Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Updated: August 6, 4:20 PM ET
Bama beats Auburn; Florida survives Florida State; OU handles Oklahoma State
By Bruce Feldman
I had a shaky week, going three under .500 against the line, which put me at 11 over for the season. The recap of last week's picks: the good -- picking Oregon State to beat Arizona; the bad -- picking Maryland to beat FSU; and the ugly -- picking Nevada to upset Boise State. Here are this week's guesses:
|Colt McCoy and Texas look to end a two-game skid versus Texas A&M.|
Thursday, Nov. 27
Texas 59, Texas A&M 17: Style points or not, the Horns won't be shy to crank up their offense against a very suspect defense. A&M not only has surrendered 107 points in its last two games, but the Aggies also have allowed 132 points in three Big 12 road games -- and two of those were against the other two worst teams in the league (Iowa State and Baylor).
Friday, Nov. 28
Pitt 28, WVU 24: The Mountaineers have revenge on their minds from last year's crushing upset at home. Pat White and the WVU speedsters have been hot of late, but expect the Panthers and LB Scott McKillop to slow them down enough to get the W.
Ole Miss 34, Mississippi State 14: Jevan Snead continues to make big strides and his underrated crew of receivers will hit some big plays against a MSU defense that is nowhere near as tough as it was last season. Meanwhile, the Rebels' D-line will dominate an undermanned State offense.
Sat., Nov. 29
Georgia Tech 24, UGA 21: The Jackets' triple-option is really sizzling after rolling over Miami. UGA's defense will not make the number of mistakes a green Miami team did. Still, I like Tech's vaunted D-line to give the patchwork Georgia front too many problems.
Cincy 35, Syracuse 14: Simply put, the Bearcats are a much more physical and tougher team than Notre Dame, which Syracuse beat on the road last week. The Bearcats also have more talented D-linemen to rattle Cam Dantley and knock the Cuse back to reality.
Mizzou 52, Kansas 20: The wheels have popped off Mark Mangino's wagon over the last month as KU has dropped four of its last five. In those losses, Kansas has allowed 47 ppg. The Tigers, who have drifted off the national radar over the same stretch while beating up on the Big 12's weaker teams, are too multi-faceted and too fast for KU to keep up with.
Bama 27, Auburn 7: Two programs going in opposite directions meet as Auburn hopes to play spoiler against Bama. The Tide is playing with so much confidence and is too tough along both lines for Auburn, which has been pretty banged up all season. The Auburn Iron Bowl streak ends here at six.
Florida 31, Florida State 24: Urban Meyer has been doing everything he can to make sure his team doesn't get overconfident and look past this trip to FSU. The Noles have enough athletes on D to give UF some problems, and UF's D-line is thin right now. FSU could move the ball enough to keep this interesting into the fourth quarter.
Texas Tech 55, Baylor 21: How does Tech respond from last week's nightmare in Norman? I think its offense will get back into rhythm and actually run the ball very well against Baylor, which has one of the worst defenses in the country. Also look for the Red Raiders' pass rush to put a ton of heat on Robert Griffin.
Boston College 21, Maryland 7: The one sure thing about the Terps this year is that they've been dismal on the road (1-3, losing all three by at least double-digits). Then again, BC has suffered two of its three losses at home. Still, I like the rugged Eagles defense to spend a lot of time in the Terps' backfield.
Oregon 17, Oregon State 13: Even though they're banged up, the Beavers seem like one of those destiny rides that select teams get on every once in a long while. Still, if State doesn't have Quizz Rodgers (shoulder injury), I don't like its chances. The freshman from Texas has been the MVP in the conference and is the engine behind this offense. If he's near 100 percent, I was picking OSU. But without him, Oregon wins it.
Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 24: Having DeMarco Murray back healthy and running with confidence is such a difference-maker for the Sooners. He takes an already potent attack and elevates it to a new level. He also makes the huge OU O-line that much crisper. State has weapons to move the ball, but it won't be able to keep up in this shootout as OU is out to make a statement here.
USC 55, Notre Dame 7: The Irish are a mess. If we've learned anything about the program over this last horrible month it's that this is a very confused team. USC will maul the Irish as Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews will swarm Jimmy Clausen.
Bruce Feldman is a senior writer with ESPN The Magazine. His new book, "Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting," is on sale now.
|Will Nick Saban and Alabama finally end Auburn's six-game Iron Bowl win streak?|