Ready or not, the 2011 Iron Bowl game is almost here as Auburn and Alabama prepare for their annual matchup during a week of college football filled with rivalry games from coast to coast.
Here is a look at this week’s SEC lineup of games:
Arkansas at LSU–I am going with LSU because the Tigers are playing at home plus they are playing better than any team I have seen this season. However, the Razorbacks have talented quarterback Tyler Wilson and the receiver corps to make this a close one--very, very close.
Georgia at Georgia Tech--Georgia has held the upper hand in recent games vs. the Yellow Jackets. Look for the trend to continue, even on the road, because the Bulldogs are better defensively. Also, Georgia’s quarterback play will be a factor in winning this one.
Tennessee at Kentucky--Tennessee doesn’t have a lot of really good players, but the Vols have more of them than Kentucky. That will allow the Vols to pick up their second SEC win of the season while Kentucky will finish the season with just one.
Vanderbilt at Wake Forest--This should be a tight game. Wake Forest is a solid team that plays better at home, but Vandy needs this one to gain bowl eligibility and will find a way to make that happen.
Ole Miss at Mississippi State--The Bulldogs have homefield advantage. The visiting Rebels have too many issues to overcome. Mississippi State should win comfortably.
Florida State at Florida--Neither team has played up to expectations, but the visiting Seminoles have the better quarterback and that will be the difference against a Florida team that will finish the regular season with a .500 winning percentage.
Clemson and South Carolina--With homefield advantage plus a strong defense, I think South Carolina will find a way to put a sour ending on what started out as a sweet season for in-state rival Clemson.
Alabama at Auburn--Just looking at how the two teams have performed throughout the season, it doesn’t make sense to pick Auburn, even though the Tigers have played generally played better at home than on the road.
In other games around the country:
Louisville at South Florida--I will take the USF?Bulls at home.
Iowa at Nebraska--This should be a good, close football game. I like the Cornhuskers in this one.
Boston College at Miami--The Hurricanes have more talent and the homefield advantage. That will be enough for a win to finish a disappointing season at Miami.
Pitt at West Virginia--Both of these teams have been up and down this fall. I am going with the Mountaineers because of their offense and playing this rivalry game at home.
Ohio State at Michigan--I like Michigan’s quarterback and homefield advantage so I am going with the Wolverines in this traditional Big 10 rivalry game.
Iowa State at Oklahoma--The Cyclones pulled off the shocker a week ago vs. Oklahoma State, but its not likely to happen again as they play an Oklahoma team looking to rebound from a loss to Baylor.
Purdue at Indiana--Neither team is real good, but the Boilermakers are good enough to win at IU.
Oregon State at Oregon--This is an intense rivalry and that will be more than enough to get the Ducks’ attention as they rebound from a tough loss to USC.
Penn State at Wisconsin--Despite a midseason slump, the Badgers have a chance to play in the first-ever Big 10 Championship vs. Michigan State if they defeat Penn State, which I predict will happen. If the Nittany Lions win, they will play in the league championship game.
Washington State at Washington--Washington is a middle of the pack Pac-12 team while Washington State brings up the rear and will stay there with a loss to the Huskies.
Notre Dame at Stanford--Stanford should have enough offensive firepower to outscore the Irish.
UCLA at Southern Cal--Southern Cal is not eligible for the Pac 12 championship game, but can try to keep its rival from playing for the championship and has the players to do that. Look for the Trojans to win by a comfortable margin.
Editor’s Note: Coach Dye finished 7-1 on his SEC picks last week and 12-8 overall. His record for the season is 73-15 on this SEC picks and 179-64 overall.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
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