Professor’s Picks Week 9
2011 Overall Record: 70-14
Last Week’s Record: 11-2
Around the SEC Week 9
Arkansas (6-1, 2-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (4-3, 1-3 SEC)
11:21 a.m. CT • SEC Network / ESPN3.com
Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (39,773)
Series Record: UA leads, 6-2 • Last Meeting: Oct. 30, 2010 at Fayetteville (UA, 49-14)
Comment: Should the Razorbacks rumble past Vanderbilt on the road as expected, they figure to be strong favorites in three upcoming home games (South Carolina, Tennessee, Miss State) before the season finale at LSU. Another BCS bid could be in the offing. Vanderbilt is scrappy and needs two wins to earn bowl eligibility.
Professor’s Pick: Arkansas
Florida (4-3, 2-3 SEC) vs. Georgia (5-2, 4-1 SEC)
3:30 p.m. ET • CBS Sports
Jacksonville, Fla. • EverBank Field (84,000)
Series Record: UF records list UGA leads, 46-40-2 • UGA records list UGA leads, 47-40-2
Last Meeting: Oct. 30, 2010 at Jacksonville (UF, 34-31, OT)
Comment: Around Georgia I’m hearing more and more apathy about Mark Richt and the Bulldogs. Near the end of the Ray Goff regime, many Dog fans felt torn between pulling for their team – in which case the overwhelmed Goff might linger longer in the job – or counting on losses so a coaching change would occur. The animosity is not at that level yet, and Richt has certainly built up much good will, but another loss to Florida would trigger a backlash. It just might happen too. While Georgia has won five straight, the level of competition has been weak. Florida has lost three straight, but played Alabama and LSU back-to-back and then lost at Auburn with a beat up squad. If the schedules were reversed, you’d probably see about the same results. Georgia will probably be without top deep threat Malcolm Mitchell on offense, and the Dogs need a strong game from freshman RB Isaiah Crowell (who’s been a little banged up himself). Florida gets back starting QB John Brantley. Georgia will play this game on a 5 and 1/2 inch space (between their helmet earholes) and I’m just not sure the Dogs are composed enough to handle the stage.
Professor’s Pick: Florida
Ole Miss (2-5, 0-4 SEC) at Auburn (5-3, 3-2 SEC)
6 p.m. CT • ESPNU
Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium / Pat Dye Field (87,451)
Series Record: AU leads, 26-9 • Last Meeting: Oct. 30, 2010 at Oxford (AU, 51-31)
Comment: Ole Miss arrives on the Plains after losses to Alabama and Arkansas, but the Rebels did play the Razorbacks close last week. Auburn got whipped pretty soundly by LSU (who hasn’t). Neither squad plays much defense, so you may see a lot of points.
Professor’s Pick: Auburn
Mississippi State (3-4, 0-4 SEC) at Kentucky (3-4, 0-3 SEC)
7 p.m. ET • FS South / ESPN3.com
Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium / C.M. Newton Field (67,942)
Series Record: UK leads, 21-17 • Last Meeting: Oct. 30, 2010 at Starkville (MSU, 24-17)
Comment: One team finally gets a conference “W” in this battle of teams with identical records. Miss State would seem to be the stronger team, but the Bullies have been overrated quite often this season. Let’s give them one more try.
Professor’s Pick: Miss State
South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) at Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC)
7:15 p.m. ET • ESPN or ESPN2 / ESPN3.com
Knoxville, Tn • Neyland Stadium / Shields-Watkins Field (102,455)
Series Record: UT leads, 22-5-2 • Last Meeting: Oct. 30, 2010 at Columbia (USC, 38-24)
Comment: Seems like not many still give South Carolina an edge in the SEC East after the dismissal of Stephen Garcia and the season-ending injury to Marcus Lattimore, but the Gamecocks can hold serve with a win on Rocky Top. The Vols hope to use a victory over SC as a springboard to a bowl and they will use freshman QB Justin Worley under center. Many Vol fans questioned pulling the redshirt off Worley in a hopeless cause against Alabama last week … they should keep in mind he’ll probably just be redshirted next season when Tyler Bray returns from injury with two seasons of eligibility remaining. Calling for the moderate upset here.
Professor’s Pick: Tennessee
OPEN: Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC); LSU (8-0, 5-0 SEC) … have you heard? These teams play next week!
Around the Nation Week 9
12:00 PM ET No. 11 Michigan State at No. 14 Nebraska … Spartans are physical, but I think Huskers get enough offense to knock them off in Lincoln. Professor’s Pick: Nebraska
12:00 PM ET Missouri at No. 16 Texas A&M … These SEC teams play a Big 12 game on Saturday; Aggies prove themselves the bigger catch right now. Professor’s Pick: A&M
3:30 PM ET Baylor at No. 3 Oklahoma State … Hope T. Boone Pickens paid all the electricity bills (or maybe the OSU scoreboards run off wind power); either way plenty of points as the Pokes try and stay in BCS title contention. Professor’s Pick: OK State
3:30 PM ET No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 8 Kansas State … Bob Stoops has lost consecutive conference games … ah, never? K-State gets exposed in the first of what this prof thinks will be at least three losses before season’s end. Professor’s Pick: OK
3:30 PM ET Illinois at No. 19 Penn State … Who is this up and comer coaching the Nittany Lions to another fine season? Joe Pa’s only loss to Alabama, but the Zooker at Illinois might upset the State bandwagon. Professor’s Pick: Penn State
3:30 PM ET Navy at Notre Dame NBC … Last season Navy ran for a few miles against a clueless ND defensive scheme. Last week East Carolina completed around thirty passes in a row against the Middie defense. Something has to give. Let’s say Irish by 42-33. Professor’s Pick: ND
8:00 PM ET No. 5 Clemson at Georgia Tech … This figures to be a nice contrast between the Tigers explosive spread attack, and the Jackets explosive option game. I’ll be tuned in. I want to pick the upset but Tech’s defense scares me too much. Professor’s Pick: Clemson
8:00 PM ET No. 6 Stanford at USC … Is anybody a more graceless winner than Lane Kiffin? We won’t have to suffer him this week because Stanford will whip USC (actually Kiffin’s a graceless loser too so maybe we will have to put up with him). Professor’s Pick: Stanford
8:00 PM ET No. 15 Wisconsin at Ohio State … Wiskey must recover from the heartbreaking loss to Michigan State and I believe the Badgers will. Let the Urban Meyer to Columbus watch begin (oh, am I late on that?). Professor’s Pick: Wisconsin
See you at kickoff!