published Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Alabama and Texas A&M showdown has league captivated

OTHER PICKS

Arkansas 43, Southern Miss 14

LSU 49, Kent State 16

Va. Tech 24, East Carolina 19

Wake Forest 23, UL-Monroe 22

Pittsburgh 31, New Mexico 18

USC 27, Boston College 10

Florida State 56, Nevada 13

Syracuse 45, Wagner 0

Maryland 40, UConn 21

Notre Dame 26, Purdue 17

MTSU 30, Memphis 27

W. Virginia 59, Georgia St. 6

Ohio State 34, California 23

UCLA 28, Nebraska 25

Stanford 42, Army 7

Michigan 35, Akron 12

Oklahoma St. 61, Lamar 24

Can't wait for Saturday's showdown between Alabama and Texas A&M?

A lot of Southeastern Conference coaches feel the same way.

"That game will be fun to watch," Georgia's Mark Richt said earlier this week. "I don't exactly know where I'll be when I'm watching it, but I'll be watching that thing just like the rest of the college football world."

Richt can enjoy the Crimson Tide and Aggies without having to scout either team for a matchup later in the regular season. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel hosts Texas A&M in late November and played the Crimson Tide and the Aggies last season, allowing a combined 101 points.

Pinkel's Tigers made trips each of the past three seasons to Texas A&M's Kyle Field, the site of Saturday's game.

"It's a great, great environment for college football, but Alabama has been around the corner a little bit," Pinkel said. "I'm sure they're looking at it as a great opportunity also."

Then there is the needed viewpoint from LSU coach Les Miles, who since 2010 has a combined 4-2 record against Alabama and Texas A&M.

"I think it will be a very interesting matchup," Miles said. "That defense that Alabama has is very quality, and I can't imagine them being out of place much. They have talent. They have skill, and they're prepared."

Pasquali's Pix:

Louisville at Kentucky: Wildcats quarterbacks Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow alternated 17 times in last week's win over Miami of Ohio. The Cardinals have no need for that. Cardinals 38, Wildcats 19.

Alabama at Texas A&M: It's not the 58.5 points the Aggies are averaging after wins over Rice and Sam Houston State that's eye-popping. It's the 29.5 points they're allowing. Crimson Tide 41, Aggies 28.

Georgia Tech at Duke: Thanks to that 70-0 opening win over Elon, the Yellow Jackets lead the nation in scoring offense and are tied for the top in scoring defense. Yellow Jackets 34, Blue Devils 20.

Tennessee at Oregon: Oh, the fun Adidas could have if the Volunteers pulled the upset. Ducks 52, Volunteers 21.

Austin Peay at UTC: So far, the most accurate slogan for the Mocs is, "We're somewhere between UT-Martin and Georgia State." Mocs 37, Governors 14.

Mississippi State at Auburn: The Gus Bus appears to be rolling early on the Plains, so don't count on a repeat of that 3-2 Tigers win a few years back. Tigers 34, Bullies 21.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina: If Gamecocks defenders showed as much fight as Gamecocks defensive assistants, South Carolina would win out. Gamecocks 23, Commodores 13.

Ole Miss at Texas: Mack Brown can't afford to lose to Hugh Freeze, or else he might be replaced by Hugh Freeze. Longhorns 30, Rebels 29.

Last week:

Winners.............................24

Kiffins..................................1

Pasquali is 45-5 (90.0 percent) overall this season.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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