College football pick Alabama at Arkansas 9-25-10

September 24, 2010

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Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Saturday September 25, 2010 3:30 EST

Line: Alabama -7 1/2

This is going to be an epic SEC battle. Arkansas and Alabama are both undefeated and the winner will surely control the SEC. The number one ranked Crimson Tide will look to establish their dominance and repeat their championship run last year. The number ten Razorbacks will have their home crowd behind them, as they search for an upset.

Keys to the Game

  • Future first round pick Ryan Mallett is going to need to play the game of his life to compete with Alabama. In last year’s game, Mallett completed only twelve passes. This was partially due to the fact that the were able to get a pass rush without blitzing very often. Even so, Mallett has All-American potential and will need to step up into the pocket against a fierce Bama defense. The Alabama secondary was hurt by the NFL draft, so it is critical that Mallett tests the new talent early and often.
  • Mark Ingram has to follow up his explosion back onto the scene. There were doubters that said the former Heisman winner was not as valuable an asset as back up Trent Richardson. He put the critics to rest with his 151 yard performance last week. Arkansas now has the daunting task of dealing with the best backfield in college football. Arkansas is outmatched up front, which will make it difficult to be stout against the run. Run blitzes are going to be effective, but will leave Arkansas’ already shaky secondary even more vulnerable.
  • Julio Jones is going to be the X factor in the Alabama offense. Julio Jones is one of the most talented wide receivers in the whole nation. The weakness of the Arkansas team lies in the secondary and Alabama will surely try to pick on whatever corner gets the task of covering Jones. If they blitz to stop the run, Jones will likely be in single coverage. Alabama has a trio of wide receivers that all have great hands, so leaving someone uncovered would spell disaster. Jones has an uncanny ability to find space in zone schemes and will benefit from his running backs having a solid performance.
  • Last year is not indicative of this year. The 35-7 defeat will not repeat itself Alabama restocked itself with talent again, but Arkansas has made great strides since the teams last met. Ryan Mallett is more confident and has a better array of weapons than last year. There is a certain swagger about the Razorbacks and they want America to know they are a top ten team. What better way to go about doing that than knocking off the best team in the country.
  • Arkansas is in front of their home crowd. In the SEC this is an especially distinct advantage. The Crimson Tide will probably come away with a victory, but they won’t win by 8+. This one is going to be close.

Free College Football Pick: Arkansas +7 1/2


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