Ol' Pigskin Picker Tries To Recover
Can the Boys from Starkvegas come to Tuscaloosa and spring the upset this week and turn Alabama's season to misery? A lot of story lines as week 11 is upon us so let's turn our attention to the gridiron and away from the tape recordings, text messages, and wire transfers that have made this an unforgettable week in Dixie.
Really, it's about the games. So here are our picks this week:
No. 4 Boise State at Idaho
Boise State ran roughshod over Hawaii to the tune of 732 total yards. Now the Broncos face an Idaho team that allowed 844 last week in a loss to Nevada. Boise State is looking to win the Governor's Cup for the 12th straight season. Is it possible to hang a hundred on a team? That could indeed happen this weekend in the potato version of the Iron Bowl. Can Boise do it? Maybe they fall a little short! Boise State 77 Idaho 13.
No. 14 Utah at Notre Dame
Utah looks to get back on track after suffering its first loss of the season when it visits reeling Notre Dame. The Utes haven't lost consecutive games since 2007. The Irish are coming off two straight losses and a bye and need to win two of their final three games to be bowl eligible. The Fighting Irish are 55-11-1 against opponents making their first trip to Notre Dame Stadium and have won 28 of 35 after an off week since 1984. This might be the most lack luster Irish team in the past 30 years. Notre Dame has fallen so far they may never get up. It's that serious at Notre Dame. We had hoped to see at least a little Irish improvement under a new regime but it just hasn't happened and maybe it never will again. All the Irish folks can look forward to is St Patrick's Day which is about three months off. Utah 45 Notre Dame 20.
No. 2 Auburn vs Georgia
After Georgia and Auburn tuned up last week with respective wins over Idaho State and Chattanooga, the longtime rivals will meet in Jordan-Hare Stadium with plenty on the line. The Tigers need wins over the Bulldogs and Alabama for a likely berth in the BCS title game. UGA, which has won four of its past five games, needs one more victory to be bowl-eligible. Both of these teams have had their share of off-the-field notoriety this season and I am sure playing this game will be a relief. Auburn is trying to get to 11-0 for just the third time in school history during the regular season and it will be interesting to see how Auburn handles the Cam Newton story as a team. UGA may score some points and move the ball, but handling Auburn's powerful offense is an entirely different animal. Auburn 42 Georgia 20.
No. 20 Virginia Tech at North Carolina
Virginia Tech can move one step closer to locking up the ACC Coastal title with a win over North Carolina. The Hokies have won seven in a row since losing their first two games of the season. The Tar Heels still have an outside shot at the title but would need plenty of help. Virginia Tech leads the series 16-10-6. The Hokies are playing about as well as anyone in America and had the defeated Boise State the James Madison debacle would have never happened and VPI would be in the National Title race and not Boise State. Va Tech 31 UNC 17.
No. 9 Ohio State vs Penn State
Ohio State returns from a bye week to host Penn State. The Buckeyes still have their eyes on a Big Ten title but face a Nittany Lions team that has won three straight after starting the season 3-3. The Buckeyes have won six of the past eight meetings. This will likely by Jo Pa's last visit to the Horseshoe and the Lion's would like to take him out on top. The Bucks are the best team the Lion's have played on the road since and early trip to Tuscaloosa. This one won't end well for Penn State. Ohio State 34 Penn State 17.
No. 25 Texas A&M at Baylor
After a three-game slide in the middle of the season, Texas A&M has regrouped with three straight wins. The Aggies haven't won four straight in Big 12 play in four seasons. The Bears, ranked ninth in the nation in total offense, face a defense that's ranked sixth in rush defense. Texas A&M leads the all-time series 66-31-9. Mike Sherman just continues to hang on and with the win over OU, the natives relented, at least for this week. Baylor got destroyed by T Boone Pickens U last week and might take awhile to recover while the Aggies maybe rejuvenated Texas A&M 31 Baylor 28
No. 12 Alabama vs No. 19 Mississippi State
Mississippi State has won six straight since stumbling out of the gate. Now the Bulldogs play a measuring-stick game against Alabama, which is coming off a loss to LSU. Mississippi State has been running the ball at will of late, breaking the 200-yard mark in five straight games. The Tide have been stingy against the run, ranking 33rd in the country. Alabama leads the series 72-18-3. Here comes the Boys from Starkvegas with a lot of steam and emotion. Since the death of teammate Nick Bell, the Bulldogs have circled the wagons and believe this is their best chance in year's to damn the Tide. Alabama has it's own issues to worry about as well after missing the expectations boat this season. If the Tide get's a slow start this week, Miss State is the kind of team that can make you pay with long drives and clock management. The Bulldogs do not turn the ball over either and is tied with Alabama in Turnover margin at plus 7. This one won't be decided till late but playing at home where the Tide has won 17 in a row will be the difference. Alabama 21 Miss State 17.
No. 22 Florida vs No. 23 South Carolina
The SEC East title will be on the line Saturday when South Carolina visits Florida. The Gamecocks will need to buck history if they want to advance to the SEC title game: They've never won at The Swamp. South Carolina is coming off a 21-point loss to Arkansas, and Florida has won two straight after a three-game skid. Having picked the Gamecock's to plan in the SEC Championship game this season I would have picked them in this game earlier in the season. Not now. Cocky has had the SEC East in it's grasp all season but the debacle against Kentucky and the total drilling by Arkansas has left South Carolina tattered and bruised. Florida has found itself and a win over Carolina makes it 11 division titles for the Gators. Florida in The Swamp will be too much for Cocky to achieve their long awaited dreams of an SEC Title. And if don't happen this year, it might not ever. Florida 31 South Carolina 17.
No. 6 Stanford at Arizona State
After routing Arizona last week, Stanford looks to complete the state sweep by taking out Arizona State. But the Cardinal have had trouble in Tempe, a place they haven't won since 1999. The Sun Devils have lost 14 straight to Top 25 opponents. The Cardinal are one of the best football teams in the country and will continue their march to a BCS bowl game likely destination The Rose Bowl. Stanford 38 ASU 13.
No. 1 Oregon at California
If Oregon is to continue its run at the top of the Pac-10, the Ducks will have to stop a couple of trends versus Cal. The Golden Bears are undefeated at home this season, winning by at least 28 points in each game. And coach Jeff Tedford has never lost to the Ducks in Berkeley. However, Cal is 0-10 against top-ranked teams. The point a minute offense of the Ducks will continue to roll in Berkeley. Can the Ducks get to 50 before the half ?? Oregon 59 California 24.
No. 18 Arizona vs USC
Arizona looks to recover from a thrashing at Stanford when the Wildcats host USC. Thanks to that loss, Arizona would need lots of help to win the Pac-10. The Trojans don't have that goal available to them, but they would like to avenge last season's defeat. Arizona snapped a seven-game losing streak to USC with last year's win and has not won consecutive games in the series since 1999 and 2000. Been a long time since we got to Mid November at the Trojan's are irrelevant. But that's what happens when you get sacked my the NCAA and this will likely be a trend that does not stop anytime soon. Arizona 24 USC 17 .
No. 10 Oklahoma State at Texas
Oklahoma State finds itself in the Big 12 South driver's seat after defeating Baylor last week. Now it must get past longtime nemesis Texas to stay there. The Cowboys haven't beaten the Longhorns on the road since 1944. But this is a Texas team that's fallen short of expectations and still needs to win two of its final three games to be bowl-eligible. Mack Brown is trying to figure out what has happened to all that 5 star talent on the Horns roster who have appeared to have mailed in the season. Okie State would like nothing more than to drill the horns just like T Boone handles his oil wells. Oklahoma State 38 Texas 10.
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