Scott Moore Seeks Even Better Week
Lots and lots of story lines this weekend where the contenders and the pretenders will have to stand up and be counted. As usual, there will be a few land mines along the way where dreams will be dashed and expectations ruined before we even get out of September!
But that's why it's college football season where every Saturday is do or die. Like ol' Red said in Shawshank Redemption "Better get busy livin' or get busy dyin'!" And now, on to the picks!
No. 21 Auburn at Mississippi State:
Cam Newton was impressive in his Auburn debut against Arkansas State. Now he gets to face an SEC foe as the Tigers visit Mississippi State in the conference opener for both teams. The Bulldogs rolled over Memphis last week. The Tigers have won eight of nine meetings with Mississippi State, including four straight on the road. State has put much emphasis on this game in the off-season and without question both teams need to win to have the kind of year both fan bases are expecting. Auburn is certainly tough to defend but these Tigers are a little blunt of tooth on the defensive side of the ball and the Bulldogs are a little bit more experienced. Yes, an ambush awaits in Starkvegas tonight. Color this one Maroon and the cow bells shalt ring all throughout the night. Mississippi State 38 Auburn 35.
No. 15 Georgia Tech at Kansas
Kansas will need a rapid improvement of its offense when Georgia Tech visits Lawrence. The Jayhawks scored only 3 points against an FCS team last week while the Yellow Jackets scored 41 while completing just two passes. The Jayhawks have lost eight consecutive games since starting last season 5-0. Georgia Tech won the 1948 Orange Bowl in the only game between the teams. Tech is not the team you want to face when you are struggling with things like blocking and tackling! Paul Johnson's teams are among the most sound in America and Kansas will be taken to school tonight as will young Jayhawks Coach Turner Gill. Georgia Tech 42 Kansas 20.
No. 22 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina
It's a key, early-season SEC East match up in Columbia when Georgia visits South Carolina. The Bulldogs rolled past Louisiana-Lafayette in QB Aaron Murray's debut. The Gamecocks cruised by Southern Miss. These teams have met to open conference play every year since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992, with Georgia going 13-5. The Dawgs will be without All-America wide out A.J. Green tonight and they will cost them. Green takes the pressure of the running game and certainly pressure off a Freshman QB making his first start on the road. Carolina at home makes a statement and puts themselves in the driver's seat in the East. South Carolina 24 Georgia 21
No. 8 Florida vs South Florida
Florida looks to rebound from a shaky offensive performance as the Gators host South Florida. John Brantley led a Florida offense that managed only 212 yards against Miami (Ohio). The Bulls won Skip Holtz's debut, trouncing Stony Brook. Florida has won 21 straight regular-season games, and Urban Meyer is 10-0 against intrastate opponents. The Gators schedule worked out well with this game coming in week 2 where improvement is expected. The Gator's have no where to go but up from here. Was last week an aberration or a sign of things to come? Florida 27 South Florida 13
Michigan at Notre Dame
De nard Robinson is not yet operating Coach Rich Rodriguez's triple-option offense as seamlessly as Pat White once did at West Virginia, but Robinson is catching up in a hurry. He was spectacular last week in he beat down of UConn. The Brian Kelley era is underway and the Irish looked like a much more crisper and disciplined team than anytime a year ago. Notre Dame has an explosive offense but the problem is speed on defense and it's going to be awhile before the Irish have the horses to contain a guy like Robinson. Rich Rod get's a huge boost and the echoes will have to wait to be awakened some other time. Michigan 24 Notre Dame 20.
No. 10 Oklahoma vs No. 17 Florida State
After a lackluster performance in its season opener, Oklahoma tries to rebound as Florida State pays a visit to Norman. The Seminoles rolled in Jimbo Fisher's first game, crushing Samford. This will be the first meeting between these schools since the 2000 national championship in the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma has won four straight over the Seminoles since losing in the 1965 Gator Bowl. The Nole's have athletes and so do the Sooner's, but apparently OU has not rectified all of the problems that left them with 5 losses a year ago. FSU built it's rep on wins like this under the legendary Bobby Bowden. This is a good place to start for Jimbo Fisher to start building his as well. Florida State 31 Oklahoma 28.
No. 9 Iowa vs Iowa State
It's no secret to Iowa State that Iowa has a tough defense. The Cyclones haven't scored a touchdown against the Hawkeyes since 2006. Iowa will get a boast on offense with the expected return of RB Jewel Hampton. The Cyclones have lost 36 straight road games against ranked opponents since a 33-31 win over then-No. 16 Oklahoma on Oct. 20, 1990. Paul Rhodes seems to have turned the corner with the Cyclones, but it would take a real mother nature event of biblical proportions to derail the Hawkeyes this early in the season. Iowa 38 Iowa State 17
No. 2 Ohio State vs No. 12 Miami (FL)
Miami and Ohio State meet for the first time since their controversial 2003 Fiesta Bowl. The winner of this year's game can take a step forward in returning to Arizona for a chance at a title. Jacory Harris and Terrelle Pryor both got off to good starts in Week 1 as the Canes and Buckeyes rolled. This is the first meeting in Columbus since 1977. The big word this week is revenge. Revenge from a loss 8 years ago ? I am still trying to do the math on that one. This QB battle will be interesting and both teams have been fairly inconsistent in big games the past few years. Ohio State has been there done that and Miami is trying to prove it belongs. I am going with the team who has been there and done that, and that team is playing at home in the Horseshoe ! Ohio State 27 Miami 20
No. 19 LSU at Vanderbilt
LSU shoots for its seventh straight win over Vanderbilt as the teams meet in an SEC opener. The Tigers have outscored the Commodores 139-42 in the last six meetings. Robbie Caldwell lost his debut as Vandy coach, losing to Northwestern last week. Picking this game because with Les Miles and the "Tigas " you never know what's going to happen other than the unpredictable. Will the real LSU please stand up or has the Real LSU already done that ? This will be one ugly game, but very interesting for a little while. LSU 24 Vanderbilt 13
No. 1 Alabama vs No. 18 Penn State
A rivalry that raged from 1978 to 1990 will be renewed Saturday when Penn State visits Alabama. After the Crimson Tide beat the Nittany Lions in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1978 season to win Bama's 10th national title, the teams met every year from 1981-1990, with the Tide winning six times. Alabama will likely be without Mark Ingram, but that wasn't a problem against San Jose State. Penn State is coming off a blowout of Youngstown State. The real problem for the Lions is a true freshman quarterback making only his second start of his career and it will be on the road against a team that's won 27 straight in the regular season. No Ingram? See the entire Alabama running game. No Dareus? See a team that will load the box and dare the freshman to beat them through the air. Penn State will line up and run behind All-America candidate Evan Royster who had 40 yards on 11 carries last week against YSU. It will take turnovers, and Penn State controlling the clock and Royster must have at least 120 yards on the ground for the Lions to have a shot. Alabama has not allowed a 100 yard rusher in 27 games. Alabama 31 Penn State 13
No. 7 Oregon at Tennessee
The Oregon trail leads to Knoxville as the Ducks visit the Vols. LaMichael James is expected to return to an explosive Oregon offense that demolished New Mexico last week, 72-0. Derek Dooley won his Tennessee debut, beating Tennessee-Martin for the school's first shutout since 2003. This will be the first meeting between Oregon and Tennessee. The Volunteers have been good at keeping the natives safe for the past 200 years up on ole Rocky Top, but this is the first time in history that a Duck invasion will leave more Volunteers in destruction than their own flock. Oregon 42 Tennessee 21
No. 25 Stanford at UCLA
Stanford and UCLA meet in the Pac-10 opener for both teams. The Cardinal have not beaten the Bruins at the Rose Bowl since 1996, getting shut out two of the past three visits. Stanford rushed for 200 yards last week vs. Sacramento State, and UCLA gave up more than 300 yards on the ground to Kansas State. Andrew Luck and company get their Pac 10 schedules underway with dreams of the Rose Bowl dancing in their heads. UCLA gets to play in the Rose Bowl for every home game, but it will be the Cardinal practicing up for a return trip on New Year's day. Stanford 45 UCLA 28
BamaMag Top Stories
Saban Doesn’t Know If Barnett Is LeavingRedshirt freshman Blake Barnett started opening game before losing job to Jalen Hurts
Crimson & Blue Chips: September 28Alabama is looking at competing for another recruiting title and it could take a step in that direction with the news at LSU over the weekend. We explain.
Alabama Again Using Many FreshmenAlabama opponents don’t have facts when telling prospects they won’t play for Tide
Alabama’s Ross Pierschbacher ComfortableRoss Pierschbacher likes what he sees from freshman tackle Jonah Williams
BamaMagYesterday at 9:42 AM