, we will buy it to 3 and take Louisville at home.
SVP: 2-1 all time picking Louisville
No. 6 Oklahoma (-11, 66) at Nebraska
12 p.m. ET, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Van Pelt's pick: Nebraska (+11)
This next spot I've been pondering the entire offseason. I knew we'd have this team in this spot but didn't know it'd have a new head coach. Nebraska, the past is going gone, including the most recent rough stretch. You want to talk Blackshirts -- let balloons fly on your first score -- all good with me. Just do what you must to make this a game.
SVP: 3-1 when picking Nebraska last season
Purdue at Syracuse (-1.5, 54)
12 p.m. ET on ESPN, JMA Wireless Dome, Syracuse, New York
Van Pelt's pick: Syracuse (-1.5)
Syracuse, I took you once already this year at home. We both won, didn't we? Well, let's take the Orange again laying a small number to a talented Purdue outfit.
SVP: 2-1 all-time when picking Syracuse
South Alabama at UCLA (-15.5, 60.5)
2 p.m. ET, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Van Pelt's pick: South Alabama (+15.5)
Did I tell you how much I love America last week? Did South Alabama (aka USA) repay that love with an outright road dub? It did. Are we saying God Bless the USA again? We are. I'm taking the Sun Belt and the Jaguars out in L.A. getting a bunch from UCLA.
SVP: 2-0 all time when picking South Alabama
No. 20 Ole Miss (-16.5, 63) at Georgia Tech
3:30 p.m. ET on ABC, Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta
Van Pelt's pick: Georgia Tech (+16.5)
Ready to hold on to your butts? Because we're fixing to -- let's go to Atlanta where the question you get at The Varsity is, "What'll ya have?" My answer: "I would like the underdog Yellow Jackets not to get obliterated by Ole Miss. Is that on the menu? Fantastic."
SVP: 4-2 all-time when picking against Ole Miss
No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon (-3, 58.5)
12 p.m. ET, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
Van Pelt's pick: Oregon (-3)
We're getting super weird now and going off script. How many Pac 12 favorites have I ever had? Can't be many, but that's all about to change. We had BYU last Saturday night -- earliest favorite we have ever had in this segment -- and they got a miracle cover over Baylor. As a thank you, I'm on the Ducks in Autzen. Sorry.
SVP: 2-0 all time when picking Pac-12 favorites
No. 11 Michigan State at Washington (-3, 56.5)
7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, Husky Stadium, Seattle
Van Pelt's pick: Washington (-3)
Same story in Seattle, this game between the Huskies and Spartans is a good one. We like U-Dub here and are laying the points in this one as well.
SVP: 9-6 all time when picking against Michigan State
No. 23 Pittsburgh (-10, 47.5) at Western Michigan
7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU, Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Van Pelt's pick: Western Michigan (+10)
Finally, a team Michigan State already beat this year -- Western Michigan. It welcomes a Pittsburgh team that has played two wild, roller-coaster games at home and now has a MAC road game at night. Does it get weird in Kalamazoo? Probably. Do I get double digits AND the Broncos at home in Waldo? Kinda have to -- and I will.
SVP: 0-5 all time when picking against Pittsburgh
This bookkeeping note -- I had Texas A&M written on the card -- but remembered our show follows that game and I don't want our objectivity coming into question. Who am I kidding, I just got a little spooked and crossed it off. But if they get there you know I will claim it.