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Match-Ups Of The Week
#13 LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) vs. #1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0)
If LSU can't put a dent in the as-of-yet unblemished Tide, we might as well turn over the weird Dr. Pepper Crystal-Football-Paperweight national championship trophy to Alabama for good. Not that we expect the Tigers to win, far from it, nor are we (or anyone else for that matter) looking for another Game of the Century (LSU won the last so-called GOTC in 2011, by a riveting final score of 9-6) but at least make it interesting. (Is Miley Cyrus too passé, 'Bama? Or is "We Can't Stop" still your locker room jam?)
Our pick: Alabama 24, LSU 13
#2 Florida State (8-0, 6-0 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4 ACC)
The Seminoles will look to put this game to bed early. With a noon ET kickoff, the 'Noles could be showered and on the couch by mid-afternoon, eagerly awaiting a potential upset bid by LSU. With #2 Oregon losing to #6 Stanford (again!) and thus derailing the Ducks' hopes of national title berth (again!!), one less team remains between FSU and the BCS Championship game. As Tegan and Sara would say, you're one step closer, Seminoles.
Our pick: Florida State by as much as they want; this is the same team that covered a three-touchdown spread over a rival ranked in the Top 10 last week.
#Missouri (8-1, 4-1 SEC) vs. Kentucky (2-6, 0-4 SEC)
The Wildcats are a shocking 4-4 against the spread on the season, putting a wrench into the College Football Report's perennial Always Give The Points Against Kentucky strategy. UK will get back to its losing ways this weekend against the two-touchdown Vegas margin. Expect Mark Stoops to take a Wrecking Ball (too much Miley? Is there such a thing) to the program in the offseason.
Our pick: Missouri 41, Kentucky 17
#9 Auburn (8-1, 4-1 SEC) vs. Tennessee (4-5, 1-4 SEC)
How did we get here? Well, mostly by rail, in the words of Auburn RB Tre Mason: "We just feel like we're a big freight train and once we get started, it's hard to stop us." No one has had much luck slowing down the War Eagle Express, as Mason and mobile QB Nick Marshall have averaged more than 300 yards rushing a game, good for sixth in the nation. Tennessee has stopped on the tracks against a number of other top teams, getting run over by Oregon, Florida, Alabama, and Mizzou by a combined 162 points. The Volunteers can't offer much in response either: the Vols rank 108th in passing yards. An anemic air attack makes coming back against large deficits nigh impossible, but Tennessee has shown signs of life at times and can be a tough 'out' in Knoxville. Will we hear the Tigers "roar" on Saturday or will Auburn leave Tennessee with Rocky Top still ringing in their ears?
In "Rocky Top," the singer pines for his girl, who is "part bear, the other part cat." We've heard of a rawgqcoon), but that girl sounds like something else. She was "wild as a mink but sweet as soda pop," making her feisty, but with a sweet side, we suppose. Sort of like Gozer the Gozerian in that way.
Our pick: Auburn 27, Tennessee 23
Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2 ACC) vs. #11 Miami (7-1, 3-1 ACC)
As Aloe Blacc says, "Wake me up when it's all over." Well, Miami, you can open your eyes: the Florida State game is over. Fortunately for The U, college football is a game of second chances, and a W over a respectable Va Tech team could help Miami climb back into competition for a BCS bowl.
Sidebar: Miss College Football Report asked about the Miami mascot last weekend, comparing The U's Sebastian to, not unfairly, Daffy Duck. What is it, exactly? Turns out the university adopted the ibis as the mascot due to the folklore surround the bird's ability to weather the storm when hurricanes roll in. So, there you go. The College Football Report: your source for waterfowl intel.
Our pick: Miami 24, Virginia Tech 18
Rivalry Game(s) of the Week
We like the idea of the multi-team rivalry but outside Texas and Florida, no one seems to pay much attention, possibly because no other state in the country can field more than one ranked team at a time. The "Tobacco Road Rivalry" among Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina and NC State, isn't well known, but two of the four will face off this weekend as the Wolfpack (3-5) visit Duke (6-2). So. Take note.
Can you imagine a less inspiring rivalry than Illinois (3-5) and Indiana (3-5)?
Penn State (5-3) and Minnesota (7-2) will battle for the Governors Cup on Saturday, although given the teams involved, the game may be best described as a skirmish. The Cup honors Penn State joining the Big Ten in 1993, making it one of those "we just made this up because we wanted to add some flavor" trophies. Sidebar: the Gophers (-2.5) are favored!
Western Michigan (1-8) and Eastern Michigan (1-8) don't share a rivalry? Why not? Here's an idea: every year, the two could vie for control of the Silver Sump Pump. Or The Old Moldy Doormat. So many possibilities.
The Chicken's Picks
This weekend, the Chicken selects games from the bargain basement of the football schedule, just because he can.
Old Dominion (-14) vs. Idaho
Appalachian State vs. Georgia (-40)
Hawaii vs. Navy (-16.5)
Tulsa vs. East Carolina (-17)
Finally, figure this one out: 6-3 Tennessee-Martin, which is 4-1 on the road, plays at Memphis on Saturday and the 1-6 Tigers are *favored* by nearly two (13.5) touchdowns. Maybe bragging rights in a hitherto unknown rivalry are at stake. Perhaps the winner takes home a prize boar or something. Ah, pageantry.
Mike Luce is our man on campus. He welcomes your comments.