Pat's Picks: Rivalry Week In the SEC

Coach Pat Dye

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye picks this week's SEC games and big games around the nation.

It's rivalry week for a lot of Southeastern Conference teams and the same is true for college football teams around the country. This week's schedule looks to be full of interesting matchups from coast to coast.

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Auburn's rivalry game looks a lot different than normal with Alabama being such a huge favorite this year. Considering how the Tigers played in SEC losses to Texas A&M and Georgia it makes sense that they are a major underdog.

No matter what happens on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, this will be a game to test the manhood of the players who take the field for the Tigers to see if they are willing to go out there and fight as hard as they can for the full 60 minutes.

Here are this week's matchups involving SEC teams:

Georgia Tech (6-5) at Georgia (10-1)--Georgia should win because the Bulldogs have more talent. One thing that should help Georgia was playing against Georgia Southern last week, a team that runs an option offense like Georgia Tech. However, this is a dangerous game for the Bulldogs because the Yellow Jackets have their wishbone hitting on all cylinders and have scored a lot of points late in the season.

Kentucky (2-9, 0-7 SEC) at Tennessee (4-7, 0-7 SEC)--I will go with the Vols because they are playing in Knoxville and have more talent.

LSU (9-2, 5-2 SEC) at Arkansas (4-7, 2-5 SEC)--It's been a rough season for the Razorbacks, a team expected to challenge for the SEC title. Look for LSU to have a good day offensively and win comfortably in Fayetteville.

Vanderbilt (7-4) at Wake Forest (5-6)--The Commodores are playing solid football and there is no reason to expect a Vandy loss to this ACC team.

Florida (10-1) at Florida State (10-1)--I know they are playing in Tallahassee and there are probably a lot of valid reasons to pick FSU, but I am going with Florida because the Gators have been tested by their SEC schedule. This is a really big game for both teams that still have a chance to make it to the BCS Championship Game.

Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3 SEC)?at Ole Miss (5-6, 2-5 SEC)--This should be worth watching. I am going with Mississippi State, which has a load of seniors who should lead the Bulldogs to a win on the road. Mississippi State's coaching staff has been there longer and has its system in plus Mississippi State's quarterback is playing well.

South Carolina (9-2, 6-2 SEC) at Clemson (10-1)--This should be a good game, too. Even though the Gamecocks are on the road and doing it without their star player, Marcus Lattimore, I expect them to win in what should be an intense, in-state rivalry game.

Missouri (5-6, 2-5 SEC) at Texas A&M?(9-2, 5-2 SEC)--No way I am picking against Johnny Football. The visiting Aggies should win without much problem.

Auburn (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC)--Based on how the teams have performed this year I don't see Auburn having a shot to pull off the upset, but I will be disappointed in the Tigers if they don't play better than they have in a lot of their other games this season.

In other games around the country:

Notre Dame (11-0) at Southern Cal (7-4)--With the Trojans' quarterback out with an injury Notre Dame is getting a big break and a big win in a game that has lost some of its lustre with Matt Barkley out.

West Virginia (5-5) at Iowa State (6-5)--I like Iowa State in a close game against this inconsistent WVU team.

Arizona State (6-5) at Arizona (7-4)--The home team is also the better team so I am going with the Wildcats.

Virginia (4-7) at Virginia Tech (5-6)--Both have had disappointing seasons. The Hokies should use the homefield advantage to get back to .500.

Baylor (5-5) at Texas Tech (7-4)--After the way the Bears played last week I am picking Baylor to win in a shootout.

Michigan (8-3) at Ohio State (11-0)--I am going to pick Michigan led by its new quarterback to upset the Buckeyes.

Oregon (10-1) at Oregon State (7-2)--Oregon should bounce back from its first loss of the season, but the Beavers are having a good season and could make it difficult in this rivalry game.

Wisconsin (7-4) at Penn State (7-4)--I like Wisconsin in what could be a good game between fairly evenly matched teams.

Stanford (9-2) at UCLA (9-2)--This should be one of the top matchups of the weekend with major implications in the Pac-12. Stanford impressed me win its win over Oregon so I am picking them to do it again vs. UCLA team that is having a really good season.

Editor's Note: Coach Dye was 9-2 on his week 12 SEC picks and 14-4 overall. For the season his record is 82-20 on SEC games and 131-36 overall.


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