Picks: Nick Saban will control destiny 

November, 4, 2010

I had a mediocre week, going 9-10, putting me 10 over .500 against the number for the season. The good: picking Iowa to cruise by Michigan State. The bad: picking FSU to handle NC State. The ugly: picking WVU to take it to UConn.

A couple of housekeeping notes here: First, all game times listed below are ET. Second, in this blog every Thursday I pick Thursday and Friday night televised games and Saturday games involving teams ranked in the Top 25. Usually, I will jump in the comments on the blog and pick other games of interest to different fans who ask. If I had to pick every FBS game, this entry would get a bit long.

The 3:30 p.m. slotted games that are listed as "ABC Regional" can usually be found on ESPN2 in other areas. Check your local listings. If there's no TV network listed for a game below, also check local listings.

Here we go:

Thursday and Friday games

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Virginia Tech Hokies
Thursday, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Tyrod Taylor has been very impressive working downfield since the Hokies dropped their first two games. Frank Beamer's defense also has a knack for snuffing out opposing running plays, with 34 percent of rival teams' running plays going for no gain or negative yardage, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Trouble is, Bruce Taylor, their top tackler, is banged up (ankle injury) and may not be able to play or at least play the whole way. Still, the Hokies are very tough to deal with on a Thursday night at Lane Stadium and I just don't see Al Groh's defense doing enough to de-rail Tyrod & Co. VT 35-17.

UCF Knights at Houston Cougars
Friday, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Cougars return home after a three-game road stretch to face a very tough UCF squad. Houston, though, is just 98th in rushing defense and will have too many problems containing a physical Golden Knights team. UCF 34-27.

Saturday games