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October 8, 2011

College Football Report - Saturday Picks - Week 6

(Game of the week…)

#3 Oklahoma (4-0) Vs. #11 Texas (4-0)


12:00 ET, ABC, Sat. Oct. 8, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX

The Red River Rivalry has long been one of college football’s best rivalry games. This season, add in an outright conference title and undefeated record on both sides, and you’ve got one of the best games to begin the 2011 season. The Longhorns have been riding the young arms of quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy, both of which went 7-for-12 in a win over Iowa State last week. For the Sooners, it’s the same ole story. Quarterback Landry Jones continues to be one of college football’s best, while the defense has held opponents to just seven touchdowns in four games. While Texas looks to be light years away from its 2010 debacle, this matchup is still heavily weighted towards the Sooners veteran team. Pick: Oklahoma 35 – Texas 20

#17 Florida (4-1) @ #1 LSU (5-0)


3:30 PM ET, CBS, Sat. Oct. 8, Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA

A week after welcoming the nation’s third ranked total defense to the swamp, Florida now travels to one of the more hostile college stadiums to take on the No. 9 ranked defense. There is hope, however, as the Gators matchup better against a speed oriented LSU team and bring a top ranked defense of their own to Baton Rouge. A concern to begin the season, the Tigers offense has been a strong reason they’re ranked where they are. With physical runners Michael Ford and Spencer Ware – both of whom are 215 pounds plus – anchoring the offense and a punishing defensive line, Florida will be left to air it out on the nation’s best secondary just to keep up. It looks like a rough day for Florida quarterback John Brantley once again. Pick: LSU 27 – Florida 16

(Upset pick…)

#12 Michigan (5-0) @ Northwestern (2-2)


7:00 PM ET, BTN, Sat. Oct. 8, Ryan Field, Evanston, IL

Wildcat quarterback Dan Persa returned last week to deliver a four touchdown performance in a near upset over a ranked Illinois team on the road. The Wildcats now have their leader, and identity, back on their football team with Persa at the Helm. Michigan will travel away from the Big House for the first time this season, into an environment that hasn’t always been an easy place to walk away from for Big Ten road teams. Last week the Wolverines crushed Minnesota to begin their Big Ten schedule, but Pat Fitzgerald’s team is far better coached and talented than anything the Wolverines have seen since Notre Dame. For the third straight season, the Wolverines easy opening and home field comfort will turn to ruins in week six. Pick: Northwestern 34 – Michigan 28

#15 Auburn (4-1) @ #10 Arkansas (4-1)


7:00 PM ET, ESPN, Sat. Oct. 8, Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR

The Tigers shot back into the rankings with a win over tenth ranked South Carolina Saturday. Meanwhile, the Razorbacks came back onto the national scene with a win over a tremendously talented Texas A&M team at Cowboys Stadium. The Razorbacks held their own in this matchup last season, including leading in the fourth 43-37. An injury to quarterback Ryan Mallett and 28 unanswered by Auburn halted any upset, though. This year, it’s the Razorbacks heading in with the upper hand. The Hogs passing attack has been on point all season. Auburn has held onto games this year with their defense leading the way, but their better suited to stop the run, than the pass. Tyler Wilson and the Hogs should be in for another big day and surprise move up the rankings following week six. Pick: Arkansas 40 – Auburn 30

Miami Fla. (2-2) @ #21 Virginia Tech (4-1)


3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN, Sat. Oct. 8, Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA

Last week the Hokies were tested for the first time this season at home against a fast and athletic Clemson team. Needless to say, they failed. Ironically, this year’s Clemson team has been compared to some of the Miami teams of old. But this Canes team isn’t a Miami team of old. The offense runs off the energy of running back Lamar Miller, who has rushed for at least 102 yards in all four games this season. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris has played better second half football this season, but needs to become better acquainted with his tight ends and check-downs. Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas has struggled, tossing five interceptions to just four touchdowns. Running back David Wilson should get a lot of touches against a Miami defense that has given up huge chunks of yards to runners this season. In the end, though, it's hard to see this Miami team drop to 2-3 on the year at this point, especially with an shaky quarterback on the opposite sideline. Pick: Miami Fla. 21 – Virginia Tech 20

(Give me a ticket to see…)

Iowa (3-1) @ Penn State (4-1)


3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN, Sat. Oct. 8, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

The way the Big Ten is shaping up this season, this matchup brings a bit more importance than at first glance. Although both Iowa and Penn State lie on opposite sides of the Big Ten’s alignment, neither can afford a loss to dive into the thickness of their conference schedule. The Nittany Lions have struggled mightily on offense, but hold the nation’s fifth ranked defense. Thought to be another pound the ground Iowa team to begin the season, the Hawkeyes have been led by junior quarterback James Vandenberg, who’s accounted for 13 touchdowns to just one interception. If not for an overtime loss to rival Iowa State, the Hawkeyes would have a 4-0 start. The Lions defense is stifling, but the offense won’t have an answer to keep up with Iowa. Pick: Iowa 23 – Penn State 17

Last Week: 6-4 – Overall: 30-16– Upset Pick: 3-2

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