Made a couple of mistakes last week when I thought Ole Miss had figured things out and would beat Auburn and that Kentucky would win at home against Mississippi State. That gave us a record of 8-2 on the week and 67-23 on the season.
So let’s get on with the Fearless Friday Forecast for the first Saturday in November:
1. Wake Forest at Georgia Tech: It’s tough for any team to get ready to play Georgia Tech in just four days. Deacons’ quarterback Riley Skinner (concussion) was cleared to play on Friday which gives them a chance to control the football and keep the Tech offense off the field. Still, Georgia Tech is a hot team that is at the top of its game. Jackets take one step closer to the ACC championship game in Tampa. Georgia Tech 31, Wake Forest 17.
2. Tennessee Tech at Georgia: It has not been a fun week to be a Bulldog. Coach Mark Richt has decided to stick with quarterback Joe Cox for a stretch drive that also includes Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech. This game has to help Cox with his confidence, which can’t be very high right now. Georgia 42, Tennessee Tech 13.
3. LSU at Alabama: No question in my mind that LSU has a shot here because the Tigers have the athletes to match up with the No. 3 Crimson Tide. Both teams will use the same defensive game plan: Stop the run and force the quarterback to make plays. But I think the Alabama defensive front is better and can put more pressure on LSU’s Jordan Jefferson. LSU has to take some chances and throw the ball down the field. Alabama will intercept at least two passes and win a tough, vintage SEC game. Alabama 17, LSU 13.
4. South Carolina at Arkansas: The Head Ball Coach at South Carolina (6-3) really could use this game. After last week’s loss to Tennessee, where the Gamecocks gave away too many points with turnovers, Steve Spurrier is facing the real possibility of a very tough finish. South Carolina hosts No. 1 Florida next week and finishes with Clemson in Columbia. I just think Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett is playing better right now than Stephen Garcia. The Hogs win at home. Arkansas 24, South Carolina 17.
5. Vanderbilt at Florida: We know Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes will sit out this game. Today we should find out if head coach Urban Meyer will be joining him for his comments about officiating. If Meyer sits it will give defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, who should have been a head coach long ago, to improve his head coaching record to 1-1. Strong was the interim coach in the 2004 Chick-fil-A Bowl after Ron Zook was fired. Florida lost to Miami. Gators roll and get ready to go to Columbia. Florida 42, Vanderbilt 6.
6. Florida State at Clemson: This one is basically an elimination game in the ACC Atlantic. Clemson has played well the past three weeks thanks to the big plays by C.J. Spiller. Florida State QB Christian Ponder has been a warrior, keeping the Seminoles in the game while the defense struggles. I’m giving the edge to Clemson at home. Clemson 38, Florida State 35.
7. Duke at North Carolina: Duke (5-3) still needs two wins to become bowl eligible because the Blue Devils played Division II team N.C. Central. But more importantly, they need another ACC win to set up next week’s Coastal Division showdown with Georgia Tech. David Cutcliffe has significantly improved the program in less than two years. Beating the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill would be his signature victory to date. This week’s upset special. Duke 31, North Carolina 30.
8. Ohio State at Penn State: Ohio State (7-2) can still go to the Rose Bowl if the Buckeyes can win their final three games against Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan. But the Buckeyes still have an issue with sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor. He is a wonderful athlete who has yet to learn how to play the position. Pryor, a Pennsylvania native, will not have a good Homecoming. Penn State 20, Ohio State 10.
9. Oklahoma at Nebraska: Remember when we used to look forward to this game? After losing three games by a total of five points to BYU, Miami, and Texas, and losing its Heisman Trophy quarterback (Sam Bradford) to injury, Oklahoma (5-3) wants to finish 9-3 and go to the Cotton Bowl. Nebraska is struggling on offense, big time. Both have great defenses but Oklahoma has more guys who can make plays. Oklahoma 24, Nebraska 20.
10. Navy at Notre Dame: I’m not a big believer in the Irish (6-2), who can still go to a BCS bowl if they finish 10-2. Navy is finally healthy and will get quarterback Ricky Dobbs (16 TD rushing) back for this game. It is tempting to go with the Middies but I believe Jimmy Clausen will be able to throw the ball on the Navy defense. Notre Dame 31, Navy 21.
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