College Football Picks: 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 BYU 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, for a battle of unbeatens. No. 14 Coastal Carolina faces No. BYU in a game that was finalized Thursday after No. 25 Liberty had to cancel its trip to Conway because of COVID-19 issues.
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.
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 ... WISCONSIN 31-14.
Vanderbilt (plus 35 1/2) at No. 11 Georgia
Will the Commodores get close enough to the end zone this week for soccer player-turned-kicker Sarah Fuller to attempt to score? ... GEORGIA 45-7.
West Virginia (plus 7) at No. 12 Iowa State
Cyclones have all but locked up a spot in the Big 12 championship game and now are long-shot playoff contenders. Very long shots, but still ... IOWA STATE 24-14.
Baylor (plus 22) at No. 13 Oklahoma
Sooners have won six straight against the Bears, including two last year by a combined 10 points ... OKLAHOMA 48-17.
No. 8 BYU (minus 10) at No. 14 Coastal Carolina
On 56 hours’ notice, a top-15 matchup between unbeaten teams on the first weekend of December. 2020! ... BYU 31-24.
Rice (plus 23) at No. 15 Marshall
Undefeated Thundering Herd has not played since Nov. 14 ... MARSHALL 35-7.
Washington State (plus 13 1/2) at No. 17 Southern California (Sunday)
Two teams coming off a COVID-19 cancellation ... USC 35-23.
No. 19 Oklahoma State (minus 2 1/2) at TCU
Horned Frogs need a victory to avoid three straight losing Big 12 seasons for the first time since joining the conference in 2012 ... OKLAHOMA STATE 28-24.
No. 20 Louisiana-Lafayette (plus 2 1/2) at Appalachian State
Mountaineers have won all eight meetings, including the last two Sun Belt championship games, against the Ragin’ Cajuns ... LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 27-24.
No. 21 Oregon (minus 10) at California
Bears had hopes for a big season but are winless with the worst offense in the Pac-12 ... OREGON 31-17.
No. 22 Tulsa (minus 12) at Navy
Golden Hurricane clinch a spot in the AAC title game with a victory ... TULSA 28-20.
Stanford (plus 11 1/2) at No. 23 Washington
Cardinal will relocate to the Northwest to escape COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara County ... WASHINGTON 28-14.
No. 24 Iowa (minus 13 1/2) at Illinois
Hawkeyes have won four straight overall and six straight against the Illini ... IOWA 24-14.
Arkansas (plus 3) at Missouri — @lakehog_stephen
Tigers have won four straight and five of six in the series since they joined the SEC, which kind of sums up the Razorbacks’ recent struggles ... ARKANSAS 28-26.
Oregon State (plus 11 1/2) at Utah — @_Red5StandingBy
Not a lot of respect for the Beavers, even coming off a big upset of Oregon ... UTAH 27-23.
Buffalo (minus 11) at Ohio — @jcohenap
In the last two games, Bulls RB Jaret Patterson has 710 yards rushing, which is more than Louisiana-Monroe (653) has in nine games ... BUFFALO 35-28.
Penn State (minus 11 1/2) at Rutgers — @rydunleavy
Scarlet Knights have desperately wanted this to be a rivalry, but the Nittany Lions have won 13 straight dating back to 1988 ... PENN STATE 38-21.
Last week: 15-3 straight; 11-7 against the spread.
Season: 137-51 straight; 93-93-1 against the spread.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/
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