Posted on: September 27, 2011 3:13 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Running down everything you need to know from the current news in the SEC, courtesy of our CBSSports.com RapidReporters (and others).
AUBURN. After last week's decidedly ho-hum display against FAU, it's safe to say the Tigers will need every offensive weapon they can get facing South Carolina this Saturday in Columbia. But one weapon they won't have is redshirt freshman receiver Trovon Reed, who Gene Chizik said yesterday was doubtful for the game with a shoulder injury suffered vs. the Owls. He then confirmed today that Reed will not play against the Gamecocks. Reed has collected 13 receptions so far this season for 91 yards, making him Auburn's second-most productive receiver to date.
The matchup against Carolina will be broadcast on CBS at 3:30 ET Saturday. The Tigers will likely stick with the simplified cover 2 defensive schemes that led to (somewhat) better results against FAU. The inexperienced Tiger offensive line doesn't have its chemistry perfected yet, says senior guard Jared Cooper--potentially a major issue confronting the Gamecocks' beastly defensive line.
ALABAMA. The Tigers' cross-state rivals have their own injury worry with linebacker C.J. Mosley "questionable" for the Tide's showdown with Florida (8 p.m. ET Saturday, also on CBS). Nick Saban said Mosley would be replaced by committee, with Dont'a Hightower adding that no one would be "the equivalent" of Mosley, but that he has confidence in the Tide's linebacking depth.
The game is a homecoming of sorts for Florida native Trent Richardson, whose high school team's nickname was the Gators. Richardson said he raced against Gator speedster Jeff Demps in high school. "For the first 40 meters we were going at it. After that, it wasn’t a race. I think after 80 meters he was 10 meters, maybe 20 meters in front of me," he said.
FLORIDA. The story of the Gators' season so far has been the revitalization of the Jeff Demps-Chris Rainey tag team, but Will Muschamp says there's still more to see. "They’re going to touch the ball," Muschamp said Monday. "The touches we get them could be different and not as conventional as we’ve seen." But Muschamp said that despite those tweaks, the strength of Alabama's run defense meant John Brantley would throw the ball more often as well.
Muschamp said he knows former mentor Saban well--but that it won't help the Gators' preparation, since Saban knows him just as well.
GEORGIA. Bulldog center Ben Jones clipped Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox during the two teams' 2010 meeting, and revealed in advance of this week's rematch that he felt poorly enough about it to write Cox a letter of apology. "I felt bad when I got home," Jones said. "I was like, `Man, that’s wrong.’ "
On the Dawg injury front, linebacker Christian Robinson could return from the foot injury that's kept him out the past two weeks, but lineman Chris Burnette may be out longer than initially thought with his knee injury.
ELSEWHERE: Arkansas senior corner Isaac Madison left the Alabama game with a minor injury, but will return against Texas A&M. Fellow senior defensive back Tramain Thomas also left the game, but for reasons Bobby Petrino said were performance-related ... Despite his strong start to his career (team-high four sacks, five tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles), Jadeveon Clowney still won't start just yet. Melvin Ingram (the SEC's reigning Defensive Player of the Week ) and Devin Taylor remain the team's bookend DEs in their base defense ...
Tennessee all-purpose back Raijon Neal will focus on the wide receiver position for now ... Injured Vol teammate Herman Lathers was able to jog for 20 minutes at practice Monday. The veteran linebacker is working his way back from breaking his ankle in the spring ... While acknowledging that Texas A&M's move to the SEC was "great for the Southeastern Conference and great for us," Les Miles also added that he found the splintering of the Big 12 "inconceivable." "It's hard for me to figure this," he said. "You're taking the traditional rivalries and throwing them out the window" ... None of the four players who left the West Virginia game with injuries have been ruled out of this Saturday's game against Kentucky ...
Mississippi State is reshuffling its offensive line in advance of their trip to Georgia, with former left tackle James Carmon working at right guard after his recent MCL injury ... Last year, Ole Miss ran for more yards in one game against this week's opponent -- Fresno State -- than they have this year in all four games combined ... One bright spot for Kentucky as they get ready for their trip to Death Valley: senior defensive tackle Mark Crawford will return from a four-game suspension.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Ben Jones, Bobby Petrino, C.J. Mosley, Chris Rainey, Christian Robinson, Devin Taylor, Dont'a Hightower, FAU, Fletcher Cox, Florida, Fresno State, Geen Chizik, Georgia, Herman Lathers, Isaac Madison, Jadeveon Clowney, James Carmon, Jared Cooper, Jeff Demps, Jerry Hinnen, John Brantley, Kentucky, Les Miles, LSU, Melvin Ingram, Mississippi State, Nick Saban, Ole Miss, Raijon Neal, SEC, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Tramain Thomas, Trent Richardson, Trovon Reed, West Virginia, Will Muschamp
Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:36 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
With star running back Knile Davis out for the season, star defensive end Jake Bequette missing the Alabama game with a hamstring issue, and multiple receivers at less than 100 percent, Bobby Petrino no doubt felt his team had already endured enough terrible luck with injuries to last the the season ... and that was before they took the field against the Tide.
But that didn't stop the Razorbacks from enduring yet another major injury blow when starting defensive end Tenarius Wright left Saturday's loss gently holding his left arm. Per Arkansas RapidReporter Jimmy Carter, Petrino confirmed Monday what may had already suspected: Wright has broken the arm and will be out four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery Sunday. Wright had 10 tackles on the year to-date, one for loss.
The loss would be significant even if everyone else was healthy; a third-team preseason All-SEC selection, multi-year starter, and collector of six sacks a year ago, Wright was already a key member of the Hog front seven before Bequette went down at the other starting end position. But with Bequette out and backups in at both end positions, it wasn't surprising that the line was largely helpelss against the powerful Tide ground game, giving up more than 5 yards a carry.
With Texas A&M's one-two punch of Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray on the docket this week, getting Bequette back would be huge. Petrino said the senior ran with the team at Sunday night's practice and could be back in uniform for Saturday.
But if he's not, a defensive line that's already hurting will be hurting even more thanks to Wright's absence. If any Razorback fans out there have any protective juju for the remaining starters on the line -- tackles Dequinta Jones and Byran Jones, and end Chris Smith -- now would be the time to use it.
Posted on: September 25, 2011 4:06 am
Edited on: September 25, 2011 4:11 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
1. LSU and Alabama are the SEC's No. 1 and No. 2, or No. 2 and No. 1, and no one else is close. Yes: Arkansas could recover from today's beatdown in Tuscaloosa and still head to Baton Rouge at the end of the year with a chance to sneak off with the West title. Yes: South Carolina has the league's best player in Marcus Lattimore and more than enough weapons on both sides of the ball to beat anyone, LSU and 'Bama included, if Stephen Garcia's head is screwed on correctly. Yes: with Charlie Weis rediscovering the Gators' lost running attack behind Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, Florida looks like the most dangerous team in the East and could do anything in the Atlanta one-off.
But until one of those teams actually beats one of the two Goliaths currently standing atop the conference, we're going to assume the gap between LSU and Alabama and the rest of the conference is even wider than it was purported to be at season's beginning. In fact, this blogger would argue these are the two teams that belong atop the polls as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation.
Why? LSU has the best overall body of work of any team in the FBS, having beaten three ranked teams away from the friendly confines of Death Valley. And if Mississippi State doesn't look like they're going to live up to their preseason ranking, beating Oregon and West Virginia by a combined 39 points (and largely throttling a Duck offense that's rolled in its usual fashion ever since) should only look better as the season progresses.
But if LSU has the best body of work, it's Alabama that after Saturday has the single most impressive performance of the season. Not many SEC fans have doubts about Arkansas's offensive personnel (running back excepted), and even fewer would question Bobby Petrino's offensive scheming. But the Tide made the Hog attack look utterly ordinary, all while showing off the kind of explosiveness in the offensive backfield (hi, Trent Richardson!) and special teams (hey, Marquis Maze!) that should give them all the scoring firepower they'll need. If Arkansas goes on to be the top-15 team they've been supposed to be this offseason -- and we don't see any reason to doubt them yet -- then drubbing that top-15 team by 24 points that felt like 44 makes for the best single-game showing of the year so far.
So ... which do you choose? The team that's flashed the highest ceiling, or the team with the best scalps on the wall? We don't know. And fortunately, we don't have to choose--their meeting on Nov. 5 (barring an upset between now and then) will choose for us. We just know that choosing any other SEC team at this point is denying the obvious.
2. Florida is the East favorite, and Stephen Garcia is the reason. It's not that the Gators wiped the floor with Kentucky, though their willingness to keep the pedal to the proverbial metal was impressive. (They do wipe the floor with the 'Cats every year, after all.) It's not that the Gamecocks' issues in the secondary can't be overcome -- after collecting a pair of key sack-and-strips against Vanderbilt, Jadeveon Clowney can apparently do a lot of the overcoming by himself -- or that the slow start for Alshon Jeffery can't become a fast finish if he gets better quarterbacking.
What it is is, well, that quarterbacking. Garcia didn't just throw four interceptions Saturday against the 'Dores; he threw four awful, braindead, hilarious, Steve Spurrier aneurysm-inducing interceptions. Vandy has an outstanding secondary, but when you run straight backwards on 3rd-and-15 and blindly launch a pass so aimless and floated even the Wounded Duck Association of America immediately asks to be disassociated from it (as Garcia did for his first), an outstanding secondary isn't necessary. Garcia was terrible, plain-and-simple, and frankly lucky he hadn't already been pulled by the time Connor Shaw entered in the fourth quarter.
South Carolina can do a lot of things even when Garcia is terrible. They can do even more if he's hovering around "passable." (Like beat Georgia, for instance.) But they can't win the East if he's not playing somewhere near the top of his game, and judging by Saturday's performance, the top of his game is far, far away from him.
3. The SEC West might not be quite that brutal. Is it still the roughest, toughest division in college football? Probably. But part of its preseason reputation was due to the presence of both Auburn and Mississippi State in the preseason polls, and right now neither squad is playing like they deserve so much as a spot at the bottom of the "Also Receiving Votes" barrel.
The Bulldogs were supposed to lick their wounds this week against Louisiana Tech after crushing losses to Auburn and LSU. But the Bulldogs from Ruston nearly inflicted the biggest wound yet, tying the game at 20 on a late field goal and driving to the State 20 with under four minutes to play before a Garciaesque interception from true freshman QB Nick Isham ended the threat. Another pick would help MSU escape in overtime, despite Tech's 359-340 yardage advantage.
But at least hard-luck Tech had already taken Southern Miss and Houston to the wire. FAU hadn't scored a touchdown in their two games, losing to Florida and Michigan State by a combined score of 85-3. And yet the Owls found themselves down just 10-6 to Auburn at halftime and finished the game with just eight fewer yards. While most of the frustration from Auburn fans has been centered on the Tiger defense, this time it was the offense doing most of the struggling, as they finished with just 315 total yards (the second-lowest total of Gus Malzahn's tenure) and two offensive touchdowns.
Both teams will no doubt play much better games against competition they take more seriously, in weeks where they're not recovering from emotional losses. But even if they do, neither the Bulldogs nor Tigers currently look like a threat to any of the five teams at the top of either division.
4. Houston Nutt's odds of coaching in 2012 are now less than 50/50. A 27-13 home loss to Georgia isn't great no matter how you slice it. But the Rebels' performance was even more deflating than the scoreline suggests. The Dawgs outgained their hosts by nearly 300 yards (475 to 183), held them without a second-half point, and only kept them in the game via Blair Walsh's uncharacteristic three missed field goals. The Rebel passing game continued to be the sorest of sore spots, as Zack Stoudt and Randall Mackey combined to complete just 12 of their 30 passes for just 149 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. If not for an 82-yard punt return reverse for a touchdown pulled out of Nutt's bag, the Rebels likely would have finished in the single digits in scoring for a second straight week.
So maybe it looked better on the scoreboard than the 30-7 defeat at Vandy. But Ole Miss still didn't offer any reason to think they're not on their way to 1-7 (or worse) in the SEC.
Tags: Alabama, Alshon Jeffery, Arkansas, Auburn, Blair Walsh, Bobby Petrino, Charlie Weis, Chris Rainey, Connor Shaw, FAU, Florida, Georgia, Gus Malzahn, Houston, Houston Nutt, Jadeveon Clowney, Jeff Demps, Jerry Hinnen, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Marcus Lattimore, Marquis Maze, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nick Isham, Ole Miss, Oregon, Randall Mackey, SEC, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stephen Garcia, Steve Spurrier, Trent Richardson, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Zack Stoudt
Posted on: September 25, 2011 4:05 am
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Posted on: September 25, 2011 4:02 am
Edited on: September 25, 2011 4:15 am
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Posted on: September 23, 2011 2:46 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 2:54 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
In which we break down the SEC's biggest games. This week: Tide and Razorbacks.
AT STAKE: Oh, not much, just a continued place in the national championship discussion and a seat alongside LSU as one of the conference's two true favorites. And maybe even more for Arkansas, who despite their Sugar Bowl appearance from a year ago still aren't popularly recognized as a true heavy-hitter on the national stage. Beat Alabama at Alabama, and no one will deny Bobby Petrino's team their place at the "potential crystal-ball hoisters" table any longer.
WHEN ARKANSAS HAS THE BALL, THEY MUST: protect Tyler Wilson. Alabama's secondary is one of the most feared in the nation -- and rightly so -- but they have a dirty little secret: they can be beaten deep. Downfield threats like South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery, the Razorbacks' Jarius Wright, and Auburn's array of pump-and-go targets all found plenty of success against the Tide defensive backs last season, due somewhat in part to the inexperience in the unit but also to a pass rush that got to Stephen Garcia just one and Ryan Mallett twice.
All the Tide defensive backs from a year ago return, but then again, so do all the Hog wideouts (Wright included). If Wilson is given the same amount of time Mallett (at least in the first half) and Garcia were in 2010, he and Petrino will find the space to hit a handful of potentially game-deciding big plays down the field.
The key for the Tide will be making sure Wilson doesn't have the time in the pocket necessary to make those kinds of long-developing throws. And Nick Saban has to love their matchup at weakside tackle*, where true freshman Mitch Smothers will be making his first SEC start opposite none other than Courtney Upshaw, the Tide's most explosive pass rusher. If Smothers can hold his ground against Upshaw and the rest of the Hog line can pick up Saban's tricky, terrifying blitz packages, Wilson and the receivers should be able to do their bombing-run thing.
If not? If there are no big plays in the passing game? And the Hogs are required to instead methodically drive down the field, without Knile Davis, via precise execution and careful mistake-free football, against that Tide defense? Forget it.
WHEN ALABAMA HAS THE BALL, THEY MUST: Not. Turn. The. Ball. Over.
Not much has gone wrong for the Tide so far this season. The offensive line has had some hiccups, but nothing that can't be fixed; Trent Richardson's slow start isn't an issue with Eddie Lacy running rampant, and may be behind him after the North Texas bludgeoning anyway; aside from one early drive against Penn State, the defense has been as flawless as expected; and maybe most importantly, AJ McCarron-to-Marquis Maze has given the passing game something to hang its hat on. But there is one fly in the ointment, and that's the Tide's seven giveaways, a number that puts them among the nation's bottom 20 teams in that department.
Maybe even more worrying than the number itself is that it hasn't been one issue. McCarron and backup Phillip Sims have thrown two interceptions apiece. McCarron has also lost a fumble. Receiver DeAndrew White put the ball on the ground twice against Kent State. And though he hasn't lost a fumble yet this season, Lacy's ball security has reportedly been an issue limiting his playing time in the past. Solving the problem may not be as easy as just telling McCarron to not throw picks.
Still, the Tide's offensive job is simple: hang onto the ball, and eventually Richardson, Lacy and the line should eventually be able to bulldoze their way past the Jake Bequette-less Hog front seven. Turn it over -- especially in the Tide's own half, negating the Tide's ability to force the visitors into attempting home-run balls, as above -- and the Tide could find themselves in the kind of hole McCarron and the non-Maze receivers aren't yet ready to pass them out of.
WHAT ALABAMA CAN'T ACCOUNT FOR: Punt returner Joe Adams. Adams already has two highlight-reel punt returns for touchdown this season and the Tide have had some minor struggles in coverage, only allowing three returns but allowing those three to average nearly 10 yards. (Kick returns could be interesting, too; they've been a sore spot in the past for 'Bama, and Hog freshman Marquel Wade already has a touchdown this season, too.)
WHAT ARKANSAS CAN'T ACCOUNT FOR: The brilliance of Richardson (left) and Lacy. The last time Arkansas came to Tuscaloosa, the Hogs had gotten off to a steady start until Richardson turned what should have been a three-yard loss into a twisting, shifting, tackle-breaking 52-yard touchdown run. Final result: 35-7, Tide. If Richardson and his (equally?) capable backup can provide similar fireworks in this meeting -- and they looked primed to do just that against UNT -- there won't be anything Arkansas can do.
AND IN THE END: Arkansas gets two first-half touchdowns and carries a slim lead into the fourth quarter, but a slim lead against the Tide ground game isn't lead enough. Alabama 23, Arkansas 20.
*Arkansas is one of the few teams that doesn't have "left" and "right" tackles, preferring instead to employ weakside and strongside tackles that flip back-and-forth depending on the play and formation.
Tags: AJ McCarron, Alabama, Alshon Jeffery, Arkansas, Auburn, Bobby Petrino, Courtney Upshaw, DeAndrew White, Eddie Lacy, Jake Bequette, Jarius Wright, Jerry Hinnen, Joe Adams, Knile Davis, Marquis Maze, Mitch Smothers, Nick Saban, Phillip Sims, Ryan Mallett, SEC, South Carolina, Sugar Bowl, Trent Richardson, Tyler wilson
Posted on: September 22, 2011 8:21 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Over the summer we named Arkansas senior defensive end Jake Bequette to our CBSSports.com CFB 100, a list of the 100 most influential players, coaches, etc. of the 2011 season. Why? Because Bequette appeared to be the star player that could take the Razorback defense from "decent" to "potentially SEC-championship caliber."
But if the Hogs are going to take that step Saturday in their potentially season-defining showdown at Alabama, they'll have to do so without Bequette. Per Arkansas RapidReporter Jimmy Carter, Bobby Petrino announced Thursday that Bequette's nagging hamstring injury will prevent him from taking the field against the Tide.
“It’s really hard for him,” Petrino said. “He made huge improvement throughout the week, but didn’t quite get ready to practice. Hopefully he’ll be back next week.”
Starting in Bequette's place will be sophomore Chris Smith. The good news is that Smith has been one of the few bright spots for what's been a surprisingly tame Hog pass rush to date, having collected two of the team's three sacks and tying for the team lead in tackles-for-loss as well. Petrino expressed confidence in Smith's ability, lauding his "athleticism" and change-of-direction skills.
But that doesn't mean there's not plenty of bad news, too. The veteran Bequette would have likely been better-prepared for the raucous environment the Hogs are certain to face in Tuscaloosa; his strength and experience would have been a substantial boost against the Tide's powerful ground game; and no other lineman on the Razorback roster (Smith included) has Bequette's potential for a two-sack, four-TFL game-changing performance.
The news is, in short, a big blow. It doesn't doom the Hogs, either as an entire team or even just as a defense -- with Jerico Nelson and Jerry Franklin two of the SEC's better linebackers, the front seven still has some bite -- but winning on the road at Alabama is the sort of victory that doesn't usually happen without a good bit of good luck. Losing Bequette is entirely the opposite.
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:56 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Man vs. Woman vs. Machine is a feature that runs every Thursday afternoon. It is here that Tom Fornelli fights against the rising tide of female empowerment and technology to ensure that men everywhere can at least claim that college football is still theirs. He does this by picking a set of games against the spread against his girlfriend, Lynn, and his Playstation 3.
Woman, she is proving to be a tough nut to crack. After her dominance in Week 1 of MWM, I chalked it up to beginner's luck. Then when she had another strong performance in Week 2 I didn't mind that much because I had a better week. But then she went and had another winning week last weekend, which means she's yet to get more games wrong than right.
This is becoming somewhat worrisome. Sure, it's still early in the season, but I've had to deal with her walking around talking smack for those three weeks, and it starts to wear on you. Which is why I'm clinging to the fact that after getting 11 games right in the first week, she picked 7 correct the next week and 6 last week. That's a downward progression! There is hope!
Could this finally be the week where she suffers the pain of a losing week, and has to hear me boast all day and all night? God I hope so.
Michigan (-8 1/2) vs. San Diego State - Saturday 12pm (All times Eastern)Man - It's hard for me to truly predict what Michigan is going to do on any given weekend because I'm just not sure how serious Brady Hoke is about making Denard Robinson a passing quarterback. Yes, he makes some nice throws from time to time, but it's like buying a Ferrari and then only using it to go to the grocery store. That being said, I'll still take the Wolverines at home in this one. Pick: Michigan
Woman - "What better payback for the coach who deserted you than beating him up in his new house? Unfortunately, he's the same coach who personally recruited you and designed your playbook. Don Corleone > Sonny Corleone." Pick: Michigan
Machine - Machines do not experience human emotion, so The Machine has no concept of Brady Hoke calling off the dogs against his former players as the Wolverines roll 45-17. Pick: Michigan
Alabama (-12 1/2) vs. Arkansas - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks offense has had a nice start to the season, even without Knile Davis. Which makes that spread seem so very large, but at the same time, Arkansas hasn't faced a defense anywhere near the caliber of Alabama's. I'm not entirely comfortable with this pick, but I'll take the Tide defense at home and give up the points. Pick: Alabama
Woman - "The Tide rams and jams to a victory but Bobby Petrino's got a score to settle from last season, so I'll take the points. (Some stormy personalities. You may be want to watch this from the comfort of your root cellar.) " Pick: Arkansas
Machine - The Machine sees a big upset this weekend, as Arkansas comes into Tuscaloosa and takes down Nick Saban's squad 35-24. Pick: Arkansas
Texas A&M (-3 1/2) vs. Oklahoma State - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - This is one of the tougher games to figure out this weekend. You have a high-powered offense in Oklahoma State going against a Texas A&M offense that has been incredibly efficient so far this season. It's somewhat of a coin toss, and when that's the case, I have to go with the team I think has the better defense along with homefield advantage. Pick: Texas A&M
Woman - "First time in over 35 years that two top 10 teams meet at Kyle Field. Aggies coach Mike Sherman knows that revenge for an 0-3 record against OSU is best served red hot in front of 82,000 rabid fans." Pick: Texas A&M
Machine - The Machine has a lot of respect for Justin Blackmon and his tendency to destroy secondaries without remorse. Blackmon blows up for 189 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Cowboys say goodbye to Kyle Field and win 41-31. Pick: Oklahoma State
Clemson vs. Florida State (-3 1/2) - Saturday, 3:30pmMan - With the question mark surrounding E.J. Manuel's availability this week, along with Florida State's recent track record in Death Valley, I have a very hard time giving up points with the Seminoles this weekend. I have to go with Clemson. Pick: Clemson
Woman - "With FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel questionable (and a ground game that's even more questionable), I have to take home field advantage + residual Tiger swagger from last week's victory + points." Pick: Clemson
Machine - This game was simulated with Manuel playing for Florida State, and it didn't matter. Clemson wins big, 38-14. Pick: Clemson
South Carolina (-16 1/2) vs. Vanderbilt - Saturday, 7pmMan - Every part of me feels like I should pick South Carolina in this matchup because Marcus Lattimore is an absolute beast, and Vanderbilt is freaking Vanderbilt. But so far this year Vandy has looked pretty stout on defense, and the Gamecocks are giving up 33 points a game. Football gods help me, but I have to go with the Commodores. Pick: Vanderbilt
Woman - "Not sure how a team that's ranked 10th nationally in defense ends up with this spread.. Maybe it's a point for every three minutes Vandy's D is going to be on the field? Regardless, I'll take 'em." Pick: Vanderbilt
Machine - The Machine recognize machines, and it does not care about this new Vanderbilt. Lattimore runs for over 200 yards and the Gamecocks roll 45-17. Pick: South Carolina
Kentucky vs. Florida (-17 1/2) - Saturday, 7pmMan - Giving up that many points as a road team in an SEC conference game? That's insane, right? No, it's not because I've seen Kentucky play football this season, and insanity would be watching it again. Pick: Florida
Woman - "I hate these picks. Will Florida win by two touchdowns? Three? Ten? It's like playing roulette. C'mon, lucky 18, 19, 20..." Pick: Florida
Machine - Bloodbath in Lexington. Florida wins 54-10. Pick: Florida
Oklahoma (-21 1/2) vs. Missouri - Saturday, 8pmMan - This spread seems abnormally large to me given that Missouri isn't some doormat, and the Tigers did beat Oklahoma last season. That being said, I don't see a lot of the passes James Franklin completed against Arizona State a couple weeks ago finding their way to the hands of his receivers against this secondary. Plus I just don't see Oklahoma's offense struggling two weeks in a row. So I guess it's Boomer Sooner. Pick: Oklahoma
Woman - "Missouri, you and your bonnie Prince Gabbert kept Oklahoma from achieving its rightful place as heir to the BCS throne last season. Well, it's time for you to apologize." Pick: Oklahoma
Machine - The Machine doesn't think Oklahoma will have too much trouble with Missouri this week, but it does feel that spread is a bit ridiculous as Oklahoma wins 34-21. Pick: Missouri
West Virginia vs. LSU (-6 1/2) - Saturday, 8pmMan - Forget the actual game, I just wanna hang out with Les Miles and Dana Holgorsen for a night. You know that would be a good time. As for the game, though, I've seen what LSU's defense can do to high-powered offenses before, so I'm reauxling with the Tigers. Pick: LSU
Woman - "I'm gonna be honest with y'all. I don't care who it is, until the Tigers lose, I'm picking Les." Pick: LSU
Machine - West Virginia's offense will definitely struggle against LSU, but the Mountaineers keep it close in a 24-20 loss. Pick: West Virginia
Arizona vs. Oregon (-16 1/2) - Saturday, 10:15pmMan - I've seen Arizona play a few times already this season, and to be honest, I'm just not nearly as impressed with Nick Foles and the offense as I have been before this season. I just have a hard time believing that from what I've seen so far that this Wildcats offense can hang with Oregon for a full 60 minutes. Pick: Oregon
Woman - "Another year, another dogfight. Question is, will it be like the 2009 squeaker or the 2010 2nd half blowout? I'm picking Wildcats QB wonderboy Nick Foles to keep it close. Oregon wins but doesn't cover." Pick: Arizona
Machine - Yeah, The Machine is pretty sure you're going to want to stay up late and watch this one. It's going to be rather fun to watch. Oregon wins 45-42. Pick: Arizona
Arizona State (-2 1/2) vs. USC - Saturday, 10:15pmMan - I remember watching this game last season, and it was one of the crazier, more entertaining games of the year. USC eventually squeaked by with a 34-33 win, which was their 11th straight win over Arizona State. Five of those wins have come in Tempe, so as close as a lot of these games have been in recent years, until Arizona State proves to me that it can actually beat USC, I can't go any other way. Pick: USC
Woman - "Here's a sure bet: Most Silicone At Any Football Game This Season. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils haven't beaten the Trojans since 1999. I'll go with that streak." Pick: USC
Machine - The Machine does not see a game like the one we all witnessed last year, as the Trojans win rather easily 27-14. Pick: USC
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Blaine Gabbert, Bobby Petrino, Brady Hoke, Clemson, Dana Holgorsen, Denard Robinson, E.J. Manuel, Florida, Florida State, James Franklin, Justin Blackmon, Kentucky, Knile Davis, Les Miles, LSU, Man vs Woman vs Machine, Marcus Lattimore, Michigan, Mike Sherman, Missouri, Mountain West, MWC, Nick Foles, Nick Saban, Non-BCS, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-12, San Diego State, SEC, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Tom Fornelli, Tyler Wilson, USC, Vanderbilt, West Virginia