Pigskin Picker Sees Some Upsets
There are several upset's waiting to happen this week as a lot of the top team's in the country hit the road and some of those teams are going to end up on the outside looking in as far as the Crystal Ball is concerned. Here we go with week 9 of The Pigskin Prognosticator of Prodigious Proportions.
No. 16 Florida State at North Carolina State
Florida State is coming off a bye week looking to cement its place at the top of the ACC Atlantic when it visits NC State. The Seminoles are off to their best start in league play since 2003, when they won their first six games. The Wolfpack are a game back in the loss column, but have dropped the past three meetings with FSU. Anytime I hear the word Wolfpack. I am certainly reminded of the movie "The Hangover" and for the past 10 years, FSU has had a huge one from all the greatness before the past decade. It appears that FSU is the best team in the ACC and it's time to take that step back to national respectability even though these are baby steps at the moment, FSU 27 North Carolina State 13.
No. 22 Miami (FL) at Virginia
Miami looks to make it three in a row as the Canes travel to Virginia. The Cavaliers are trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season. Virginia, which has allowed 17 sacks this season, could have its hands full against a Miami defense that's second in the nation in sacks and tackles for loss. Miami has won five of seven all-time against Virginia. The Cane's roll into the land of Ralph Sampson (For you younger folks, a real tall basketball player from the 80s) and try to show some consistency on the road. The painful truth is Miami is way behind on the re-construction schedule and a loss here might force all kind of changes in Coral Gables by season's end. Miami 35 Virginia 28.
No. 20 South Carolina vs Tennessee
South Carolina could take another step toward the SEC East title with a win over Tennessee on Saturday. But finishing the season strong hasn't been the Gamecocks M.O. in recent years, having gone 4-11 in the final five games the past three seasons. The Vols are looking for their first win in SEC play. The Vols got obliterated by the Tide last week and the rally bad news is , USC had their way with Bama less than a month ago so the prospects for an upset over Cocky is highly unlikely. South Carolina wins out and they will play for the SEC title for the first time in school history, That should be enough motivation to keep South Carolina headed in the right track because for the Vols. the wheels have indeed come off. South Carolina 38 Tennessee 13.
No. 6 Missouri at No. 14 Nebraska
After knocking off nemesis Oklahoma last week, the road doesn't get any easier for Missouri with a trip to Nebraska. Huskers QB Taylor Martinez bounced back from a rough outing two weeks ago, accounting for over 400 yards last week against Oklahoma State. The Tigers have dropped 15 in a row on the road to AP Top 25 teams, but they've won four of seven over Nebraska since losing 24 straight in the series. The Husker's seemed to have found their offense again last week but the black shirted defense of Bo Pellini has been M I A the past 2 weeks. Mizzou can certainly score points but Nebraska can cause a lot of spacial problem's with their high flying running game. Another unbeaten goes down in this one as Nebraska is the better team. Nebraska 36 Missouri 28.
No. 5 Michigan State at No. 18 Iowa
Last season, Iowa was the Big Ten's undefeated darling until falling late in the season. This season, Michigan State is playing that role and Iowa is the team that could play spoiler. This is likely the Spartans' last big test since no ranked teams are left on the schedule after the Hawkeyes. Michigan State has not won at Iowa since 1989 and that trend should continue this week. Sparty has been a feel good story in college football but Iowa's 2 losses may have the home team stoked for this one. Iowa is just better over all team than Sparty and the National Title draught will be extended to 46 years. Iowa 33 Michigan State 20.
No. 1 Auburn at Mississippi
When the Tigers visit Ole Miss, they will look to avoid the pitfall previous Number Ones Ohio State and Oklahoma fell into. Auburn has the nation's 10th-ranked offense, and it should not have issues with a Rebels defense that is 10th in the SEC. Ole Miss has split its past six games against top-10 opponents. Auburn had won seven straight road games against the Rebels before losing 17-7 in 2008. Auburn has played two consecutive emotional games at home and 8 straight over-all without a break. If AU is going to have an emotional letdown, this will indeed be the week. The Rebel defense is solid but extremely prone to the big play and it's offense has not made enough big plays of it's own to win a game like this. Auburn 38 Ole Miss 28.
No. 19 Arkansas vs Vanderbilt
With Arkansas banged-up at quarterback and wide receiver, the Razorbacks might turn to the ground against Vanderbilt. The Commodores rank last in rush defense in the SEC, allowing 183 yards per game on the ground. Arkansas has averaged 156 yards the past three games. Vanderbilt has lost nine straight games against ranked opponents. Arkansas get's a little help from the rigors and roars of the SEC West and should roll up some stats for Ryan Mallet and company against a beat up Commodore team. Arkansas 45 Vanderbilt 21.
No. 25 Baylor at Texas
Normally, when Texas and Baylor meet, it's the Bears struggling to put wins together while the Horns are climbing the polls. It's the opposite this season. Baylor is the surprise leader of the Big 12 South, and Texas is looking to avoid its fourth loss in five games. Heading into the 100th meeting between the schools, Texas leads the series 73-22-4 and is 43-8-2 at home against the Bears. In this on again off again version of the Long Horns, last week was a complete disaster and one of the most embarrassing losses that Horn's have suffered since ...Well ..See UCLA last month! Texas has too much talent and too much great coaching to get jobbed at home again for the 3rd time this season. Texas 24 Baylor 20.
No. 13 Stanford at Washington
This game was once circled as a battle between two quarterbacks fighting for the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Stanford's Andrew Luck has lived up to the billing, but Washington's Jake Locker has struggled, enduring an injury-plagued season. The Cardinal have won three of the previous four games. Stanford is putting together a very good year and except of the 2nd half meltdown against the Ducks, are one of the better teams in the country. Stanford 31 Washington 20.
No. 21 Mississippi State vs Kentucky
After struggling to take care of UAB, Mississippi State returns to SEC play against Kentucky. The Bulldogs have won five straight and are bowl-eligible for the first time since 2007. It'll be strength versus strength: Mississippi State is ranked 14th in the country in scoring defense, and Kentucky is 23rd in scoring offense. The all-time series is tied 5-5. Starkville is a buzz with a top 25 ranking that should only get higher and the Dawgs will catch an off-week ( just in time for Alabama of course) after this tussle with the Cats. UK is a tough group to figure out but then again we are dealing with Felines here. Anytime you get cats and dogs together someone is going to lose a sofa and usually one of the animals loses a life. In this case it will be the Wildcats who will be leaving Starkvegas with not the best story to tell. Miss State 27 Kentucky 24.
No. 8 Utah at Air Force
Utah continues its fly-under-the-radar unbeaten season when it visits Air Force. The Utes had better not look past the Falcons, owners of the nation's No. 1 rushing attack. Utah has squeaked by Air Force the past two seasons, winning with a minute left two years ago and in OT last season. The Falcons lead the all-time series 14-12 but have lost six of the previous seven meetings. " What is a Ute." ? Judge Chamberlain Halla asked Joe Pesci in " My Cousin Vinnie" almost 20 year's ago and still not many of have gotten the right answer. We do know that Utah is a pretty good football team and headed to a rendezvous with TCU in a few weeks that could place them right smack in the middle of the BCS race. But first thing's first. Overlook the Air Force and all the dream of what can be will quickly turn to what might have been. Utah 24 Air Force 23.
No. 2 Oregon at USC
The Nike is on the other foot when Oregon meets USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum. After dominating the Pac-10 the past decade, the Trojans come into this one as the underdog, and it's the Ducks who sport the high-powered favorite. Last season, Oregon handed USC its worst loss since 1997. Last year Lane Kiffen took a very undermanned Tennessee team to Tuscaloosa after a week off and nearly pulled he upset. This USC team is loaded on offense and QB Matt Barkley is one of the top Signal Callers in the Pac 10. Oregon's offense will run through USC with little or no resistance but the USC offense is capable of answering the Ducks score for score. In another day of upsets this one could honestly be one of the more likely one's in the nation only if the Trojan's were better on defense. This one will be wild. Oregon 56 USC 45.
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