Professor’s Picks Week Thirteen

Professor’s Picks
Week 13

Season Record: 118-41
Last Week’s Record: 7-3

Welcome back to The Campus Game and Week 13 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: Family, feasts, and football … what could be more fun! While scoring seven of ten at this time of semester is not the grade the professor seeks, this wonderful rivalry week of games provides a fine chance to earn an A grade heading into championship Saturday.

Best Pick: Nothing spectacular in picking Petrino’s Pigs to rumble over the Rebels of Ole Miss.

Worst Pick: Texas A&M may not have made a believer of the prof just yet, but the Aggies showed up in a solid win over up-and-down Nebraska.

Here are this week’s SEC picks and national picks of interest.

Enjoy Rivalry Week!

SEC

Note: XM and Sirius channels are listed after time and television.

FRIDAY, NOV. 26

Auburn (11-0, 7-0) at Alabama (9-2, 5-2)
1:30 p.m. CT CBS Sports 143/122 (AU); 144-199/123 (UA)
Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)
Comment: Let’s get right to the SEC game of the year. Alabama fans suffered through six years of Auburn Tiger taunts and in-the-face finger-wagging until Nick Saban turned the Tide in 2008 and put Bama in charge. Back-to-back undefeated regular seasons, a national title last year (with the school’s first Heisman winner to boot), the seemingly uninspired choice of Gene Chizik to replace the reviled Tommy (One for the Thumb) Tuberville as coach on the Plains … all signs indicated a decade or so of dominance for Alabama over that “cow college” near the Georgia state line. Keep that context in mind to understand the ulcer-inducing aggravation Tide fans are suffering seeing Auburn in the national championship driver’s seat, with the runaway Heisman front-runner no less. To top it off, there is a widespread belief among Bama backers that the whole thing is a charade because Tiger QB Cam Newton (that Heisman front-runner in case you’ve lived on the moon the past month) could eventually be ruled ineligible over the solicitation of money during his recruitment. So, the soap opera that is the Iron Bowl rages on, but there is an actual on-the-field game to be played. Many pundits say Newton cannot be stopped. That’s not nearly true … the simplest, surest way to stop the Cam Tram is by keeping him on the sidelines. Alabama needs to pound the ball with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, take occasional shots to Julio Jones deep against a poor Tiger secondary, and avoid turnovers. On defense … well, come to think of it they cannot stop Cam … so they better outscore him. They will.
Professor’s Pick: Alabama

SATURDAY, NOV. 27

Kentucky (6-5, 2-5) at Tennessee (5-6, 2-5)
12:21 p.m. ET SEC Network 199 (UT) 217 (UT)
Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium (102,455)
Comment: Derek Dooley and the Vols need one more win to rebound from a 2-6 start and earn a bowl bid. The Wildcats have faded dramatically down the strech, while UT keeps getting better. For a remarkable 26th(!) straight time, the Volunteers handle Kentucky.
Professor’s Pick: Tennessee

LSU (10-1, 6-1) at Arkansas (9-2, 5-2)
2:30 p.m. CT CBS Sports 143/122 (LSU); 200/216 (UA)
Little Rock, Ark. • War Memorial Stadium (53,955)
Comment: Do not be surprised if this game turns out to be better than the Iron Bowl. If Auburn earns a national title shot, consider this battle for the boot as a playoff for a Sugar Bowl berth. Both teams are playing really well, especially the Arkansas offense and the LSU defense. Razorback rooters would feel better if this game was on campus instead of the friendly confines of War Memorial, but I believe in the Hogs at home or at their second home.
Professor’s Pick: Arkansas

Florida (7-4, 4-4) at Florida State (8-3)
3:30 p.m. ET ABC Sports 198 (UF)
Tallahassee, Fla. • Doak Campbell Stadium (82,300)
Comment: As with the Alabama-Auburn game, the Sunshine State showdown threatens a changing of the guard (however briefly) from the established power to the emerging rival. FSU could still get to the ACC title game (if NC State loses), and has looked like a better team than the Gators for most of the season. Picking any ACC team over an SEC rival is precarious, but the Noles should win … wait – it is SEC-ACC right? Florida by something like 10-6.
Professor’s Pick: Florida

Miss State (7-4, 3-4) at Ole Miss (4-7, 1-6)
6 p.m. CT ESPNU 199 (UM) 217 (UM)
Oxford, Miss. • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580)
Comment: The Egg Bowl, long a staple of my Thanksgiving night menu, holds less allure when it gets lost among all the games on rivalry Saturday. It’s still worth watching if you find the time. State comes in playing pretty well, while karma has given Houston Nutt, Jeremiah Masoli, and the renegade Rebels what they deserved this season. One more time.
Professor’s Pick: State

South Carolina (8-3, 5-3) at Clemson (6-5)
7 p.m. ET ESPN2 198 (USC)
Clemson, S.C. • Memorial Stadium (80,301)
Comment: Battle of the Palmetto State is always hard-fought and dangerous Clemson would love to rain on the SC parade as it passes through on the way to Atlanta and the SEC championship game (just like the Gamecocks did to them last season). This Carolina team has looked mighty focused late in the year.
Professor’s Pick: South Carolina

Wake Forest (2-9) at Vanderbilt (2-9, 1-7)
6:30 p.m. CT CSS 200 (VU) 219 (VU)
Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (39,773)
Comment: Interesting that when their league brethren are playing in-conference or in-state rivals, these two meet in the academic bowl. That’s all that’s interesting however.
Professor’s Pick: Wake Forest

Georgia Tech (6-5) at Georgia (5-6, 3-5)
7:45 p.m. ET ESPN 201 (UGA) 220 (UGA)
Athens, Ga. • Sanford Stadium (92,746)
Comment: Georgia should win this game. The Bulldogs are more talented, more balanced and explosive offensively, and playing at home. Still … as a UGA alum, the game is scary. New Dog defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has done little to alleviate concerns about the Dog D this season, and 3-4 schemes traditionally do not hold up as well as four-man even fronts against option teams. Expect a very high scoring game and do not be surprised if the Jackets keep Georgia at home for the holidays. Will pick the alma mater however.
Professor’s Pick: Georgia

National Picks
(all games Eastern)

FRIDAY, NOV. 26

West Virginia at Pitt (12:00 Noon ABC) … the Backyard Brawl may not decide the Big East champ (six of the league’s eight teams remain in contention), but provides Pitt a chance to all but nail down the crown. Heinz Field should be a muddy mess, but the brawl is always good holiday viewing. Professor’s Pick: Pitt

Arizona at Oregon (7:00 ESPN) … Oregon has two hurdles between them and the BCS championship game. Before the Ducks waddle into next week’s Civil War, they must dispatch the Zona Wildcats. Oregon tends to fold at crunch time, but should be able to pass this test. Professor’s Pick: Oregon

Boise State at Nevada (10:15 ESPN) … the Wolfpack could help all us traditionalists out by bucking the Broncos. Problem is – for all the hype about Pack QB Colin Kaepernick and RB Vai Taua, Nevada never seems to play Boise real tough. Don’t expect them to this time either. Professor’s Pick: Boise

Michigan at Ohio State (12:00 Noon ABC) … this game holds special appeal to middle-agers like me because it was always a “national” telecast way back when. The Wolverines have improved on offense in 2010, but the defense remains in a shambles. Bucks make it a record-setting seventh in a row over Michigan but it will not be easy. Professor’s Pick: Ohio State

Michigan State at Penn State (12:00 Noon ESPN2) … if the best college football news you read this week was not Joe Paterno returning as Nittany Lion head coach next season, then what was it? PSU celebrates with a win. Professor’s Pick: Penn State

TCU at New Mexico (4:00 Versus) … the nation’s 3rd ranked team plays a tough 1-10 Lobos squad … right. Professor’s Pick: I’ll boycott this one.

Oklahoma at OK State (8:00 ABC) … the Cowboys could spare everybody a lot of bedlam by winning Bedlam at home over the Sooners. A win makes Mike Gundy a man and sends the Pokes to the Big 12 championship game. If OU prevails, the much-maligned Big 12 tie-break kicks in to choose between the Sooners, the Cowboys, and Texas A&M. Professor’s Pick: Oklahoma

Notre Dame at USC (8:00 ABC) … The nation’s first and most famous intersectional rivalry is like a faded photo from yesteryear this season. The Trojans are ineligible for a bowl due to NCAA violations, while the Irish needed to beat Army last weekend to sneak into the postseason. Brian Kelly has ND playing blue-collar football which will payoff soon, but SC still has them outgunned. Professor’s Pick: USC

See you at kickoff!

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Gee … No Gee Whiz!

Gee … No Gee Whiz!
by Bob Epling
The Campus Game

Gordon Gee, the bow-tied, bespectacled president of (the) Ohio State University suddenly emerged as the smartest voice in college football during Thanksgiving week.

The man with letters in front of (E. … for Elwood) and behind (J.D., Ed. D.) his name earns an honorary Ph.D. from this old professor by publicly proclaiming what any knowledgeable football fan should know. Neither Boise State nor TCU deserves to play for the national championship.

Welcome back to The Campus Game, where thanks are being given this football weekend to Gee (pronounced with a hard “G”) for passing on the political correctness and stating the obvious. How can a team (Boise) with a schedule that includes Wyoming, New Mexico State, Toledo, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Fresno State, and Utah State even be in the championship conversation?

Why should a squad (TCU) boasting a slate that shows Tennessee Tech, Colorado State, Wyoming, San Diego State, and New Mexico stand any chance of reaching the BCS title tilt?

To Gee’s point – neither would come close to emerging unscathed playing against a lineup of Miss State, Clemson, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, Alabama, (and South Carolina once more for good measure). That’s the minefield Auburn’s crawled through this fall. The Tigers could lose to Alabama this week then beat South Carolina in the SEC championship game and still deserve more BCU consideration than either of the inflated duo. It’s an insult to suggest otherwise.

Using the logic of the Boise/TCU cheerleaders in the booth, at the studio sets, and on the web there is a much more deserving team than the Broncos or the Horned Frogs.

Mt. Union.

That’s right, the Purple Raiders of the Ohio Athletic Conference (which has a more storied football past than either the WAC or the Mountain West by the way).

OK – so they play in Division III. So what?

The Mount has won ten of the past sixteen national championships in D-3, lost in the title game three more times, and enter this weekend unbeaten and ranked #2.

What’s that? Oh, the Purple Raiders don’t play as tough a schedule as an FBS division team like Boise? Double so-what!

Similar to the proclamations coming from boys on the Boise bus … they beat the teams on their schedule, they are 58-2 the past four seasons, their closest game this season is two touchdowns, and they are white-hot having outscored their last two opponents 101-0. They may even have purple field turf for all we know. Top that Broncos … gig it Frogs?

If Auburn or Oregon slips up the next two weeks … Boise nor TCU should get to the BCS title game. Take the boys from the Mount instead.

Thanks E. Gordon.

Gee whiz!

Professor’s Picks Week Twelve

Professor’s Picks
Week 12

Season Record: 111-38
Last Week’s Record: 14-4

Welcome back to The Campus Game and Week 12 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: Ten games over .500 for the week sets up for a strong finish to the semester.  This weekend the slate is below average as many teams await rivalry games during the Thanksgiving holidays.

Best Pick: Finally, Irish fans were able to cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame with a (professor-predicted) big win over Utah.

Worst Pick: Florida finally got knocked out of an SEC championship game when South Carolina gutted the Gators.

Here are this week’s SEC picks and national picks of interest.

Enjoy!

SEC

Note: XM and Sirius channels are listed after time and television.

Georgia State (6-4) at Alabama (8-2, 5-2)
6:30 p.m. CT ESPNU 199 (UA) 216 (UA)
Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)
Comment: Tide rolled over first-year Panther program 63-7 on Thursday night.

Troy (5-4) at South Carolina (7-3, 5-3)
12:21 p.m. ET SEC Network 199 (USC) 214 (USC)
Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Comment: Giddy Gamecocks play a Troy team that is typically tough. SC preps for Clemson on way to SEC championship game for the first time.
Professor’s Pick: South Carolina

Appalachian State (9-1) at Florida (6-4, 4-4)
12:30 p.m. ET Florida PPV 200 (UF) 215 (UF)
Gainesville, Fla. • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (88,548)
Comment: Appy State did win at the Big House a few years ago and if there was ever a year to handle Florida this is it. Not happening though.
Professor’s Pick: Florida

Ole Miss (4-6, 1-5) at LSU (9-1, 5-1)
2:30 p.m. CT CBS Sports 201 (LSU) 219 (LSU)
Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (92,400)
Comment: The only people more hammered than LSU fans will be the Ole Miss Rebels, struggling in fresh from a 52-14 pounding at Tennessee. LSU is still in contention for BCS bowls and even a potential title shot.
Professor’s Pick: LSU

Arkansas (8-2, 4-2) at Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3)
6 p.m. CT ESPN 141/121 (UA); 199/214 (MSU)
Starkville, Miss. • Davis Wade Stadium (55,082)
Comment: An outstanding game between two hot teams. Arkansas has won four in a row, averaging well over 40 points per game. MSU won six of seven before getting throttled at Alabama. I think Arkansas is just a little too good.
Professor’s Pick: Arkansas

Tennessee (4-6, 1-5) at Vanderbilt (2-8, 1-6)
6:30 p.m. CT CSS 200 (VU) 215 (VU)
Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (39,773)
Comment: Tennessee needs to close with wins over rivals Vanderbilt and Kentucky to even the season record and assure a bowl berth. The Vols accomplish the first part of the mission in Music City.
Professor’s Pick: Tenneseee

OPEN:
Auburn (11-0, 7-0)
Georgia (5-6, 3-5)
Kentucky (6-5, 2-5)

National Picks
(all games Eastern)

Wisconsin at Michigan (12:00 Noon ESPN) … Bucky Badgers are top team in the nation in my opinion right now. They still have a chance to get to national title game, but must win at the Big House against explosive Michigan. Professor’s Pick: Wisconsin

Pitt at South Florida (12:00 Noon ESPN2) … A significant game that may well determine the Big East champ. While the league does not deserve a team in the BCS bowls this season it will get one. Professor’s Pick: South Florida

Ohio State at Iowa (3:30 ABC) … Winner stays alive in Big Ten race. Let’s say the Hawkeyes pull a moderate upset of the Bucks. Professor’s Pick: Iowa

Virginia Tech at Miami (3:30 ESPN) … The Hokies have come a long way since losing to Boise and James Madison to start the season. Hurricanes must win and hope Va Tech loses to Virginia next week to stay in ACC Coastal contention. Unlikely. Professor’s Pick: Virginia Tech

Nebraska at Texas A&M (8:00 ABC) … This is a potential preview of the Big 12 title game, although A&M needs Kansas and Oklahoma to whip OK State. Cornhuskers will most likely eliminate that possibility regardless. Professor’s Pick: Nebraska

Enjoy the games.

Professor’s Picks Week Eleven

Professor’s Picks
Week 11

Season Record: 97-34
Last Week’s Record: 9-3

Welcome back to The Campus Game and Week 11 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: Pretty solid scores overall last week, but there were very few tough assignments. This Saturday, the SEC East will be decided in Gainesville where Florida hosts South Carolina, and the West will be too if Auburn handles Georgia on the Plains.

Best Pick: Nothing ground-breaking, but Clemson did knock off ACC contender NC State and Stanford beat a well-respected Arizona team.

Worst Pick: Arkansas has been a class favorite for much of the season, so the Hogs should have been called to beat South Carolina … bad choice.

Here are this week’s SEC picks and national picks of interest.

Enjoy!

SEC

Note: XM and Sirius channels are listed after time and television.

Ole Miss (4-5, 1-4) at Tennessee (3-6, 0-5)
12 p.m. ET CBS Sports 199 (UT) 219 (UT)
Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium (102,455)
Comment: Along the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River two storied programs struggle Saturday to simply keep bowl hopes alive. Both offenses should be able to move the ball, but the Volunteers get a close home victory.
Professor’s Pick: Tennessee

Vanderbilt (2-7, 1-5) at Kentucky (5-5, 1-5)
12:21 p.m. ET SEC Network 200 (UK) 220 (UK)
Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium (67,942)
Comment: Wildcats need to get sixth win before all the attention turns to hoops at Rupp Arena – wait, it may be too late already.
Professor’s Pick: Kentucky

Georgia (5-5, 3-4) at Auburn (10-0, 6-0)
2:30 p.m. CT CBS Sports 143/122 (UGA); 199/219 (AU)
Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
Comment: Anybody heard about the rumors surrounding Cam Newton’s recruitment? Thought so – nothing to add here. Georgia has won four straight in this old-time rivalry, and the Dogs have an offense capable of keeping Newton off the field for significant stretches so it might be entertaining for a while. Still, I watched Newton run for over 200 yards against LSU’s defense; expect him to match that number Saturday as Auburn takes out some frustration on the Dogs and wins the West.
Professor’s Pick: Auburn

UTEP (6-4) at Arkansas (7-2, 4-2)
6 p.m. CT ESPNU 198 (UA) 217 (UA)
Fayetteville, Ark. • Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000)
Comment: Does any big-time team want to play Arkansas right now? After grinding up the Gamecocks, the Hogs use UTEP to tune-up for season-enders with Miss State and LSU. Win out and a BCS bowl is possible.
Professor’s Pick: Arkansas

Louisiana-Monroe (4-5) at LSU (8-1, 5-1)
6 p.m. CT TigerVision 200 (LSU) 220 (LSU)
Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (92,400)
Comment: Les Miles claims to eat grass during each LSU game (or maybe he said “smokes” and I misunderstood). Either way, he has the Tigers sky-high after beating Bama. Sugar Bowl could be bowl landing spot with three more wins.
Professor’s Pick: LSU

Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2) at Alabama (7-2, 4-2)
6:15 p.m. CT ESPN2 143/122 (MSU); 201/218 (UA)
Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821)
Comment: Is the SEC West fun or what? State coach Dan Mullen will probably get a hero’s welcome in T-Town because he’s the only guy to damage Auburn so far this year. Alabama could be out of sorts after surrendering championship hopes last week against LSU, and State is a scrappy team on a six-game winning streak. Tide should win and set stage for a big (but no longer monumental) Iron Bowl.
Professor’s Pick: Alabama

South Carolina (6-3, 4-3) at Florida (6-3, 4-3)
7:15 p.m. ET ESPN 199 (UF) 219 (UF)
Gainesville, Fla. • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (88,548)
Comment: A win for South Carolina would send the Gamecocks to Atlanta and a visit to the SEC title game for the first time. SC has not won a football championship of any sort since 1969 (ACC), and a win over Florida at the Swamp would probably surpass that year’s season-ending win over Clemson (to clinch the title) as the biggest win in school history. Problem is Florida seems to be finding its groove. After struggling to find a top quarterback all season, Urban Meyer apparently will use everybody – and it has worked. In a down year, Gators still trek to title game.
Professor’s Pick: Florida

National Picks
(all games Eastern)

Miami at Georgia Tech (12:00 Noon) … Both teams are without their starting QBs but there is some barely suppressed dislike in this series. Randy Shannon essentially proclaimed Georgia Tech a dirty team (and their blocking tactics – like all option teams – are borderline) before losing his nerve. Home teams have done well lately, so go with Jackets … and watch the post-game handshake because it will be a quick one. Professor’s Pick: Georgia Tech

Cincinnati at West Virginia (12:00 Noon) … The Big East is not a great football league, but they do have great championship races (which is why I think the Big 12 race will be more exciting next year without a title game). Cincy is two-time defending champ, but West Virginia sends them tumbling in Morgantown. Professor’s Pick: WVU

Kansas State at Missouri (12:30 FSN) … Both teams need Nebraska to lose twice for the winner of this game to reach the Big 12 title game. While that is certainly a long shot, these teams are battling in the conference bowl pecking order. Professor’s Pick: Missouri

Utah at Notre Dame (2:30 NBC) … Notre Dame had the week off and badly needed it as the Irish continue to deal with multiple injuries and the emotional aftermath of Declan Sullivan’s death. The Utes took a week off too, or so it appeared as TCU stomped them in Salt Lake City. ND needs to win two of three from Utah, Army, and USC. What the heck, give them the upset – they’ve suffered plenty. Professor’s Pick: Notre Dame

Penn State at Ohio State (3:30 ABC) … Ohio State got the news that Terrelle Pryor will return for his senior season in 2011. Now let’s hope the great Joe Paterno comes back too. The legendary Nittany Lion leader won his 400th game last week when State whipped Northwestern. Ohio State and several teams remain in contention for the Big Ten title with the potential for a tie very much in play (the BCS rankings would then determine the league’s bowl BCS bowl representative), so the Buckeyes can afford no slips. Professor’s Pick: Ohio State

Syracuse at Rutgers (3:30 ESPNU) … Congratulations to Cuse head man Doug Marrone for a terrific job. His Orange men are bowl eligible and in the thick of the muddled Big East race. The professor feels a little kinship with the program because one of his students interned with the football team over the summer and into the fall. The Scarlet Knights may be too tough though. Professor’s Pick: Rutgers

Oregon at Cal (7:30 Versus) … Nation’s top ranked team plays in a setting that is more difficult than it might seem. Bears may scare Ducks but will not catch them. Professor’s Pick: Oregon

Stanford at Arizona State (7:30 FS Arizona) … Cardinal are very much alive for a BCS bowl berth (it may come down to a bowl choosing between Stanford and a second non-automatic qualifer … ie Boise or TCU). Beating the Sun Devils in the desert will be no picnic. Professor’s Pick: Stanford

OK State at Texas (8:00 ABC) … Not sure why I listed this game as one of national interest, but perhaps it’s just to guage whether Texas can salvage anything from this season. Right now, the answer appears to be no. Professor’s Pick: OK State

USC at Arizona (8:00 ABC) … The 6-3 Trojans travel to Tuscon with a chance to win ten games – or to lose six or seven. Getting to double-digit wins would be a significant accomplishment for Lane Kiffin’s squad. I think they beat the Wildcats. Professor’s Pick: USC

Clemson at Florida State (8:00 ABC) … Looks like nobody wants to win the ACC Atlantic Divison. FSU looked like the best team most of the year, but the Noles have dropped two in a row (NC State and UNC), blowing a chance to wrap up a title game appearance. Call it for Clemson. Professor’s Pick: Clemson

See you at kickoff!

Professor’s Picks Week Ten

Professor’s Picks
Week 10

Season Record: 88-31
Last Week’s Record: 10-1

Welcome back to The Campus Game and Week 10 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:  A nice rebound propels professor to the fifty games over .500 mark for the first time this season.  Elimination games in the SEC West and the Mountain West highlight this week’s action.

Best Pick:  As predicted, the Georgia Bulldogs were better than Florida everywhere except under the helmet and on the scoreboard (and perhaps under the headsets too).

Worst Pick: Failed to recognize Texas was struggling enough to lose in Austin vs. Baylor … but this news should warm Longhorn hearts (and wallets).

Here are this week’s SEC picks and national picks of interest.

Enjoy!

SEC

Note: XM and Sirius channels are listed after time and television.

Florida (5-3, 3-3) at Vanderbilt (2-6, 1-4)
11:21 a.m. CT SEC Network 199 (VU) 220 (VU)
Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (39,773)
Professor’s Pick: Gators still control destiny in a somewhat ugly SEC East race. Vanderbilt plays tough enough to make it competitive, but probably cannot win. Watch as Florida continues transition to up-tempo spread attack using two (or three) quarterbacks.
Professor’s Pick: Florida

Idaho State (1-7) at Georgia (4-5, 3-4)
12:30 p.m. ET WSB-TV Atlanta 200 (UGA) 219 (UGA)
Athens, Ga. • Sanford Stadium (92,746)
Comment: Georgia needs two more wins to reach an even record for the season. With Auburn and Georgia Tech still on deck, a late season gimme against the 1-7 Bengals suits Bulldogs needs well.
Professor’s Pick: Georgia

Charleston Southern (2-6) at Kentucky (4-5, 1-5)
12:30 p.m. ET BBSN 201 (UK) 218 (UK)
Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium (67,942)
Comment: Wildcats are really struggling defensively during a 1-5 stretch. Rival games with Vandy and Tennessee are on the horizon, so – like Georgia above – Big Blue gets reasonably easy win.
Professor’s Pick: Kentucky

Chattanooga (5-3) at Auburn (9-0, 6-0)
1 p.m. CT Auburn PPV 198 (AU) 217 (AU)
Auburn, Alabama • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
Comment: Feel some empathy for Auburn fans. Enjoying their first stellar season since the 2004 team went unbeaten and uninvited to the BCS championship, now Tiger fans must fret over the Cam Newton for hire stories. As Gene Chizik said (over and over) … “Cam Newton is eligible.” That’s good enough.
Professor’s Pick: Auburn

Alabama (7-1, 4-1) at LSU (7-1, 4-1)
2:30 p.m. CT CBS Sports 143/122 (UA) 201/218 (LSU)
Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (92,400)
Comment: Alabama starts a potential drive for another national title this week with a visit to the Bayou. Should the Tide handle #10 LSU, #20 Mississippi State, #2 Auburn, and either South Carolina or Florida in the SEC title game … consider the Tide Glendale-bound – regardless what anybody else does. Bama is certainly capable of running the table, but the Tide does not look like the “team-for-the-ages” many of us thought them to be earlier this year. LSU maintains an outside shot at an SEC (and even national) title berth. The Tigers have to handle the Crimson Tide then hope Auburn loses to Georgia and Bama. LSU is dangerous because they have a good defense and good athletes on offense, but I just do not see them stemming the Tide.
Professor’s Pick: Alabama

Louisiana-Lafayette (2-6) at Ole Miss (3-5, 1-4)
6 p.m. CT ESPNU 200 (UM) 219 (UM)
Oxford, Miss. • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580)
Comment: Ole Miss has quietly struggled through the nation’s toughest three-game stretch (losing to Alabama, Arkansas, and Auburn in succession) and get a reprieve against the Ragin Cajuns (losers of four straight themselves). Expect the Rebels to run up big point totals in this one.
Professor’s Pick: Ole Miss

Arkansas (6-2, 3-2) at South Carolina (6-2, 4-2)
7 p.m. ET ESPN 141/121 (UA) 199/200 (USC)
Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Comment: While this is a big game for both programs from a bowl positioning perspective, it really means nothing in either SEC divisional race. Arkansas has already been eliminated in the West, but the Razorbacks are seeking a New Year’s (or later) bowl game – maybe the Cotton? For Carolina, the East race will be decided next week regardless what happens against the Hogs. Should be entertaining and high-scoring, but home field goes to Gamecocks.
Professor’s Pick: South Carolina

Tennessee (2-6, 0-5) at Memphis (1-7)
8 p.m. ET CBS College 198 (UT) 217 (UT)
Memphis, Tenn. • Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (61,000)
Comment: New Vol coach Derek Dooley has caught few breaks in his first season, but playing at Memphis when the Tigers are woeful rates as one. Big Orange nation does not take losing to in-state rivals lightly … no need to worry about that in this game.
Professor’s Pick: Tennessee

OPEN: Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2)

National Picks
(all games Eastern)

NC State at Clemson (12:00 ESPN3) … The Wolfpack is in great shape to make an ACC title run, but needs to get past speedy Clemson on the road. Not sure they can. Professor’s Pick: Clemson

Washington at Oregon (3:30 ABC/ESPN2) … Ducks have looked unstoppable this season; that has been the case in past years too. They should stay unbeaten. Professor’s Pick: Oregon

TCU at Utah (3:30 CBSCS) … Battle of unbeaten BCS busters. Winner stays in chase for a BCS bowl (neither will make the championship game). The Utes are tough on both sides of the ball, and let’s go with them in a slight upset. Professor’s Pick: Utah

Arizona at Stanford (8:00 ABC) … a really nice PAC-10 pairing between once-beaten squads. They’ve had shootouts in the recent past and this one should follow a similar script. A slight edge to the Cardinal. Professor’s Pick: Stanford

See you at kickoff!