Nebraska at Penn State- The lack of response to what happened in 1999, and tragically before 1999, will have an impact on this weekend’s game. For the first time since Harry Truman was serving as the U.S. president, Penn State will take the field without Joe Paterno. Trying to strictly concentrate at the football game in Happy Valley is next to impossible. The student body will have a “Blue-Out,” (as opposed to the normal “White-Out”) to help raise awareness and money for sexually abused children. It is hard to know how the Nittany Lions on the field will respond. Hopefully, they will respond positively on Senior Night amidst the controversy. This top-rated defense stops the Nebraska rushing attack and the senior class wins their last home game.
Oregon at Stanford- The last Cardinal loss came 14 games ago to the Ducks in Eugene, Ore. Like last year, the winner of this game is the PAC-12’s front-runner for a spot in the BCS National Championship. Similar to last week’s biggest game (LSU-Alabama) defense will be the difference. Can the Oregon defense, which has been rolling in the second-half of games since their loss to No. 1 LSU in the opening week of this season, stop Luck, the Heisman favorite? Don’t count on it. Luck and Co.’s powerful rushing attack will wear down the Ducks and prove too much in Palo Alto.
Auburn at Georgia- Someone took me up on my offer two weeks ago, and I will gladly attend the game in Athens this on Saturday for my first of two consecutive weeks of watching the Tigers. The Deep South's oldest rivalry has a lot of bad blood a flowing after last year's battle in Auburn UGA fans are convinced Tiger defensive tackle Nick Fairly played dirty, driving Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray into the ground. This time around UGA boasts the better defense, but other than the first two games of the season the Dawgs have hardly been tested. The SEC teams they have wins over have a combined 5 SEC victories. This matchup has had plenty of memorable finishes and do not be surprised if the Plainsmen can muster up a little something extra. Sorry Auburn fans, but you will suffer your first of two losses to Bulldogs in two weeks (next week Auburn hosts Samford).
Other picks (winners in bold)
Alabama at Mississippi State- With the Tide coming off a loss at home and with their nearly impenetrable run defense, this one could get ugly.
Tennessee at Arkansas- The Hogs played well last week at home after two tough starts in Oxford and Nashville. The Vols have struggled tremendously on offense since their quarterback Tyler Bray suffered a season-ending injury against Florida. These trends continue.
Michigan at Illinois- With quarterback Denard Robinson back for Michigan the offense will run more smoothly in this unusually high-scoring Big 12 game.
Florida at South Carolina- Struggling offense versus struggling offense. Which one wins? The better defense, USC.
Miami at Florida State
TCU at Boise State
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech