Commentary

Alabama will blow out LSU

Evaluating upset odds and picking the winners for this weekend's biggest games

Updated: November 3, 2011, 12:31 PM ET
By Will Harris | ESPN Insider
Tyrann Mathieu/Dre KirkpatrickGetty Images/US PresswireTyrann Mathieu and Dre Kirkpatrick are key pieces on two of the nation's best defenses.

Every week during the season, Will Harris will conspire with the computers (using TeamRankings' game predictor) and the wiseguys to evaluate the upset possibilities in college football's most compelling games -- and give his picks for who'll come out on top.

The Clemson Tigers, Wisconsin Badgers, Texas A&M Aggies and Texas Tech Red Raiders were the ranked upset victims in Week 9, while the Kansas State Wildcats and Michigan State Spartans lost as underdogs. After a strong September, Upset Picks continued to tank in October, going 2-6 last week to fall to .500 (35-35) for the first time this year.

We're looking to get off to a fast start in November. This week we've got the inside word on why the latest "game of the century" won't live up to its billing, why the Trojans and Ducks could be at risk, and upset odds and picks for the rest of Week 10's big games.

LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama is favored by 4.5 points
TeamRankings win odds for LSU: 36 percent

LSU is an outstanding, well-coached team with a top-flight defense and a powerful running game. Unfortunately for the Tigers, this game doesn't really have much to do with them. Alabama is a championship team on a championship mission, and LSU is simply in the way.

We've been beating this drum all year, but Alabama's defense is absolutely not "one of" the best in the country. It is not simply the nation's best in 2011, but rather a once-in-a-generation defense. That's not hyperbole. It's also what we should expect given the Crimson Tide's perfect set of circumstances. The sport's top defensive coaching staff in terms of both scheme and technique is, in its fifth year, at the very pinnacle of its recruiting and player development machine.