Fearless Friday Picks & Pans

Gerald Anthony takes a look at this weekend's action.

The 'meat & potatoes' part of the season has arrived with the first BCS rankings and the stretch run is officially here. Who will survive the final third of the Fall run through the briar patch and find themselves in Tempe?  

Last night, NC State added their name to the list with a convincing demolition of Clemson. The Wolfpack of Chuck Amato haven't gotten their props from the pollsters yet, but if you watched the game you saw a team that is indeed solid in every phase of the game. A most impressive display that will surely pay dividends when the Polls come out Sunday.  

Who shall survive the battles this weekend? Last week: Straight up: 7-5 ATS: 6-6  

Noon on ABC Notre Dame @ Florida State (-10): The unbeaten Irish visit St. Bobby and the 'Noles to see if they can hold onto their #3 BCS ranking. Tyrone Willingham has his team playing hard-nosed, opportunistic football and rock solid Defense coming into Tally, while the Seminoles hope to have recovered from just missing the upset of #1 ranked Miami. I think the odds makers have allotted too many points here, but I'm going with the Noles to win anyway.  

Noon on ESPN Iowa @ Michigan (-3.5): With both undefeated in Big 10 play, this is the Hawkeye's chance to stake their claim for they don't play Ohio State. Michigan, on the other hand, still has their season ending rivalry with the Buckeyes, as well as MSU, Wisconsin, and surprising Minnesota left to play. In a mild upset, I'm taking Iowa.  

Noon on ESPN2 Miami (-19.5) @ West Virginia: The #1 team in the Nation visits the picturesque village of Morgantown to face the 5-2 Mountaineer's after surviving the upset bid of FSU. The young WVA team hasn't beaten anyone of consequence and I don't suspect they will tomorrow. Canes in a romp.  

12:30pm on Jefferson-Pilot LSU (-3.5) @ Auburn: A key SECW game for LSU, for they stand alone atop the standings. Impressive in their defeat of South Carolina last week, the victory wasn't without cost as starting QB Matt Mauck was lost for the regular season and just last night starting FS Damien James was reported to have quit the team. Auburn also suffered a crushing loss as Carnell Williams suffered a broken leg as they lost a close one to Florida. Methinks the Bayou Bengal Defense wins this one in a tight battle.  

2pm No TV Ole Miss @ Arkansas (-8): The Rebels were humbled by the Tide last week while the Hogs fell to Jared and the Cats. Ole Miss was gouged by the Bama running game and the Hogs are the SEC leaders, which contrasts with the passing attack of the Rebels and the trouble Arky has defending against it. Still, I have to go with the Hogs at home as Nutt cannot afford a third home loss without some heat from the locals.  

3:30pm on ABC Virginia @ Georgia Tech (-5): This line has me puzzled, for didn't the nats get annihilated by the Terps just last week, while the Cavs were winning their sixth in a row over UNC???? Gimme the hot hand and Virginia!  

3:30pm on ABC Penn State @ Ohio State (-5): Another Big 10 showdown with the Nittany Lions desperately needing a victory after falling to Michigan. The Buckeyes had a rougher time of it than expected against the Badgers on the road and may be ripe for the upset. I like it, take PSU and the points.  

3:30pm on ABC Iowa State @ Texas (-13): The Cyclones travel to Austin desperately needing a win to keep their B12N title chances alive but smarting from a country whipping by the Sooners. The Longhorns have been relegated to the wait & see position yet again having also lost to OU and must now win just to stay in position should the Sooners fall. In what could be an interesting game, I like Texas but think the spread is too much.  

3:30pm on ABC  Southern Cal (-1.5) @ Oregon: The Men of Troy have but one loss in the Pac10 as does Oregon going into this key matchup. The Ducks Defense faltered against the furious passing attack of Arizona State last week dropping a rare game at home, while the Trojans all but eliminated Washington in convincing fashion. This should be a war and a fun one to watch as I think the USC D will decide it in a close one.  

3:30pm on CBS Georgia (-5) @ Kentucky: The Dawgs face the Wildcats in a game that many have pointed to as the best chance for a loss thusfar this season. Can't argue much with that sentiment as UK not only plays UGA tough but Lorenzen has career days throwing it to boot. Georgia will be without as many as three starters on Offense but I don't think it matters much with the way the Dawg D has played. Georgia moves to 8-0 for the first time since 1980, lay the points.  

7pm on TBS Nebraska @ Texas A&M (-5.5): The faltering Huskers visit College Station looking to avoid losing their 4th regular season game since 1968! The Aggies are in a must win situation as they control their own destiny with games left versus OU & Texas and can ill afford another conference loss. The turmoil at A&M can be quieted with a victory, which I believe they will get.  

The Game of the Week 7:45pm on ESPN Alabama @ Tennessee (-2.5): Yes, it's the Third Saturday in October and time for put up or shut-up. Bama, fresh off a blistering of the Rebels looks to end the 7 year stretch of defeats by the Vols. With Clausen and Cedric Houston due to play, the Bama D may have to really turn it up a notch should it's own Offense find the going tougher against the Vol's good rush D. Bama has lost to OU & UGA, UT has lost to UF & UGA, a loss to the Tide ends any hope they have at the SECE crown. Coach Fran finds a way and Bama wins.  

Good Luck and Enjoy the Games!

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