Around the NationDecember 19, 2016
Due to the lack of research time, I will only be offering up a National Top 10 this week
- Ohio State Buckeyes, Big Ten, 6-0 (2-0), Saturday @ Wisconsin
- Oregon Ducks, Pac-10, 6-0 (3-0), Thursday, Oct 21 vs. UCLA
- Nebraska Cornhuskers, Big XII, 5-0 (1-0), Saturday vs. Texas
- Oklahoma Sooners, Big XII, 5-0 (1-0), Saturday vs. Iowa State
- LSU Tigers, SEC, 6-0 (4-0), Saturday vs. McNeese State
- Auburn Tigers, SEC, 6-0 (3-0), Saturday vs. Arkansas
- TCU Horned Frogs, MWC, 6-0 (2-0), Saturday vs. BYU
- Alabama Crimson Tide, SEC, 5-1 (2-1), Saturday vs. Ole Miss
- Boise State Broncos, WAC, 6-0 (1-0), Saturday @ San Jose State
- Iowa Hawkeyes, Big Ten, 4-1 (1-0), Saturday @ Michigan
SEC Pick Em
10 From Around the Nation
ACC Game of the Week
1. Maryland Terripans 4-1 (1-0) @ Clemson Tigers 2-3 (0-2) (-14.5)
Play: Maryland +14.5 and under 47.5
Big East Game of the Week
2. Pitt Panthers 2-3 (0-0) (-1) @ Syracuse Orangemen 4-1 (1-0)
Play: Pitt -1 and over 43.5
Big Ten Game of the Week
3. Ohio State Buckeyes 6-0 (2-0) (-4) @ Wisconsin Badgers 5-1 (1-1)
Play: Ohio State -4 and under 49
Big 12 Game of the Week
4. Texas Longhorns 3-2 (1-1) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers 5-0 (1-0) (-10)
Play: Texas +10 and under 46.5
Pac-10 Game of the Week
5. California Bears 3-2 (1-1) @ USC Trojans 4-2 (1-2) (-2.5)
Play: USC -2.5 and over 54
6. Illinois Fighting Illini 3-2 (1-1) @ Michigan State Spartans 6-0 (2-0) (-7)
Play: Illinois +7 and under 50
7. Iowa Hawkeyes 4-1 (1-0) (-3.5) @ Michigan Wolverines 5-1 (1-1)
Play: Iowa -3.5 and over 53.5
8. Army Black Knights (4-2) @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights 3-2 (1-0) (-7)
Play: Army +7 and over 42.5
9. Air Force Falcons 5-1 (3-0) (-1) @ San Diego State Aztecs 3-2 (0-1)
Play: Air Force -1 and under 53.5
10. SMU Mustangs 4-2 (3-0) @ Navy Midshipmen 3-2 (-1.5)
Play: SMU +1.5 and over 51
Are You Kidding Me! Game of the Week
1. FIU Golden Panthers 1-4 (1-0) (-5.5) @ North Texas Mean Green 1-5 (1-2)
Play: North Texas +5.5 and over 47.5
SEC Game of the Week: Arkansas Razorbacks @ Auburn Tigers
I have to apologize once again because I did not have time to properly research this game. What I will offer up is what I have seen from each team throughout the season.
When Arkansas Has the Ball
The Hogs offense is pass heavy and lead by RS junior QB, Ryan Mallett. He has three great receivers [Greg Childs (Jr), Joe Adams (Jr), and Jarius Wright (Jr)] and tight end DJ Williams (Sr) to throw the ball to.
The running game will be by committee with Broderick Green (Jr) and Knile Davis (So) getting the bulk of the carries. Ronnie Wingo Jr. (So) is a pass catching threat out of the backfield.
The Hogs offensive line is much better in pass protection.
The War Eagle Tigers have a lot of playmakers on defense and their defense is built around DT Nick Fairley (Jr), who leads Auburn with 12.5 tackles for loss. The second level is anchored by senior LB Josh Bynes who is second on the team with 34 tackles. The secondary is lead by SS Zac Etheridge (Sr). Etheridge leads the Tigers with 38 tackles.
When Auburn Has the Ball
The Auburn offense has been sparked by RS junior QB, Cam Newton, who leads the Tigers, not only in passing, but also rushing and touchdowns. Newton will be targeting Darvin Adams (Jr) and Terrell Zachery (Sr). The duo has combined for 38 catches, 637 yards, and three touchdowns. While Newton leads the Tigers in rushing, freshman Michael Dyer has contributed nicely with 390 yards on 78 carries (5.0) and two touchdowns. Onterio McCalebb (So) is third with 345 yards and leads the team with 7.3 per carry. 228 lb. Mario Fannin (Sr) will handle the short yardage. The Auburn offensive line has been solid every game surrendering only seven sacks while helping the Tiger backfield to an average of 5.83 per carry.
Arkansas's defense is anchored by Jake Bequette (Jr) who leads the Hogs with 4.0 sacks. The middle level is lead by senior LB Anthony Leon who leads the team with 8.0 tackles for loss and is second with 35 tackles. The Razorbacks secondary is headed up by CB Ramon Broadway (Sr), who leads the team with 6 pass break ups.
Arkansas K, Zach Hocker (Fr), has converted 5-6 (83%) field goals and all 19 extra points. Alex Tejada (Sr) handles the kickoffs, and has seven touchbacks out of 29 kickoffs (24.14). The kickoff coverage has been solid giving up 21.73 per return on the 22 returned kicks. Sopomore Dylan Breeding will handle the punting. On the year, Breeding has averaged 44.0 per punt on 20 punts, and the opponents have only returned six for an average of 4.33. WR Joe Adams (Jr) does the punt returning for Arkansas, and has averaged 11.38 per return. Six Razorbacks have returned kickoffs this season. The Hogs are averaging 18.53 per return.
Wes Byrum (Sr) (65.80, 1 touchback) and Cody Parkey (Fr) (61.89) have split the kickoff duties, and the coverage has been solid, allowing 20.97 per return on 37 returns. The placeckcking is done by the reliable senior, Wes Byrum, who is 8-11 (72.7%) on the year and has made all 28 extra points. Ryan Shoemaker (Sr) is the punter and is averaging 38.94 per punt. The punt coverage has only allowed 6.50 per return on four returns. Quindarius Carr (Jr) handles the punt returns and has returned 13 punts for a 7.69 average. Desmond Washington (Sr), who has returned 20 kickoffs for an average of 24.10 per return, is a dangerous return man.
How I See This Game
Both teams have vastly improved defenses and explosive offenses. I still have questions about Arkansas's road play, but they are clearly a better road team than last season. Auburn is much better offensively at home, and OC Gus Malzahn seems more comfortable opening up the offense on the plains. Auburn has already played a few close games (Clemson, South Carolina) at home, and I believe this one will be close as well.
Arkansas 34 @ Auburn 35
Please visit www.secrivals.com to view my picks for all six games involving SEC teams.
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