I went 7-3 last week because I picked Arkansas to beat Ole Miss, Miami to beat Clemson, and Boston College to upset Notre Dame. Still, your humble scribe is 59-21 for the season. So let’s close out the month of October with the Fearless Friday Forecast.
1. Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville): Florida is 7-0, ranked No. 1, but has a ton of questions about its offense. Tim Tebow is getting frustrated and last week against Mississippi State tried to make plays that simply weren’t there. But the Gators are due for a breakout game on offense and the defense will get LB Brandon Spikes back. Georgia has had a week off but it won’t be enough. Florida 27, Georgia 6.
2. Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt: Georgia Tech has won five straight and now has a chance to at least get into the BCS discussion if the Jackets can run the table and win the ACC championship game. When you’re 11th in the BCS, style points matter. Vanderbilt has a pretty good defense but it is hard to get ready for the Georgia Tech offense right in the middle of a rugged SEC schedule. Georgia Tech 35, Vanderbilt 10.
3. Ole Miss at Auburn: After stumbling against two good defenses from South Carolina and Alabama, Ole Miss is suddenly looking like a team that is capable of running the table. Dexter McCluster had 260 total yards on 29 touches in a win over Arkansas. Auburn (5-3) is struggling on offense after a 5-0 start. If QB Chris Todd, who has less than 100 yards passing in this last two games, doesn’t bounce back this one could get ugly. Ole Miss 31, Auburn 17.
4. South Carolina at Tennessee: Tennessee lost a very tough game at Alabama (12-10) last Saturday but showed some signs that things are heading in the right direction under Lane Kiffin. Quarterback Jonathan Crompton has completed 41 of 63 passes (65 percent) in his last two games. Montario Hardesty is becoming one of the best running backs in the country. This will be a very good game because the South Carolina defense is so good. But I’m giving the edge to the Vols at home. Tennessee 17, South Carolina 14.
5. Mississippi State at Kentucky: Head coach Rich Brooks and offensive coordinator Joker Phillips have done a masterful job since quarterback Mike Hartline was lost to an injury. The Wildcats now have a three-headed quarterback in Will Fiedler, freshman Morgan Newton, and versatile wide receiver Randall Cobb. Kentucky has scored 24 touchdowns his season and Cobb has nine of them. This kid is good. The Wildcats (4-3) are really beat up but I believe they get one step closer to their fourth straight Bowl. Kentucky 24, Miss. State 17.
6. Duke at Virginia: Duke (4-3) needs two wins in its final five games to qualify for its first bowl since 1994. The Blue Devils are 2-1 in the ACC thanks in large part to quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, the ACC’s No. 2 passer (1,972 yards, 14 TD), who had 371 yards last week against Maryland. Virginia, also 2-1 in the ACC, is trying to bounce back from a pretty good beat down by Georgia Tech. Let’s go with Duke in a mild upset. Duke 24, Virginia 23.
7. N.C. State at Florida State: Is anybody playing better than Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder? Ponder had one of the better games ever by a Florida State quarterback last week when he completed 33 of 40 passes for 395 yards in a 30-27 come from behind win at North Carolina. The Seminoles trailed 24-6 and Ponder had three touchdown passes in the second half. N.C. State has struggled on defense and will have a tough time handling Ponder. Florida State 42, N.C. State 17.
8. Texas at Oklahoma State: Texas has won 11 straight against Oklahoma State and four times since 2003 has had to rally from significant halftime deficits to win. After struggling on offense most of the season, the Longhorns and Colt McCoy looked pretty impressive last week in a 41-7 win over Missouri. Oklahoma State (6-1) will put up a good fight but Texas looks like a team ready to win out and play in the BCS championship game. Texas 31, Oklahoma State 21.
9. Kansas at Texas Tech: This is not the best time to play Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were embarrassed at home by Texas A&M 52-30 last week. Red Raiders coach Mike Leach not only ripped his players, but he insulted their girl friends (I’ll let you look it up). Kansas, you should know, is 1-10 all-time against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are having some quarterback issues but they should still win at home. Texas Tech 31, Kansas 28.
10. Southern California at Oregon: After Oregon lost the opener to Boise State, which included the infamous LeGarrette Blount punch, the program looked like it was in trouble. But first-year coach Chip Kelly stayed the course and right now the No. 10 Ducks (6-1) are playing as well anybody. Southern Cal (6-1) is No. 5 so this is basically a BCS elimination game. USC coach Pete Carroll, who always has his teams ready for the big games, is 4-3 against Oregon. Autzen Stadium is a tough place to play. On Halloween night it will be even more so. Oregon 24, USC 20.
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