The picks are in: Predictions on college games around the country this weekend

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 8, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala. — Though they aren't listed here, I'm already 1-1 with my picks this weekend.

Given that a pair of matchups between top-10 teams took place Thursday night, I couldn't not pick them, right? That's why I did so in Wednesday's live chat, correctly tabbing Stanford to beat Oregon for the second straight year but whiffing badly on Oklahoma/Baylor, as I thought the Sooners would be the team to end the Bears' unbeaten season. (If you're interested in actually seeing those picks, click here. Once there, head to the 4:05 mark.)

Much like last week, I'm only going to go into greater detail on my Auburn pick. Most of the rest of them will be me trying to sum up other matchups fairly quickly.

Let's get to pickin'! (And you should know the drill by now: The times listed below are Eastern. Schedule accordingly.)

Strictly SEC

Vanderbilt at Florida, Noon

The Gators should win, but it likely won't be easy — their offense rarely makes it so. And if they happen to lose this game?

Let's just say you wouldn't want to be Wil Muschamp next week.

Black picks: Gators 20, Commodores 17

No. 8 Missouri at Kentucky, Noon

Hmm, do you think Kentucky is going to ride the momentum from last week's victory over Alabama State — only its second win of the season — to a shocking upset of Missouri?

Yeah, me neither.

Black picks: Tigers 48, Wildcats 14

Arkansas at Ole Miss, 12:21 p.m.

Mississippi State at No. 15 Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.

Black picks: THE HOSTS

Other National Games of Some Renown

Kansas State at No. 25 Texas Tech, Noon

BYU at No. 24 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m.

No. 22 Arizona State at Utah, 4 p.m.

Virginia Tech at No. 11 Miami, 7 p.m.

Houston at No. 21 Central Florida, 7 p.m.

No. 23 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.

No. 19 UCLA at Arizona, 10 p.m.

Black picks: THE TEAMS WITH NUMBERS BESIDE THEIR NAMES

You can call me a "coward" if you want — and who knows, Pat Dye might — but I just don't see a lot of shakeup in the rankings this weekend. I'm not going to sit here and waste your time (and words) by trying to spin it otherwise.

Look at it this way: Now you're down to my next prediction (and the only one people really seem to remember each week, anyway) even quicker ...

The Game You Really Care About

No. 9 Auburn at Tennessee, Noon

The only thing the Tigers talked about during the week was how the Volunteers "were a different team" when playing at home. Which is true: Tennessee is 4-1 at Neyland Stadium and 0-4 in away games this season.

What Auburn's players and coaches neglected to mention whenever this tidbit was brought up is that all of those games except for last week versus Missouri came with Justin Worley at quarterback. His backup, Joshua Dobbs, is set to make his second career start, and asking him to be able to match points with the Tigers' offense is quite a demand.

Expect the Volunteers to hang around for at least a quarter or so before the Tigers' running game takes over and begins to wear down the hosts' defense.

Black picks: Tigers 38, Volunteers 10

GAME OF THE WEEK (Well, at least the one not played on Thursday)

No. 13 LSU at No. 1 Alabama, 8 p.m.

This game will be decided by which Zach Mettenberger shows up. If it's the one from the first six games of the season (15 touchdowns, two interceptions), LSU has a great shot to topple the nation's top-ranked team.

If the Mettenberger from the last two games (four touchdowns, five interceptions) makes an appearance, it shan't be pretty for the Bayou Bengals. (I think it'll be somewhere in-between.)

Black’s pick: Crimson Tide 38, Tigers 34

Last week: 11-4

This week: 1-1

Season: 113-39

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