Friday November 5th, 2010

College Football Pickoff: Week 10
 
Saturday, Nov. 6
 
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS CS)No. 4 TCU (9-0) at No. 6 Utah (8-0)
And now I will commit a huge flip-flop. For weeks, I've pegged Utah over TCU in my forecasted BCS lineup due largely to the Utes' home-field advantage. But it's become clear this is not an even matchup. The Frogs, who allow just 8.7 points per game, lead the Utes in nearly every major statistical category despite having played a tougher schedule (56th vs. 96th on CollegeBCS.com).
 
3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)No. 5 Alabama (7-1) at No. 12 LSU (7-1)
It's been suggested that LSU matches up well with 'Bama due to the Tigers' shutdown cornerbacks. I don't see it. Alabama should be able to run the ball well enough with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson to set up opportunities for Greg McElroy to hit the tight end or slant receivers. The Tigers may slow down the Tide, but there's still that other problem: LSU can't score.
 
8 p.m. ET (ABC)No. 13 Arizona (7-1) at No. 10 Stanford (7-1)
Arizona may be more talented, but Mike Stoops' team constantly shoots itself in the foot. It outgains opponents by an average margin of 454-287 but ranks 85th nationally in red zone efficiency (Stanford: eighth) and 79th in penalties assessed (Stanford: 36th). The Cardinal will give up some yards in what should be a close game, but their offensive balance and overall discipline will prove the difference.
 
7 p.m. ET (ESPN)No. 17 Arkansas (6-2) at No. 18 South Carolina (6-2)
Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett will attack an already shaky South Carolina secondary that lost starting corner Chris Culliver to a season-ending injury. But Mallett lost someone too: top receiver Greg Childs. The Gamecocks rank second nationally in sacks and can get to Mallett in key situations to stall drives. On offense, Steve Spurrier figures to ride freshman RB Marcus Lattimore early and often.
 
12:30 p.m. ET (FSN)No. 22 Baylor (7-2) at No. 19 Oklahoma State (7-1)
I do love the Baylor story, and I hate to rain on the parade, but the Bears' four Big 12 wins have come against teams with a combined conference record of 4-14. (And they lost to 2-4 Texas Tech.) The Cowboys present a steep rise in competition, particularly for Baylor's 78th-ranked defense, which will have a tough time slowing down Oklahoma State stars Kendall Hunter and Justin Blackmon.
 
3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)Hawaii (7-2) at No. 2 Boise State (7-0)
Little known fact: Last week Hawaii became the first team to accept a bowl bid (to the Hawaii Bowl, of course). The Warriors' passing attack of Bryant Moniz, Greg Salas and Co. is too prolific for Boise to completely shut down. But look for the Broncos to pressure Moniz consistently and force some turnovers, while turning to their power running game to wear down Hawaii's defense.
 
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Northwestern (6-2) at Penn State (5-3)
Joe Paterno, 83, will be going for his 400th career victory. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, 35, will be going for his 33rd. The Nittany Lions' offense found its mojo the past two weeks against Minnesota and Michigan, but those are the Big Ten's worst defenses. The Wildcats will slow down the Lions' running game, and Northwestern QB (and Pennsylvania native) Dan Persa will put No. 400 on hold.
 
Noon (ESPNU)Maryland (6-2) at Miami (5-3)
With Jacory Harris sidelined, the 'Canes pulled freshman QB Stephen Morris' redshirt last week against Virginia. This week they'll also be without top RB Damien Berry. But if Morris can avoid mistakes and get the ball to playmakers Leonard Hankerson and Travis Benjamin, Miami should be able to survive a Terps team that ranks 90th nationally in total offense even after last week's 62-14 rout of Wake.
 
Noon (CBS CS)Air Force (5-4) at Army (5-3)
The Black Knights stand just one win from reaching their first bowl game since 1996. Rich Ellerson's team came close last season, taking a 5-6 record into the season-ending Navy game, and his second team is even more competitive. But Air Force has gotten much better too, and the Knights have beaten the Falcons just once since 1997. Win No. 6 will have to wait until next week's game at Kent State.
 
10:30 p.m. ET (FSN)Arizona State (4-4) at USC (5-3)
UPSET SPECIAL: USC put two weeks worth of energy and excitement into last week's showdown with No. 1 Oregon. The Trojans lost, 53-32. Now, motivation becomes an issue for a team with no postseason to play for. Conversely, Dennis Erickson's team is still fighting for its first bowl berth in three years. ASU nearly took down Wisconsin and Oregon State on the road and won at Washington.
 
Record Last Week: 7-3               Record This Season: 66-24
 

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