Friday Football Picks, Week #10
A 5-5 week last week, taking the season record to 48-41-1. We’re hitting the home stretch of conference games and I’m hoping to finish with a bang. Man, it seems like I’m more or less limping along after a strong start to the season. On to this week’s games:
Georgia at Auburn (+8.5): Are you kidding me? The Auburn-Georgia game, the Deep South’s oldest rivalry, is the 11:30AM game on Raycom? Wow. And, frankly, I think they know something Vegas missed: Georgia hung 45 & 37 on Auburn in the last two years…when they were much better on defense. Stafford & Moreno will have a pretty easy day of it with Auburn’s anemic offense sputtering. Diner Prediction: Georgia 33, Auburn 13.
Mississippi State (+20.5) at Alabama: Bama’s been Croomed the last two seasons, and this season the Tide is making sure they’ve crossed the “t’s” and dotted all the “i’s.” Saturday it won’t be any different, and Sylvester’s seat will start getting warm. There’s been a lot made of MSU’s 6-3 win over Bama (in 1980, the last time they played with Alabama ranked #1) but that’s just window dressing. Bama and Florida are the class of the SEC this year and you’ll see it displayed clearly. Diner Prediction: Alabama 35, Mississippi State 10.
Texas A&M (+8) at Baylor: Baylor a favorite? By more than a touchdown? You bet. Granted, Robert Griffin’s interception turned last week’s game against Texas around, but the freshman quarterback has thrown for nearly 1,800 yards this season and run for almost 700. He gives them a chance against Big 12 opponents…and A&M gives up lots of big plays. The Bears’ 4-game losing streak comes to an end in Waco. Diner Prediction: Baylor 34, Texas A&M 24.
California (+3) at Oregon State: Oregon State actually has the inside track to the Rose Bowl. They’re unbeaten at home, too. But I think that’s actually what works against them. The meat of their Pac-10 schedule is coming up and I really like the athleticsim of Cal’s Riley & Best. Best leads the team in rushing and receiving and he’ll get them past the Beavers in Eugene. Diner Prediction: California 21, Oregon State 17.
Boston College (+6.5) at Florida State: Those of us who went to college in the 80’s remember what the Seminoles used to be and those images don’t leave. But, as Bobby Bowden gets ready to turn the reigns over to Jimbo Fisher, they’ve become a smash-mouth running team…and the combination of Smith & Thomas wears out defenses. Being in Tallahassee, I’ll give the points in what should be a lower-scoring battle of running teams. Diner Prediction: Florida State 21, Boston College 14.
Texas at Kansas (+13): There’s been some question of McCoy’s health since he got his lip busted against Tech in Lubbock. His rushing performance dictates his passing success and the last 3 games the Texas line hasn’t helped him out. For the Jayhawks, Reesing’s already thrown for 3,000 yards. The problem is their defense…which I don’t think will be enough to keep Texas (who still has national championship vision) from winning. It’ll look like a video game, though. Diner Prediction: Texas 42, Kansas 28.
Ohio State at Illinois (+9.5): Ohio State is back in business in the Big 10. They won’t play for it all, because the serious question is being raised on whether the MAC is a better conference, top to bottom, than the Big 10. However, the Buckeyes are champions and smell roses. They’ll play like it on the road, even with the Fighting Illini’s potent offense. I think the Buckeye defense will keep them in check, and OSU’s a different team with Pryor at the helm. Diner Prediction: Ohio State 27, Illinois 17.
Arizona (+4) at Oregon: The Ducks didn’t play well last week against Stanford, and Arizona can score in a hurry. In other words, they are better at being Oregon than Oregon is this year. And, the measuring stick is USC…which demolished Oregon, and Arizona fought hard in a losing effort. It should be close, and playing in Eugene will help…but I like the Wildcats, who oddly enough, are supposed to Bear Down. Diner Prediction: Arizona 27, Oregon 25.
Oklahoma State at Colorado (+17): The only question in my mind is how big is the drop off between the Big 12 North and the Big 12 South? I mean, in one half of the conference is ranked in the top 10 and the other in the bottom. And, OSU’s really good, taking Texas to the wire before running into the Tech buzzsaw last week. Their defense should be good enough against a more conventional offense even if the Buffs are improved over last year. Diner Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Colorado 21.
South Carolina (+21) at Florida: Seriously. Is anybody in the nation playing better than the Gators right now? South Carolina does have Steve Spurrier, who would like nothing better to put the kibosh on the Gators romp to the SEC championship meeting with Bama, but he just doesn’t have the horses that Meyer does in Gainesville. He’ll have ’em rested and ready, but it won’t be enough. And Tebow is playing like the Heisman Tebow of last year. Diner Prediction: Florida 38, South Carolina 20.
Well, there they are…whattya think?