Can you believe it? It’s already Week 10. We’ll be into conference championships a month from now. Pretty soon, the season will be over and the long wait will begin.
Anyway. I guess I’ll start with the Cam Newton situation. As you probably know by now (unless you’ve buried your head in the sand), the Cam Newton story has been front and center since the day it was first reported. I won’t linger on this subject too long, but I do think something is amiss here. First of all, this information was pass along by a former Mississippi State quarterback, John Bond, who was given the information by a former teammate of his, Kenny Rogers (they played together from 1980-83).
It just seems a bit off to me. It also doesn’t matter what Cam, his dad, the university or Auburn’s head coach say about the issue. They can tell everyone he’s innocent until they are blue in the face, but it means nothing. He’s innocent until proven guilty. I’m not sure what’s going on, but we’ll know the truth soon.
Moving along, there are two big SEC match ups this week while the rest are pushovers. Outside of that, we have TCU and Utah in a top five game that won’t be televised unless you have the CBS College Sports Network. No, I’m not making that up.
AROUND the SEC
Auburn over UT-Chattanooga
–Auburn continues to roll along. The Tigers are actually losing respect from some as the season goes along. It’s funny how that happens. Auburn is atrocious against the pass, but they can stop the run and there aren’t many defenses out there who can stop them. In a head to head game, I think Auburn beats Oregon.
Ole Miss over Louisiana-Lafayette
Georgia over Idaho State
-Mark Richt once again finds himself on the hot seat after another loss to Florida. I personally don’t think it’s a good move for Georgia to fire Richt at the end of the year, but that’s neither here nor there. Still, Georgia had a chance to win the SEC East until last week. They shot themselves in the foot early on, but managed to send the game into overtime where they eventually lost.
Kentucky over Charleston Southern
Tennessee over Memphis
–Memphis is a really bad football team. They are so bad that Tennessee will probably cover their 20 point spread.
Florida over Vanderbilt
-The Gators find themselves right in the middle of the hunt for the SEC East crown after a win over Georgia last week. They still have South Carolina left to play and the Gamecocks look like they want to make things interesting. Vanderbilt can’t do much on either side of the ball and I expect Florida to dominate this game.
Arkansas at South Carolina
-Neither team plays defense particularly well. Arkansas can’t stop the run and South Carolina can’t keep teams from throwing all over them. I’m going with Arkansas in a slight upset here since it’s in Columbia.
Alabama at LSU
–This is the marquee SEC match up of the week. Both teams are coming off of a bye and it’s tough to say who it benefits more. I still think Alabama is one of the best teams in the country. They’re under the radar again and that makes them dangerous.
For LSU, they will need to prevent Alabama from jumping out to a quick lead and gaining confidence. If they can prevent Alabama from doing that, they will have a chance in this game. LSU’s offense is just not good enough to win this game. They will need a huge game from their defense and special teams.
One thing to watch for is how much pressure LSU is getting on the quarterback early in the game. If they have success early, it could spell disaster for Alabama. Alabama has one major advantage: their coaching staff. For that reason, I’ve got Alabama winning and covering their 6.5 point spread, but LSU is certainly capable of winning this game. Alabama needs to put it away early.
Mississippi State hits snooze this weekend, but will return to action next week at Alabama.
Other Match Ups
–Baylor at Oklahoma State: The Cowboys offense will be too much for the Bears to handle. Cowboys win easily at home.
–TCU at Utah: This is the best match up of the week that hardly anyone will see. The Utes bring a powerful offense to the table while TCU sports a strong defensive unit. I expect a somewhat low-scoring affair, but home field advantage will give Utah the push they need to defeat the Horned Frogs. Utes win.
–Arizona State @ USC: Look for the Sun Devils to beat a deflated USC team.
–Arizona @ Stanford: I like Arizona’s defense in this one. Wildcats sneak by the Cardinal in Palo Alto.
–Navy @ East Carolina: East Carolina is favored in this game, but the Midshipmen will win this game.
–Hawaii @ Boise State: Hawaii will hang around briefly, but Boise State will pull away in the end. Either way, this game won’t help the Broncos out in the public eye.
–Northwestern @ Penn State: Penn State wins for the second week in a row at home.
–Washington @ Oregon: Oregon should win this game pretty easily, but I’m not so sure they’ll cover their enormous spread of 35.
Enjoy your Saturday!
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below. You can e-mail me suggestions or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @JoeSportswriter.