We went 4-4 last week -- not sure how. But that's what it was. I always feel obligated to make some kind of declaration at the start of the segment, so here are this week's: This is the oddest collection of whatever this is that I can recall. Most favorites, I think ever. Feels almost like I didn't pick the games. Make you feel confident? Me either.
No. 19 Kansas at Oklahoma (-9, 62.5)
noon ET on ESPN2, Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma
Van Pelt's pick: Oklahoma (-9)
OK -- first GPG game of the year -- General Principle Game, if you've forgotten. Oklahoma has surrendered 145 points in its past three games. Top-10 preseason, the Sooners are now in last place in the Big 12. They were last seen getting humiliated by rival Texas to the tune of 49-0. Kansas, meanwhile, is ranked and is coming off a stirring battle with unbeaten TCU. Oklahoma is a 9-point favorite. OK -- sure. On general principle, I lay the points in this spot because it's so preposterous at face value.
SVP: 17-7 all time when picking teams favored by more than a TD
Van Pelt's pick: Michigan State (+7.5)
Feels like a last stand of sorts in East Lansing -- not for Mel Tucker or anything like that -- but certainly in a season where the Spartans have lost four straight with Michigan in Ann Arbor on deck. Spartans either fight in this one against Wisconsin or ... I don't know what.
SVP: 12-8-1 all time when picking matchups of unranked Big Ten teams
Van Pelt's pick: Middle Tennessee (+8)
Wheels have fallen off the bus for Middle Tennessee after it shocked Miami. Attention Blue Raiders: time to defend the home turf of Murfreesboro as the Hilltoppers visit -- and they're coming off a pair of very tough close losses.
SVP: 1-4 all time when picking Middle Tennessee
Van Pelt's pick: Alabama (-7)
Much like the Oklahoma game, Bama at Tennessee is curious. Tennessee is catching 7 Saturday in Knoxville. Feels like if the Vols win -- and they certainly could -- they win big. My issue is that the world is betting this one like it's over and they are all on the Vols. I love underdogs and take them overwhelmingly -- except in a spot like this. Bama has lived on stages like this in games like this and if nobody wants to take them, I will.
SVP: 3-1 all time when picking favorites ranked in top 3
Van Pelt's pick: (+12) Georgia Southern
What's my Sun Belt record? Whatever it is ... it's good. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Scott is 5-0 taking Sun Belt teams this season) We are dabbling again this week. James Madison is a fantastic story. It is ranked and it is excellent, but a dozen is too many to give Georgia Southern in Statesboro.
SVP: 4-1 all time when picking Sun Belt conference games
Van Pelt's pick: Arkansas State (+4.5)
We had Arkansas State as road dogs in conference earlier this year and it covered for us. We are backing the Red Wolves in their trip to Hattiesburg with both teams coming off losses last week. Not getting a lot of candy here, but we have faith.
SVP: 47-23 all time when picking unranked teams in October night games
Van Pelt's pick: Florida State (+3.5)
We have a stinky poo number alert -- Clemson is favored by what in Tallahassee? Three and a half. Seems a tad light, no? FSU hung on for us and covered last week in Raleigh and I like it to battle its butts off in this one. On the home team.
SVP: 18-6-1 all time when picking ACC conference night games
Van Pelt's pick: Duke (+7)
Same deal in Durham where Duke needs to recover quickly from a stinker of an L in Bobby Dodd last week. UNC's offense is scary, but we are taking the TD at home in Wallace Wade.
SVP: WE REPEAT... 18-6-1 all time when picking ACC conference night games
Van Pelt's pick: Utah (-3.5)
Finally -- another favorite to close it out -- we're on the Utes in a massive spot against USC. Lincoln Riley and the Trojans have pulled a real quick U-turn and have 'SC in the top 10. This is the Trojans toughest road test, by a lot, this season. Rice Eccles at night is a spooky place for road teams.
SVP: 4-2 all time when picking Utah
Add that up and you have nine. Bunch of favorites. Some Sun Belt. I don't know what just happened -- but that's the card.