What to watch this weekend. Five Top 25 showdowns!

The SEC and the Big 10 take center stage this weekend with huge battles that may shake up the college football landscape.   Top-ranked and undefeated Mississippi State will head to Tuscaloosa to face No. 5 Alabama.    Auburn will also hit the road with a huge game at Georgia.   In the Big 10, the West Division race should become clearer after Nebraska and Wisconsin square off.   The teams sit on top of the division with identical 4-1 records.  The winner should be in the driver seat to play in the Big 10 Championship.   Ohio State will also be on the road at Minnesota, where the No. 25 Golden Gophers will look to continue their dream season.   Another Top-25 showdown comes out of the ACC, where Clemson and Georgia Tech will meet.

No.3 FLORIDA STATE (9-0) AT MIAMI (FL) (6-3)    Florida State heads to Miami riding a 25-game winning streak. That’s the longest in FBS since the Hurricanes won 34 straight from 2000 to 2002.   The Seminoles have struggled many times this season in the first half of their games, only to come roaring back.   I firmly believe that formula won’t work here.   The Seminoles have Jameis Winston, a distinct advantage at quarterback over Miami Freshman Brad Kaaya who has improved week-by-week, but is he ready to slay the dragon?   I think the Hurricanes will put up a ferocious fight, but in the end the Seminoles will wear down the Canes.   SEMINOLES STREAK CONTINUES 33-30.

No. 16 NEBRASKA (8-1) AT No. 20 WISCONSIN (7-2)    Ameer Abdullah versus Melvin Gordon.   Gordon leads the  fifth-ranked rushing offense in the country with 1,501 yards rushing a 19 touchdowns.    He will go head to head with Abdullah, who tops the 10th-ranked Husker offense with 1,250 yards and 17 scores, despite missing close to two full games.    Abdullah is still dealing with a sore knee and likely won’t be at 100-percent in this game.   Wisconsin is 5-0 at home this season and the games haven’t been close with the Badgers winning by an average of 31.4 points per game.    Those two factors have me calling for the Badgers to put this game in the win column.    BUCKY FEASTS ON CORN 36-24.

No. 1 MISSISSIPPI STATE (9-0) AT No. 5 ALABAMA (8-1)    Dak Prescott has been phenomenal for the Bulldogs, but he’ll need to play a flawless game if the State is to have a shot at a victory.   Alabama owns this series and in my opinion, also have the best player on the field in Amari Cooper.   Cooper ranks second in the FBS in receiving yards with 1,215 and leads the nation with 22 receptions of 20 yards or more.   The Tide have  held Dan Mullen’s offense in check, limiting the Bulldogs to seven points in each of the past three seasons and no more than 10 points during Mullen’s tenure.   TIDE ROLLS 27-17.

No. 8 OHIO STATE (8-1) AT No. 25 MINNESOTA (7-2)     Don’t look now but the Gophers are in a three-way tie atop the Big 10 West, and a  dominating performance against Iowa has moved the Gophers into the Top 25.    The Buckeyes enter dangerous waters here, as they travel to Minnesota after a huge emotional win at Michigan State.   J.T. Barrett has improved each week since taking over for Braxton Miller to start the season.   Since a week two loss to Virginia Tech, the Buckeyes have had the most efficient offense in FBS.  Barrett’s decision-making has prompted head coach Urban Meyer to say, “I have never seen a guy improve so much week by week.”  The Buckeyes haven’t lost a regular season conference game since Urban Meyer became the coach, while Minnesota has not beaten a Top-10 team at home since 1977, losing 20 straight.  STREAKS CONTINUE, BRUTUS IS GOLDEN, OSU 41-21.

KENTUCKY (5-5) AT TENNESSEE (4-5)    A bowl birth is on the line for two teams going in opposite directions. The Wildcats have lost four straight since starting 5-1,  giving up over 40 points per game!  the Vols are riding high after a comeback win at South Carolina and may have found their quarterback of the future in Joshua Dobbs.    The Vols have had a week off to further help Dobbs with his development.  Kentucky has lost 14 straight games against UT in Knoxville!  VOLS TAME WILDCATS 38-30.

UPSET EXPRESS

VIRGINIA TECH (4-5) AT No.21 DUKE (8-1)    That’s right call me crazy!    The Hokies are a desperate team, as they are in serious jeopardy of not making a bowl game for the first time in 22 years!   They are not as bad as their record indicates and are coming off a badly needed bye week.    This game will come down to two things —  First, can Hokie quarterback Michael Brewer make enough plays to penetrate the Blue Devil end zone.    Second, can the Duke offensive line win the battle upfront against a fierce pass rush.    Duke leads the nation in fewest quarterback sacks allowed (.44 per game) and faces a Hokies team ranked second nationally in sacks percentage (11.6 percent of pass plays).   I think the Hokies will come up big in both areas.    GOBBLE, GOBBLE,  HOKIES THANKFUL AFTER DEFEATING DEVILS, TECHSTERS 31-20.

PICK-SIX SPECIALS, SIX GAMES, SIX WORDS

  • CLEMSON AT GEORGIA TECH……….Tigers dropped last four to Tech, Yellow Jackets 35-31.
  • AUBURN AT GEORGIA……….Cats have nine lives, not 10!   Bulldogs 51-45.
  • UTAH AT STANFORD……….This is about the best defense, Cardinal 22-17.
  • TEMPLE AT PENN STATE……….State can and does go bowling, Nittany Lions 16-10.
  • TEXAS AT OKLAHOMA STATE……….Charlie Strong has Texas finishing Strong, Longhorns 31-28.
  • WASHINGTON AT ARIZONA……….Heat in the desert, burns Huskies,  Wildcats 45-23.

SEASON RECORDS PICKING WINNERS

  • WHAT I’M WATCHING 36-14
  • PICK SIX PACK  26-16
  • UPSET EXPRESS  8-3

 

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