The Stanford-USC matchup last week sure lived up to its hype—and its billing as the Tucker's Pick 'Em Game of the Week for Week 9—as the Cardinal edged the Trojans 56-48 in a triple-overtime game in legendary Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Back in Sweet Home Alabama, Auburn took care of business against an Ole Miss team that will likely soon be on the prowl for a Houston Nutt-y replacement, winning 41-23 to improve to 6-3 overall (4-2 SEC) on the season.
OK, let's get down to what you all have been waiting for.
It's LSU and Alabama, the first ever matchup of a No. 1 and No. 2 in the regular season for the SEC. These kinds of meetings are the ones that go down in the history books. The winner most likely has a ticket to the BCS National Championship Game, while the loser might still end up in a BCS bowl—and even a rematch in the BCS National Championship Game is well, technically, still possible. Set your DVRs. Here comes a game for the ages.
Here goes Week 10:
ALL RANKINGS REFLECT LATEST BCS POLL AND ALL TIMES ARE LISTED IN CST
College (9-2 last week; 79-18 this season)
Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4) at Florida (4-4, 2-4)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.: SEC NETWORK
Florida's struggling passing attack hosts the upstart Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday in The Swamp. The 'Dores feature stud defensive back Casey Hayward, who was announced today as one of 15 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which recognizes the top defensive back in the nation.
His 13 career interceptions are the most of any Vanderbilt DB since Leonard Coleman picked off 15 between 1980-1983, and with at least four games left, he could easily break that record.
But when it comes to this one, The Swamp will just be too tough for Vandy:
Florida 28, Vanderbilt 17.
Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2) at No. 6 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: ABC
The Aggies had their three-game winning streak snapped last week in a 38-31 overtime loss to fellow future SEC member Missouri. A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill did just fine against the Tigers, throwing for 317 yards on the day, along with a 104-yard day on the ground by tailback Christine Michael, but the Aggies struggled to hang on to the ball.
They turned it over three times and their defense couldn't keep up with Mizzou.
If they can't keep up with Mizzou, well:
Oklahoma 42, Texas A&M 28.
Ole Miss (2-6, 0-5) at Kentucky (3-5, 0-4)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: ESPNU
Both teams look for their first SEC win of 2011 in Lexington's Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday. Kentucky is unsure who will start at quarterback for Saturday's game, as Morgan Newton, the starter all season, has struggled, completing only 47 percent of his passes.
The team's backup, Max Smith, is a freshman, but he completed 26-33 passes for 174 yards last week in the 'Cats loss to Mississippi State.
Ole Miss, on the other hand, has been terrible all season, but their rushing attack shined last week at Auburn, which could mean good news for the Rebels—Kentucky ranks 11th in the SEC in run defense.
In a sloppy showdown, Houston Nutt confuses the 'Cats:
Ole Miss 24, Kentucky 20.
Army (3-5) at Air Force (4-4, 1-3 Mountain West)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: CBS
This game might not look entertaining, but if you peer in just a bit closer, you'll find that it features two of the nation's best rushing teams. Army leads the nation with an average of 369 rushing yards per game, while Air Force is third at 326.9 yards per game. If you like rushing attacks, this one's for you.
Falcons soar (but not through the air):
Air Force 36, Army 22.
Troy (2-5, 1-3 Sun Belt) at Navy (2-6)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.: CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK
For the first time in school history, Troy will play one of the U.S. Military Academies on Saturday when the Trojans travel to Annapolis, Md., to take on the Navy Midshipmen. The only other time Troy visited Maryland was a trip to forget—the Trojans fell to the Maryland Terrapins 47-14 in 2001 in Troy's first season in the FBS.
If it were any season but this one, I'd pick Troy to win:
Navy 38, Troy 28.
No. 9 South Carolina (7-1, 5-1) at No. 7 Arkansas (7-1, 3-1)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 6:15 p.m.: ESPN
Arkansas hosts South Carolina for homecoming in Fayetteville on Saturday in a Top 10 showdown on which plenty is riding. If Arkansas knocks off the Gamecocks, Georgia will need the 'Cocks to lose just one more time (and win out themselves) and they'll be in the SEC Championship Game in December.
The Razorbacks haven't lost at home this season (3-0) and are 7-1 for just the third time since joining the league in 1992.
South Carolina's defense is out of this world, but the 'Cocks won't score enough to beat Arky:
Arkansas 28, South Carolina 21.
***TUCKER'S PICK 'EM GAME OF THE WEEK***
No. 1 LSU (8-0, 5-0) at No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0) **COLLEGE GAMEDAY**
Sat., Nov. 5, 2011 at 7 p.m.: CBS
It's the 75th all-time meeting between LSU and Alabama, and it's probably the most important one of them all. No. 1 LSU visits No. 2 Alabama for an SEC West showdown that will decide who goes to Atlanta for December's SEC Championship Game, and it will also likely determine who plays for the crystal ball in the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans in January.
Expect LSU to get out to an early lead—Nick Saban's bunch has struggled in games all season until the third quarter—and force the Tide to make some things happen on offense. It should be close at the break, but Alabama will bust it open after halftime, using its home-field advantage to steal the lead away from LSU. And after that point, it won't be easy for the Tigers to get it back.
The Crimson Tide has outscored its opponents 243-25 in the third quarter this season, and in the past six games, that disparity swells to 196-10:
Alabama 24, LSU 23.
No. 14 Kansas State (7-1, 4-1) at No. 3 Oklahoma State (8-0, 5-0)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ABC
Kansas State dropped its first game last week to Oklahoma in a blowout loss that at first looked like it could be a barn burner. Who made the schedule for Kansas State this season? Now they must turn around and travel to Stillwater to face the No. 3 Cowboys of Oklahoma State, who have yet to lose this season.
The 'Pokes are continuing their offensive domination of teams week by week, and Kansas State's defense won't be able to stop them either.
Cowboys win easily and slide into the No. 2 spot in the BCS standings:
Oklahoma State 47, Kansas State 28.
Notre Dame (5-3) at Wake Forest (5-3, 4-2 ACC)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 7 p.m.: ABC/ESPN2
Wake Forest hosts Notre Dame in a non-conference battle that should still mean a lot to the Demon Deacons and their fans Saturday night in Wake Forest. Notre Dame is riding another inconsistent season, but they railed Navy last week in South Bend, 56-14.
Wake Forest opened the season by winning four of its first five games, but the Deacons have now lost two of their last three.
Notre Dame 34, Wake Forest 24.
No. 8 Oregon (7-1, 5-0) at Washington (6-2, 4-1)
Nov. 5, 2011 at 9:30 PM: FSN
Washington is enjoying a 6-2 season in sleepy Seattle, and they've won four of their last five. The only loss for the Huskies during that stretch was— you guessed it—at Stanford.
The Cardinal ripped Washington 65-21 on Oct. 22, but the Huskies bounced back last week with a 42-31 late-night win against Arizona. Oregon escaped Washington State last week at home, 43-28, and they'll look for the Washington sweep Saturday.
Ducks remain undefeated in Pac-12 play:
Oregon 43, Washington 30.
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.
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