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9 Picks: LSU, Saints facing must wins, Jags enjoy a week off

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9 Picks ended the week at 7-2, a weekend that included a heartbreaking loss for the Jaguars, the Tigers looking strong and the Saints making a huge statement. This week Southern enjoys a well deserved week of vacation, while LSU and the Saints both face must wins. The Tigers are jockeying for a BCS Bowl invite and the Saints are trying to make it back to .500 and continue a playoff march.

Here we go:

(5-5) Ole Miss at #7 LSU (8-2)

LSU seems to be hitting on all cylinders. This is the Tiger team fans have been waiting to see and they might very well be able to beat anyone in the country. Ole Miss is coming in to Tiger Stadium at a bad time. The Tigers are playing for a top bowl game, and still have hopes (don't count on it) that Auburn might upset Alabama and land the Tigers in Atlanta. Saturday will be a happy time in sunny Tiger Stadium:

LSU 38  Ole Miss:17


New Orleans Saints (4-5) at Oakland Raiders (3-6)

The Saints started the season at 0-4 and seemed to be a team going nowhere fast. Drew Brees and New Orleans have turned things around, winning four of their past five games and losing only to the Denver Broncos. Every game from now on is a playoff type game for the Saints. A win puts the team at 5-5 and in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. The run game against the Atlanta Falcons was just what the offense needed and the defense, while not pretty, again made a huge goal line stand to win the game. Oakland is bad and the Saints should breeze through this one:

New Orleans: 34   Oakland: 23


#13 Stanford (8-2) at #2 Oregon (10-0)

Stanford has lost in its last five trips to Eugene and this one won't be any different. Stanford is averaging 29 points, while the Ducks average 55. Wow, just do the math on this one. The first half will be a close one, the second will be a Duck offensive explosion:

Oregon: 44   Stanford: 27


Wake Forest (5-5) at #3 Notre Dame (10-0)

Notre Dame wins another snoozer against an out-manned opponent. After that, Lou Holtz's talk of the Irish belonging in the National Championship will start again.

Notre Dame: 20   Wake Forest: 10


#10 Florida State (9-1) at Maryland (4-6)

Maryland is on quarterback number five after losing the first four to injury. What makes this odd is Shawn Petty is a linebacker who now plays quarterback. Florida State has struggled at times against underdog opponents, just barely surviving a Virginia Tech scare. The only thing that could hold back the Seminoles is the team looking ahead to the Florida Gators, but that still would not be enough for an upset:

Florida State: 45   Maryland: 6


#18 USC (7-3) at #17 UCLA (8-2)

The Trojans and Lane Kiffin against the Bruins and Jim Mora. USC has won 13 of the last 14 meetings between the teams. The winner locks up the Pac-12 South and then earns a beat down by Oregon. Lots of emotion in this game but UCLA is not quite ready to beat the Trojans, maybe next year:

USC: 35   UCLA: 30


#12 Oklahoma (7-2) at West Virginia (5-4)

UPSET ALERT: West Virginia has not had a happy beginning to their Big 12 start. After scoring 260 points in their first five games, the Mountaineers have scored 100 points in their last four games, which included a double overtime loss to TCU. Oklahoma has won two in a row after a stunning defeat to Notre Dame. With the game in Morgan Town and the West Virginia offense ready to explode, it has all the makings of an upset:

West Virginia: 55   Oklahoma: 54


#1 Kansas State (10-0) at Baylor (4-5)

Kansas State just continues to win and while many would rather see Oregon and Notre Dame in the BCS Championship game, the Wildcats deserve it and will continue taking care of business. Collin Klein and K-State will win again and hold on to its deserved number one ranking for another week:

Kansas State: 41   Baylor: 20


Tennessee (4-6) at Vanderbilt (6-4)

Who would have thought after 10 games the Vols would still be looking for their first SEC victory? The writing seems to be on the wall for Derek Dooley. The Vols upset, yes that's upset, the Commodores to earn their first SEC win:

Tennessee: 34   Vanderbilt: 23


LAST WEEK: 7-2 ... SEASON TOTAL: 55-25

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