Last week was a tough one because I believed Duke could beat North Carolina, Oklahoma could beat Nebraska, Notre Dame could beat Navy (what was I thinking there?) and Penn State could beat Ohio State.
That puts us at 73-27 for the season. We’ll try to do better this week as we get on the Fearless Friday Forecast:
1. Georgia Tech at Duke: Georgia Tech should be able to go up to Wallace Wade Stadium and take care of business and clinch the ACC Coastal. The Duke defense is banged up and I don’t see the Blue Devils stopping the Jackets at any point in this game. But the Yellow Jackets could stop themselves. If Tech lays the ball on the ground, this one could get a little scary. Georgia Tech 38, Duke 24.
2. Auburn at Georgia: Georgia gets back to basics behind running back Washaun Ealey, who looks more and more like the answer at tailback. The Bulldogs control the ball and limit the possessions of the Auburn offense. If Georgia can’t run the ball against the SEC’s No. 10 rushing defense, then the Bulldogs are in big trouble. Georgia 24, Auburn 17.
3. Alabama at Mississippi State: Mississippi State played LSU and Florida to the wire at home and should have some confidence as the nation’s No. 2 team comes to Starkville. Alabama is coming off a tough, physical game against LSU and might be a little flat. Still, Alabama’s defense is just too good and forces Mississippi State into three or more turnovers. Alabama 28, Mississippi State 9.
4. Florida at South Carolina: Steve Spurrier says he’s going to start calling the ball plays again and so the Gamecocks might keep this close for a while. But Florida’s defense is going to light up Stephen Garcia. Don’t be surprised if the Gators get at least three interceptions. Florida wins ugly (again) and moves to 10-0. Florida 28, South Carolina 17.
5. Tennessee at Ole Miss: It’s hard to say what effect, if any, Thursday’s arrests will have on team. These things either bring a team closer together or causes it to splinter. The timing could not be worse. I think Tennessee still wins because Monte Kiffin’s defense is so good and will continue to frustrate Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead. It also helps that the light has finally come on for Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton. Tennessee 17, Ole Miss 14.
6. Florida State at Wake Forest: The Seminoles (4-5) will be without quarterback Christian Ponder, who suffered a separated shoulder in last week’s loss to Clemson and is out for the rest of the season. Redshirt freshman E.J. Manuel will get this first career start against the Deacons, who have beaten Florida State three straight times. Make it four. Of Wake Forest’s six losses, five have been by three points or less. The Deacons are due to win a close game. Wake Forest 28, Florida State 27.
7. Utah at TCU: TCU (9-0) is ranked No. 4 in the BCS and needs to keep winning to stay in the national championship discussion. TCU has a veteran quarterback in Andy Dalton, who has led the Horned Frogs to over 500 yards in their last two games. Utah will start a true freshman quarterback in Jordan Wynn. TCU has the nation’s No. 3 defense. The numbers don’t add up for Utah. TCU 24, Utah 14.
8. Iowa at Ohio State: Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi was lost for the season in last week’s 17-10 loss to Northwestern. So freshman James Vandenberg will get his first career start before 105,000 at Ohio State’s famed Horseshoe. Win the game and Iowa goes to the Rose Bowl. Ohio State (8-2) must beat Iowa and Michigan to go to Pasadena. Iowa is very good on defense but I have go with the Buckeyes. Ohio State 17, Iowa 13.
9. Notre Dame at Pittsburgh: Notre Dame lost to Navy last week for the second time in three years. Charlie Weis says it’s not about him, it’s about Pittsburgh. Actually, Charlie, it’s all about you at this point. Notre Dame falls to 6-4 and speculation begins. Yes, Urban Meyer, that will include you. Pittsburgh 31, Notre Dame 21.
10. Stanford at Southern California: Stanford RB Toby Gerhart just plowed through Oregon last week for a school record 223 yards and three touchdowns. Remember that this is the USC defense that gave up 394 yards rushing to Oregon on Oct. 31. It is tempting to pick Stanford but USC knows it has to keep winning to keep its hopes alive for a BCS bowl. Southern California 28, Stanford 21.
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