Week 10 CF Picks
As college football enters Week 10 of the 2008 season, some teams are trying hard to stay in the BCS race, while some are just playing for pride. Our team of writers and handicappers hand out six picks for Week 10.
Florida at Georgia, 3:30 PM ET
The annual meeting between Georgia and Florida almost never lacks for intensity or significance, and this year's matchup should be no different, with the winner getting the inside track to capture the SEC East Division and keeping its national title hopes intact.
The Gators, however, appear to have some extra motivation working for them going into Saturday.
Florida felt disrespected by its archrival in last season's matchup, and the No. 5 Gators will be looking to avenge that bitter loss to eighth-ranked Georgia at "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" in Jacksonville, Fla.
The Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1) defeated Florida 42-30 last year for just their third win in the last 18 meetings, but it was a play early in the game that still angers the Gators (6-1, 4-1).
After Georgia's Knowshon Moreno scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter, the entire Bulldogs team ran onto the field and jumped up and down in unison while celebrating wildly - a move that was uncharacteristically orchestrated by coach Mark Richt.
Florida State at Georgia Tech, 3:30 PM ET
Florida State's rise to the top of the ACC standings certainly hasn't been an easy one, but it's hoping holding onto first place will be a little less stressful in the coming weeks.
Bobby Bowden tries to remain undefeated against Georgia Tech as his 16th-ranked Seminoles look for their 13th consecutive win over the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
Florida State (6-1, 3-1) will be trying to put Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2) away early after a series of close contests. In a 30-20 win over Virginia Tech last Saturday, the Seminoles trailed 10-0 after one quarter before rallying for their fourth straight win. This came after overcoming a four-point fourth quarter deficit in the previous game against North Carolina State and squeaking out a 41-39 win over Miami on Oct. 4.
Georgia Tech's last win over Florida State was a 30-0 victory in 1975 in Atlanta.
Northwestern at Minnesota, 12:00 PM ET
Minnesota might have some stellar individual talent on offense, but its overall defensive effort is most responsible for the program's resurgence.
The No. 20 Gophers and that stingy defense could be in for another strong outing Saturday in a Big Ten matchup against visiting Northwestern, which will be without at least one of its top offensive players.
Minnesota (7-1, 3-1) earned its third straight victory last Saturday, winning 17-6 at Purdue to move up five spots in the poll and climb to 17th in the BCS standings. The Gophers, in the midst of a remarkable turnaround from a 1-11 2007 season, have already secured a bowl berth and in the mix for the Big Ten title.
Minnesota, which suffered its only loss to Ohio State, doesn't play conference leader and third-ranked Penn State this season.
Despite last season's loss, Minnesota has won three of the last four meetings with Northwestern. The Gophers are seeking their third consecutive home win over the Wildcats.
Texas at Texas Tech, 8:00 PM ET
Texas has remained undefeated by answering each challenge in a series of games against ranked teams that's coming to an end this week.
Texas Tech has put together its own unbeaten start, but its tough stretch is just beginning.
The top-ranked Longhorns look for their fourth straight win over a team ranked 11th or better on Saturday night when they visit the No. 6 Red Raiders, who are hoping to protect their highest ranking in 32 years in the second of four consecutive games against Top 25 opponents.
Texas (8-0, 4-0 Big 12) took over the top spot after defeating then-No. 1 Oklahoma on Oct. 11. The Longhorns followed that up with a 56-31 victory over then-No. 11 Missouri on Oct. 18 and a 28-24 win over then-No. 7 Oklahoma State last Saturday, becoming the first team to earn a unanimous No. 1 ranking in consecutive weeks since Ohio State did it in the last three regular-season weeks of 2006.
Texas coach Mack Brown admits that his team is feeling the effects of facing elite competition over its last several games.
Tulsa at Arkansas, 2:00 PM ET
Five years ago in its last matchup with Arkansas, Tulsa managed only 13 points five years ago. That would be a subpar total in one half these days for the Golden Hurricane.
Boasting the nation's top-ranked offense, No. 19 Tulsa looks to remain undefeated and end a 16-game losing streak against Arkansas when the teams meet Saturday in a nonconference matchup.
The Golden Hurricane entered their last game ranked for the first time since 1991, and they beat UCF 49-19 on Sunday night to improve to 8-0 for the sixth time in school history.
"It's pretty crazy, I'm not going to lie. It's obviously been a long time since we've been where we are," Tulsa quarterback David Johnson said.
Wins over the Razorbacks (3-5), however, have also been rare for the Golden Hurricane.
A victory over Arkansas in this contest would be Tulsa's first against the Razorbacks since Sept. 25, 1976, when it won 9-3 on the road. Arkansas won its last meeting with Tulsa 45-13 on Sept. 6, 2003, improving to 52-15-2 in the all-time series.
The Golden Hurricane, though, haven't been held under 20 points in nearly two years - they lost 25-13 to Utah on Dec. 23, 2006 - and currently boast the nation's top offense. Tulsa leads the FBS with 56.6 points and 624.7 yards per game, and has converted 61.0 percent of its third-down chances.
This will be Arkansas' last game of the season in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have one more home game - against LSU in Little Rock on Nov. 28 to end the regular season.
Washington at USC, 6:30 PM
Southern California's loss in its conference opener didn't bode well for the team's bid to win at least a share of its seventh straight Pac-10 title.
However, the Trojans' success within the conference since then, combined with coach Pete Carroll's unblemished record in November, has dramatically improved USC's outlook.
The seventh-ranked Trojans look to win their fifth straight game against a Pac-10 rival and improve to 24-0 under Carroll in November on Saturday when they host a winless Washington team that announced this week that coach Tyrone Willingham will step down at the end of the season.
USC (6-1, 4-1) dominated then-No. 5 Ohio State 35-3 on Sept. 13 to take over its familiar spot as the No. 1 team in the country and put itself in good position to challenge for another conference title and perhaps even the national championship.
Both of those goals took a hit when the Trojans lost their Pac-10 opener 27-21 at Oregon State on Sept. 25. Since then, however, USC has won four straight conference games by a combined 158-20.
USC is 48-26-4 all-time against Washington, including 6-1 under Carroll. The Huskies, though, have made an upset bid in each of their last two games against the Trojans. They fell to third-ranked USC 26-20 in their last trip to the Los Angeles Coliseum in 2006 before dropping last season's meeting against the top-ranked Trojans 27-24.
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Posted: 10/31/08 9:00 PM