We only had two misses last week but they were pretty bad ones as Georgia missed its wakeup call for the game at Tennessee and Auburn’s undefeated record came crashing down at Arkansas. So that’s 8-2 on the week and 43-17 on the season which, incredibly, has reached the halfway point.
Man that was fast.
Let’s get on with the Fearless Friday Forecast for Oct. 16.
1. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech: Since getting thumped at Miami (33-17) on Sept. 17, Georgia Tech has done what well-coached teams do. They adjusted, executed a little better, and now they are getting ready to play one of the biggest home games in recent memory. This one comes down to the quarterbacks. If both Josh Nesbitt (Georgia Tech) and Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech) keep playing at their current level, this could be one for the ages. I’m giving the edge to the guy from Greene County, Mr. Nesbitt. Georgia Tech 24, Virginia Tech 21.
2. Georgia at Vanderbilt: Vandy has been a tough out for Georgia for the past few years. And the way the Bulldogs are playing now it looks like nothing is going to be easy. This looks like an ugly football game but Georgia has enough offense and the Commodores don’t throw it that well. Georgia 21, Vanderbilt 14.
3. Arkansas at Florida: Here is a stat to impress your friends this weekend. For all of its success, Florida has lost at least one game to an SEC West foe in each of the past 10 seasons. That’s right. Starting with the 1999 season, when Florida lost to Alabama twice (once at home and once in the SEC championship game), Florida has not gone a season without losing to at least one foe from the other division. Florida has already beaten LSU but has Arkansas coming to the Swamp on Saturday. The Gators win but this one is closer than a lot of people think. Florida 24, Arkansas 17.
4. South Carolina at Alabama: Alabama does a lot of things well on defense. But one of the things the Crimson Tide does particularly well is take quarterbacks out of their comfort zone. Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor, Arkansas’s Ryan Mallett, and Jevan Snead of Ole Miss combined for 32 of 89 passing (35.9 percent) against the Crimson Tide defense. Stephen Garcia, it is now your turn. Alabama 24, South Carolina 7.
5. Kentucky at Auburn: Under normal circumstances this would be a pretty good game but Kentucky will be without quarterback Mike Hartline, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The Wildcats may take the redshirt off Morgan Newton, their big-time freshman recruit. Auburn bounces back nicely from a bad game at Arkansas. Auburn 31, Kentucky 14.
6. Wake Forest at Clemson: Clemson has had a week off since a brutal 24-21 loss to Maryland. The Deacons beat that same Maryland team by 10 points last week. So it is tempting to go with the Deacons here. But the Tigers have too many athletes and get a slight edge for being at home. Clemson 21, Wake Forest 20.
7. Texas vs. Oklahoma (Dallas): Oklahoma is out of the national championship race with two losses, but with win in Dallas the Sooners sure would spoil the Longhorns’ hopes of winning it all. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is obviously healthy again after throwing it 49 times against Baylor last week. But Bradford still has issues on his offense line. Look for Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp to exploit that. Texas 28, Oklahoma 21.
8. USC at Notre Dame: I’ve had all kinds of people tell me that Notre Dame has a shot in this game. I just don’t see it. Granted, this is not a vintage USC team but the Trojans certainly have more athletes. Also, expect Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen to see more pressure than he has all season. Notre Dame is very fortunate to be 4-1. The Irish will not get to 5-1. USC 35, Notre Dame 17.
9. Iowa at Wisconsin: Iowa has won 10 straight games against Big Ten opponents but most of those wins have not been easy. That’s why the No. 11 Hawkeyes (6-0) are pretty fragile as they go to Wisconsin (5-1). Look for an ugly, defensive game. Iowa has forced 19 turnovers this season and that gives them the edge on the road. Iowa 17, Wisconsin 14.
10. Mississippi State at Middle Tennessee: This is a dangerous game for Mississippi State. This is the first SEC team ever to travel to Floyd Stadium, so the folks in Murfreesboro will be pretty excited. The Blue Raiders have a pretty good offense, which is being run by quarterback Dwight Dasher. He is averaging 315.4 yards of total offense per game. The MTSU defense has forced 14 turnovers this season. Turning the ball over has been real problem for Mississippi. State. This one will be close. Miss. State 24, MTSU 22.
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