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Fearless Rick's 2011-12 College Football Week 6 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 6-8, 2011

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, October 6

9:00 pm California at Oregon (-24, 62 1/2) - Naturally, judging from the line, everyone is going to assume that this is your basic PAC-12 mismatch and that the Ducks will roll over the Golden Bears, but looking back at last year's 15-13 Oregon win at Cal, the impression is that Cal has an answer for LaMichael James and the potent Oregon offense.

Both teams are 3-1, and even though the Golden Bears haven't beaten anyone of note, they are in a position to make the PAC-12 conference race a little more exciting with a win. It's doubtful they can accomplish that, being on the road for the second straight week and coming off a 31-22 loss at Washington, but Cal deserves the benefit of the doubt to at least keep this one close enough for the cover.

Prediction: Ducks 40 Golden Bears 24

Friday, October 7

9:00 pm Boise State (-20 1/2, 58 1/2) at Fresno State - These two play each other every year, but since Boise has moved from the WAC to the Mountain West, this becomes a non-conference affair. The Broncos have won the last five in the series, beating the Bulldogs both meetings in Fresno, 34-21 in 2007 and 51-34 in 2009.

While Kellen Moore is having another sensational season for Boise St. and the Broncos are 4-0, Fresno is just 2-3, with losses at Cal and Nebraska and last week at home, 38-28, to an unassuming Mississippi squad.

Fresno has a decent offense, but still nothing compared to the Broncos. The big difference in this game is Fresno St. allowing 32.4 points per game, to just 16.8 allowed by Boise, a huge gap. Advantage, Boise State.

Prediction: Broncos 45 Bulldogs 17

Saturday, October 8

12:00 pm Oklahoma (-10, 56 1/2) at Texas - Here's a great way to kick off a college football Saturday, with two 4-0 teams from the Big 12 in the Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl.

These two have split the last four games of the series, with the average margin of victory being seven points. Oklahoma won last year's game, 28-20, and, even though the Longhorns haven't lost a game all season, they are a very young, inexperienced group going against a team from Oklahoma that has its sights set on a national championship.

The Sooner defense is a possible pitfall, after giving up 28 points to Missouri two weeks back in a 38-28 win, but they may find themselves the recipients of a few Texas turnovers and with Landry Jones throwing to all-world receiver Ryan Broyles, who already has 476 yards and 6 TDs on 38 receptions, this could get ugly.

Prediction: Sooners 41 Longhorns 21

12:00 pm Maryland at Georgia Tech (-14, 63 1/2) - The 5-0 Yellow Jackets have been the big surprise in the ACC thus far, but made far too many mistakes in their 45-35 win at NC State last weekend. Still, the Tech offense has been scoring points at a wicked clip, putting up an average of 51.6 ppg, second only to Oregon (52.0).

The Terrapins have many unanswered questions under new head coach Randy Edsall, especially how they were murdered at home by Temple two weeks back, 38-7.

Danny O'Brien is a quality QB for Maryland, but he doesn't have the receivers he needs, and Georgia Tech has seven different players who have carried the ball 15 times or more and gained over 100 yards in their efficient option offense.

Prediction: Yellow Jackets 48 Terrapins 26

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3:30 pm Florida at LSU (-13 1/2, 41) - With Florida QB John Brantley questionable for this game after the Gators were hammered by Alabama, 38-10, last week, and the Tigers absolutely mauling every opponent they've faced, the Gators will be lucky to leave LSU with their dignity intact.

The 5-0 Tigers are #1 in the AP poll and #2 in the USA Today poll for a reason: they're that good. With Jarrett Lee still commanding the offense, coach Les Miles is gradually working John Jefferson back into the scheme of things, though the LSU defense, yielding only 262.2 yards and 12.8 points per outing, is the real deal.

Even if Brantley plays, he'll be under pressure all day, and his speedy receivers and backs are no match for what may be the best secondary in the country.

Prediction: Tigers 37 Gators 17

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3:30 pm Pittsburgh (-7, 53) at Rutgers - The Panthers opened some eyes in the Big East when they demolished a ranked and 4-0 South Florida team last week, 44-17. Pitt is 3-2, but their losses were by three points to Notre Dame and four points at Iowa, after leading the Hawkeyes big.

Rutgers has compiled a 3-1 record and seeks the top of the Big East standings in their second conference game. They topped Syracuse on the road last week, 19-16, and their only loss was a tough, 24-22, beat at UNC in Week 2.

Rutgers has a 4-2 edge in the recent series between these two, but has lost the last two, 24-17 at home and 41-21 last season at Pitt. As the Big East is among the most competitive conferences in the nation, the home field and seven points are big plusses for the Scarlet Knights.

Prediction: Scarlet Knights 28 Panthers 20

3:30 pm Arizona State (-4, 48) at Utah - The Sun Devils will put their 4-1 record and top 25 ranking on the line against the 2-2 Utes, who pounded BYU 54-10, but lost games at USC, 23-14, and last week at home to Washington, 31-14.

Arizona State has nice wins over Missouri and USC on their 2011 resume and look to have just enough defense to slow down the Utes on their own turf. If AZST QB Brock Osweiler can avoid interceptions, the Sun Devils should be able to improve to 5-1 with a confident win here.

Prediction: Sun Devils 30 Utes 21

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, 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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