Editor’s note: Apologies for not getting Dale’s picks posted earlier in the week. It got lost in my email. As always have fun talking about picks and share your picks for the week.
Welcome to October, football fans – the time of year when the weather starts to cool off, but college football heats up.
There are some great SEC matchups this weekend that will be fun watch.
The No. 1 Tide takes a breather before hitting the road to Missouri and Tennessee, and Auburn is back in action against a pathetic Arkansas Razorback team.
Last week, I was 11 of 15, taking me to 55-20 on the season and keeping me at a .733 correct percentage.
As we saw this past week, and will continue to see throughout this month, surprises will happen, so expect the unexpected.
Here is what week six will look like:
UAB vs. Southeastern Louisiana
I am not sure which is worse – UAB’s 0-4 start, or the lack of support (in the form of attendance at home games) from the so-called UAB faithful. No offense, Blazer fans, but shutting down this bad football program and putting more money into the respectable hoops program still seems like a good idea to me. All of that being said, UAB will get win number one this Saturday, even if nobody shows up to watch. UAB 24 – Southeastern Louisiana 17
(15) Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets had a spurt of greatness in week 3 against Virginia, where they racked up 57 points and almost 600 yards of total offense. But after getting doubled up against Middle Tennessee last week, and the fact that Clemson’s offense is ranked 16th in the country, it looks like it could be a long afternoon for Tech. Clemson 44 – Georgia Tech 21
(3) Florida State @ N.C. State
So far, the Wolfpack has won the games they were supposed to win, and have lost the games they were expected to lose. Florida State, on the other hand, is playing like a well-oiled machine. The Seminoles are playing SEC-like football, putting up lots of points and holding teams to an average of just under 12 points per game. As long as E.J. Manuel and company don’t start looking ahead to their trip to Miami in a couple of weeks, the Seminoles should leave Raleigh Saturday night with win number six. Florida State 41 – North Carolina State 14
(17) Oklahoma @ Texas Tech
Tommy Tuberville’s Red Raiders have enjoyed a “friendly” schedule up to this point, to say the least. They did, however, hold their own against a very good Iowa State team, winning their Big 12 opener last Saturday. This week, however, the Sooners come calling, pitting Tech’s top ranked pass defense against Oklahoma’s, which is ranked No. 2. I think Texas Tech may keep it close through three quarters, but Oklahoma will pull away to win by 10. Oklahoma 27 – Texas Tech 17
Missouri vs. Vandy
Vandy’s “Jordan” duo (Jordan Rodgers to Jordan Matthews) could be an effective combination against a Tiger defense that gives up over 220 yards per game through the air. Missouri QB James Franklin and running back Kendial Lawrence will likely be a little too much for the Commodores to handle, helping Missouri grab their first conference win since joining the SEC. Missouri 30 – Vandy 24
Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M
The Rebels are still licking their wounds after a painful trip to Tuscaloosa last week. The Aggies, however, are hoping to make it 4 straight wins to improve their standing in the tough SEC west. Still, I am impressed with the Rebels toughness and I like their coach. I’m leaning toward Ole Miss in this close one. Ole Miss 24 – Texas A&M 21
(20) Mississippi State @ Kentucky
Honestly, this is one of the worst Kentucky teams we have seen in a while vs. one of the best Bulldog teams we have seen in a while. State seems focused and should be undefeated in three weeks when they visit Tuscaloosa. This game will be over quick, giving the Bulldogs an enjoyable ride back to Starkville. Mississippi State 38 – Kentucky 10
(10) Florida vs. (4) LSU
LSU was ranked No. 2 two weeks ago, and following a narrow win over Auburn, dropped to No. 3. After beating Towson last Saturday, they dropped another spot to No. 4. Neither game was impressive, yet in usual fashion, Leslie Edwin Miles has his team undefeated and highly ranked. Was this a plan? Did the “Mad Hatter” keep things toned down on purpose? We shall see this week as the Bengal Tigers travel to The Swamp to take on the No. 10 Gators. Wouldn’t this game be entertaining if LSU plays like they did against Auburn and Florida plays like they did in their opener against Bowling Green? I don’t see either happening, and LSU will likely come away still unscathed. LSU 34 – Florida 31
(6) South Carolina vs. (5) Georgia
You might want to record this game to watch on one of those cold, lonely afternoons in March when you are missing football season. This game should live up to the hype. Both teams are undefeated, both battling for the same recruits, both hoping to get into the driver’s seat for a trip to Atlanta at season’s end. Experience goes to South Carolina, talent goes to Georgia. Normally experience and a home field advantage means a check mark in the “W” column, but Georgia simply has too much talent for the Gamecocks to overcome. Georgia 31 – South Carolina 27
Auburn vs. Arkansas
Auburn is struggling this season, and Arkansas is just plain bad. The Tigers have a slight advantage in that this game is at Jordan-Hare and they have some momentum coming off of a close call with LSU. A week off to nurse some wounds is helpful to Auburn as well. But mark my word, if the Razorbacks find a way to win this game, it won’t just be the Toomer’s oak trees that will be in trouble at the Loveliest Village on the Plains. Auburn 24 – Arkansas 13
Other Games to Watch:
(13) USC 28 – Utah 21
(18) Stanford 24 – Arizona 23
(9) Notre Dame 18 – Miami 17
(2) Oregon 40 – (23) Washington 31
Upset of the Week
(12) Ohio State vs. (21) Nebraska
Every season is seems that there are teams not ranked that probably should be, and teams that are that probably shouldn’t. In this writer’s opinion, Ohio State is one of those teams that shouldn’t be, at least not as high as they are. Yes, they are 5-0, but they struggled until the fourth quarter against UAB, and honestly should have lost to both California and Michigan State. Other than a win over Wisconsin, the Cornhuskers really have not had a chance to show what they are truly made of, but they get that chance on Saturday. I suspect they will take full advantage of the opportunity. Nebraska 29 – Ohio State 17
—Dale Jones is a syndicated sports columnist, member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association, The Football Writers Association of America, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Email Dale at sportsNparadise@gmail.com or follow on twitter @sportsNparadise.