It’s victory-lap time for the Pro.
For the third year in a row, Lee Sterling of ParamountSports.com will finish the season a runaway winner of Joe vs. the Pro. As usual, it wasn’t even close.
The Pro has finished each season of Joe vs. the Pro in the black but this year it appears he will set a new standard even for himself. With a record 4-3-1 against the spread last week, the Pro is 55-42-3 against the spread entering the final weekend of the season.
Joseph Goodman, the Herald’s college football columnist, went 3-4-1 against the spread last week but has a chance, for the first time, to finish the season with money in his pocket. Joe is 49-47-3 against the spread for the season.
Though Joe has no chance of catching the Pro against the spread, the battle still rages for champion of straight-up picks. The Pro went 5-3 straight up last week and is 74-30 straight up for the season. Joe went 6-2 straight up last week and is also 74-30 overall in straight-up picks.
This week’s picks:
PITTSBURGH AT SOUTH FLORIDA (Pitt by 6.5)
Joe: Pitt is playing for a bowl-game invitation. Bulls just want this season to be over. Pittsburgh 35, USF 21
Pro: Since starting 2-0, Bulls have dropped eight of nine games and now start a backup quarterback and are without the services of their top two wide receivers. Pitt needs to win to get to a bowl game and will, with room to spare. Pittsburgh 35, USF 12
TEXAS AT KANSAS STATE (Kansas State by 11)
Joe: With that disastrous loss to Baylor still fresh, Kansas State has had two weeks to prepare for Texas. A Big 12 title and a spot in the BCS could be on the line if Oklahoma defeats TCU on Saturday. Wildcats are 4-0 against Texas dating back to 2006. Kansas State 42, Texas 21
Joe: After TCU ran for 217 yards on the Texas defense last week, Wildcats will follow the same game plan to reach a BCS Bowl. Kansas State 42, Texas 24
BOISE STATE AT NEVADA (Boise State by 9.5)
Joe: Boise State can finish with 10 wins for the seventh straight season. Broncos’ stout rushing defense triggers the blowout. Boise State 45, Nevada 20
Pro: Wolfpack won’t go down without a fight with an offense that has scored at least 30 points in every game this season. Boise State 41, Nevada 34
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE AT FAU (ULL by 9.5)
Joe: Rajin’ Cajuins coach Mark Hudspeth has turned Lafayette into a winner. A win would give ULL back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time since the formation of Division I-A in 1978. ULL 35, Florida Atlantic 25
Pro: Owls quarterback Graham Wilbert, the unquestioned leader and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 16-4, has led FAU to eight covers in their last nine games as an underdog. ULL 30, Florida Atlantic 24
CENTRAL FLORIDA AT TULSA (Tulsa by 1)
Joe: The rematch goes to UCF in the Knights’ C-USA sendoff. UCF 25, Tulsa 23
Pro: Don’t be fooled by Tulsa’s 35-27 loss to SMU last week .The game meant nothing. Tulsa won the first meeting this year over UCF with a 461-235 total yards advantage. Tulsa 28, UCF 24
GEORGIA VS. ALABAMA (Alabama by 7)
Joe: Bulldogs’ backfield has the advantage but it’s Georgia’s linebackers that should concern Bama most. Georgia 21, Alabama 20
Pro: Defense wins championships and right now Bulldogs are playing at a higher level than Nick Saban’s stop unit. It’s time for quarterback Aaron Murray to add a signature win to his resume. Georgia 27, Alabama 24
FLORIDA STATE VS. GEORGIA TECH (FSU by 14)
Joe: Noles’ loss to the Gators wounded more than pride. FSU limps into ACC title game but get the job done against six-win Georgia Tech. FSU 28, Georgia Tech 15
Pro: Seminoles could be in a funk after falling apart last week but how do you back Tech after they hogged the ball for over 39 minutes last week and still lost by 32 points? Florida State 40, Georgia Tech 23
NEBRASKA VS. WISCONSIN (Nebraska by 3)
Joe: It’s the “Both Teams Lost to Ohio State” Big Ten championship game. Nebraska won the regular-season version of this game 30-27. Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 25
Pro: Since the first meeting, Black Shirt defense has gotten mighty stingy not allowing the last five opponents to score more than 24 points. Running back Rex Burkhead’s return makes Nebraska lethal on offense. Nebraska 31, Wisconsin 22