Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/23/11

What’s that? All you want for Thanksgiving is some Week 13 Crystal Ball Run Staff Picks? Ask, and you shall receive.

Here are this weekend’s holiday picks. However, you will notice one, glaring exception: There is no mention of the “Game of the Century Part Deux,” Arkansas and LSU. That’s because much like we did in the week preceding LSU-Alabama, Crystal Ball Run will run a separate picks column for that game on Friday.

Until then, here are the picks.

And oh by the way, happy Thanksgiving everyone!

No. 25 Texas at Texas A&M: Thursday, 8:00 pm ESPN

Allen Kenney’s Take: The rumors flying around message boards this week that Texas offered Nick Saban $100 million to take over for Mack Brown made for some fun games of "what if?" I doubt the whispers have any validity at all, but even if true, UT's quarterback situation would probably be enough to scare off Saban. The Longhorns are going back to Case McCoy under center, and his best qualification for the job at this point is that he's not David Ash.

It will take a monumental effort like the one given last week by Texas' defense, probably including a defensive score, for UT to win. On the other side, A&M's defense has had its struggles this year, but shutting down a one-dimensional offense isn't asking too much.

Kyle Field will be rocking, and the Aggies will enjoy leaving their in-state rivals a little something to remember them by.

The Pick: Texas A&M 21, Texas 6

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Texas A&M 27, Texas 21
Kevin McGuire: Texas A&M 24, Texas 20
Michael Felder: Texas A&M 31, Texas 20
Regie Eller: Texas A&M 31, Texas 24
Tom Perry: Texas 24, Texas AM 21

Iowa at No. 21 Nebraska: Friday, 12:00 pm ABC

Regie Eller’s Take: The Iowa Hawkeyes won its first game on the road last week versus Purdue. Otherwise, the Hawkeyes have been terrible away from home. They have lost to Iowa State (44-41), Penn State (13-3) and Minnesota (22-21) all away from Kinnick Stadium.

Nebraska, coming off a road loss of its own, are either reeling – and will play flat – or are a mad bunch of Cornhuskers. I will take the latter.

There is not a lot of separation – in numbers – between the two schools, so it may be closer than the spread will indicate but Nebraska will win this one at home.

The Pick: Nebraska 24, Iowa 17

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Nebraska 17, Iowa 7
Allen Kenney: Nebraska 28, Iowa 14
Kevin McGuire: Nebraskerela 23, Iowa 17
Michael Felder: Nebraska 24, Iowa 17
Tom Perry: Nebraska 17, 1owa 14

The Pick: Nebraska 17, Iowa 14

Pittsburgh at West Virginia: Friday, 7:00 p.m. ESPN/ESPN3

Tom Perry’s Take: Pitt coach Todd Graham and WVU coach Dana Holgorsen have a heated past that dates back to when both coached in Conference USA. Holgorsen's offenses usually got the best of Graham's teams. Since then the two have always talked a lot of trash about each other. You can only imagine what they say about each other on the recruiting trail.

Let's not forget there's a game to play, and it could potentially be the final Backyard Brawl for awhile. In case you missed it, West Virginia plans to leave the Big East for the Big 12 after this season (who cares about that pesky lawsuit filed by the conference). Of course, Pitt plans to go to the ACC in 2014 with Syracuse.

So if the 105th meeting is the last, let's make it count guys.

Something tells me Geno Smith will out duel Tino Sunseri in a night game in Morgantown.

The Pick: West Virginia 31, Pittsburgh 17

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Pittsburgh 24, West Virginia 20
Allen Kenney: West Virginia 35, Pittsburgh 34
Kevin McGuire: West Virginia 28, Pittsburgh 17
Michael Felder: West Virginia 30, Pittsburgh 24
Regie Eller: West Virginia 42, Pittsburgh 20

No. 13 Georgia at No. 23 Georgia Tech 12:00pm ESPN

Michael Felder’s Take: The Yellow Jackets are 2-3 in their last five and they now have the Dawgs coming to town for a rivalry game that has gone UGA's way for the last two seasons. After working their way into the Top 15 over the course of the season the fall has been hard for the Jackets who need this win to have a shot at ten wins for the season. On the other side you've got a Georgia team that floundered early getting beat by both South Carolina and Boise State to start the year. The Dawgs need this win to get to the 10-win plateau for the regular season and, even with last week's struggle against Kentucky, continue their push on one of the nation's longest winning streaks.

The Dawgs are a dynamic passing attack with enough running power to keep teams honest. Georgia Tech hasn't been world beaters on the defensive side of the ball and this is going ot be a true test for the Jackets and Al Groh. Look for Georgia to really GATA on both sides of the ball as the UGA defense is playing the best ball they've played since the long gone days of Brian Van Gorder.

The Pick: Georgia 34, Georgia Tech 20

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 17
Allen Kenney: Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 24
Kevin McGuire: Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 33
Regie Eller: Georgia Tech 24, Georgia 21
Tom Perry: Georgia 30, Georgia Tech 24

Ohio State at No. 15 Michigan: Saturday, 12:00 pm ABC

Allen Kenney’s Take: Legend has it that this was once a historic rivalry. Um, how many historic rivalries do you know of that are played at noon on free TV?

Anyway, if these two really do hate each other as much as they say, that must really suck for Michigan, which last beat the Buckeyes in 1947. This would be a good time for the Wolverines to get a win, because it would appear OSU will be upgrading from in-over-his-head coach Luke Fickell to in-and-out-and-in-again Urban Meyer in the near future.

Looking at the last few weeks, these teams are heading in opposite directions. Michigan is finally rounding into shape and adapting to the changes implemented by first-year coach Brady Hoke and his staff. Ohio State is... well, I don't think the Buckeyes are really going anywhere at the moment. They just kinda are...

Michigan 27, Ohio State 10

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Michigan 17, Ohio State 13
Kevin McGuire: Ohio State 21, Michigan 20
Michael Felder: Ohio State 26, Michigan 20
Regie Eller: Michigan 28, Ohio State 16
Tom Perry: Ohio State 21, Michigan 17

No. 2 Alabama at No. 24 Auburn: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. CBS

Aaron Torres’ Take: Ahh, these are truly heady times to be an SEC fan (just as long as your team plays in the West and isn’t from Mississippi). With Arkansas and LSU duking it out on Friday, Alabama gets to sit back, and realize that if they win this game, they will almost assuredly get to play for a National Championship. They'll also most likely get that chance with the added bonus of not having to go to Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship Game, meaning that in all likelihood, losing to LSU very well might’ve been the best thing that ever happened to them.

Of course before all that happens, they'll have to beat their cross-state rivals first.

Well, with all due respect to Auburn fans, they will. Alabama has the bigger, stronger defense on Saturday, the only true offensive weapon on the field (Trent Richardson) and too much to play for.

Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn will do what they can to keep it close. But it won’t be enough to beat the Tide.

They’ll role into the BCS title game.

The Pick: Alabama 28, Auburn 10

Everyone Else’s Take:

Allen Kenney: Alabama 45, Auburn 14
Kevin McGuire: Alabama 30, Auburn 17
Michael Felder: Alabama 37, Auburn 27
Regie Eller: Alabama 49, Auburn 10
Tom Perry: Alabama 28, Auburn 7

No. 19 Penn State at No. 16 Wisconsin, Saturday 3:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3

Kevin McGuire’s Take: I think Penn State's defense once again keeps the game close and will put the offense in position to win in the fourth quarter. But if the game is on the line who am I going to put more faith in this weekend? Matt McGloin or Russell Wilson? Who do I count on to pick up a yard on 3rd and 1 or even 4th and 1 more. Silas Redd or Montee Ball? We have seen a couple of short-yardage situations where Penn Stte came up small against Nebraska and Ohio State.

Penn State winning would be a great story, but I have to go with the home team this weekend to finish the job set at the beginning of the season by being named Big Ten favorites.

Wisconsin 17, Penn State 13

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Wisconsin 31, Penn State 14
Allen Kenney: Wisconsin 24, Penn State 12
Michael Felder: Wisconsin 30, Penn St 17
Regie Eller: Wisconsin 24, Penn State 13
Tom Perry: Wisconsin 21, Penn State 10

Florida State at Florida: 7:00 pm ESPN2 (ESPN3)

Regie Eller's Take: Well, this Florida-Florida State game is not your 1996 match up – but it’s a match up nonetheless.

The Gators and Seminoles have struggled – for the most part – offensively all season long. Defensively, it has been a different story. A word of advice, take the under, whatever the under is, take it.

Both sides have some skill on the offense, it has just been a struggle getting them all going in the same direction, at the same time. In quarterback play, I would give the edge to Florida State. Running backs and wide receivers, I would call a push. Both kickers – Caleb Sturgis and Dustin Hopkins – are Lou Groza finalists. Basically what you need to know is this: Not many points will be scored.

Which defense is better? Give me Florida State.

The Pick: Florida State 17, Florida 6

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Florida State 24, Florida 7
Allen Kenney: Florida State 23, Florida 13
Kevin McGuire: Florida State 32,  Florida 27
Michael Felder: Florida State 29 Florida 20
Tom Perry: Florida State 28, Florida 24

Ole Miss at Mississippi State: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ESPNU

Aaron Torres’ Take: There’s no nice way to say this: Ole Miss is bad. Overwhelmingly bad. Like “they’re so bad, historians will be studying for centuries to come,” bad.

The worst news of all? If Ole Miss loses Saturday, it’ll be the first time since the 1940’s they’ve lost three straight to State.

History will be made Saturday night. And not the good kind.

The Pick: Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 6

Everyone Else’s Take:

Allen Kenney: Mississippi State 28, Ole Miss 10
Kevin McGuire: Mississippi State 23, Ole Miss 13
Michael Felder: Mississippi State 28, Ole Miss 17
Regie Eller: Mississippi State 9, Ole Miss 6
Tom Perry: Mississippi State 35, Ole Miss 10

No. 17 Clemson at No. 12 South Carolina

Kevin McGuire’s Take: This game is an interesting one to me because I just don't know what to make of Clemson. They already have their spot in the ACC championship game next week locked up and after losing big at North Carolina State last week I'm curious to see just how they respond this week. Fortunately I expect them to bounce back with plenty of fight as they go up against their in-state rivals from the SEC, South Carolina. Clemson has been putting up some big points for most of the season but South Carolina may have just the defense to slow them down. My question though is whether or not the Gamecocks have enough fire power to keep pace with the Tigers. Clemson has turned the ball over often in recent weeks and the Gamecocks have forced 29 turnovers this season. I think Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins (expected to return this week) find their groove and head to Charlotte on a high note by outlasting Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks.

The Pick: Clemson 34, South Carolina 29

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: South Carolina 16, Clemson 14
Allen Kenney: South Carolina 33, Clemson 26
Michael Felder: South Carolina 37, Clemson 28
Regie Eller: South Carolina 31, Clemson 17
Tom Perry: South Carolina 32, Clemson 21

No. 22 Notre Dame at No. 6 Stanford: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ABC

Tom Perry’s Take: The Irish have a chance to finish 9-3 and snatch a good bowl away from the Big East again. OK, Notre Dame will screw over the Big East no matter what.

Stanford's Andrew Luck needs a big finish to make his push for the Heisman Trophy, and the Cardinal are probably holding to a slim hope of getting into the BCS Championship game.

Notre Dame has been so schizophrenic this season that it wouldn't surprise me to see Brian Kelly's team play lights out and beat Stanford. But the Irish fail the eyeball test, and there's no way Notre Dame goes across the country and beats Stanford.

The Pick: Stanford 42, Notre Dame 20

Everyone Else’s Take:

Aaron Torres: Notre Dame 28, Stanford 24
Allen Kenney: Stanford 28, Notre Dame 24
Kevin McGuire: Stanford 33, Notre Dame 24
Michael Felder: Stanford 45, Notre Dame 37
Regie Eller: Stanford 35, Notre Dame 24

USC at UCLA 10:00pm FSN

Michael Felder's Take: This is one of the oddest games of the weekend because UCLA, at 6-5, controls their own destiny where the Pac-12 South is concerned. Win and the Bruins are in. Lose and Utah division tiebreakers become some of the ugliest "pick your poison" scenarios for figuring out which of the extremely average teams out of Arizona State, Utah and UCLA gets to go to the big game. Basically Southern Cal needs to close off their big season by avoiding the let down against their cross town rival, effectively ending their push to the first ever Pac-12 South title and silencing those who would mistake UCLA winning the South for the Bruins actually being a good team.

For Lane Kiffin's team this is their bowl game. This is the last chance his kids get to suit up for the season and after smacking around Oregon last weekend I fully expect the Trojans to make it five in a row against the Bruins. No let down when you've got nothing to look forward to after Thanksgiving weekend.

The Pick: USC 35 UCLA 13

Aaron Torres: USC 35, UCLA 10
Allen Kenney: USC 34, UCLA 17
Kevin McGuire: USC 43, UCLA 24
Regie Eller: USC 49, UCLA 13
Tom Perry: USC 45, UCLA 10

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Also be sure to check back Friday as our staff makes their picks on Arkansas-LSU.

Until then…


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