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Fearless Rick's 2010-11 College Football Week 6 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 5-9, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Troy at Middle Tennessee (-3, 63), 8:00 pm - Vying for the lead in the Sun Belt conference, these teams share identical 2-2 records and 1-0 conference slates and are the traditional powerhouses of small Southern schools.

Despite not winning on the road, Troy deserves a bit of an edge here, as their road games have been close calls, losing at Oklahoma State, 41-38, and UAB, 34-33.

The Trojans pulled out a win over Arkansas State, 35-28, last Saturday as Corey Robinson went 17 yards to Shawn Southworth with just 22 seconds left in the game. These small conference games are usually closely contested, so overtime is a serious possibility here.

Prediction: Trojans 38 Blue Raiders 35


Thursday, Oct. 7

Nebraska (-12, 52) at Kansas State, 7:30 pm - Nice to get a Big 12 game on a Thursday night and this contest should not disappoint. Kansas State is 4-0 and already has a conference win on its resume, having beaten Iowa State two weeks back, 27-20. The Wildcats also include UCLA as victims, beating the Bruins, 31-22, in their season opener.

This will be the fifth straight home game for K-State, with 5 of their next 7 after this on the road, so they must be compelled to win at home against the team that many have picked to finish atop the Big 12 North.

Nebraska has one of the top defenses in the nation, allowing just 12.8 ppg and an offense led by freshman QB Taylor Martinez, making them one of many teams with serious national championship aspirations. Martinez, in addition to a strong passing arm, is an elusive runner, averaging 124 yards per game. The Cornhuskers are 4th in the nation on the ground, plowing for 309 ypg.

Nebraska has won the past five meetings in this cross-border rivalry, but the Wildcats are an improving team and may shock the universe or at least keep this one close with head's up defense. Last season's game was a 17-3 Nebraska win.

Prediction: Wildcats 23 Cornhuskers 17


Friday, Oct. 8

Connecticut (-6, 42) at Rutgers, 7:30 pm - A disappointment thus far at 3-2, the UConn Huskies enter conference play coming off a pair of lopsided wins, 45-21 over Buffalo and 40-21 over Vanderbilt. Both of these games were at home, but the road has been a rough place for UConn this season, having suffered losses at Michigan and Temple, allowing 30 points in each of those games.

Rutgers enters off a pair of home losses, though close calls, dropping a 17-14 decision to Tulane last week after suffering a 17-13 loss to North Carolina the week before.

The determining factor here should be the Rutgers defense against the UConn offense. The Scarlet Knights have been stingy, allowing on average just 12 points per outing, the 4th-best in the nation. If Rutgers can get on the board early, it could be a long night for the favored Huskies.

Prediction: Scarlet Knights 27 Huskies 21


Oklahoma State (-24, 62) at Louisiana-Lafayette, 9:00 pm - The Ragin' Cajuns probably won't be doing much celebrating here, though the school will bank the half million dollar check that comes with a beat-down by a major conference foe. Louis-Lafayette has already had a taste of the big schools, losing 55-7 at Georgia in their season opener.

The Cowboys are playing their second straight non-Saturday game, having topped Big 12 rival Texas A&M, 38-35, last Thursday. OKST is 4-0, ranked and eyeing the Big 12 South title. This is merely a tuneup and the Cowboys should roll easily.

Prediction: Cowboys 48 Ragin' Cajuns 17


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Saturday, Oct. 9

Indiana at Ohio State (-22 1/2, 57 1/2), 12:00 pm - After a scare last week in Illinois, the Buckeyes will see just how good these Hoosiers are after they took Michigan t the limit last week, finally giving in late, 42-35.

Indiana is scoring at a 39.2 ppg pace, but the Buckeyes are putting up an average of 44.2 and are ranked 11th in defense at 14.2 ppg. Indiana can make no similar claim. In fact, the Hoosiers are sandwiched between Tennessee and Michigan at 25 points per.

Records point to Ohio State winning all ten of their most recent head-to-head experiences and Indiana's poor 2-13 record in recent road games. Last season, the Buckeyes won by 19 at Indiana. Home in the horseshoe should provide a monster of a win.

Prediction: Buckeyes 45 Hoosiers 13


Temple at Northern Illinois (-3 1/2, 51 1/2), 12:00 pm - Tough call here and rare to see Temple underdogs against a conference foe, especially one with two losses already on the record.

The Huskies have played four of their five games on the road, mostly against pretty stiff opposition, but claim a 34-23 win over Minnesota and a 50-14 stomping of Akron in their last two games. The losses were to Illinois and Iowa State, while Temple's lone loss was a 22-13 defeat at Penn State.

Temple running back Bernard Pierce missed last week's 42-35 win over Army with a high ankle sprain and is listed as questionable for this tilt. The Owls should be fine whether or not he plays. Look for their defense to lead the team to a 5-1 record.

Prediction: Owls 31 Huskies 17


Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (-6, 50), 3:30 pm - At 2-2, Pitt hasn't gotten it going so far, though their 44-17 win last week against Florida International was a step in the right direction. Still, the Panthers haven't had a solid defensive outing this season, and against Notre Dame's aggressive passing attack, that could prove their undoing.

The Panthers have two good running backs in Dion Lewis and Ray Graham, and it's unclear which of the two will get the start, though Graham is having a better season, with three 100-yard games to his credit.

The Irish are probably going to finish this season with a modicum of respect. Their early season was rife with tough teams and that provided consecutive losses to Michigan, Michigan State and a slaughter by Stanford, but, after topping BC easily on the road last week, they seem ready for a nice win streak.

Prediction: Fighting Irish 34 Panthers 24

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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