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.
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
(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!