The collegiate world elected to host some of its best action of Week 11, and quite possibly of the season, on Thursday, but that doesn't mean Saturday lacks for interesting matchups.
No. 5 Stanford downed No. 3 Oregon in impressive 26-20 fashion in a final score that is much friendlier at face value when compared to how truly lopsided the matchup was. There's nothing kind about the 41-12 whooping No. 6 Baylor put on No. 10 Oklahoma.
Despite two marquee matchups out of the way, here's a taste at the rest of the ranked action this week, followed by a breakdown of three contests featuring some of the best ranked teams left.
|Away Team||Home Team||Date||Pick|
|No. 13 LSU||No. 1 Alabama||Saturday, Nov. 9||Alabama|
|No. 2 Florida St.||Wake Forest||Saturday, Nov. 9||Florida St.|
|No. 8 Missouri||Kentucky||Saturday, Nov. 9||Missouri|
|No. 9 Auburn||Tennessee||Saturday, Nov. 9||Auburn|
|Virginia Tech||No. 11 Miami||Saturday, Nov. 9||Miami|
|Kansas||No. 14 Oklahoma St.||Saturday, Nov. 9||Oklahoma St.|
|Mississippi St.||No. 15 Texas A&M||Saturday, Nov. 9||Texas A&M|
|No. 16 Fresno St.||Wyoming||Saturday, Nov. 9||Fresno St.|
|No. 19 UCLA||Arizona||Saturday, Nov. 9||UCLA|
|No. 20 Louisville||Connecticut||Friday, Nov. 8||Louisville|
|Houston||No. 21 UCF||Saturday, Nov. 9||Houston|
|No. 22 Arizona St.||Utah||Saturday, Nov. 9||Arizona St.|
|No. 23 Notre Dame||Pittsburgh||Saturday, Nov. 9||Notre Dame|
|BYU||No. 24 Wisconsin||Saturday, Nov. 9||Wisconsin|
|Kansas St.||No. 25 Texas Tech||Saturday, Nov. 9||Texas Tech|
Chris Roling's Predictions
No. 8 Missouri Stomps Kentucky
No James Franklin, no problem for the Missouri Tigers last week as the team put a beatdown on Tennessee, 31-3.
The good news is the former potential Heisman candidate sounds ready to return to action from his shoulder injury that cost him three starts, per ESPN.
Even if Franklin can't go, redshirt freshman Maty Mauk has played well in his absence. That was especially the case last week against the Volunteers when he threw for 163 yards and three scores and for the first time did not throw a pick.
It doesn't truly matter who starts against Kentucky, a team that has failed to record a win in the SEC and has just two wins on the season—one over 0-9 Miami (OH) and Alabama State of the SWAC.
Missouri takes another step toward the SEC championship game.
Prediction: Tigers 45, Wildcats 24
No. 9 Auburn Cruises over Tennessee
Auburn will be Tennessee's 5th straight game vs. a team ranked in the top 11.— The SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo) November 4, 2013
The first half of that four-game stretch went well as Tennessee upset then ranked No. 11 South Carolina 23-21 after an overtime loss to No. 6 Georgia the week prior.
In the second half of the stretch, the Vols were outscored by a total of 76-13.
It gets worse.
Now Auburn comes to Neyland Stadium with the No. 5 rushing attack at 306.2 yards per game. Last week, quarterback Nick Marshall only had to throw the ball eight times in a 35-17 victory.
Why? Running back Tre Mason, who took 32 carries and turned it into 168 yards and four touchdowns. The junior back has been on an absolute tear in his last four games:
The Tennessee defense allowed 339 rushing yards last week, while Auburn averages 17 passes and 55 runs in its past three games. Despite how obvious the approach will be, the slumping Vols on the tail end of a brutal stretch have little hope in slowing Auburn.
Prediction: Tigers 40, Vols 28
No. 1 Alabama Overwhelms No. 13 LSU
Here it is.
It's not the "Game of the Century," but LSU manages to play Alabama tough each year no matter what.
LSU is inconsistent, which makes it difficult to get a read on which Tigers squad will actually show up. That said, one constant has proven true in each of LSU's two losses—star back Jeremy Hill's only sub-100 yard performances of the season while receiving 10 or more carries came in both losses.
Hill is what allows quarterback Zach Mettenberger to thrive through the air, but Alabama's No. 1 defense that allows just 9.8 points per game won't let Hill run wild.
Conversely, senior quarterback AJ McCarron has been deadly accurate with his 69.4 completion percentage and 16 touchdowns to three interceptions. Backed by the nation's top defense, McCarron will lead the Crimson Tide over the Tigers in a tight one.
Prediction: Crimson Tide 20, Tigers 13