This weekend will be an exciting weekend in college football. Every week I will be picking college football games. Please note, I will not be picking the games that are of no real significance, so save those comments. With all that said, let's get the pics in.
Georgia vs. South Carolina
This one would be more interesting if A.J. Green were not suspended. With him gone, who will be the main target for Aaron Murray? Hopefully he Georgia run game can keep them in the game, but I don't see that happening. The Gamecock defense is as talented as it has ever been and they will force Murray to beat them.
Georgia will also struggle defensively with Alsheron Jeffrey. He is quite possibly the best receiver in the league not named A.J. Green. And he isn't the only weapon they have, so this may be the start of something good for South Carolina.
Prediction: South Carolina 27, Georgia 10.
Michigan vs. Notre Dame
Both teams showed stride last week as they both posted resounding victories. This is the week that you see if either one of these teams is for real. Notre Dame QB Dane Crist got started early last week and played well as he was aided by a strong running game. This week will not be that way, as the Michigan defense, after switching to a 3-3-5 defense, looks a lot faster and athletic. The plan will be to make Crist beat them by passing to TE Kyle Rudolph and WR Michael Floyd.
On offense, Michigan will run, run and run some more. And they do this with a running quarterback in Denard "Shoelaces" Robinson. Bad thing is, if he runs a lot, he will eventually get knocked out of the game. Other than Robinson, the offense of the Wolverines is not that good. But, the Irish defense hasn't been that good either. Maybe this is the year that they get it together. But, I know they can get it together for this game.
Prediction: Notre Dame 24, Michigan 14
South Florida vs. Florida
I normally wouldn't pick a game like this, but considering how bad Florida looked last weekend, this game became worth picking. John Brantley didn't play as well as some anticipated last week. He was aided by Jeffrey Demps and a strong running game. Brantley and the slew of talented receivers had better get it together real quickly because they will not survive like this in the SEC. The defense they are playing against is void of stars, but should be energetic and at least compete against the Gators.
On defense, the Gators llok like a crew that is missing a leader. No more will they have Brandon Spikes to look to on defense to lead. Amongst these talented players, a leader must arise. The main thing they will need to ficus on this week is the QB of South Florida, B.J. Daniels. If Daniels gets going, he can carry a team on his back. Consequently, he can also get you beat as well. I think Florida should be ok this week taking on South Florida. The Bulls just don't have enough weapons.
Prediction: Florida 45, South Florida 10
Florida State vs. Ohio State
The Seminoles looked like the Seminoles of old last week, but there were playing an opponent that was didn't have as many athletes. This week, Christian Ponder gets a serious test against what is always a stingy and rough defense in Oklahoma. If Christian Ponder can stay away from the mistakes and is aided by the running game, FSU's offense should be fine. If not, there could be trouble.
On defense, the Seminoles have to worry about Demarco Murray. He is a threat to go the distance everytime he touches the ball. Levi Jones is steady in the pocket as well. The Seminoles must rally around the ball on defense. Another feather in the cap of the Seminoles is that Bob Stoop's brother, Mark Stoops, is the defensive coordinator for FSU. they say no one knows you better than family and in this case, Mark knows Bob pretty well.
Prediction: Florida State 21, Oklahoma 17
Miami vs. Ohio State
This game pitts the same teams from the 2003 National title again against each other cross-regional battle. The Ohio State Buckeyes bear the pride of the Big Ten against a Hurricanes teams that is on the rise. The Buckeyes are led by dual threat QB Tyrelle Pryor. The main thing for Pryor will be to make sure he makes the correct decisions in and out of the pocket. He has weapons like Posey at WR and Brandon Saine and "Boom" Herron at), so he must use them to attack a speedy Hurricane defense led by Brandon Harris and Shaun Spence. This should be an interesting chess match.
On offense, Miami is loaded with talent at the skill positions, but in order for them to win the game JaCory Harris has to play mistake-free football and utilize his weapons properly. This could happen, but not if the line can't keep Cameron Heyward away from the quarterback. If Heyward is allowed to rush Harris all the time, then that could spell doom for the 'Canes, but I don't think Heyward will.
Prediction: Miami 24, Ohio State 20
LSU vs, Vandy
LSU almost collapsed again last week against an under manned North Carolina team. I hope that was their wakeup call, because they didn't finish the game. The offense survived by trick plays last week, but this week. Jordan Jefferson needs to show that he can lead this team and be the player everyone thinks he can be. He has the weapons in Steven Ridley, Russell Sheppard and crew, he just has to use them. The Vandy defense could present some problems for the Tigers because of All- Preseason selection Chris Marve. If he can anchor this defense and also get help in the secondary from the return of Jamie Graham, then Vandy could hang around.
Vandy put up some points last week, but they must finish drives. Vandy's offense, led by Larry Smith, must be able to run the ball in order to chew up the clock and limit possession. If Vandy is able to do that, then Patrick Peterson, LSU's do-it-all cornerback will be taken out of the game. Even saying all that, I still think Vandy comes up short.
Prediction: LSU: 19, Vandy 13
Penn State vs. Alabama
Penn State comes into Bryant Denny Stadium with a freshman quarterback running it's "Spread HD" offense. The combination of a freshman quarterback in Bolden and a big road game may prove to be hazardous for the Nittany Lions. Alabama's defense, led by D'onta Hightower, will be well-versed and ready to take advantage of the young rookie QB, leading to a ling day for Penn State.
No Mark Ingram for Alabama this week is no problem. Trent Richardson is more than capable of carrying the load. Some believe that he is a better tailback than Ingram already. Craig McElroy, the quarterback for Alabama, should have some fun this week throwing to Julio Jones and Marquis Maze. The Nittany Lions do not have anyone that can keep up with these guys. Nittany Lion fans, cover your eyes or turn the channel.
Prediction: Alabama: 38, Penn State 10
Oregon vs. Tennessee
Oregon brings a fast and diverse offense into town. Oregon likes to run and run and run some more. Oregon will use LaMichael James and a whole slew of tailbacks to run over and over at the inexperienced and lightweight defensive line of Tennessee. The only way UT can discourage Oregon from running the ball is defensive coordinator Chris Wilcox is one step ahead of the game in regards to his scheme. If not, the Ducks could be dancing in the end zone.
Matt Simms steps into his first big game as a collegiate starter against a very fast and disciplined Oregon defense. Simms has weapons in Denarious Moore, Da'Rick Rogers and Taurean Poole, but will he have time to get the ball there. UT's line is inexperienced and young and they could get exposed this game. UT can try as they might, but the Ducks are quacking all the way back to Eugene with a win.
Prediction: Oregon 23, UT 9