Boy did Alabama put a beat-down on the Gators in Week 5 in the Swamp. In turn, Florida will be without starting quarterback John Brantley when the No. 17 Gators travel to Death Valley to take on No. 1 LSU. Auburn travels to Arkansas to take on the pass-happy Razorbacks, who now sit one game behind Alabama, LSU, and Auburn in the SEC West standings after Auburn's upset of South Carolina last week in Columbia. This week might not have too many flashy games, but if you're inside any of the few stadiums that do host big-time match-ups in Week 6, ya might want to bring some ear plugs.
Here goes Week 6:
ALL TIMES CENTRAL
ALL RANKINGS REFLECT LATEST AP POLL
No. 3 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0) vs. No. 11 Texas (4-0, 1-0) **ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 11 AM: ABC
Texas leads the all-time series in the Red River Rivalry 59-41-5, but since the teams' inceptions into the Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma holds an 8-7 edge. For the 25th time in 106 meetings, the Sooners and Longhorns both enter Dallas's Cotton Bowl with unblemished records. This is the ninth time Oklahoma has entered this game ranked No. 1. The only time it failed to protect that ranking was in 1963 when No. 2 Texas won, 28-7.
Not this year:
Oklahoma 34, Texas 21.
Maryland (2-2, 1-0) @ No. 13 Georgia Tech (5-0, 2-0)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 11 AM: ESPNU
Maryland brings some more of its new Under Armour unis to Atlanta for the school's first visit to Bobby-Dodd Stadium since 2006. But the Ramblin' Wreck won't give the Terrapins a very nice welcome. The Yellow Jackets lead the nation in rushing offense and pass efficiency, and they rank second nationally in scoring offense and total offense. Not good news for Maryland; they rank last in the ACC in total defense and 90th in the nation.
But they do rank seventh in the nation in turnover margin, averaging three forced turnovers per game:
Georgia Tech 35, Maryland 24.
Mississippi State (2-3, 0-3) at UAB (0-4, 0-2)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 11 AM: FSN
For the first time since the Gator Bowl against Michigan on January 1st, Mississippi State will face an opponent not nicknamed Tigers or Bulldogs. State opened the year with a trio of Tigers (Memphis, Auburn, LSU), and followed with a pair of Bulldogs (Louisiana Tech, Georgia). This time it's the Blazers of UAB, boasting a mascot named "Blaze," that is well, a fire-breathing dragon. A student vote decided the nickname in 1977, hoping the school's newly started athletic teams would "blaze" a new trail in college athletics.There were no mascots for UAB until 1995, when a fire-breathing European Dragon was chosen.
That fire-breathing dragon must be out of fuel. His Blazers are winless:
Mississippi State 35, UAB 15.
Kentucky (2-3, 0-2) at No. 18 South Carolina (4-1, 2-1)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 11:21 AM: SEC NETWORK
South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has finally been benched-- and for good measure. The senior leads the nation in interceptions with nine in 2011, and he struggled terribly in last week's loss to Auburn. Connor Shaw will get the call against the Wildcats Saturday morning in Williams-Brice. "Unless he (Shaw) gets hurt, this is his game," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. "He's now our quarterback. It's what we gotta do to see if we can get something going."
Starting the transition phase against Kentucky is a good thing:
South Carolina 35, Kentucky 17.
Boston College (1-4, 0-2) at No. 8 Clemson (5-0, 2-0)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM: RAYCOM SPORTS NETWORK
Clemson has cracked the top ten, and the Tigers will host 1-4 Boston College Saturday afternoon after rubbing Howard's Rock in Death Valley. The Tigers have struggled against Boston College's defense in the last two meetings between these teams; Clemson has scored just two touchdowns in the last two seasons and neither of those have been scored by the offense.
This year, the Tigers are a different breed:
Clemson 31, Boston College 10.
No. 17 Florida (4-1, 2-1) at No. 1 LSU (5-0, 2-0)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM: CBS
Alabama's defense held Florida to just 15 rushing yards last week in the Swamp en route to a 38-10 walloping of the Gators. The loss knocked Florida all the way down to 17th in the AP Poll, and the Gators will be playing this week without starting quarterback John Brantley. Brantley was injured during the second quarter against the Tide and didn't return to the game. Freshman Jeff Driskel took over and struggled to lead the Gators against Alabama, and he'll be under center again this week in Baton Rouge against the nation's No. 9 defense.
LSU 31, Florida 17.
Air Force (3-1, 0-1) at Notre Dame (3-2)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM: NBC
Notre Dame has won 11 of its last 13 meetings with Air Force, but the Falcons took the most recent meeting in 2007 -- a 41-24 victory over the Irish in Notre Dame Stadium. Except for a four-game losing streak against the Falcons from 1982-1985, the Irish have won 22 of the 24 series meetings with Air Force.
Good news for the Irish? The Falcons have only forced three turnovers in four games:
Notre Dame 31, Air Force 21.
Vanderbilt (3-1, 1-1) at No. 2 Alabama (5-0, 2-0)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 6 PM: ESPNU
I would predict Alabama to put up 70 in this game, but the starters will be taken out most likely before the midway point in the second quarter. Alabama looks like a different breed out there on the football field in 2011 (especially on defense) and won't be challenged by anyone else this regular season except for LSU, and of course the wildcard-- at Auburn.
Vandy stands no chance:
Alabama 38, Vanderbilt 7.
***TUCKER'S PICK 'EM GAME OF THE WEEK***
No. 15 Auburn (4-1, 2-0) at No. 10 Arkansas (4-1, 0-1)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 6 PM: ESPN
The Tigers make their ninth trip to Fayetteville, where they hold a 5-3 edge over the Razorbacks. Auburn has also won three of the last four in Fayetteville, but the Razorbacks have won three of the last four in the overall series. The lone loss for the Razorbacks in this series since 2006 came in last year's 65-43 thriller in Auburn. The Tiger defense looked to be back to life last week against South Carolina, but defending the pass for Auburn doesn't seem as simple as stopping the run up the middle. Arkansas leads the SEC in passing, while Auburn ranks last in the league in defending the pass.
I picked against the Cardiac Cats last week and was proven wrong. Will they fool me twice? Who knows:
Arkansas 35, Auburn 31.
Troy (2-2, 1-0) at Louisiana-Lafayette (4-1, 2-0)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 6 PM: TROY ISP SPORTS NETWORK
The Ragin' Cajuns, under first-year head coach Mark Hudspeth (who was UNA's head coach from 2002-2008 before holding the Mississippi State Offensive Coordinator job in 2009-2010), are off to their best start since 1988 with a 4-1 record as they head into Saturday's clash with Sun Belt powerhouse Troy at Cajun Field. The Trojans barely escaped winless UAB last weekend at Veterans' Memorial Stadium in Troy, but perhaps the closeness can be exhibited to it having been a rivalry game.
Troy moves to 2-0 in the league and continues its quest for six straight Sun Belt Conference championships:
Troy 31, Louisiana-Lafayette 27.
Georgia (3-2, 2-1) at Tennessee (3-1, 0-1)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 6 PM: ESPN2
With Florida's loss to Alabama last week and South Carolina's loss to Auburn, the Georgia Bulldogs are alive and well in the SEC East Division race. This is good news for coach Mark Richt; an appearance in the SEC Championship Game in December could go a long way in deciding the coach's future in Athens.
If the Bulldogs beat Tennessee Saturday, you can pretty much count out the Vols as threats to win the division:
Georgia 30, Tennessee 27.
Tucker Sargent is a senior at Troy University in his home state of Alabama. "Tucker's Pick 'Em" started in 2009 on Facebook, with 10 games of interest being picked each week. Opinions are not meant to offend anyone. Visit Tucker's blog or follow him on Twitter here.