I know its been a few weeks, but the college football predictions are back! Sorry for the absence. Without further adieu, here are my picks for my select games for this weekend in college football!
Texas A&M vs (6) Oklahoma
The Aggies head to Norman, Oklahoma as a conference rival for the last time. Expect the Aggies to use their running game, led by RB Cyrus Gray, to wear down the Sooners a little bit on the ground. Gray's effectiveness will help make QB Ryan Tannehill more effective in the passing game with his array of weapons. We will see if the Sooners defense is up for the challenge of facing this explosive offense.
The Sooners are very explosive offensively. QB Landry Jones has some explosive weapons in the passing game with WRs Kenny Stills and Ryan Broyles. But the key weapon for Jones will be the running game. The Aggies defense has shown that they are inconsistent and I expect for that to continue this game. The Aggies offense could keep this game close for a little bit, but ultimately, the Sooners will pull away.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Texas A&M 27
(9) South Carolina vs (7) Arkansas
The funny thing about this game is that no one really knows these two top-ranked teams are playing this weekend. The Gamecocks face a major challenge heading to Arkansas, but Arkansas has had its problems stopping the run. Expect the Gamecocks to use the running game to attack the Hogs. If Arkansas stops the run, then QB Connor Shaw will have to step up and lead the team. He has the ultimate weapon on the field in WR Alshon Jeffrey to work with.
Arkansas has a few weapons of their own. They have one of the best QBs in the conference in Tyler Wilson and one of the best weapons in the conference in WR Jarius Wright. But they are going against an intimidating front four from South Carilina. Arkansas must protect the QB and come out with the intensity that has been lacking from them in the first halves of games recently. This game could go down to the wire, but I think the Hogs pull it out in the end. They have too much firepower.
Prediction: Arkansas 38, South Carolina 27
(19) Arizona State vs UCLA
The Sun Devils travel to the City of Angels to play a downtrodden UCLA team. The Sun Devils will attack the Bruins through the air with their multitude of weapons. Expect UCLA to put up some resistance, but they don't have the horses to keep up with the Sun Devils. It should be interesting to see what things that UCLA does to try to thwart the Sun Devil attack.
The Bruins will lean heavy on the run game. And they must have success there due to the lack of production from the QB position. If not, the Sun Devil defense, led by All-America LB Vontaze Burfict, will make it a long day in California. They say it never rains in Southern California, but the Devils will rain points on the Bruins this weekend.
Prediction: Arizona State 38, UCLA 14
(14) Kansas State vs (3) Oklahoma State
Kansas State travels to Stillwater to take on a high-powered Cowboys team. The Cowboys are led by Brandon Weeden, an outstanding veteran QB with great touch and accuracy. And he's got a great weapon to play with in WR Justin Blackmon. Expect these two to have another great day against this Wildcat defense. The Wildcats must get some sort of pressure on Weeden to even have a chance this game.
The Cowboys have one man and one man alone to stop: QB Collin Klein. He's is their leading passer and also their leading rusher. Klein must have a big day for the Wildcats to stay close. If this game becomes a high-scoring affair, look for the Wildcats to fade as the game goes on. Eventually, the Cowboys will make another statement on national TV.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 48, Kansas State 21
(8) Oregon vs Washington
The Ducks head up to the Dawg Pound to face the Huskies. Expect the high-paced offense of Oregon to be on display. QB Darren Thomas must be more effective and accurate than the previous games. He's been scuffling a little bit lately. As far as the running game, the three-headed monster at RB. These guys are explosive! Washington can only hope to try and limit their explosiveness. Its gonna be a tough task.
Washington is a young team on the rise. They have a lot of explosive parts as well. The trouble is, they will more than likely be playing from behind. They must be up for the challenge this week. It should be interesting to see what happens.
Prediction: Oregon 45, Washington 21
Vandy vs Florida
The Commodores head to the Swamp to take on the Florida Gators. The Commodores offense has gained more rhythm since Jordan Rodgers became the starting QB. Expect the Commodores new QB to have to make as many plays with his legs as his arms. He'll have to because defensive lineman Jay Howard will be lurking and chasing him the whole game. Warren Norman must be effective as well. He is key to slowing down the rush of the Gators.
QB John Brantley proved to not be the answer to the Florida offensive lulls. He helped some, but he just could not get it done. In this game, he must come out and be effective in the passing game. He must also be careful with the football because the Commodore secondary, led by CB Casey Heyward, are very active and they are very opportunistic. The kep guy in this game will be RB/WR Chris Rainey. If the Gators get explosive plays out of him, they should be able to survive the tough Vandy defense. Expect this game to be close.
Prediction: Florida 23, Vanderbilt 17
Ole Miss vs Kentucky
The Rebels go to the Commonwealth to face the Wildcats in the game dubbed the Toilet Bowl. These two SEC teams have been downright offensive. Well, in this game, expect the Rebels to come out strong with QB Randall Mackey leading the way. Mackey will threaten the Wildcat defense with his running and throwing ability. Mackey teamed with RB Jeff Scott spells danger for Kentucky.
QB Morgan Newton has been underwhelming this year. For the Wildcats to have a chance, he must be focused and sharp. He has to make plays due to the injuries and overall ineffectiveness of the running game. Well, this game, the running game may be somewhat effective due to the lack of defense in Rebel Land. This game will not be pretty, but expect the Rebels to come out on top.
Prediction: Ole Miss 27, Kentucky 13
Texas Tech vs (21) Texas
The Red Raiders head to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns. The Red Raiders will put the ball up a bunch of times this game. For the Longhorns to stop the Red Raiders, they must get pressure on the QB. If not, xpect the Longhorns to have their hands full trying to stop Texas Tech.
The QB carousel has been working for the Longhorns this year so far. Expect them to continue to rotate QBs with Ash and McCoy. These guys are important to their success but ultimately, RB Malcolm Brown is the deciding factor in this game. If he is active and effective in the running game, expect this game to stay close and expect this game to slow down. In a slower pace game, the advantage goes to Texas.
Prediction: Texas 27, Texas Tech 21
(15) Michigan vs Iowa
The Maize in Blue head down the road to take on Iowa. QB Denard Robinson has been playing in his element the last few weeks. Robinson has been running the football more and finding more success. He must continue to run the ball with success this week and mix in the pass for big plays. It should be interesting to see if the Iowa defense is up for the challenge.
For Iowa, they must get it together in offensively. They have been inconsistent and must get back down to the basics. Expect Iowa to run the ball to set up the play-action pass. For Michigan, they must continue to improve defensively and keep the Iowa offense out of favorable down and distances. Expect Michigan to eventually come out on top. Speed kills.
Prediction: Michigan 30, Iowa 20
(1)LSU vs (2)Alabama
This game has been dubbed the Game of The Century. The Crimson Tide and Tigers come in rested and ready. Both teams are running teams. The telling sign will be which team will be able to stay on schedule. Will that be Alabama or LSU? The Tigers will be relying on RB Spencer Ware to get it done on the ground. It could be a tough night due to the tough Alabama defense. They are the third ranked defense in the FBS.
The Crimson Tide have one of the best weapons in college football in Trent Richardson. Richardson has a tough task as well. The LSU defense is top-ranked as well. Expect the LSU defense to force Crimson Tide QB AJ McCarron to make some plays. In the end, I believe that Saban will break out some new wrinkles to confuse LSU QB Jarrett Lee and the Alabama Crimson Tide will prevail at home.
Prediction: Alabama 20, LSU 13
These are my predictions for the weekend of college football! Hope you all enjoy the games!