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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Picks of the Week

So, we figured some stuff out last weekend, didn't we? Wisconsin, Alabama, and Clemson all emerged as legitimate National title teams. I went 4 for 7 to bring my total percentage down to 61%. I have been going out on more limbs this year and some aren't paying off. I called the Pitt win correctly, but whiffed big time for being so high on Baylor and Ohio State.

This week is fairly calm, aside from some key match-ups for middling teams in the big conferences. The weekend is dominated by Oklahoma/Texas and Florida/LSU so those are the two games to watch.

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas

This is the key match-up of the weekend for the Big 12. Oklahoma has seen their ranking slip as Alabama and LSU have leaped the fore, but the Sooners have handily beaten every team they've come across and Texas would be a nice notch in their belt. I don't think Oklahoma will get through the B12 undefeated this year, but it won't be the Longhorns that knock them off.
Oklahoma 35     Texas 28

No. 17 Florida at No. 1 LSU
What a rough stretch Florida has this October. They had to take a brutalizing from Alabama last weekend and now they have to face LSU in Death Valley. Next up? Auburn, then Georgia. They will have three losses at the end of the month. This is going to be one of them.
Florida 10     LSU 35

Missouri at No. 20 Kansas State
This is one of those games that could be cool, or could be pretty damn boring. Missouri is not on anyone's radar, but Kansas State are a long shot for the B12 championship right now and a win over Missouri would definitely build some momentum after the Cats knocked off Baylor last weekend. I think the Wildcats are the real deal this year.
Missouri 17     Kansas State 34 

No. 15 Auburn at No. 10 Arkansas
The SEC West (and probably the conference as a whole) is going to be decided early in November when LSU and Alabama face off, but that doesn't mean that Arkansas and Auburn don't have anything to play for in this game. For starters, Auburn technically hasn't lost a game in the SEC yet, and remaining unbeaten would be a huge feather in their cap. The razorbacks would love to ruin Auburn's undefeated status in the SEC, so look for Arkansas to throw the kitchen sink at them. And you know what? I think it'll work too.
Auburn 24     Arkansas 30

No. 12 Michigan at Northwestern
Michigan is on a serious role, having trounced the Minnesota Gophers 58-0 last weekend. Northwestern is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Illinois, but with QB phenom Dan Persa back in the line-up the Wolverines will have a hell of a test on their hands. This is Michigan's first road game and the Wildcats will be looking to spoil Coach Hoke's coronation. Unfortunately for them, I think this Michigan team is quickly looking like a one or two loss team and one of those losses isn't going to happen in Evanston.
Michigan 38     Northwestern 20
No. 24 Texas A&M at Texas Tech
Texas A&M is still in the Top 25 despite losing to Arkansas. This is partly because the pollsters think highly of Arkansas and also because aTm is looking like a team that might be able to finish in the top third of the Big 12.  Texas Tech is probably wondering why everyone is talking about the Aggies when they are the ones with the undefeated record. This weekend, the Raiders will find out.
Texas A&M 28     Texas Tech 14
Georgia at Tennessee
Both UGA and UT have losses in the SEC...but so do every team in the SEC East now. Georgia still needs South Carolina to drop another one (which seems very likely) and UT needs Florida to drop another (ummm, which also seems likely), so both of these teams are in a good position to leap into the lead in the East after this weekend. The game is being played at night in Knoxville so the Volunteers have a decided advantage. The question is not whether the Vols can win this game but whether this UGA squad is looking like the 2009 team that finished with only one loss, or the last year's team which limped into a bowl game and lost. I'm getting a good feeling about these Dawgs.
Georgia 35     Tennessee 28 (sorry, Houston)