Georgia Versus Appalachain State, Two Marquee Games in Week 11

The Bulldogs Face a Cupcake on Homecoming
Georgia’s homecoming date with the Appalachian State Mountaineers leaves many college football fans looking elsewhere for a Saturday gridiron fix. The Mountaineers are a long way from the squad that shocked the college football world by beating Michigan six years ago.

App State has won two games in 2013. For UGA, the key to success this weekend is to focus on beating the Mountaineers and not look ahead to Auburn next week.

Prediction: Georgia 45, Appalachian State 17.  Now, on to more exciting games.
Oregon travels to Stanford Stadium to take on the Cardinal on Thursday night.  The Ducks are favored by 10.5 on the road.  New Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich has helped make the transition from former head man Chip Kelly seamless.  The Ducks are quacking like a well-oiled machine.

Oregon ranks in the top twenty in the nation in passing yards, they average 55.6 points per game, boasting a ground attack averaging more than 300 yards per contest.  The Ducks are 8-0 with no signs of slowing down.

As for Stanford, the Tree has fallen from the ranks of the unbeaten.  The Cardinal has been inconsistent on offense as a result of their struggle to develop a reliable aerial attack. Stanford is currently 96th in the nation in passing, and they lost to an unranked Utah team.

All signs point to Oregon’s speed killing Stanford in week eleven.  The quack attack is out for revenge.  Their loss to Stanford in 2012 knocked them out of national championship contention.

Prediction: Oregon 35, Stanford 24.
alabama_lsu_2013Alabama Faces LSU – Nick Saban Too Damn Old to Coach Anywhere Else

Despite the rumors of Nick Saban’s interest in coaching Texas, the Crimson Tide football program remains focused on their showdown with LSU.  The Bayou Bengals are wounded, having already lost two games.  LSU’s most recent stumble came on the road in Oxford against an Ole Miss team the Tide had already rolled over.  Still, the Tigers would love to spoil Alabama’s undefeated season.

Bama is the two-time defending national champion and the Tide are the number one team in the country.  Even so, the LSU tigers have won two of their last four meetings against coach Saban and company.

The last time a team won three straight national championships was over 80 years ago.  Nick Saban has four national titles to his credit, and is in the conversation of greatest college football coaches ever. Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron is the leader on the field for the Crimson Tide.  A third BCS title would certainly etch his name in Alabama lure.

Prediction: Alabama 28, LSU 17.

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (October 7 – 9, 2011)

The second weekend in October brings about classic rivalries and intriguing games in college football. The cream is starting to rise to the top in college football as there seems to be a real separation between the top eight teams and everyone else. (For examples see: Oregon-LSU, Wisconsin-Nebraska, and Alabama-Florida.) All of these games were one-sided with the strong surviving.

Fast forward to this week: The Red River Rivalry takes center stage in Dallas, Texas at noon. Following that, the Florida Gators (without starting quarterback Jeff Brantley) must face the AP #1 LSU Tigers. Finally, in  the nightcap my beloved Georgia Bulldogs face a huge roadblock in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Baseball is also heating up with a pair of game 5′s Friday night.  It would be nice to see the Milwaukee Brewers make a deep post-season run since Prince Fielder has already said he is going to test the free agent market. It could have been fun to see the Yankees make it to the World Series only to lose, because I get a chuckle out of watching the Yankees debate the future of their skipper (Joe Girardi) after making it all the way to the World Series. Sorry Mr. Girardi, but the yearly evaluation of your future is underway much sooner than you would have hoped.

Getting back to America’s new pastime on the pro side, the Falcons have a put up or shut up game against the Packers in Week 5. The Dirty Birds gave up 319 yards through the air courtesy of Tarvaris Jackson while barely getting by Seattle last week. With Aaron Rodgers and the Super Bowl champion Packers coming to town it is critical that the Falcons defend the Dome.

Last week, I picked 8 winners and 2 losers. The NFL selections were stellar, (5-0) but the Saturday predictions were just above average (3-2.) Texas A&M needs to figure out how to hold a lead. As for the Clemson Tigers, I have been fooled two weeks in a row now. Shame on me.

College Football Picks

The Red River Rivalry defines Oklahoma and Texas during the regular season. Bragging rights are at stake in a feature match-up in the Big 12. The difference will be the quarterbacks. OU has Landry Jones and Texas is still trying to figure out who their main man under center is. That spells trouble for the Longhorns.

Oklahoma 41, Texas 24

Next up, Georgia Tech takes on the Terrapins of Maryland. Maryland has been an enigma, beating Miami on a Monday night, but then getting decimated by Temple. It will be close but the Jackets will keep on buzzing.

Georgia Tech 26 Maryland 21

The game between Florida and LSU has lost a lot of luster since Jeff Brantley is unable to play due to injury. The Gators do have other weapons, but with an inexperienced quarterback they are going to struggle against the Associated Press #1.

LSU 38 Florida 14

The fighting Bobby Petrinos got a reprieve from the Alabama loss after beating Texas A&M last week. They are already back in the Top 10 one game removed from being rolled by the Tide. Now, they host the Auburn Tigers who are fresh off a win against the Gamecocks. (Thank you Auburn) However, Bob-O and company win a close one at home.

Arkansas 38 Auburn 35

A hobnail boot encore:

Georgia and Tennessee renew their rivalry in an all-important SEC East clash in Knoxville Saturday night. The Dawgs are narrowly favored on the road and the line is likely to be even by kickoff.

Georgia 34 Tennessee 24

Onto the NFL.

Usually, I’m a homer, but I wouldn’t pick the Falcons this week– unless the Packers’ bus breaks down. Maybe Aaron Rodgers strains an oblique during warm ups. If he plays all 4 quarters he may throw for 500 yards.

Packers 42 Falcons 21

Philadelphia gets a much needed win against the Bills.

Eagles 30 Bills 23.

Patriots beat the Jets who are reeling from last week.

Patriots 41, Jets 20

The Bears won’t be able to tame the Detroit Lions.

Lions 38 Bears 14

Lastly, the Saints won’t march, but they will squeak by Cam Newton and the Panthers. New Orleans wins on the road.

Saints 34 Panthers 31.