Thursday November 22nd, 2007

Week 13 Pickoff
The one team to beat ASU this season, Oregon, did so by jumping to a lead so big (21-3) even Dennis Erickson's comeback kids (they've won five times after trailing by double digits) could not overcome. Unfortunately for the Trojans, they lack the offensive firepower to build that big a hole.
Arizona State 24, USC 20
Arkansas (7-4) at No. 1 LSU (10-1)
It wouldn't be an LSU game without some last-minute drama, so while the Razorbacks haven't fared well against the SEC's upper echelon this year (their three wins have come against foes with losing records), another huge day from Darren McFadden will take this one right down to the wire.
LSU 38, Arkansas 35
No. 13 Texas (9-2) at Texas A&M (6-5)
If this is indeed Dennis Franchione's A&M swan song, the game could go one of two ways. Either the upset-minded Aggies will play the game of their lives in one last show of support for their beloved coach ... or, as befitting his entire tenure, they'll look completely lost and outclassed.
Texas 40, Texas A&M 21
Man, am I kicking myself right now. Tuning in to the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, it suddenly dawned on me: I should be in Hawaii right now! I could have covered the hoops tourney, then covered this epic WAC showdown and still made it to Kansas City by Saturday night. Darn it!
Hawaii 41, Boise State 34
The Hokies have been season-long favorites to capture the ACC title, they need to win this game to make it happen and they're favored to do so. But have you followed the Cavaliers' season? The way that team seems to defy the odds week after week? Something just tells me this is their year.
Virginia 21, Virginia Tech 20
No. 19 Tennessee (8-3) at Kentucky (7-4)
Can a team with a pair of losses by the scores of 59-20 (Florida) and 41-17 (Alabama) really win the SEC East? The Vols have lived a charmed life, missing LSU and Auburn on their schedule, then pulling out miraculous wins over South Carolina and Vandy. Their good fortune ends here.
Kentucky 33, Tennessee 17
Utah (8-3) at BYU (8-2)
They call it The Holy War, and things tend to get pretty heated -- even in chess. Both teams enter this year's contest riding seven-game winning streaks, but only the Cougars have a chance to lock up a second straight Mountain West title in front of their home crowd. Max Hall, it's your show.
BYU 28, Utah 21
Of all the intriguing games on the Big East schedule prior to the season -- Louisville-West Virginia, Rutgers-Louisville, West Virginia-USF -- who would have guessed that the conference crown would come down to this showdown in Morgantown? Pat White, it's time to take care of business.
West Virginia 24, Connecticut 10
After six years of magical Emerald Bowl seasons and unforgettable losses to Duke, it appears longtime Mailbag fave Chan Gailey is staring at his own fourth-and-goal. Beating his archrival for the first time would certainly help his cause; unfortunately, Mark Richt's team is playing too well.
Georgia 34, Georgia Tech 23
No. 9 Oregon (8-2) at UCLA (5-5)
Amidst an otherwise disastrous season, Bruins DE Bruce Davis (9.5 sacks) has remained a shining star. Ducks QB Brady Leaf, taking over for the injured Dennis Dixon, seems like a sitting target for Davis' wrath. UCLA ruins Oregon's chances of returning to Pasadena next month.
UCLA 24, Oregon 21
The Sooners' loss at Texas Tech last week has opened a window of hope to both Cowboys and Longhorns fans of sneaking into the Big 12 title game. If there's one thing we know about Bob Stoops, it's that he may fall victim to the occasional road upset, but he doesn't do losing streaks.
Oklahoma 41, Oklahoma State 24
It wouldn't be FSU-Florida week without a little smack talk, which LB Geno Hayes provided when he recently proclaimed that, "Tim Tebow's going down." Classic 'Noles swagger. Too bad no one bothered to inform Hayes that it's not 1999 and that he plays for a team that lost to Wake Forest.
Florida 35, Florida State 27
Somebody's coach will be feeling the heat after this one. If Clemson falls to its rival for a second straight year, Tommy Bowden might as well clean out his office. And while Steve Spurrier's job is safe win or lose, some people might start asking why they're paying him all that money to go 6-6.
Clemson 27, South Carolina 24
It's come down to this for the two age-old rivals. Two prolific quarterbacks (Missouri's Chase Daniel, Kansas' Todd Reesing) duking it out under the lights of Arrowhead Stadium for a trip to San Antonio and, beyond that, a possible national title. Daniel has more weapons at his disposal.
Missouri 42, Kansas 38
Alabama (6-5) at No. 25 Auburn (7-4)
Over the past few weeks, Nick Saban's players have been beaten, humiliated and harshly rebuked. Before the collapse against LSU, the loss to Louisiana-Monroe and the unfortunate 9/11 analogies, the Tide were a highly competitive team. That's the team that will show up Saturday.
Upset Special:
Alabama 27, Auburn 24
Last week's record: 5-3. Season record: 60-36.

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