Scott Moore Sees 2010 Flashing By
Maybe one of these days the network execs in New York will realize that SEC football is more important than tennis in Flushing Meadow.
Some interesting story lines this week as always and it will be quite entertaining. Well forget the drama and on to the picks.
No. 12 Arkansas at Georgia
Arkansas opens SEC play against Georgia looking to snap a six-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. The Razorbacks scored 75 points in their first two games, and Georgia allowed just 24. Arkansas has lost its last two trips to Athens by a combined four points. The Bulldogs lead the series 9-3 but have dropped six of eight against Top 25 opponents, including three straight at home. Does Arkansas belong in the discussion for the West Championship? Got to win at UGA before you start thinking Atlanta and beyond. The Hogs defense is in the top 5 in every major category thanks to a menu of cupcakes. We will find out real quick if the Hog's are legit. UGA is fighting for it's collective soul in this one which only adds to the drama. Arkansas 24 Georgia 20.
No. 1 Alabama at Duke
Not that Alabama has needed a boost this season, but the Crimson Tide is expected to get one nonetheless when Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus return to the lineup against Duke. Alabama leads the series 2-1. Duke's win came in the 1945 Sugar Bowl, and the Blue Devils are 0-10 against No. 1 teams. This will be the smallest crowd the Tide has played in front of since the A-Day crowd in the Dubose' era. But this game does have a sense of nostalgia about it, certainly, with Wallace Wade's name on the stadium. The Blue Devils have scored more points in the opening two games than any team in Duke history. The problem is, Wake Forest scored 54 last week and the Crimson Tide is now at full strength. Duke should be able to move the ball and score some points, but getting the Tide offense off the field probably won't happen until the Tide is in the end zone early and often. Alabama 59 Duke 20.
No. 7 Oklahoma vs Air Force
After handling FSU's Christian Ponder last week, Oklahoma gets a completely different look versus Air Force. The Falcons, coming off a win over BYU, lead the nation in rushing, averaging 423 yards a game on the ground. The Sooners won the only meeting between the schools, 44-3 in 2001. OU completely destroyed a pretty good FSU team in Norman but the Air Force presents an entirely different set of problems. Air Force should be able to move the ball and keep the Sooners high octane offense grounded a little. but it won't be enough to give Air Force the upset. Oklahoma 38 Air Force 17
No. 8 Nebraska at Washington
Nebraska had little trouble dispatching Western Kentucky and Idaho. This week might be a little different as the Huskers visit Jake Locker and Washington. Nebraska is shooting for its third 3-0 start since 2004. Saturday's game is the eighth between the schools and the first since 1998. The series is tied 3-3-1. If there is one team that is in the top 10 that could sneak in the BCS title game other than the obvious favorites it's the Huskers. If Nebraska can find an offensive identity, a trip to Glendale is certainly possible; but winning this game is imperative for a national title run. Close, but the Huskers get it done. Nebraska 24 Washington 20.
No. 11 Wisconsin vs Arizona State
Wisconsin will see a familiar face under center when Arizona State visits Camp Randall. Michigan transfer Steven Threet is the Sun Devils' QB, and he owns a 1-0 record against the Badgers. Wisconsin has won 25 straight at home against unranked opponents. ASU has lost six straight to FBS schools. The Sun Devils have not been a factor in the national scene since the days of Jake Plummer and seeing how the Devils have no "Jake The Snake" on it's roster, an opportunity for an upset at Camp Randall is highly unlikely. Wisconsin 27 ASU 17.
No. 10 Florida at Tennessee
With or without Chris Rainey, Florida will need an improved offensive attack as it starts SEC play against Tennessee. The Gators rank 92nd in total offense after wins over Miami (Ohio) and South Florida. The Vols are looking to rebound after a second-half shellacking at the hands of Oregon. Saturday will mark the first time Tennessee has hosted top 10 teams in consecutive weeks. The road for the Vols is treacherous and I made the comment earlier this week that bears repeating. It's very hard to defend the homeland with muskets when conventional weapons are needed. Florida has a lot of questions about themselves particularly on offense but the Gators defense is among the best in the country. The Vols are wounded and their psyche is fragile and Meyer has not lost to the Vols as the Gators head coach. Florida 27 Tennessee 10.
No. 4 TCU vs Baylor
Baylor faces its first test of the young season and it'll be a stiff one: TCU. The Horned Frogs handled Oregon State in their opener and then rolled past Tennessee Tech. The Bears, who haven't beaten a top-five team since 1985, will try to snap a 21-game skid against ranked foes. The series is tied 49-49-7. TCU is about as solid a team as you will find in America and could be an all season audition for a permanent spot in the Big 12 which might make some others in that conference a little nervous. TCU 31 Baylor 17
No. 16 Auburn vs Clemson
Clemson hits the road for the first time this season as it travels to Auburn. This will be Clemson's first big test after beating North Texas and Presbyterian. The teams haven't met in the regular season since 1971, but Auburn has won 13 straight in the series. Clemson's last win versus Auburn was 1951. We really don't know how good either of these teams are but College Gameday felt like this is one of the most intriguing match ups of the weekend hence the trip to the loveliest village. Clemson has an outstanding offense and many members of Dabo Sweeney's staff have Alabama Crimson Tide ties. This game means a lot to Sweeney and recruiting avenues in the state of Alabama. Auburn playing at home should be enough. Auburn 20 Clemson 17.
No. 15 LSU vs Mississippi State
LSU makes its home debut against Mississippi State. LSU is unbeaten but still faces some questions about an offense that ranks 76th in the nation. The Bulldogs have lost 10 straight in the series since 1999, giving up at least 30 points in each, and nine in a row at Baton Rouge since 1991. The Boys out of Starkvegas are much improved but the LSU defense is more talented than Auburn's so it will be tough sledding likely in Baton Rouge. Miss State should have won this game a year ago at home, but Les Miles had another Houdini act in his hat. IF LSU has to result to luck to win this one, the natives in Baton Rouge may cast a Voodoo spell against Miles that could have lasting ramifications. LSU 27 Miss State 17
No. 6 Texas at Texas Tech
Texas and Texas Tech kick off their Big 12 schedules in a game that'll be the first test for each this season. The Longhorns haven't fared well in Lubbock under Mack Brown, going 3-3. The most memorable trip came in 2008 when Michael Crabtree's last-second TD catch derailed Texas' title hopes. Tommy Tubberville looks for his first big win in Lubbock but this one is going to be hard to do with the Mighty Texas Longhorns still scathing over the defeat two years ago that derailed Texas's BCS dream. Texas has tremendous talent and weapons all over the field while Taylor Potts will have to carry The Red Raiders on his shoulders. This game was a lot of fun when Mike Leach was the coach. Tubberville will have to summon the echoes of the Mad Scientist (Leach) to have upset possibilities in this one. Texas 35 Texas Tech 21
No. 3 Boise State at Wyoming
Boise State had last week off but in the eyes of many took a hit with Virginia Tech's loss to James Madison. The Broncos get back on the field in Wyoming, putting their 15-game win streak on the line. Boise State struggled to a 17-10 win in its last visit in 2006.
No. 9 Iowa at No. 24 Arizona
The week's marquee nonconference matchup takes place in Tucson. While the Hawkeyes' offense has surprised, it is their defense that's their calling card. That defense, No. 9 in the country, faces a test in Arizona and QB Nick Foles. Foles completed 83 percent of his passes as the Wildcats scored 93 in their first two games.
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