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November 4, 2011

College Football Report - Saturday Picks - Week 10

(Game of the week…)

#1 LSU (8-0) @ #2 Alabama (8-0)


8:00 ET CBS, Sat. Nov. 5, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL

This one’s got quite the hype to live up to. Maybe not as much as Andrew Luck’s path to the NFL, but the showdown between 'Bama and LSU is being tagged as the game of the century by many. The Tide were handed a loss at Tiger Stadium last season, in a game that saw five lead changes. As much as this one is about whose got the better offense or defense, it’s about the coaches. Both head into the game off bye weeks, giving plenty of time for LSU’s Les Miles and 'Bama’s Nick Saban to scheme the perfect game. The teams are nearly dead even talent wise on both sides of the ball, but I like what the Tigers have done against heavier competition this season. They’ll play the Tide physical, a lot like the Nittany Lions did, and force young 'Bama quarterback AJ McCarron into tight windows. The Tigers rank second nationally in turnover margin, so they won’t beat themselves. A big play out of an underrated offense should be the difference. Pick: LSU 24 – Alabama 20

#14 Kansas State (7-1) @ #3 Oklahoma State (8-0)


8:00 PM ET, ABC/ESPN, Sat. Nov. 5, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK

How’s this for luck of the draw? A week after pulling an aggravated Oklahoma Sooner team, which resulted in a 58-17 beat down, the Wildcats head to Stillwater to take on third ranked Oklahoma State, who’s done nothing but embarrass opponents all season long. The Cowboys hold the nation’s fourth ranked total offense and number two scoring offense, but are also getting things done defensively, ranking first in turnover margin in the country. For K-State to have a chance, they’ll have to get running back John Hubert involved in the game plan. The Wildcats No. 103 ranked pass defense will be the deciding factor in the end however. Pick: Oklahoma State 44 – Kansas State 28

(Upset pick…)

#15 Michigan (7-1) @ Iowa (5-3)


12:00 PM ET, ESPN, Sat. Nov. 5, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA

The Hawkeyes have let the ball air out more so this season, rather than keeping it ground and pound. The Wolverines continue to let Denard Robinson run the show. So while this may not be the Iowa vs. Michigan of old, whichever team wins the battle upfront should walk away victorious. Iowa was upset last week against Minnesota, but found a ground game on Marcus Coker’s 252 yards. The only problem was waiting to get him the ball. In the Wolverines lone loss of the season, they were physically handled by Michigan State being outrushed 213-to-82. Last season, four turnovers drowned the Wolverines. In his last three games, Robinson has thrown five interceptions. It could be the same story for the Wolverines this season. Pick: Iowa 27 – Michigan 23

(Give me a ticket to see…)

#8 Oregon (7-1) @ Washington (6-2)


10:30 PM ET, Sat. Nov. 5, Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA

Get ready for some offense in Seattle. Two of the PAC-12’s best this season head into Saturday’s matchup averaging a combined 82 points a game. Led by All-Conference running back Chris Polk, who scored five of Washington’s six touchdowns last week, the Huskies have scored under 30 just once this season. The Ducks can afford to give up points to Washington, however, as they bring the nation’s No. 5 ranked offense. The three headed rushing attack of LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas form the fastest backfield in America. Husky stadium will be rocking, but like the Ducks always do, they’ll close out Washington late. Pick: Oregon 49 – Washington 31

#9 South Carolina (7-1) @ #7 Arkansas (7-1)


7:15 PM ET, ESPN, Sat. Nov. 5, Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR

Don’t expect a fast start from the Razorbacks. Since their week four loss to Alabama, the Razorbacks have trailed early in four straight wins, including 35-17 against Texas A&M, 17-0 against Ole Miss and 21-7 against Vanderbilt last week. On the other hand, don’t expect South Carolina to start at all. The Gamecocks have failed to score more than 14 points the last two weeks. On the plus side for the Gamecocks, speed rushers Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney will have plenty of time to get after Razorback quarterback Tyler Wilson, who’s averaging 35 drop-backs a game. Without an offense to add to the table, however, South Carolina will stumble. Pick: Arkansas 34 – South Carolina 13

Texas Tech (5-3) @ #21 Texas (5-2)


12:00 PM ET, FX, Sat. Nov. 5, Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin TX

Consistency hasn’t been a real strong point to either one of these teams this season, or last for that matter. A week after upsetting then No. 3 Oklahoma, Tech laid an egg against Iowa State in a 41-7 romping last week. Tech quarterback Seth Doege, who’s already passed for over 2,700 yards this season, threw for just 171 yards and two interceptions. The Longhorns got back on track last week with a convincing 43-0 win over Kansas. Tech will be looking to get their passing attack back in order, but the Longhorns have given up just six passing scores all season. Mistakes on the offensive side of the ball will need to be at a minimum for the Longhorns to pull off the win at home, however. Pick: Texas 38 – Texas Tech 35

Texas A&M (5-3) @ #6 Oklahoma (7-1)


3:30 PM ET, Sat. Nov. 5, Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK

Norman certainly hasn’t been a kind place to Texas A&M as of late. The Aggies last two trips to Norman have resulted in 42-14 and 65-10 losses. After last week’s showing against No. 7 Kansas State on the road, there’s not a whole lot of reason to expect anything different this season. Add payback to the equation – after last year’s loss by the Sooners – and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The Aggies should be able to put up a few more points than in recent trips to Oklahoma, but the end result will be the same. Pick: Oklahoma 47 – Texas A&M 30

Vanderbilt (4-4) @ Florida (4-4)


12:21 PM ET, SEC Net, Sat. Nov. 5, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL

Who could have imagined, at this point in the season, the Vanderbilt – Florida matchup being one of the better SEC games of week 10? My guess is not many outside of Nashville. The loser of course will drop below 500 and find themselves fighting for bowl eligibility. Florida has lost four straight, including two at the Swamp. The offense in Gainesville has been horrendous over their last four, averaging just 213 total yards a game. Vandy started hot against both Arkansas and Georgia, but was unable to sustain the lead. Against a needy Florida team, they’ll walk away with their first win in Gainesville since 1945, leaving some questioning if Charlie Weis was really the answer for Florida’s offense. Pick: Vanderbilt 20 – Florida 13

Last Week: N/A – Overall: 37-23– Upset Pick: 3-3

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