Season Record: 45-16
Last Week’s Record: 9-3
Welcome back to The Campus Game and Week 5 of Professor’s Picks for the 2010 season.
Each week, predictions for all SEC games and a selected number of national games will be posted here.
Comment: Grades improved a bit as we near midterms, moving the professor into a solid B for the semester. Two mammoth conference tilts (Florida @ Alabama and Stanford @ Oregon) headline this week’s assignments. Unfortunately, both are due at the same time (8:00 ET Saturday night).
Best Pick: Nothing to jump and shout about when picking the nation’s top team to win is best pick of week … but plenty of people actually thought Arkansas might topple Alabama.
Worst Pick: South Carolina looked like a contender, but Auburn once again proved the professor wrong with a comeback victory. Picking Georgia won’t go in the tenure review portfolio either.
Here are this week’s SEC picks and national picks of interest.
Note: XM and Sirius channels are listed after time and television.
Louisiana-Monroe (1-2) at Auburn (4-0, 2-0)
11 a.m. CT ESPNU 199 (AU) 220 (AU)
Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
Comment: Auburn gets a nice out of conference pop quiz, although Tigers will be quick to tell you ULM beat Alabama in a guy named Saban’s first year.
Professor’s Pick: Auburn
Alcorn State (3-0) at Mississippi State (2-2, 1-2)
11 a.m. CT FSN 200 (MSU) 219 (MSU)
Starkville, Miss. • Davis Wade Stadium (55,082)
Comment: Dan Mullen’s Bullies took a big step toward bowl eligibility by beating the Bulldogs of Georgia last week. State QB Chris Relf will look to build on the momentum of becoming first MSU player since 2000 to gain 100 yards rushing and passing in same game. He may do it again.
Professor’s Pick: State
Vanderbilt (1-2, 1-1) at Connecticut (2-2)
12 p.m. ET Big East Network 141 (VU) 121 (VU)
Storrs, Conn. • Rentschler Field (40,000)
Comment: This could be a surprisingly physical game. Vandy runs the ball pretty well (161 ypg – which is about what U Conn gives up each week), but so do the Huskies (213 ypg). The big difference is the Conn offense, which leads the Big East at 33 ppg. Still, it is the Big (L)East so anything can happen.
Professor’s Pick: Conn
Kentucky (3-1, 0-1) at Ole Miss (2-2, 0-1)
11:21 a.m. CT SEC Network 201 (UM) 218 (UM)
Oxford, Miss. • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580)
Comment: This game deserves better than the brunch kickoff and could be quite entertaining. Both teams are scoring 36 points per game, and they give up a bunch too. While the professor likes Kentucky, problem Rebel child should win.
Professor’s Pick: Ole Miss
Tennessee (2-2, 0-1) at LSU (4-0, 2-0)
2:30 p.m. CT CBS Sports 141/121 (UT) 199/220 (LSU)
Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (92,400)
Comment: Like offense but out of Sominex? Just tune in to this one. A 3-0 game is not out of the question, but Tiger cornerback Patrick Peterson – the league’s best player right now in my opinion – will probably salvage enough field position for Les Miles to pull a score out of his … hat.
Professor’s Pick: LSU
Georgia (1-3, 0-3) at Colorado (2-1)
7 p.m. ET FSN 200 (UGA) 219 (UGA)
Boulder, Colo. • Folsom Field (53,613)
Comment: That thin, chilly Rocky Mountain air probably feels pretty refreshing to Mark Richt and the Dogs this week because it gets them out of an even colder climate in Athens. Two of the great college mascots meet here too in Ralphie and UGA (although Georgia is sporting backup Bulldog Russ). The Buffs had a week off, and they are honoring the 1990 national championship team so emotions should be on their side. A.J. Green returns for Georgia to play the last eight games of his career.
Professor’s Pick: Colorado
Florida (4-0, 2-0) at Alabama (4-0, 1-0)
7 p.m. CT CBS Sports 143/122 (UF) 199/220 (UA)
Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)
Comment: The marquee matchup of the 2010 conference slate (pending the Iron Bowl), Bama-Florida goes primetime for a rare CBS night game. Against Kentucky last week, Florida finally got around to following the professor’s lecture notes dating back to last spring and used freshman backup QB Trey Burton much like Tim Tebow was used in 2006 – as a short yardage running specialist (and went further by using him as H-Back, Tight End, Fullback, groundskeeper, and concession vendor). The result? Six touchdowns against the Wildcats. Alabama showed championship poise in overcoming a double digit defict at Arkansas. The Tide running attack sputtered a little against the Hogs, but expect it to pick back up this week. The Gator defense is built for speed, but could be a little smallish in the front six or seven to stop a herd of red elephants. Too much offense for Tide … too little for Gators. Get ready for the rematch in Atlanta.
Professor’s Pick: Alabama
OPEN: Arkansas (3-1, 1-1); South Carolina (3-1, 1-1)
(all times Eastern)
Miami at Clemson (12:00 Noon ESPN2) … Two contenders for the ACC crown meet in the shadow of the Esso Club at imposing Death Valley on the beautiful Clemson campus. The Canes blew over Pitt on the road Thursday past, but remain a bit too inconsistent for my tastes. Follow the orange paws to a victory. Professor’s Pick: Clemson
Navy at Air Force (2:30 Versus) … had a chance to see the Air Force Academy campus in scenic Colorado Springs this past May and it’s quite a sight. So is the option offense clinic these two will put on. Winner gets leg up on prestigious Commander’s Cup. Let’s go with the flyboys. Professor’s Pick: AFA
Texas vs. Oklahoma (3:30 ABC) … State Fair, Cotton Bowl, corny dogs, Nessler and Blackledge calling the game … yes the Red River Shootout is must viewing for college football fans. Many of us (at least those of a certain age like the professor) remember when only one college football game was on television most weeks of the year. This one always made the cut. Sooners should sneak past Bevo and lay path to conference title game. Professor’s Pick: Oklahoma
Wisconsin at Michigan State (3:30 ABC/ESPN) … If you like old-time Big Ten power football, tune in when Bucky Badger meets Sparty. MSU may get an emotional lift when coach Mark Dantonio returns to coach from the press box, but emotions only go so far then talent takes over. Wisky has more talent. Professor’s Pick: Wisconsin
Penn State at Iowa (8:05 ESPN) … Yet another nice Big Ten game with the loser facing an uphill conference climb. Never count out Papa, but Iowa seems to own the Lions lately. Professor’s Pick: Iowa
Stanford at Oregon (8:00 ABC) … Surprisingly, a PAC-10 game is drawing some attention away from the big SEC game of the year. Stanford, professor’s pet since hard-nosed Harbaugh became coach, will have to overcome not only a high scoring Duck team, but also the crazy crowd at Autzen. Tough call. Professor’s Pick: Oregon
Enjoy the games!