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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Picks of the Week

Hmmm, for the most part Week Five went exactly as everyone predicted it would. Michigan and Indiana played a shoot-out that wasn't decided until the very end, Oklahoma beat a Longhorns team in the throes of a down year, Iowa proved Penn State really aren't very good, 'Bama proved that they are. For the most part I did really well, only getting caught with my pants down twice (I misjudged Michigan State's worth, and I missed the Stanford/Oregon toss-up), to bring my total through five weeks to 33 out of 42 (79%).

Week Five proved to indeed be a clarifying week, with many questions being answered, and even more being brought up. Which Big Ten team will beat Ohio State? Will anyone beat Alabama? What's wrong with Texas?

Week Six brings more of the same, with a few hard-hitting matches that will help determine a lot in several of the AQ conferences, especially the SEC, Big Ten, and Pac 10.

So, without further ado, here are my predictions for Week Six.

No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 South Carolina
Arguably the biggest game of the weekend comes courtesy of Alabama's Crimson Tide, who now have a big, huge Crimson bulls eye on their back after stealing Urban Meyer's birthday cake last weekend. At this point I think the only team who might be able to slow down the two-headed monster of Ingram-Richardson (not to be mistaken for the three-headed monster pictured above) is Auburn because, well, anything can happen in the Iron Bowl and Auburn appears to actually be pretty darn good themselves this year. But in the interim we have this interesting match-up between the Gamecocks of SoCar and the Tide. While last weekend proved the Gamecocks have a legitimate chance at making the SEC championship game (since Florida is definitely beatable), I don't think they have what it takes to get passed 'Bama Saturday.
Alabama 35 South Carolina 17

No. 12 LSU at No. 14 Florida
So...about last weekend. Florida was exposed by 'Bama and LSU required a do-over courtesy of the officiating crew to get passed a decidedly not very good Volunteers squad. This should be interesting. LSU has been waiting all year for a team to call their bluff and the Gators are just the team to do it. Florida by two...touchdowns, that is.
LSU 10 Florida 28

Indiana at No. 2 Ohio State
Until last weekend I would have never thought to include this game as a game to watch, but after the Hoosiers took my beloved Wolverines all the way to the last seconds, and Ohio State looked sluggish against Illinois, this game has suddenly slid into focus. I think Indiana might have the best passing offense in the conference and OSU proved they are beatable. This one comes down to whether Indiana's colander of a defense can get any stops against a banged-up Terrell Pryor. If so, the Hoosiers might pull off the upset of the weekend. They won't, of course, but it would be cool if they did.
Indiana 28 Ohio State 42

Tennessee at Georgia
I don't know when the last time these two storied programs were both winless in the SEC going into this match-up, but this game has suddenly taken on very different expectations than either team could have envisioned at the beginning of the season. Last weekend both teams had stunning road losses, and now both teams are looking for anything to turn their season around. With the SEC East up for grabs at this point, both teams could use a signature SEC win to start their return to glory. UT has been playing tougher the last few weeks but still can't find much offense, while the Bulldogs have been sorely missing WR A.J. Green (though he couldn't lift them passed the Buffs last week). The return of Green will make all the difference in this game, and the added advantage of playing in Athens will vault UGA ahead of UT in the battle of the bottom feeders. Besides, I'm going to this game, and Athens sucks when the Dawgs lose. Expect another heart-breaker.
Tennessee 17 Georgia 21

No. 17 Michigan State at No. 18 Michigan
Last week I thought MSU were overrated and would prove this by getting beat by Wisconsin. Now I know that I was wrong, and now I'm worried. Lil' Bro U looked incredible against the Badgers, leading many to speculate whether the Spartans might actually be in the running for the Big Ten crown. I will not go so far as that, since the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry has a long history of being the undoing of whichever team is most highly touted. This year that is clearly the Spartans, who have managed to look tough in all of their five wins. Most people are waiting for the inevitable breakdown of Michigan's seemingly impossible offense, but I'm not so sure that Denard Robinson can't keep up this frenetic pace all season. In all honesty I like our odds against MSU better than I did Indiana. The Hoosiers were a perfect storm of suckness for Michigan, with the best passing offense in the conference going up against the worst passing defense. If Denard doesn't get hurt, Kirk Cousins and the Spartan offense may have a hard time keeping up with the Wolverines. Here's the limb and here's me gripping it with my pinkie toe.
Michigan State 28 Michigan 35

Pittsburgh at Notre Dame
Does anyone care about this game? No? Alright then, I'll keep this brief. Notre Dame wins.

No. 23 Florida State at No. 13 Miami
In all likelihood this is a precursor to the ACC championship game in December. Both teams are looking good right now, and both really only have one opponent to worry about in their respective divisions. Unless Clemson storms passed Florida State and Virginia Tech over Miami I don't see much standing in the way of a rematch at the end of the season. Miami has the hot hand right now, but Ole' Jimbo's got a point to prove so expect this one to be tight and high scoring.
Florida State 38 Miami 42

USC at No. 16 Stanford
Poor Stanford. Finally USC is having a down year and the path is clear for Harbaugh's bruisers to run the Pac 10 table, but then these gaudily dressed ducks have to fly down from the great white north to steal their crown away. Look for the Cardinal to take their frustrations out on a USC team that is just asking for a beatdown. This one might get ugly.
USC 14 Stanford 35