Season Record: 78-30
Last Week’s Record: 8-3
Welcome back to The Campus Game and Week 9 of the 2010 college football season.
Each week, predictions for all SEC games and a selected number of national games will be posted here.
Comment: After getting back on track with a solid showing last week, this Saturday’s slate features a quartet of unbeaten teams taking to the road. Will Halloween weekend turn frightening for the foursome?
Best Pick: Quite a few folks thought North Carolina would beat an up-and-down Miami team, but the Hurricanes blew past the Heels.
Worst Pick: Riding the Sooner Schooner against Missouri. The Tigers proved tough enough to beat Okie … can they handle the Huskers this week?
Here are this week’s SEC picks and national picks of interest.
Note: XM and Sirius channels are listed after time and television.
Tennessee (2-5, 0-4) at South Carolina (5-2, 3-2)
12:21 p.m. ET SEC Network 201/218 (UT); 199/220 (USC)
Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Comment: Last week, Derek Dooley at least sounded like a young Steve Spurrier as he rambled on hilarilously about the German army on D-Day … his answer contained some real insight but was delivered in a way that led to a lot of head-scratching. Now if he can prove to coach like the “genius” we might have a game. Carolina controls the SEC East but cannot afford any slips.
Professor’s Pick: South Carolina
Florida (4-3, 2-3) vs. Georgia (4-4, 3-3)
3:30 p.m. ET CBS Sports 141/121 (UF); 200/219 (UGA)
Jacksonville, Fla. • EverBank Field (84,000)
Comment: The cocktail party is not the hottest invitation in college football this week. Georgia fans fumed as the Bulldogs faltered to a 1-4 start, and now Gators grumble because of a three-game losing streak. Florida had a week off – which is historically very significant for both sides in this series – and the offense gets back several play-makers … including Jeff Demps from injury and Chris Rainey from suspension. Georgia is playing better than anybody in the East right now, and has nice balance offensively. The Bulldogs have been losing this game by about five inches every year (the amount of space between their ears) and I’m not sure that changes.
Professor’s Pick: Florida
Auburn (8-0, 5-0) at Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3)
5 p.m. CT ESPN2 199/220 (UM); 130 (AU)
Oxford, Miss. • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580)
Comment: Quite a few college football followers expect Auburn to struggle in Oxford. Tough to see that after watching Ole Miss get torched by Arkansas. Auburn’s offense should be able to put up plenty of points, but the secondary may give up some to a pretty good Rebel passing attack. Tiger QB Cam Newton has been sensational … I still expect him to have a bad game at some point. Not against Ole Miss.
Professor’s Pick: Auburn
Kentucky (4-4, 1-4) at Mississippi State (6-2, 2-2)
6 p.m. CT ESPNU 201 (MSU) 218 (MSU)
Starkville, Miss. • Davis Wade Stadium (55,082)
Comment: A fun game for true college football fans. Neither team will win the division, but both play exciting offense and should go bowling. State finishes with Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss, so this is a big game for the Bullies.
Professor’s Pick: Miss State
Vanderbilt (2-5, 1-3) at Arkansas (5-2, 2-2)
6 p.m. CT FSN 200 (UA) 219 (UA)
Fayetteville, Ark. • Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000)
Comment: Ryan Mallet and the Hogs should score more than enough to capsize the Commodores. Vanderbilt is scrappy enough to keep it interesting early.
Professor’s Pick: Arkansas
OPEN: Alabama (7-1, 4-1); LSU (7-1, 4-1)
(all times Eastern)
Louisville at Pitt (12:00 Noon ESPN3) … an underrated game with championship implications in the Big East. New coach Charlie Strong has Louisville playing well, but the Panthers should win at beautiful Heinz Field. Professor’s Pick: Pitt
Michigan State at Iowa (3:30 ABC/ESPN) … this game marks the most serious threat remaining on Michigan State’s schedule. If Sparty wins out, there will be some real debate about what to do with an undefeated Big Ten team that did not play Ohio State. I think Iowa saves us all the hassle. Professor’s Pick: Iowa
Missouri at Nebraska (3:30 ABC/ESPN) … Missouri is in a very comparable spot to Michigan State – undefeated but not really appreciated as a national title contender. The Tigers could change all that by taking charge of the Big 12 North with a win over the Huskers. Again, an undefeated team loses on the road. Professor’s Pick: Nebraska
Baylor at Texas (7:00) … The Bears are bowl eligible for the first time since the Gipper was in the White House, and could topple Texas to a third straight loss. Mack probably gets the Horns back on track. Professor’s Pick: Texas
Utah at Air Force (8:00) … the fact that an unbeaten, top ten ranked team is playing a solid conference foe on the road … and the game is not televised. Well, that’s why talk of putting Utah, TCU, Boise State or any other non-AQ team into the national title mix is simply nonsense. Utes stay unbeaten though. Professor’s Pick: Utah
Oregon at USC (8:00 ABC) … The Ducks have a mighty tough stretch of games to finish the season, but winning against the Trojans on the road is probably the biggest test. SC QB Matt Barkley is playing really well and this might be quite a shootout. Professor’s Pick: Oregon
See you at kickoff!