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Is Florida-Alabama match Round 1?

This Florida-Alabama game might just be Round 1 for the seventh-ranked Gators and top-ranked Crimson Tide.

The last two seasons Florida and Alabama have met in the Southeastern Conference championship game, both times with a trip to the national title game on the line. Both times the winner went on to win it all.

Now for the first time since 2006, Florida and Alabama will meet in the regular season Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.

"It’s definitely one of the most anticipated games in the country," Florida defensive lineman Justin Trattou said.

Gators-Tide is one of five games Saturday matching ranked teams. Sharing top billing with UF-‘Bama is No. 9 Stanford at No. 4 Oregon.

The winner between the Cardinal and Ducks should emerge as the Pac-10 favorite, though Southern California and Arizona might have a lot to say about that before the season is over.

Stanford was the only conference foe to beat Oregon last season, winning a shootout 52-41 in northern California.

The picks:



» No. 7 Florida (plus 9) at No. 1 Alabama: Gators not ready to beat Tide — yet … ALABAMA 28-17.

» No. 2 Ohio State (minus 19) at Illinois: First road game for Buckeyes … OHIO STATE 45-20.

» No. 3 Boise State (minus 41) at New Mexico State: Broncos due for letdown, not that it’ll matter much this week … BOISE STATE 42-14.

» No. 5 TCU (minus 33) at Colorado State: First game outside Texas for Horned Frogs … TCU 45-10.

» No. 8 Oklahoma (minus 4) vs. No. 21 Texas, at Dallas: Maybe Sooners D, last in Big 12, will revive ‘Horns sluggish offense … OKLAHOMA 24-17.

» No. 9 Stanford (plus 7) at No. 4 Oregon: Start moved up to 8 p.m. Eastern time, so no one has to lose sleep to watch … STANFORD 40-28.

» Louisiana-Monroe (plus 34 1/2 ) at No. 10 Auburn: If not for Denard Robinson, Cam Newton might be Heisman front-runner … AUBURN 49-13.

» No. 11 Wisconsin (pick) at No. 24 Michigan State: Home team has won five straight in series … WISCONSIN 24-20.

» Tennessee (plus 14) at No. 12 LSU: LSU’s Jordan Jefferson hasn’t reached 100 yards passing in last three games … LSU 27-14.

» No. 16 Miami (minus 3) at Clemson: Road team has won each time teams have met as ACC rivals … MIAMI 27-21.

» No. 22 Penn State (plus 7) at No. 17 Iowa: Nittany Lions last win in Iowa City was 1999 … IOWA 24-14

» Washington (plus 10 1/2 ) at No. 18 Southern California: Trojans porous pass defense should boost Jake Locker’s stock … USC 37-24.

» No. 19 Michigan (minus 10 1/2 ) at Indiana: Hoosiers last beat Wolverines in 1987 … MICHIGAN 42-35.

» Virginia Tech (minus 3) at No. 23 North Carolina State: Wolfpack’s Russell Wilson second in nation with 11 TD passes … N.C. STATE 28-21.

» No. 25 Nevada (minus 20) at UNLV: Now that Nevada is in Top 25, expect Pack to be there a while … NEVADA 42-14.

Last week: 18-3 (straight); 10-7-1 (vs. points).

Season: 71-10 (straight); 37-31-3 (vs. points).


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