#3 OKLAHOMA (4-0, 1-0) VS. #11 TEXAS (4-0, 1-0) (12pm ET, ABC)
The heavyweight duel of the weekend also gets the action underway with an early noon start, as the Texas Revenge Tour comes head-to-head with Oklahoma's National Championship Quest. Texas had won 4 out of the past 5 meetings before dropping last year's contest in the midst of their 7-loss flameout, but at this point the table still appears to be flipped in Oklahoma's advantage. Texas made short work of their first two victims (UCLA and Iowa State) on the Revenge Tour, but Oklahoma is a different matter: they've been a buzzsaw against lesser opponents and they've already survived a brutal road test against Florida State. On the other hand, the toughest opponent Texas has faced is... UCLA? Iowa State? Not quite comparable. Their rise to #11 (and Michigan's similar rise to #12) is living proof of the power of having a strong brand name in college football: put together a few wins and pollsters will always find it in them to give you the benefit of the doubt and shoot you up the polls. To be sure, this year's Texas squad looks markedly more competent than last year's dumpster fire of an outfit; Case McCoy and David Ash have combined to give the Longhorns far better play out of the quarterback than they got out of interception machine Garrett Gilbert last year and they've also pulled together an impressive running game out of many disparate parts. But Oklahoma's defense presents a far greater challenge than anything the Longhorns have yet faced; they're going to need very good performances out of McCoy and Ash to have a shot in this game and that may be asking too much at this stage. Meanwhile, their defense is going to find itself stretched thin by an Oklahoma offense loaded with options: Landry Jones is an experienced, talented quarterback who's thrived in numerous pressure situations -- and he has a dynamite group of receivers to toss the ball to as well in Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills, and Jaz Reynolds. In Dominique Whaley they have a pretty solid running back, too. In short, they seem to have more talent and more experience than Texas, which usually adds up to a win. Unless Mack Brown has some pretty epic tricks still up his sleeve, Oklahoma's march towards the title game should continue.
THE PICK: OKLAHOMA 34, TEXAS 24
#17 FLORIDA (4-1, 2-1) AT #1 LSU (5-0, 2-0) (3:30pm ET, CBS)
What did Florida do to deserve this schedule? One week after facing Alabama at home, the Gators take their show on the road and visit the SEC's other powerhouse team, LSU, in Death Valley. Oh, and they get to do with it a true freshman quarterback making his first start after John Brantley got hurt in last week's humbling loss at the hands of Alabama. Good luck with that one, Gators. The good news is that it's pretty much all uphill from here on out for the Gators -- unless they win the SEC East and have to face either Alabama or LSU again in the SEC Championship Game. Les Miles shouldn't have to dig too deep in his bag of tricks to dispatch this undermanned Florida team. Demps and Rainey will make a few big plays, but eventually the LSU defense will crush the life out of the Gator offense and force it into making mistakes, leading to LSU points and a comfortable Tigers win.
THE PICK: LSU 27, FLORIDA 13