Sure, there’s one big game today that has been constantly broken down and analyzed this week, but there are a few other big matchups that deserve attention as well. The quest for a national title will also go through Stillwater, Okla. today, so let’s get to the picks.
My record in predictions this season: 20-9
No. 9 South Carolina (7-1, 5-1 SEC) at No. 7 Arkansas (7-1, 3-1 SEC), 7:15 p.m.
Holy cow, these two teams are still in the top-10? OK, then.
As much as I dislike previewing two SEC games (because the conference really is LSU and Alabama and everyone else), the fact is that there aren’t three other games that will pique the interest of the national scene.
So here we are, looking at a game that may decide the SEC East. Sakerlina (how it’s pronounced inside the state) likely needs to win this game to stay ahead of Georgia because the Dawgs probably won’t lose again in SEC play (home games against Auburn and Kentucky remain for UGA). To do that, the Gamecocks need to slow down the air attack of the Razorbacks.
That won’t be easy with Arkansas getting receiver Greg Childs back. Tyler Wilson has plenty of weapons already, and their average of 334.5 passing yards per game ranks ninth in the nation. South Carolina allows only 17.1 points per game, but expect the Razorbacks to score more than that tonight.
My prediction: Arkansas 34, South Carolina 21
No. 14 Kansas State (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) at No. 3 Oklahoma State (8-0, 5-0 Big 12), 8 p.m.
Kansas State received its comeuppance in a huge way last weekend when Oklahoma went into Manhattan and beat the Wildcats 58-17. It was a display in how far above their heads K-State was playing, and the tough stretch of their schedule was just beginning.
Tonight, they head to Stillwater to play one of the best teams in the country. They’ll see an offense that is even more high-powered than the Sooners. And they’ll have the chance to play spoiler on the Cowboys’ perfect season.
The problem with that plan is that OSU is too fast and too well-coached to lose to Kansas State. That’s too bad, because it would create some serious turmoil in the BCS picture.
My prediction: Oklahoma State 61, Kansas State 21
No. 1 LSU (8-0, 5-0 SEC) at No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC), 8 p.m.
Well, we’re 11 years in and this is already the third “Game of the Century” or so. This will be the most boring of those games, unless you really like defense. Point prediction totals are very, very low in Vegas, and I think they’re going to be right.
Defense wins championships, and the winner of this game will probably win one in January 2012 (the BCS is mighty fond of the SEC Champion on an annual basis). Neither team allows more than 12 points per game, which is as good as it gets.
Alabama hasn’t played a schedule as tough as LSU to this point, which is giving a lot of people cause for concern that the Tide can actually win. But in Tuscaloosa, in a game where a few points will be enough to win, I don’t think Alabama is getting enough credit. They are well-coached and they have Trent Richardson. Both teams are loaded with playmakers, but only one of them has Richardson.
My prediction: Alabama 13, LSU 10