BIGMATCHUPMAGEDDON is upon us, as LSU and Alabama and USC and Oregon finally are set to face off on the field(s) Saturday. In Baton Rouge, a national title shot is on the line, as Alabama tries to stay perfect, and Les Miles tries to prove that he's still Les Miles. At The Coliseum, there is only one set of intact dreams, and they belong to Chip Kelly and Oregon. But the Ducks will have to get through USC before they can state their case to the BCS, and Matt Barkley and company, despite being out of the national title race themselves, still have plenty of firepower to pull off the upset. It will be interesting to see how these two matchups unfold, and see where other upsets and exiting games arise in the week 10 slate of college football games.
Week 9 picks review
1-4 [Got: Kansas State. Missed: Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi State ]
Season to date: 20-18
I continue to prove that I am, at best, a below average gamblor. Last week was a horrendous week for me picking games, as I missed all but study Kansas State in my picks. I was impressed with Ole Miss, who came out and beat Arkansas in the natural state, as well as Georgia, who overpowered Florida and right their season yet again. Also there was Notre Dame, who played a fantastic ballgame in Norman, winning a game that I thought there was no way they possibly could win. And Mississippi State, well I picked them more for what I wanted to believe, rather than what I did believe, which was that Alabama is easily the best team in college football. They proved that last Saturday night, and will have to prove it again tonight in Baton Rouge. Let's take a look at the slate of games for this weekend:
Week 10 Top 25 / SEC College Football TV Schedule
All Times Central
(spreads are shown as they relate to the home team, via 5Dimes)
||Miami 30, Virginia Tech 12||ESPN
|8:00p.m.||Washington at California||ESPN
|11:00a.m.||Missouri at (7) Florida||ESPN2||-17|
|11:00a.m.||(16) Texas A&M at (17) MSU||ESPN||+7|
|11:00a.m.||Troy at Tennessee||ESPN3||-18|
|11:00a.m.||Temple at (10) Louisville||ABC (regional)
|11:00a.m.||(12) Oklahoma at Iowa State||ABC (regional)||+12.5|
|11:00p.m.||Vanderbilt at Kentucky||ESPNU||+7|
|11:21p.m.||Tulsa at Arkansas||SEC Network
|11:30p.m.||New Mexico St. at Auburn
|1:00p.m.||(14) Stanford at Colorado||FX
|2:00p.m.||TCU at (21) West Virginia||FOX
|2:30p.m.||Pittsburgh at (3) Notre Dame||NBC
||Ole Miss at (6) Georgia||CBS
|2:30p.m.||(23) Texas at (18) Texas Tech||ABC (regional)
|2:30p.m.||(20) Nebraska at Michigan State||ABC (regional)||+1.5|
|3:00p.m.||UTSA at (25) Louisiana Tech||ESPN3
|6:00p.m.||(4) Oregon at (17) USC||FOX||+8.5|
|6:00p.m.||(13) Clemson at Duke||ESPN2||+12|
|7:00p.m.||(1) Alabama at (5) LSU||CBS||+8|
|7:00p.m.||(24) Oklahoma St. at (2) Kansas State||ESPN||-8.5|
|9:30p.m.||Arizona State at (11) Oregon State||ESPN2
|9:30p.m.||San Diego St. at (19) Boise State
||CBS Sports Network
|9:30p.m.||(22) Arizona at UCLA
Viewer's Guide - What We're Watching Today
College Gameday - ESPN - 8a.m. to 11a.m.
The gang are set up in Baton Rouge this weekend, and OH THE BOOK KIRK HERBSTREIT AND CHRIS FOWLER COULD WRITE ABOUT THE THINGS THEY'VE SEEN THIS WEEK. There has to be at least one elephant on a BBQ pit down there, but don't worry PETA you won't be able to get close enough to verify before you'll be thrown on the grill / invited to have a beer or ten too. The combination of Alabama and LSU fans in one place is a great idea, if you are of the believe that mixing napalm up and spreading it across one million person city is a great idea. Any psychology major conducting a study of crude human behavior will have their fanny in Red Stick this weekend, and there will be SO MUCH TO STUDY AND ANALYZE WHY ARE YOU POURING BEER ON YOUR OWN HEAD SIR. You might expect a low-key crowd Saturday morning for Gameday due to Friday night "preparations" going into the wee hours of the morning, but you'll be dead wrong, as all LSU fans will just drink straight through until gametime Saturday. Sleep is a special feature that they didn't sign up for when they purchased their fan package, only beer and jambalaya and football and Zydeco, occasionally. Expect a rowdy crowd, expect loads of unexplainable pictures to surface, and expect somehow for Shaq to be involved in almost half of it.
You can also expect the gang to pick Alabama, prompting enormous boos from the LSU crowd, and threats of adding all 3 to the barbeque pit later on. Except Kirk, they'll say he's too pretty to cook. And your wife/girlfriend/fiance will agree.
Late Morning Matchup(sssssssss)
(16) Texas A&M at (17) Mississippi State - ESPN - 11:00a.m.
Here we are, playing at eleven the day after the biggest party of the year in Starkville, Bulldog Bash. Hopefully the student section will find a way to awake early on Saturday, and also hopefully someone invites Johnny Manziel out there so he's hungover Saturday. If State's going to have a chance, they have got to find a way to slow Manziel down, as only Florida and LSU have been able to do so far. State has struggled at times with running QB's in the past, so it will be interesting to see how Chris Wilson goes after JFF. This will most likely be a shoot out type game, and could even come down to who has the ball last.
How I'd bet [hypothetically] - State is, to me, a surprising 7 point dog here, at home. Some have even said that State would be a 10 point dog at a neutral field, which is also shocking, I would have thought these two teams would be closer to a push than that. Either way, I think MSU bounces back in a big way this weekend, finding our offense yet again and containing Manziel, if only just enough, to eek out a victory. MSU to cover, and to win. Mississippi State 34, Texas A&M 31
(12) Oklahoma at Iowa State - ABC - 11:00a.m.
YOU MUST AMES HIGHER, Oklahoma, if you want to win here. That's what Paul Rhoads will yell into Bob Stoops ear pregame, while Stoops is like wth did he just say? Then Rhoads will turn towards the camera and smile, and two weeks from now that will be the Ames Chamber of Commerce's new commercial. It's a worn out phrase, but Ames has been such a trap for so many good teams, namely Oklahoma's rivals last season. Can Stoops and company avoid the trap? I think they can. They are mad about last weekend, and have enough talent to pull away from the Cyclones.
How I'd bet [hypothetically] - Oklahoma to cover the 12.5 point spread, and to win Oklahoma 31, Iowa State 14
Vanderbilt at Kentucky - ESPNU - 11:00a.m.
WHY WOULD YOU PUT THIS GAME ON THE VIEWING GUIDE?!?! Some will say that, and to that I say, hey, sometimes people need help going to sleep. The SEC's worst game of the week features two teams in the midst of disappointing seasons, but someone has to win guys! I say it will be Vandy.
How I'd bet [hypothetically] - Vandy is a 7 point favorite in what I'm dubbing the SECSADDNESS Bowl. Unless Auburn can play themselves, this might be the saddest SEC game of the season. But arising from sadness will be James Franklin, who has enough time to both coach Vandy to a win and to also judge the hotness of your wife 9/10 WOULD LET YOUR HUSBAND WORK FOR ME. Vanderbilt 21, Kentucky 17
TO ATHENS THEY GO AFTERNOON
Ole Miss at (6) Georgia - CBS - 2:30p.m.
As soon as Georgia won Saturday I knew this game would be the CBS slot, and here both teams sit, getting ready to do battle in week 10. Ole Miss is definitely playing good football this season, but Georgia is red hot, feeling strong after finding themselves yet again last week in the WLOCP. Ole Miss will hang tough for a while I feel, but Georgia should be too much in the end.
How I'd bet [hypothetically] - Ole Miss puts up a fight in this one much like they did at Alabama, but I think Georgia is too much in the end. I'm taking Georgia and the points here. Georgia 31, Ole Miss 21
HEY THE WEST COAST HAS A BIG GAME TOO YOU GUYS
(4) Oregon at (17) USC - FOX - 6p.m.
Despite the shame I know I will receive from my fellow SEC fans, I will admit that there was a time when I was looking forward to this game. Now it's essentially meaningless though, at least on a national scale. It still means quite a bit to both teams though, as Oregon tries to find some way to keep from sliding further down the BCS standings despite big wins, and USC just tries to finish strong after two early losses and shot national title hopes. Much like Alabama, that offense for Oregon is almost just too good to pick against, so I won't here.
How I'd bet [hypothetically] - Although I definitely think Oregon wins this one, I struggled with the points back and forth. At an 8.5 point favorite, the Ducks are at the dangerous line between just a TD to win it and adding a FG to cover the spread. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they get the field goal and the points, beating the 8.5 spread and the Trojans in the process. Oregon 41, USC 31
(1) Alabama at (5) LSU - CBS - 7p.m.
This is it, what fans all around the south have been waiting for since January. After taking different paths to this point, both LSU and Alabama find themselves in familiar places: in a big game that will determine their national title hopes. Alabama comes in with all of the confidence in the world, powered by a Heisman contender QB and a defense that forces mistakes. LSU comes in still with a lot of questions, and an unproven quarterback leading the way. Some may say that's last year's team warmed over, but this year it has seemed different. Sure, LSU is still 5th in the country and within reach of a national title yet again, but this team doesn't feel like last year's. Maybe it's the lack of Mathieu, or maybe we just miss Jared Lee's ridiculously long jersey sleeves. Either way, we will find out for sure just how good this LSU team is Saturday night. Can they beat a seemingly unstoppable Alabama team? My take is: no, no they can't. I believe Alabama simply has too much on offense, and will find a way to win a tight game. This feels so, so wrong betting against the Mad Hatter, but I feel like I have to here.
How I'd bet [hypothetically] - In last week's MSU-Bama recap I talked about how Alabama is basically all robots players (in a good way), and generally robot players aren't phased by boisterous Cajuns. I think that's the case Saturday night as well, as Alabama goes on about business, winning the game and covering the 8 point spread, if only barely. Alabama 24, LSU 14
(22) Arizona at UCLA - Pac-12 Network - 10:30p.m.
It doesn't have much glitz or glamor, but I think this could be a good night cap game for those of you who decide to stay up that late. If LSU-Alabama is your cup of tea, then you may not enjoy this game, as I'm sure the points will be roughly 2.5 times as much as will be scored in Baton Rouge tonight. Arizona, under first year man Rich Rodriguez, is putting together one of it's better seasons in quite awhile, highlighted by last week's come-from-behind defeat of USC at home. If Arizona wants to keep its dream season alive, though, they will have to find a way to win at the Rose Bowl, against a decent UCLA team. Interested to see how this one unfolds.
How I'd bet [hypothetically] - Jim Mora may be mean, but he's a mean winning machine*, and I think the machine adds another W Saturday night. UCLA for the win, and the points. *okay, he wins SOME of the time, at least UCLA 41, Arizona 38