Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Okay, so here's who we feel sorry for this weekend in the College Football world:
Anyone who wagered on the "under" in last night's Baylor versus Texas game (wait, someone just scored another TD!), anyone that had West Virginia QB Geno Smith winning this year's Heisman Trophy and - last but not least - anyone that thought Big 10 powers Ohio State and Michigan were gonna lose on the same day.
The ultra-dramatic wins by the Wolverines and the Buckeyes - the latter in overtime and without injured starting QB Braxton Miller - proved there's still plenty of life in the otherwise moribund Big 10.
On a College Football Saturday in which both #2 Florida and #4 Kansas State both showed off their wares - maybe there is someone out there that can/will beat the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide - there was plenty of great gridiron theatre and there's that looming question for one more week ...
What will happen when/if Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame are all unbeaten at the conclusion of this 2012 regular season?
It gets a little stickier with every passing week, don't it?
NFL WEEK 7 SUNDAY NIGHT PREVIEW
PITTSBURGH (2-3) at CINCINNATI (3-3) - 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC
Maybe you won't quite get Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to declare this a "must-win" game - but we're sure getting close, right?
No doubt Pittsburgh's sure staggered in road games this season with losses in Denver, Oakland and Tennessee and now as if packing their bags and playing in the Queen City isn't bad enough came the late-week reports that QB Ben Roethlisberger injured his ankle in a Thursday practice.
Roethlisberger is 7-1 SU (straight-up) lifetime in Cincinnati and he's not been the problem in these aforementioned earlier-season road games (see 5 TDs and just 1 INT in the past two road tilts) but the Steelers here could well be operating without either RB Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman and that would appear to heap more pressure on "Big Ben".
The Bengals, meanwhile, sport the NFL's eighth-ranked pass offense (averaging 283 ypg) and so QB Andy Dalton and mates welcome the news that S Troy Polamalu (calf) won't be active for this prime-time tilt but what's with Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis proclaiming after last week's 34-24 loss to Cleveland that his team has to stop being "so nice" ... say what!
The Bengals need Dalton to steer clear of the bad reads - he threw 3 picks last week for the second time in his young career - and how about a 100-yard rusher as Cincinnati's averaging 99 yards a game (that ranks 'em 21st in the NFL).
Spread Notes - The Steelers are a rotten 1-4 ATS (against the spread) so far this season but did you know Pittsburgh's covered nine of its last 11 head-to-head showdowns against the Cincy Bengals?