Ol' Pigskin Picker Looks At Week 10
Alabama playing at LSU mandates that we now call on the wisdom of "The Mad Hatter," Tigers Coach Les Miles, who once stated, "We have the distinct impression that we may be the best team in the West. The West Division champion is the Arkansas team. I'm not certain who the best team is." Classic Miles indeed, and he is right about one thing. Nobody really knows who the best team in the West is, but for Tide and Fighting Tigers, one of them will be out of the BCS and Western Division race by the time the sun sets in the Western sky at Red Stick.
Another incredible Saturday awaits as the calender and the temperature finally match! We'll get to that Alabama game at LSU, but there are plenty of other top games in week 10 of the college football season. For instance:
Tonight's ESPN Game
No. 22 Virginia Tech vs Georgia Tech
Red-hot Virginia Tech is back in action after a bye week hosting Georgia Tech. The Hokies have won six straight, scoring at least 41 points in the past four games. VT quarterback Tyrod Taylor needs just 95 total yards to break the school record for total offense. GT's Joshua Nesbitt needs 42 yards to break the ACC career record for yards rushing by a quarterback. Tech has proven to be one of the disappointments of the ACC (along with half the league) and the Hokies appear to be on cruise control, still undefeated in conference play. I don't see the Yellow Jackets having enough venom to slow down the Gobblers! VA Tech 45 GA Tech 24
No. 25 North Carolina State at Clemson
North Carolina State is flying high after defeating FSU last week but now faces a foe it hasn't beaten in six straight contests: Clemson. That's the Wolfpack's longest active losing streak against any ACC team. The Tigers look to bounce back after a turnover-filled loss to Boston College. Clemson has won each of its three meetings against Tom O'Brien-coached NC State teams by an average of 20 points. Clemson is beat up and will play without several of its key players as their season is now completely on the brink. Clemson needs a W in the worst way but NC State is making a claim as an ACC contender and should continue to play like it on Saturday. NC State 27 Clemson 20.
No. 17 Oklahoma State vs No. 21 Baylor
A huge game in the Big 12 South featuring two teams that control their destiny in the division. There should be plenty of offensive fireworks as the teams combine to average 79.6 points per game. Oklahoma State has won four straight over Baylor, and the Bears haven't won in Stillwater since 1939. Now we will see how the Bears do after a huge win the past weekend over Texas. Okie State is a very dangerous team with a powerful offense but have run into their own set of problems in the past week so this is must win for both if they want to try to get to the Big 12 Championship Game. Both are in unchartered waters in this deal so when in doubt, go with the home team. Oklahoma State 38 Baylor 28.
No. 24 Florida State vs North Carolina
Florida State looks to bounce back after suffering its first ACC loss when it hosts North Carolina. Following their defeat at NC State, the Seminoles no longer control their ACC Atlantic destiny. Florida State, which has won four straight overall against the Tar Heels to improve to 15-1-1 in the series, has never lost at home to North Carolina, recording seven straight wins since a tie in 1986. The Seminoles have invented ways to lose games in the past several years but none we quite like last week's loss to NC State. Carolina has survived scandal and suspensions so they should feel right at home playing in Doak Campbell! FSU just has too much speed and too many athletes to lose this one at home. FSU 34 North Carolina 21.
No. 7 Nebraska at Iowa State
After suffering its first loss of the season on Oct. 16, Nebraska has bounced back nicely with victories over ranked teams Oklahoma State and Missouri. Now the Cornhuskers face an Iowa State team on a two-game win streak of its own and one game away from bowl eligibility. The Cyclones are 0-16 in conference games against top 10 opponents since the inception of the Big 12. A few weeks ago this one looked like a gimmee for the Huskers until a Cyclone waltzed through and did the Texas two-step on the Longhorns! Nebraska is the best team in the Big 12 and coming hard as a real player in the BCS Championship race. Nebraska 45 Iowa State 24.
No. 4 Boise State vs Hawaii
After facing the underbelly of its schedule, Boise State gets back to stiffer competition as the Broncos host Hawaii. And that's good news for Boise State if it wants to help its computer rankings. Hawaii is just outside the Top 25 in the polls. What might be bad news for the Broncos is the Warriors' passing game, which ranks No. 1 in the nation. The Warriors were the last team to beat Boise State during the regular season, a 39-27 victory in 2007 that preceded the Broncos' current 32-game non-bowl winning streak. If this game were on the Islands (at Hawaii) then the upset bugaboo would indeed be in play here. Sooner or later Boise is going to lose and Hawaii may indeed be just as talented as the Broncos, which happens rarely on Boise State's schedule. This game should be very entertaining and could get into the fourth quarter before this one is decided. Boise State 38 Hawaii 31.
No. 6 Alabama at No. 10 LSU
It's a battle of one-loss powerhouses in the SEC as Alabama travels to LSU. The Tide begins another run of ranked foes, with three of their next four against top-20 teams. While Alabama controls its SEC destiny, the Tigers still need a little help after losing to Auburn two weeks ago. The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series 45-23-5. There is a lot of talk about the road team in this series being very successful and that is indeed true but it has nothing to do with Voodoo or lucky streaks. When examining this rivalry over the last 30 years we discover the team that wins is usually the team which is just flat out better. Although Alabama has had more success against LSU than anyone over the years, this rivalry has really not been too hard to call. In this game, with all that is at stake, I am going with the team that's proven over the last two years they can win games like this. LSU needs a lot of help but Bama knows if it wins out the Tide will be a champion. Alabama turned the corner against Tennessee while LSU had a miserable fourth quarter against Auburn, and when the fourth quarter gets here on Saturday, with better athletes and better coaching, Alabama knows it will win. Alabama 28 LSU 17.
No. 3 TCU at No. 5 Utah
The game of the week involves a pair of non-AQ unbeaten's from the Mountain West: TCU and Utah. It's the conference's first matchup of top-10 teams and also an elimination game in the BCS title hunt. Last season, the Frogs buried the Utes 55-28 in Fort Worth. TCU has never won in Salt Lake City. TCU is likely the best defensive football team in America and should cause a lot of headaches for the Utes. TCU is one of the three most complete teams in America, no question. It would just be better if we could see more games like this in the Mountain West rather than just once in a blue moon. TCU 34 Utah 20.
No. 1 Oregon vs Washington
Oregon has shown no signs of slowing down, so a letdown against Washington isn't likely Saturday. The Ducks have steam rolled all their competition by double-digits, including last week's 21-point win at USC. The Huskies will be without quarterback Jake Locker, who has a broken rib. Oregon has won six straight in the series. With Locker in the lineup anything is possible but without him, this one could be blow out city. Oregon 56 Washington 24.
No. 8 Oklahoma at Texas A&M
Texas A&M has won two in a row but the schedule takes a decided turn to the hard side with Oklahoma coming to town. The Sooners are the first of three ranked opponents the Aggies are facing the next three weeks. Oklahoma is 1-1 on the road this season. The Sooners lead the all-time series 18-10. The Aggie nation is on full alert for a potential new coach as the A&M yell leaders have had all they can take of the Mike Sherman era. After the Sooner Schooner rolls all over Kyle Field, the natives might be ready to eat their own. Oklahoma 38 Texas A&M 14
No. 18 Arkansas at No. 19 South Carolina
With a victory and a little help, South Carolina could wrap up the SEC East title. Arkansas and its second-ranked passing offense will likely have something to say about that. The Gamecocks sport the nation's 105th-ranked pass defense. Arkansas has won three of the last four meetings. Losing a weapon like Greg Childs for the season would hurt most offenses severely, but the Hogs have proven they can more than make up for the loss of one man. Can Cocky take the prize by winning out? That is the multi-million dollar question indeed for Carolina. Arkansas' last win on the road against a ranked opponent came against LSU in 2007 but that was under the direction of Houston Nutt not the present boss, Bobby Petrino. South Carolina 28 Arkansas 21.
No. 13 Stanford vs No. 15 Arizona
One-loss Pac-10 teams meet in Palo Alto when Arizona visits Stanford. It's a strength vs. strength match up with the Cardinal ranked fifth in the country in scoring and the Wildcats seventh in scoring defense. Arizona leads the all-time series 14-11. The winner of this game has an outside shot at a BCS bowl game especially with Arizona playing Oregon in a few weeks. Stanford is a really the complete team of the two having the better combination of offense and defense. Playing at home is the key always in the Pac 10. Stanford 28 Arizona 24.
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