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Games Of The Week

November 06, 2008|Chris Dufresne

No. 1 Alabama at No. 15 Louisiana St.

Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2

What's the big deal? Nick Saban only coached Louisiana State to the BCS national title in 2003, took the money and ran to the Miami Dolphins, begged his way back into the college game, landed at Alabama, and now returns to Baton Rouge with the nation's top-ranked team to play his old school. There's a chance this game could be a sellout.

LSU (6-2) has won five straight in the series, but the Tigers might feel more confident about win No. 6 had they not given up 50 points or more in Southeastern Conference losses to Florida and Georgia. LSU isn't going to win the BCS national title this year with two losses, but the Tigers are capable of knocking Alabama out of the national-title race. Alabama (9-0) can clinch the SEC West with a win.

The pick: Louisiana State.

No. 8 Oklahoma St. at No. 2 Texas Tech

Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 7

You can almost say this any week in the Big 12 this year: Two of the nation's top offenses will meet in a game with national implications. The South Division has four of the nation's six highest-scoring offenses. Oklahoma State (8-1) averages 45 points a game; Texas Tech averages 47. The Red Raiders (9-0) are coming off an emotional victory last week against No. 1 Texas but can't afford to relax if they want to stay in title contention. Coach Mike Leach's team still has to play at Oklahoma on Nov. 22. Oklahoma State still has to play Oklahoma too. Did we say this division is tough?

The pick: Oklahoma State.

No. 3 Penn State at Iowa

Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7

The last Big Ten road obstacle standing in the way of Joe Paterno and, possibly, his sixth undefeated season. The Nittany Lions (9-0) close against Indiana and Michigan State, but those games are at State College.

Why should Penn State fear this game? After a 3-0 start, Iowa (5-4) lost three games by a total of eight points, won two straight and then fell in a three-point heartbreaker at Illinois. Iowa tailback Shonn Greene has rushed for 1,257 yards and gained at least 100 in every game. Penn State leads the series, 11-9, and was handed a bitter, 6-4, homecoming defeat by Iowa in 2004.

The pick: Iowa.

-- Chris Dufresne

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