Jones: Some conference title games on the line

Sports In Paradise By Dale Jones

The gridiron seashell did not let me down last week, as we were 13-2 missing only the Southern Miss game and the Baylor game. Otherwise, it was a good week, taking us to 128-37 on the season for a .776 winning percentage.

Most fans in our neck of the woods are focused on the big game next Friday, but there are a few good ones on the slate for tomorrow. Let’s take a look and see how things should pan out.

(#3) Boise State vs. Fresno – If you look at their record over the past several seasons, you will find that Fresno is terrible against ranked opponents. As a matter of fact, you would have to go back to 2004 to find a victory over then No. 18 Virginia in the MPC Computers Bowl. They did beat Boise at their place back in 1984, but since then, have lost by an average of 34.5 points when playing at Bronco Stadium. I’m not sure that they will lose by 34 this week, but they will lose. Boise State 28 – Fresno 21

(#6) Wisconsin at Michigan – Wisconsin is desperately trying to get to the Rose Bowl. They have five straight wins, however, they have lost the last five times they have played at Michigan Stadium. Michigan QB Denard Robinson is a threat both on the ground and through the air, but against one of the best defensive teams in the country, I’m leaning towards the Badgers. Wisconsin 42 – Michigan 17

(#12) Oklahoma St. vs. Kansas – Last week, the Cowboys ended a 12-year losing streak in their win against Texas. This week, they simply want to keep their chances of making it to the Big 12 title game alive. Brandon Weeden is has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns and Oklahoma State is averaging 547 yards per game. With only three wins on the season, this could be a long day for Kansas. Oklahoma St 38 – Kansas 13

(#9) Nebraska at (#18) Texas A&M – Nebraska is impressive on defense. Texas A&M is impressive on offense. My upset of the week last week was Baylor over A&M and I thought I had it nailed when Baylor went up 30-14. Not so. Led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Aggies came storming back for the win. Nebraska is allowing just over 140 yards per game passing and last week, gave up a total of only 87 yards to Kansas. This will be a fun game to watch, but lets give the nod to Nebraska. Nebraska 27 – Texas A&M 24

(#8) Ohio State at (#21) Iowa – There is quite a battle going on in the Big Ten between Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin. There is no room for a letdown on Saturday when the Buckeyes face off against Iowa. The Hawkeyes, at 7-3, are a good team and should put up a fight, but I don’t think Ohio State will allow them to get in their way of a sixth straight conference title. Ohio State 28 – Iowa 24

(#14) Virginia Tech at (#24) Miami (Fl) – It should not have worked out this way. Virginia Tech should not have dropped their first two ball games. But they did. Since that time, they have earned 8 straight W’s and a check in the win column this week will mean a trip to the ACC title game. This one, however, is on the road against a very good Miami team. The last time Tech traveled to Miami, they came away with a 16-14 loss. Miami, however, will be without starting QB Jacory Harris. Advantage Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech 27 – Miami 24

Tennessee vs. Vandy – Tennessee is bad. Vandy is worse. The Vols are just trying to find a way not to have a losing season. Good luck with that. Tennessee 23 – Vandy 21

(#17) South Carolina vs. Troy – Could this be the week for a letdown by the Gamecocks? Surely not! Spurrier and his boys secured their spot in the SEC Championship game last week with the big win over the Gators. If the Gamecocks play the way they did against then-No.1 Alabama earlier in the season, it could be a long afternoon for the Trojans, whose defense has a tendency to give up yards and points. South Carolina 48 – Troy 14

(#5) LSU vs. Ole Miss – Just how good is the SEC West? LSU, probably the best 1-loss team in the country doesn’t even get to play in the SEC Championship game. As of right now, there are five, count ‘em, FIVE SEC West teams in the Top 25. In all actuality, the SEC Championship game should probably be between two teams from the West, but I know, it doesn’t work that way. Should LSU win out, who knows what might happen before this season is over, so if they can win big against Ole Miss, believe me, they will do it. LSU 48 – Ole Miss 10

(#13) Arkansas at (#22) Mississippi State – Another good match up between two impressive SEC West teams. Ryan Mallett has NFL written all over his jersey. At 6-foot-6, the junior quarterback will likely pick apart the Bulldogs defense just as Greg McElroy and the Crimson Tide were able to do. The Bulldogs are having the best season they have had in a while, and their blue-collar style might keep this one close for three quarters, but look for the Razorbacks to pull away in the final chapter. Arkansas 41 – Mississippi State 27

Other Games:
(#15) Missouri 34 – Iowa State 14
(#20) Southern Cal 28 – Oregon State 17
(#7) Stanford 35 – California 21
UAB 24 – Memphis 14

Upset of the Week:
(#25) Utah at Sand Diego State – How quickly they fall. A couple of weeks ago, Utah was ranked No. 6 and undefeated. Now here they are ranked No. 25 after losses to TCU and Notre Dame. San Diego is playing good football, almost pulling off a big upset last week against the Horned Frogs. Although the Utes have won the last four times these two have faced off against each other, their offense is struggling and I think the home team might have just enough fire power to pull off the upset. San Diego 34 – Utah 31
—Dale Jones is a reporter / sports columnist for Gulf Coast Newspapers and a Member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association. You can reach Dale at

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  1. 1

    And who is auburn playing, oh…..thats right….they have taken te bye week for thier annual try at some form of a championship. They will be well rested for bds. It doesnt matter…..there is no way Saban lets them leave Bds without a physical beating, and then they sould be softened up for the cocks. Everybody knows Auburn men loves the cocks.

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