There are some major games in college football this week, starting with Rutgers going to 8Louisville on Thursday. The SEC has some interesting games that could have big implications. This is also the weekend of the Red River Rivalry. And sadly, we are almost halfway through the regular season.
Another Top 5 Pac-12 Game for Washington This is the second week in a row now 16th ranked Washington must face a top 5 ranked conference foe. The difference this week is that 2Oregon has to go to Seattle to face the Huskies. Washington matched Stanford in TDs, but ended up losing by a FG. I think these Huskies are a very good football team, but I just can’t pick against the Ducks. They are so explosive and high scoring that they ware other teams out. This is why I am going with the Ducks by less than 2TDs.
How Good is Missouri, Really? If I told you there were two undefeated teams in the SEC, who you say they were? Most would say Alabama for sure, but the second is not as obvious. The answer is Missouri. I was incorrect when I picked Vanderbilt to beat Missouri last week, and after the Tigers big win, they got ranked 25th in the AP poll. Now Mizzou has to go to Athens to play the 7th ranked Georgia Bulldogs who barely got out of Knoxville alive. Both Georgia and Missouri need to prove that they deserve their ranking. The biggest factor in this game might be the injuries that Georgia has suffered this season, including the three occurred last week. Georgia is missing some of its biggest playmakers on offense, and this could make Aaron Murray’s job very difficult. But, even with the injuries, I am expecting Georgia to win the game by about a TD.
Can Ole Miss Bounce Back Against the Aggies? Last week, Ole Miss lost to Auburn and the week before, the Rebels were shutout by Alabama. Will they be able to regain some momentum this week when the 9th ranked Aggies come to Oxford? That might be too tall of an order. The Rebel defense was unable to stop Auburn’s offense, so stopping Manziel and Texas A&M will be difficult. The Aggie defense is not that great either, but they are coming off a week of rest after having to work hard against the Arkansas run game. Ole Miss is the home team this week, so the game might be closer than if it were played in College Station, but I think A&M will be able to take care of business. I am picking Texas A&M by 2TDs.
Top 25 SEC Game in Death Valley Both 17Florida and 10LSU are coming off big SEC wins, but LSU is the better looking team. Though Florida beat Arkansas by 20 points, they didn’t look very good and most of their scoring plays came on long passes or runs. LSU has a more consistent secondary than Arkansas, and should put more pressure on Tyler Murphy and the Gator offense. The Gator defense was the best in the country at stopping the run, but Arkansas was able to rush for 70 yards(almost 20 yards more than their average allowed rush yards per game) in the first quarter. I think LSU will overpower this Florida team and pull away in the end. I am picking LSU by a TD or more.
Red River Rivalry Revisited The Red River Rivalry is upon us once again. It hasn’t been much of a rivalry the last two years with Oklahoma blowing out Texas by 38 in 2011 and 42 last year. I don’t think Oklahoma has the scoring power to do that this year, but you never know in a game with this much history. I think this year will be a closer game because so much is on the line for Texas, especially head coach Mack Brown. His Longhorns have not looked good in the past couple seasons, even with some pretty good talent. 12th ranked Oklahoma has been struggling a little this year as well. Although the Sooners might be undefeated, they came close to losing last week against TCU and only put up 16 against a West Virginia team who allowed Baylor to score 73. For me to truly believe Oklahoma has the ability to win the Big 12, they will have to beat Texas in a big way. But as I said, I haven’t seen too much firepower from the Sooner offense. I am still picking Oklahoma by a TD or a little more.
Can Northwestern Rebound? 19Northwestern goes to Madison this weekend to play the Wisconsin Badgers. They are coming off a homecoming loss to Ohio State last week, and are hungry for a win, but it might be hard to come by. This will be Wisconsin’s first test at home, and it will be a big one. I have been going back and forth in my pick for this game, and am not overly confident in picking either team. I am hoping for an exciting game that comes down to the end, but I honestly have no idea who will come out on top. But, I will go with my original instinct. I wrote down Wisconsin first in my notes, so I am picking Wisconsin in the upset by less than a TD.
Can the Hogs End Their Losing Streak on Homecoming?; The 14th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks come to Fayetteville this weekend. Although the Razorbacks were unable to save DWRRS from the evil Johnny Manziel two weeks ago, you can bet they will avenge that loss. Now if you are really confused, don’t be afraid. It is homecoming week here at the University of Arkansas and the theme is SuperHogs. If you are still confused, you should go watch The Avengers(you won’t regret it). This South Carolina team has not looked good these past couple weeks, only beating UCF by 3 and Kentucky by 7. They have also allowed a fair amount of points. This could be Arkansas’ chance to show the changes that have been made in this new era of Arkansas football. Alex Collins has the chance to tie Darren McFadden’s freshman record of 5 100+ rush yard games. Hopefully, the receivers learned how to catch the ball in practice this week after dropping way too many passes in this 3 game skid. The defensive line needs to continue its dominance, while the secondary has to get better, even with the loss of Will Hines for the season. Senior center Travis Swanson will be a huge factor in the game, especially if he doesn’t play. The Hogs need him to be able to run the ball like they have been. The Hogs have a chance to win this game, but will need to have a turnover or two to help swing momentum their way. Gamecock QB Connor Shaw has the ability to pick apart good secondaries, so if the Hogs want to stop him, they will need to put him under a lot of pressure.
Rutgers at 8Louisville (Thursday) I am picking Rutgers by less than a TD
1Alabama at Kentucky
Boston College at 3Clemson
5Stanford at Utah
California at 11UCLA
15Baylor at Kansas State
18Michigan at Penn State
Iowa State at 20Texas Tech
Akron at 23Northern Illinois
Pittsburgh at 24Virginia Tech
Arizona at USC (Thursday)
Hawaii at UNLV
Indiana at Michigan State
Oregon State at Washington State