Picks of the Week:

Steve O Speak

(7) Florida (-8) @ (1) Alabama: In a matchup of the past two National Champions, the Florida Gators will face their biggest challenge yet. Early on this season Florida, with new quarterback John Brantley, struggled with their consistency and ability to sustain drives. Now Florida will need to be perfect, as they take on #1 Alabama. It won’t be an easy road for Florida having to go play at Alabama. And to make matters worse their star running back Jeff Demps, is returning from a foot injury. While he is expected to play it’s likely he won’t be 100%, which will put a lot more pressure on Brantley. The injury news is worse for Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis, who will miss tonight’s game with an injured back. In a game that is expected to be close, it is never a good sign to be without your kicker. As for Alabama, one week after having a top 10 matchup (and barely surviving) with Arkansas, they face another SEC battle. Luckily they have this one on their home turf, and have a good chance of winning the matchup. Dual running threat Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson should carry the Tide to victory. The main key for Alabama will be how their defense will contain Demps and confuse Brantley. I think Alabama holds on to their number 1 status with a 27-21 victory.

(9) Stanford (+6.5) at (4) Oregon: This Pac-10 matchup will be a battle of two different offensive philosophies. Stanford behind quarterback sensation Andrew Luck will look to put the ball in the air to take pressure off of their rushing game. While Oregon with their spread offense will look to establish the run behind RB LaMichael James, RB Kenjon Barner and QB Darron Thomas, all have the ability to take the ball the distance anytime they touch the ball. Both teams have balanced offenses overall, but will rely on their bread and butter in a game like today. Overall Stanford’s defense might matchup better, since Oregon’s secondary has been susceptible this season to the deep ball. Oregon though is not without their advantages. Their overall team speed and weapons on offense are the reason why they have scored at least 42 points per game this season. Oregon is also at home in front of their crowd, which should give Stanford fits all game. Oregon will keep their national title dreams alive with a 38-27.

(21) Texas (+3.5) vs. (8) Oklahoma: The Red River Rivalry isn’t quite as big of a game as it has been the past couple of years when these two teams had one of the best quarterbacks in the country. The Longhorns are a long shot to compete for the Big 12 this year as they are in full blown rebuilding mode, but they are a young team with plenty of potential. The Sooners are looking like the team to beat in the Big 12, and have an outside shot at the National Championship. Oklahoma has become a bit too much of a one dimensional team, but they are very good in that dimension. Landry Jones is making Sooners fans forget about Sam Bradford, and has the Sooners in a great place. If he has a big game today Oklahoma will knock off their biggest rival and be in the drivers seat for the Big 12. Oklahoma wins this game 28-23.

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