Primetime Nationally Televised Free College Football Picks (9/11/10)

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Penn State Nittany Lions @ Alabama Crimson Tide (-12)
Saturday, September 11th
7:00 ET, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL

This might be the best game of the entire day on the college football betting slate on paper, but that doesn't mean that it is going to live up to its hype. The Nittany Lions are going to be bringing a true freshman quarterback into one of the most hostile territories in the country against arguably the nation's best team. This isn't a good combination. Yes, Penn State does have a history of playing teams like this tough, particularly in the regular season, but if the Tide can keep their relatively newly formed defense together and put enough pressure on QB Robert Bolden, the offense is going to be able to do enough to put away the Nittany Lions, potentially very early. Most think that this is going to be a lower scoring game, and though the possibility is definitely there for that, we tend to believe that Alabama is going to press the issue and force the scores up just a tad. The Crimson Tide could have a very big number on the board by the end of the day.

Prediction: Alabama 38 – Penn State 20

Oregon Ducks @ Tennessee Volunteers (+12)
Saturday, September 11th
7:00 ET, Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN

It still feels weird to see the Volunteers as double digit underdogs at home. We totally buy into the hype of the Ducks, as we think that even without QB Jeremiah Masoli, they have one of the best teams in the country. Is it capable of coming halfway across the country and beating the snot out of UT? Sure. But let's be realistic here for a second. If you were looking to bet on Oregon this week, you have to be kicking yourself after watching the Ducks drop 72 and 720 yards on the Lobos last week. Perception of this team literally could not be any higher than it is right now. We tend to forget that the Vols just smacked a probably relatively comparable Tennessee-Martin team 50-0 as well. Tennessee is not the better team in this game, thus probably won't win it. But we have to imagine that HC Derek Dooley is going to have his crew as high as a kite. This is an undercard game for sure on the day, but is one that could be very interesting if the screws get tightened by the UT 'D'.

Prediction: Oregon 31 – Tennessee 27

LSU Tigers @ Vanderbilt Commodores (+10)
Saturday, September 11th
7:00 ET, Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN

Just across the way from Rocky Top, the 'Dores are going to be looking for their first win of the season and their first 'W' since September 26th of last season. New HC Robbie Caldwell knows that his team let one slip away last week against Northwestern, while LSU HC Les Miles knows that his team got away lucky against North Carolina. Bottom line: The Tigers aren't as good as their record indicates, and the Commodores probably aren't as bad. This is historically a series with a bunch of slugfests that end up being ridiculously low scoring games. The 'Dores can hang in this game, especially since it isn't in Baton Rouge. If some of the sloppiness gets cleaned up from last week's defeat against the Wildcats, this is going to prove to be a winnable fixture for Vandy. However, in typical LSU fashion, the Tigers will find a way to win, just like in typical Vanderbilt fashion, the Commodores will find a way to lose. This is still a great spot to pick up a cover in a very close game.

Prediction: LSU 22 – Vanderbilt 20

Mississippi Rebels (-20.5) @ Tulane Green Wave
Saturday, September 11th
9:00 ET, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

The whole world is ready to jump ship on the Rebels after they were beaten by the lowly Jacksonville State Gamecocks in double overtime last week. Had they won that game in regulation by eight points, the margin that they were ahead before the dying seconds, this spread would be significantly higher. But instead, perception has gotten the better of the oddsmakers and several bettors, as Tulane is getting a lot of action in this one. However, we aren't ready to write off Ole Miss quite yet. HC Houston Nutt is still one of the best in the country, and though his team has been decimated by graduation and early departures over the past two years, he picked up a real gem in QB Jeremiah Masoli. Now that Masoli has had a full week of practice with his new team, he is inevitably going to be ready to shine. There is still a whole season in front of the Rebs, and as long as they don't dwell too hard on the past, they should be able to march into the Bayou and beat the snot out of a Tulane team which narrowly avoided the same sort of embarrassing fate of losing to an FCS team last week.

Prediction: Ole Miss 56 – Tulane 10

Stanford Cardinal @ UCLA Bruins (+6)
Saturday, September 11th
10:30 ET, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

Once again, perception is the key to this game. UCLA went into Manhattan last week against a game Kansas State squad and was beaten 31-22. A nine point loss looks terrible, right? Imagine if UCLA had converted on that two point conversion try with 1:19 to play… or had Daniel Thomas not ripped off that 35 yard TD run with a minute to play… The Bruins would've ended up posting either a win or a loss that was a lot more indicative of how the game went. UCLA proved that it still has some mojo about it after last year's Eagle Bank Bowl victory over Tulane. We still have some questions about Stanford, though. We love HC Jim Harbaugh and think that he has done an amazing job down on the farm, but QB Andrew Luck has never played a road game like this before without the services of RB Toby Gerhart behind him. Yes, Luck threw for 316 yards versus Sacramento State last week, but we all know what that's worth. The Bruins should provide a significantly different challenge. This was a series that the gold and baby blue dominated for a number of years before losing 24-16 last year. The Bruins might be able to score the big upset, which would be a much needed win for HC Rick Neuheisel.

Prediction: UCLA 31 – Stanford 23

Colorado State Rams @ Nevada Wolfpack (-23.5)
Saturday, September 11th
10:30 ET, MacKay Stadium, Reno, NV

Welcome to MacKay Stadium, where the Wolfpack beat the living crap out of their opponents! Last week, the challenge against Eastern Washington was to stop Bo Levi Mitchell, the QB transfer out of SMU that learned under June Jones. The mission wasn't totally accomplished, but there is no shame in a 49-24 victory against one of the potentially better teams of the FCS this year. Colorado State proved last week that it has no business being on a field with even remotely good teams. The Colorado Buffaloes steamrolled these guys 24-3 in a game that really was a complete butt whipping. If the Rams only have 245 yards of total offense again this week, the Wolfpack are going to be winning by 50. It was a fairly ho hum 553 yard day for the Nevada offense last week. This is going to be a very one-sided romp in a game that might set some personal records if the Wolfpack want to see them broken. Watch for QB Colin Kaepernick to go absolutely crazy.

Prediction: Nevada 58 – Colorado State 17

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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