The Six Pack: Alabama-LSU, Wisconsin-Indiana among the best Week 14 college football picks

My sense of timing has been thrown entirely out of whack by this season. Did you know it’s December now? It is. I’ve been having difficulty understanding this, because even though Thanksgiving was last week and I understand where it falls on the calendar, I base my understanding of time on the sports calendar more than holidays. And the college football calendar is off.

Yes, last week was Thanksgiving but it wasn’t Thanksgiving. It wasn’t Thanksgiving because it wasn’t a weekend full of rivalry games that end the regular season. Sure, a couple of them were played, but not all. Plus, we don’t have any conference championship games this weekend.

Conference championship games are how I know it’s December! But they aren’t for another couple of weeks because we still have regular-season games to play. So, I don’t care what the calendar says; in my mind, we’re still in mid-November.

So here are my picks for this coming weekend, which is definitely mid-November, not December. Got it?

Games of the Week

No. 1 Alabama at LSU

Latest Odds:

Crimson Tide
-29.5

If you’ve been reading this column over the last few years or just following my picks on the “Cover 3 Podcast,” you know how I feel about taking big favorites. I try to avoid it at all costs. Well, I’m not avoiding it here. I suppose, if I wanted to, I could go into an in-depth explanation for this pick, sharing a bunch of stats that 75% of you have never heard of nor care about to help convince you of the pick. But I don’t think they’re necessary. The only thing I need to say about this pick is that Alabama is the best team in the country, and LSU stinks.

We’ve seen an exodus in Baton Rouge over the last week as top players decided they’ve had enough of the 2020 season and prepare for their NFL futures. I do not blame them a bit. The Tigers have little left to play for in this game, and even if they did, I don’t know where the points will come from. Alabama is back in Death Machine Mode, and it’s going to destroy LSU on Saturday night. Alabama 49, LSU 17 | The Pick: Alabama -29.5

No. 12 Indiana at No. 16 Wisconsin

Poor Indiana. The Hoosiers are having the most remarkable football season they’ve had in a long time, and they were able to bounce back from a close loss to Ohio State with an impressive win over Maryland last week. The problem is they lost their starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to a torn ACL in that game. Now we’ll find out how vital Penix was to the Hoosiers, and my instinct tells me that he’s been pretty important. I’m not sure how much faith to put into the Indiana offense against a tough Wisconsin defense.

Of course, on the other side of that coin is a Wisconsin offense that has not looked nearly as

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College Football Picks: Alabama-LSU has decided lack of buzz

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) and wide receiver John Metchie III (8) celebrate Smith's touchdown against Auburn during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) and wide receiver John Metchie III (8) celebrate Smith’s touchdown against Auburn during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

AP

Alabama-LSU has in 13 months gone from Game of the Century to not even as interesting as Liberty at Coastal Carolina.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide visit the defending national champion Tigers on Saturday for a game that is likely to be a name-the-score blowout for Alabama, which is favored by more than four touchdowns.

Looking for a game matching ranked teams this week? Try Conway, South Carolina. No. 14 Coastal Carolina puts its unbeaten record on the line against No. 25 Liberty in a game that was thrown together in August after the pandemic caused a rescheduling scramble across college football.

That’s where ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be Saturday, though everything is tentative in this season played in a pandemic.

As for the Tigers and Tide, it was a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in Tuscaloosa last season. Joe Burrow and LSU broke an eight-game losing streak in the series with a thrilling victory that vaulted LSU to a national title.

This matchup will be the first time that both teams are not ranked since 2006, when the Tide was out of the Top 25 and LSU was 12th. The Tigers won that 28-14.

The last time LSU faced Alabama as an unranked team was 2001, when neither was in the poll. An unranked LSU team last faced a ranked Alabama team in 1999 and the 12th-ranked Tide won 23-17.

The picks:

No. 1 Alabama (minus 29 1/2) at LSU

Largest margin of victory by ‘Bama in the series is 44 points back in 1922. Just in case you were wondering … ALABAMA 45-10.

Syracuse (plus 33 1/2) at No. 2 Notre Dame

Irish needed a win over the Orange to clinch a spot in the ACC title game until the league decided to eliminate the Irish’s last game; that should tell you how much of a forgone conclusion this one is … NOTRE DAME 45-7.

No. 3 Ohio State (minus 23 1/2) at Michigan State

If the Buckeyes can play, the next question is: What players are unavailable? … OHIO STATE 39-13.

No. 4 Clemson (minus 21 1/2) at Virginia Tech

One more loss for the Hokies means the first losing regular season since 1992 … CLEMSON 45-17.

No. 5 Texas A&M (minus 7) at Auburn

Tigers have won three straight and four of five in the series … AGGIES 24-19.

No. 6 Florida (minus 17) at Tennessee

Gators have won 14 of 15 against the Vols … FLORIDA 38-17.

No. 9 Miami (minus 14 1/2) at Duke

Hurricanes could still earn a spot in the ACC title game if Clemson loses … MIAMI 41-20.

No. 10 Indiana (plus 14) at No. 18 Wisconsin

Hoosiers turn to former blue chip recruit Jack Tuttle after QB Michael Penix Jr (knee) was lost for the season

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Alabama-LSU has decided lack of buzz

Alabama-LSU has in 13 months gone from Game of the Century to not even as interesting as Liberty at Coastal Carolina.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide visit the defending national champion Tigers on Saturday for a game that is likely to be a name-the-score blowout for Alabama, which is favored by more than four touchdowns.

Looking for a game matching ranked teams this week? Try Conway, South Carolina. No. 14 Coastal Carolina puts its unbeaten record on the line against No. 25 Liberty in a game that was thrown together in August after the pandemic caused a rescheduling scramble across college football.

That’s where ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be Saturday.

As for the Tigers and Tide, it was a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in Tuscaloosa last season. Joe Burrow and LSU broke an eight-game losing streak in the series with a thrilling victory that vaulted LSU to a national title.

This matchup will be the first time that both teams are not ranked since 2006, when the Tide was out of the Top 25 and LSU was 12th. The Tigers won that 28-14.

The last time LSU faced Alabama as an unranked team was 2001, when neither was in the poll. An unranked LSU team last faced a ranked Alabama team in 1999 and the 12th-ranked Tide won 23-17.

The picks:

No. 1 Alabama (minus 29 1/2) at LSU

Largest margin of victory by ‘Bama in the series is 44 points back in 1922. Just in case you were wondering … ALABAMA 45-10.

Syracuse (plus 33 1/2) at No. 2 Notre Dame

Irish needed a win over the Orange to clinch a spot in the ACC title game until the league decided to eliminate the Irish’s last game; that should tell you how much of a forgone conclusion this one is … NOTRE DAME 45-7.

No. 3 Ohio State (minus 23 1/2) at Michigan State

If the Buckeyes can play, the next question is: What players are unavailable? … OHIO STATE 39-13.

No. 4 Clemson (minus 21 1/2) at Virginia Tech

One more loss for the Hokies means the first losing regular season since 1992 … CLEMSON 45-17.

No. 5 Texas A&M (minus 7) at Auburn

Tigers have won three straight and four of five in the series … AGGIES 24-19.

No. 6 Florida (minus 17) at Tennessee

Gators have won 14 of 15 against the Vols … FLORIDA 38-17.

No. 9 Miami (minus 14 1/2) at Duke

Hurricanes could still earn a spot

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College football TV schedule, Week 14: Alabama-LSU, Florida-Tennessee set for SEC on CBS doubleheader

mac-jones-alabama.jpg
Getty Images

The SEC announced scheduling changes on Friday that included finding a spot for No. 1 Alabama at LSU on Dec. 5 after the game was initially postponed from its Nov. 14 date amid positive COVID-19 tests and tracing protocol within the Tigers program. That’s a huge win for college football fans, as the game will not only be played but take place in prime time as the second part of an SEC on CBS doubleheader. 

No. 6 Florida vs. Tennessee will kick off the doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. ET with the Gators looking to impress the College Football Playoff Selection Committee after showing up in the top six of the first set of rankings. Florida beat Kentucky 34-10 on Saturday and has all but clinched the SEC East as it heads into a road context in Knoxville, Tennessee. Carter Blackburn, Aaron Murray and Jenny Dell will be on the call from Neyland Stadium.

Our attention will turn to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the evening for Alabama at LSU with Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl on the call. The game is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. and feature the Crimson Tide as they look to close out their SEC West title and cement themselves as the nation’s top team.

Since the Tigers already had their game against the Gators moved to Dec. 12 and Alabama is likely to face Florida in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 19, there was not an obvious option to get the SEC West rivals together during the 2020 regular season. But the SEC, with efforts to try and allow for all 14 teams to play 10 games, made adjustments that included moving Alabama at Arkansas and Ole Miss at LSU off their previously scheduled Dec. 5 date to allow the Crimson Tide and Tigers to play. 

Both games will air live on CBS and can be streamed live on CBSSports.com, through the CBS Sports app. They are also available via authentication through CBS All-Access.

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