Crystal ball: Alabama beats LSU at home
After a hiatus of a few weeks (blame the baseball postseason), the Crystal Ball is back as we finish off the college football season. There are some good Big 12 games on the schedule, but let's be honest: This weekend is dominated by Alabama vs. LSU in the SEC. So here are a few games to look:
LSU at Alabama, 7 p.m., CBS: The top-2 defenses in the country meet at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is No. 1 in points against and LSU is No. 2. It won't be easy for either offense to score. But I like Alabama's ability to run the football and wear down -- maybe a little, at least -- the LSU defense. Behind a home crowd and junior RB Trent Richardson, I think it will be just enough to outlast the Tigers. This should be a fun one. Prediction: Alabama 17, LSU 14
Texas Tech at Texas, 11 a.m., FX: The Red Raiders are always dangerous and the Longhorns know they've got to be ready for anything on defense. Texas Tech is fifth in the nation in passing yards (359 per game) and 16th in points for. But there's probably no team more baffling to predict from week to week. They post a huge upset on the road against Oklahoma and then get crushed, 41-7, by Iowa State. Go figure. Texas is at home. That should certainly help. Tech will make it interesting, but the Longhorns get it done. Prediction: Texas 38, Texas Tech 24
TCU at Wyoming, 1 p.m.: TCU has become a much better team over the past few weeks. They beat up on New Mexico (yes, winless New Mexico), but also handled BYU at Cowboys Stadium. It's not easy to travel to War Memorial Stadium, but the Horned Frogs can run the ball and put up points. Prediction: TCU 45, Wyoming 28
Texas A&M at Oklahoma, 2:30 p.m., ABC: The Aggies are coming off a rough loss to Missouri, where they blew yet another second-half lead. Finishing games has clearly been an issue for the Aggies this season. Oklahoma, meanwhile, wants to keep its hopes of a Big 12 title and even an outside shot at the BCS Championsnhip game intact with a win at home over Texas A&M. The Sooners are fifth in the nation in points and have the second-most passing yards. It's difficult to believe OU could lose two straight games at home. Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Texas A&M 31
Tulane at SMU, 2 p.m.: Something tells me SMU is going to take out a few weeks of frustration on Tulane at home. The Mustangs had a five-game winning streak snapped with two straight losses on the road (Southern Miss and Tulsa and neither game was particularly close). It's bounce back time and Tulane will have trouble stopping SMU's passing attack. Prediction: SMU 35, Tulane 17
Kansas State at Oklahoma State, 7 p.m., ABC: The schedule has certainly stiffened for Kansas State. After getting beat handily at home by Oklahoma, the Wildcats must travel to Stillwater. OSU must guard against any hint of looking ahead to the big clash with OU in a few weeks. They first must take care of business for any of that to matter. I think the Cowboys will be ready. Prediction: OSU 48, Kansas State 24
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