(Thursday, 2:30 pm, CBS)
This would be the perfect moment for Alabama to come crashing back to earth. The Tide is riding high off a huge win over Georgia a week ago and their promotion to the top of the polls. Kentucky has quietly snuck out to a 4-0 start thanks to an experienced defense that is capable of shutting down Bama if the players’ hearts aren’t in it. But I don’t think Nick Saban will let that happen. Not this week anyway.
J.Pike’s Pick: Alabama 23, Kentucky 10
#1-t Oklahoma at Baylor
(Saturday, 11:30 am, FSN)
Robert Griffin is a force to be reckoned with, and I have a feeling he and Art Briles will actually get the Baylor program turned around. But right now the Bears simply don’t have enough else around Griffin to beat Oklahoma. Briles will have his kids playing their hearts out and Baylor fans will be proud of their effort. In fact, don’t be surprised if this is still a game in the third quarter. But OU has too much talent to let one player beat them.
J.Pike’s Pick: Oklahoma 48, Baylor 24
#3 Penn State at Purdue
(Saturday, 11 am, ESPN)
Penn State is playing as well as anybody right now. Evan Royster is quietly becoming a dark horse candidate for the inaugural Bo Jackson Trophy. Quarterback Darryl Clark is spreading the ball around to Deon Butler and Derrick Williams, two speedsters who can take it to the house on any play. Then there’s the defensive line. Now that Maurice Evans is back at defensive end, the Nittany Lions can claim one of the best defensive lines in the nation. Purdue is no match.
J.Pike’s Pick: Penn State 37, Purdue 20
#4 Missouri at Nebraska
(Saturday, 8 pm, ESPN)
Bo Pelini is quickly establishing himself as one of the best defensive schemers in the nation. He may be working with limited talent on the defensive side of the ball (only Cody Glenn and maybe Ndamukong Suh and Zach Potter are truly “Blackshirt” worthy), but he’ll put his guys in the best position to win. I expect to see the Nebraska coaching staff coach circles around the Missouri coaching staff … BUT it won’t matter because Missouri has much better players. Nebraska will make Missouri look bad at times, but ultimately Chase Daniel will continue his push for the Bo Jackson Trophy.
J.Pike’s Pick: Missouri 41, Nebraska 24
#5 Texas at Colorado
(Saturday, 7 pm, FSN)
Colorado’s offensive line is in flux after losing tackle Ryan Miller for the season. That’s not good timing for the Buffs because Texas comes to town with a fast-improving defense that boasts 16 sacks, most in the Big XII. Colt McCoy also happens to be playing as well as anybody in the nation right now (see his 80% completion percentage and improved strength and speed in the running game). Colorado will need to play the whole game with the immediacy and aggressiveness they displayed in the first quarter against West Virginia if they are to have a chance to win.
J.Pike’s Pick: Texas 34, Colorado 16
#6 LSU is Idle
#7 Georgia is Idle
#8 Ohio State at #18 Wisconsin
(Saturday, 7 pm, ABC)
Wisconsin’s loss to Michigan a week ago was troubling because Michigan doesn’t look like a team with any skill on offense. If Steven Threet gave this Badger defense troubles in the second half, what is Terrelle Pryor going to do? Wisconsin is a solid team, but Ohio State is in the process of shaking off the USC knockdown punch and re-establishing their dominance in the Big Ten. Wisconsin will barely be a speed bump on their road back to the top 10.
J.Pike’s Pick: Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 17
#22 Oregon at #9 USC
(Saturday, 7 pm, ABC)
This will be a good game. More importantly though – when is Mitch Mustain going to transfer again? There’s no way he’s ever going to see the field at USC, so why isn’t his momma speaking up for him?
J.Pike’s Pick: USC 34, Oregon 27