Pat's Picks: Coach Dye Selects SEC Winners

Hall of Fame football coach Pat Dye predicts the winners of this week's SEC games and other games of interest.

Editor's Note: Coach Pat Dye's first week record was 17-3. He finished 10-2 with his SEC predictions, missing on Georgia vs. Boise State and BYU vs. Ole Miss.

We will start with this week's games involving SEC teams:

South Carolina at Georgia--I like South Carolina right now because they have got four play-makers offensively--the quarterback, the running back and two wide receivers. Defensively, there's not a lot of difference in either one of these teams. I think it'll be close because Georgia vs. South Carolina seems like it always is close. Unless something happens to Garcia, I think South Carolina will win even though this one is being played in Athens.

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Alabama at Penn State--I just think Alabama is too good defensively for Penn State. They have both got similar problems at quarterback with each team playing two guys at that position, but there is a huge difference between the teams on the other side of the ball.

Connecticut at Vanderbilt--Connecticut won big last week vs. Fordham and Vandy won at home vs. Elon. This could be a close game, but I would say Connecticut will get past the Commodores.

Cincinnati at Tennessee--They're playing in Knoxville but regardless of where this game is I like the Vols to win. Cincinnati has done a good job with its program in recent years, but still shouldn't have more football players than Tennessee's got. Also, the rebuilding Vols need to win and this is a great opportunity to do that.

Southern Illinois at Ole Miss--Ole Miss will win this game regardless of all the problems they have got.

Northwestern State at LSU--This is a no contest game. It's like an open date for LSU as the Tigers get ready to play Mississippi State next Thursday.

UAB at Florida--The Gators should win with ease because there is too much of a difference in the level of talent on these teams.

Central Michigan at Kentucky--Both won last week against weak opponents. Kentucky was not impressive to me against Western Kentucky, that's for sure. Regardless of who the Wildcats are playing, if they don't improve they could lose this week unless Western Kentucky is a lot better than people realize and I have misjudged the Wildcats. It should be a close game and I will pick Kentucky playing at home.

New Mexico at Arkansas--Arkansas has too many weapons for the Lobos and should cruise against vs. another outmatched opponent.

Mississippi State at Auburn--I'm going to pick Auburn, but the Tigers have got to improve tremendously and take advantage of being the home team to make that happen.

This should be a challenging game for Auburn because Mississippi State returns a lot of players from last year's team that had a strong finish while Auburn is missing many of its experienced players from 2010.

I think Auburn has the ability and talent to win this one, but the Tigers are young and inexperienced, something that really showed in game one. Combine that with Mississippi State opening the season on Thursday, which gives the Bulldogs extra time to prepare this game, and there are a lot of reasons to pick the Bulldogs. Despite those reasons to go with the visitors, I am going with my heart in what could be a real close game or a blowout for the Bulldogs if Auburn doesn't make a lot of improvement this week.

In other games around college football:

BYU at Texas--This ought to be an interesting football game. I think it will be a little bit of an indicator, although not a total test, of how far Texas has come back from a losing season. I was impressed with how hard BYU played against Ole Miss, but the Cougars don't have close to as many football players or the talent Texas has so I am picking the Longhorns to win.

TCU at Air Force--I'll go with TCU in what should be a close game. I know the tradition of Air Force and how the Falcons can be tough to beat in Colorado Springs, but I can't pick against TCU in this one because I don't think Air Force will have the speed or as many good players as TCU does. My expectation is that TCU will play a lot better than it did in the opener at Baylor.

Nevada at Oregon--Oregon is still Oregon and will win a lot of games. If the Ducks can just stay out of the Southeastern Conference they have got a pretty good chance to win against anybody they play.

Oregon State at Wisconsin--Wisconsin should be a football team that gets better and better with its new quarterback, Russell Wilson, as he becomes more comfortable in the Badgers' offense. Oregon State was upset in the opener by Sacramento State and will lose again in week two, but this one won't be a surprise or an upset.

Wofford at Clemson--No contest. Wofford can play good and play hard, but won't beat Clemson, which will use this game as a tune-up for next week's visit by Auburn.

Rutgers at North Carolina--I am picking the Big East over the ACC in this one. Rutgers wins.

Stanford at Duke--I am going with the Pac 12 over the ACC in this mismatch in favor of Stanford.

Georgia Tech at Middle Tennessee State--In this one look for the ACC team to come home a winner. I am picking Tech to go to 2-0.

Notre Dame at Michigan--My first impression is that I should say Notre Dame is going to get its mistakes ironed out this week and win this game, but I changed my mind and am going with the Wolverines because they are playing at home and because Michigan has the better quarterback.

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