Tom Layberger

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Other news dwarfs Pac-12 game

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Pac-12 North matchup between Oregon and Stanford in Palo Alto trumps all Saturday as far as BCS and Heisman implications. Yet, it has been and will continue be the undercard as far as attention it receives given the circumstances in State College, Pa. At least it doesn't start until 8 ET, eight hours after Penn State/Nebraska kicks off.

No. 7 Oregon (8-1, 6-0 Pac-12) at No. 4 Stanford (9-0, 7-0 Pac-12)
There has not been room or time for hype with all the focus in central Pennsylvania. But by far the best matchup of the week has large BCS implications and could determine who represents the North Division in the inaugural Pac-12 title game. It also has Heisman implications in that Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck could seal the deal or come back to the pack.
Pick: Oregon 33-24

No. 19 Nebraska (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) at No. 12 Penn State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten)
In the first Penn State football game without Joe Paterno on staff since 1949, the Nittany Lions can come one step closer to locking up the Big Ten’s Leaders Division. An interesting game to begin with, the intrigue is now off the chart. PSU’s front seven can certainly play havoc with Nebraska’s offense, but it could be a monumental task for the home team to focus for 60 minutes. It’s also hard to go against the team that has not had major distractions during its week of practice.
Pick: Nebraska 23-17

TCU (7-2, 4-0 MWC) at No. 5 Boise State (8-3, 3-0 MWC)
It’s truly a case of something must give. TCU has won a MWC record 21 straight games and shares the mark (BYU) with 11 straight conference road wins. Boise State has not lost a home conference game since 1998 when the Broncos fell in overtime, 36-35, to Idaho. The streak stands at 47 games. Shoving all that aside, the feeling here is BSU’s defense will be the difference.
Pick: Boise State 30-20

No. 20 Auburn (6-3, 4-2) at No. 15 Georgia (7-2, 5-1 SEC)
After the first few weeks of the season, who would have guessed BOTH these teams were going to be top 20 heading into the second week of November? The schedule was favorable for the Bulldogs to do an about-face and they get RB Isaiah Crowell back from a one-game suspension against the Tigers’ poor run defense. Crowell’s return and a hot Aaron Murray could be too much for Auburn.
Pick: Georgia: 34-23

Washington (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12) at No. 18 USC (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12)
Don’t overlook what could be a great QB duel between Washington’s Keith Price and USC’s Matt Barkley. Price is enduring his first stretch of adversity with a pair of off games that included three picks against Oregon last week. Barkley is on fire with more than 800 yards and 12 TD passes in his last three games.  
Pick: USC 34-30

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