Mark Edwards' predictions: Tide, JSU have the big picture in mind
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Nov 22, 2013 | 2424 views |  0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama's Million Dollar Band should celebrate another win today. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama's Million Dollar Band should celebrate another win today. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Both Alabama and Jacksonville State should roll today, as both have bigger possible prizes down the road.

Alabama, of course, has the Iron Bowl in a week. Jacksonville State is hoping a win today can help in its push to make the FCS playoffs.

Chattanooga (8-3) at No. 1 Alabama (10-0): Chattanooga is a good FCS team that has lost three games by a combined 15 points, falling to Tennessee-Martin, Georgia Southern and Samford. The 17-14 loss to Samford, which came last week, might’ve cost the Mocs their own FCS playoff bid.

Alabama has played Chattanooga 11 times in its history and won all 11. ... Alabama 49, Chattanooga 7.

Southeast Missouri (3-8) at Jacksonville State (8-3): Southeast Missouri has beaten Murray State, Urbana and Austin Peay by a combined seven points.

The Redhawks are one of the nation’s worst against the run, ranking No. 115 in FCS. JSU is 23rd nationally in running the ball. ... Jacksonville State 31, Southeast Missouri 16.

No. 3 Baylor (9-0) at No. 11 Oklahoma State (9-1): This game will decide the Big 12 championship. Baylor hasn’t won a league title since taking the old Southwest Conference crown in 1980.

Oklahoma State has played its best since senior Clint Chelf took over at quarterback for sophomore J.W. Walsh about a month ago, but Baylor is first nationally in points and yards and seventh in scoring defense. ... Baylor 42, Oklahoma State 31.

No. 8 Missouri (9-1) at No. 24 Ole Miss (7-3): Missouri quarterback James Franklin is expected to start after missing about a month because of a shoulder injury. The Tigers’ strength is not making mistakes — they’re second nationally behind Houston in turnover margin.

Ole Miss has won four straight. ... Missouri 27, Ole Miss 24.

No. 9 Texas A&M (8-2) at No. 18 LSU (7-3): LSU is a Top 20 team, but the Bengal Tigers haven’t beaten a decent team since defeating Auburn in September. They’ve fallen to Georgia, Ole Miss and Alabama.

Still, A&M is ranked 14th out of 14 in the SEC in total defense and 13th in scoring defense. ... LSU 45, Texas A&M 42.

Nebraska (7-3) at Penn State (6-4): This would’ve been fun in 1994 in pre-BCS times when No. 1 and No. 2 didn’t play in a final game. Both finished unbeaten, but Nebraska took first place in both major polls at the time.

The Nittany Lions are 0-3 on other teams’ fields, 5-1 at home and 1-0 on neutral fields. Nebraska is coming off a loss to Michigan State. ... Penn State 28, Nebraska 27.

Kentucky (2-8) at Georgia (6-4): Kentucky has wins over Miami of Ohio and Alabama State. The Wildcats score only about 21 points a game.

Georgia’s season is full of heartbreaking losses to Clemson, Missouri, Vanderbilt and, of course, Auburn. ... Georgia 38, Kentucky 10.

Vanderbilt (6-4) at Tennessee (4-6): Since 1960, Vandy has won at Tennessee only twice — 28-24 in 2005 and 17-14 in 1975.

Tennessee hasn’t won since beating South Carolina a month ago. ... Vanderbilt 23, Tennessee 17.

Mississippi State (4-6) at Arkansas (3-7): Arkansas’ losing streak is up to seven straight. The Razorbacks are 100th nationally in total offense. They’ve scored 58 points in the last five games. Mississippi State has lost three straight, with its last win coming against Kentucky a month ago. ... Mississippi State 22, Arkansas 13.

No. 13 Michigan State (9-1) at Northwestern (4-6): If you’re sick of hearing Urban Meyer complain about how a “flawed” system is keeping his Ohio State Buckeyes out of the BCS National Championship Game, keep a close eye on Michigan State, which might be the best team in the Big Ten.

MSU leads the nation in total defense and rushing defense and ranks fourth in scoring defense. The Spartans have lost only once — 17-13 at Notre Dame when MSU was hit with four defensive pass interference calls.

MSU leads the Legends Division, and Ohio State is tops in the Leaders Division. If they remain on top, they’ll play in the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 7, and like today, you might want to go with the Spartans in that one. … Michigan State 27, Northwestern 13.

Last week: 9-1. (I missed big on Miami-Duke. The Blue Devils won 48-30, and I had picked a one-point Miami win.)

Overall: 94-26.
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