Prediction time: This week's football picks
It's championship weekend in college football, so we'll pick a handful of games here, even some that may not feature teams in our area (but could impact some teams in our area):
Texas vs Nebraska (7 p.m., ABC, Cowboys Stadium): You can tell by the comments that Nebraska quietly believes it can win this game. But to do it, they have to run the ball (much like Texas A&M did on Thanksgiving) and find a way to put pressure on Colt McCoy. Neither will be easy. McCoy has the Texas offense rolling, spreading the ball around and using his feet as another way to breakdown the defense. And the Longhorns' defense will be even more motivated than usual after a sub-par performance against the Aggies. I think Texas just has too much for the Huskers. Prediction: Texas 31, Nebraska 17
Florida vs. Alabama (3 p.m., CBS, Georgia Dome): College football fans, particularly those in the SEC, have waited all year for this, haven't they? Last year, Florida came back from a halftime deficit to win the game. This year, I think that's exactly what Alabama does. I know it's risky to pick against Tim Tebow and the Gators. But I do think, even with Mark Ingram's iffy hip, that the Tide will find enough running room. And Greg McElroy showed against Auburn last week that he can take his team on a big drive late. I'll take Alabam in an upset. Prediction: Alabama 20, Florida 17
Georgia Tech vs. Clemson (7 p.m., ESPN, Tampa): Both teams come into this game after disappointing losses to rivals (both losing to a SEC team). Both teams have a key playmaker -- Georgia Tech has QB Josh Nesbitt and Clemson has RB C.J. Spiller. Clemson fell behind 24-0 to Georgia Tech on the road early in the year, stormed back to tie it, and then lost late. This time, the Tigers don't get too far behind early and they're able to get past the Yellow Jackets. Prediction: Clemson 27, Georgia Tech 20
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (11 a.m., ABC): Despite losing to West Virginia last week, Pittsburgh can win the Big East with a victory. I wonder how distracted the Bearcats are with all of this talk about their coach maybe going to Notre Dame. Still, this team has an undefeated season on the line and even on the road, I think they'll find a way. It will be a shootout, of course. It seems that most games Cincinnati plays are shootouts. Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Pittsburgh 34
Houston at East Carolina (11 a.m., ESPN2): Just a few weeks ago, there was a chance SMU could have hosted this game if it won out. Oh well. The Mustangs, headed to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, will watch on TV to see if Houston's Case Keenum can get the job done for the Cougars. I think he does. Prediction: Houston 38, East Carolina 34
New Mexico State at Boise State (2 p.m.): I only throw this game out there because the Broncos are still in the mix for an at-large berth. In fact, I don't see how they don't get one unless Nebraska pulls off the upset. Once again, Boise State is playing a really inferior team. They won't have any trouble finishing off an undefeated season. Boise State hasn't lost since the Poinsietta Bowl last year to TCU. Prediction: Boise State 55, New Mexico State 10
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Bob Stoops' recent comments about the SEC and the pending college football playoff, what appears to be an unpredictable Big 12 in 2013, how the Aggies will handle expectations and more.
Play Podcast Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talks about the improvements being made to Kyle Field, what those improvements will to for the program, the success of last year, Johnny Manziel's offseason and the expectations for the Aggies in 2013.
Play Podcast Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo talk about Texas A&M's decision to expand its stadium and say although the Aggies had a fantastic year, the school must also be careful not to overextend its resources based on a single hot stretch.
Play Podcast Baylor head coach Art Briles joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what kind of player the Cowboys are getting in Terrance Williams.
Play Podcast Arlington and Texas A&M product Luke Joeckel, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett to discuss the draft, coaches and advice from his dad.
Play Podcast Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his school's Cinderella story and playing in the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium.
Play Podcast Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby joins Fizsimmons & Durrett to discuss Cowboys Stadium as a venue, the state of Big 12 basketball, the new 2014 college football format, why there's no hurry to have a Big 12 football championship and much more.
Play Podcast Jay Bilas joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the remaining 16 teams in the NCAA tournament, the intrigue surrounding the Northwest Region and the excitement over FGCU, even though a similar story happens every year.