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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, November 9, 2018 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S KEY SATURDAY SHOWDOWNS - #2 CLEMSON, #3 NOTRE DAME BOTH IN BIG PRIME-TIME TILTS ...

PLUS, NFL WEEK 10 IS HERE AS STEELERS SPANK PANTHERS 52-21

As they like to say in the business, the Pittsburgh Steelers last night scored "half-a-hundy" on the Carolina Panthers with the 52-21 win at Heinz Field. Okay, so the 3.5-point favored Steelers laid a major beating on Cam Newton and Company but here's the real story on this NFL Week 10 tilt: Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger completed 22-of-25 passes for 328 yards and he threw five touchdown passes and absorbed a cheap-shot hit to his helmet by Carolina's Eric Reid (isn't it time to cut this dude, Panthers?) ... so much for missing RB Le'Veon Bell, eh? Next up for the Steel Gang: A revenge match against Jacksonville (see last year's AFC Divisional Playoff round).

Meanwhile, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gearing up for a great weekend on the gridiron: Get all the College Football this weekend starting with tonight's twin-bill on espn2 (that's Louisville at #13 Syracuse, #23 Fresno State at Boise State), the NFL Week 10 action and all the NBA and College Basketball too. Just call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else get the winners right here online.

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On Saturday, it's ...
#16 MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-3, 2-3) at #1 ALABAMA (9-0, 6-0) - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
The top-ranked 'Bama Crimson Tide shook off "contender" LSU 29-0 last Saturday night and 'twas not even that close but there is some concern regarding QB Tua Tagovailoa (27 TD passes / 1 INT) and a troublesome knee - otherwise, the 24-point favored hosts figure to have another proverbial walk-in-the-park win where M-State QB Nick Fitzgerald (10 TD passes / 7 INTs) won't be able to fool this 'Bama defensive front with his RPO moves in this SEC affair. Got it?
Spread Notes - Alabama rides a three-game ATS (against the spread) winning streak into this clash and the Tide's 6-3 versus the vig as twin-figure betting favorites this year; Miss State, meanwhile, is a solid 6-3 vig-wise so far this year but the Bulldogs have failed to cover four of their last five games played at 'Bama.

#2 CLEMSON (9-0, 6-0) at #17 BOSTON COLLEGE (7-2, 4-1) - 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Let's just say that Beantown will be rockin' on this Saturday night as the BC Eagles have a shot to really shake up the College Football Playoff world. But - if case you have not been paying close enough attention - Clemson really has been rollicking lately with back-to-back-to-back wins/covers the last three weeks by 41-7, 59-10 and 77-16 with the Tigers' defensive linemen scoring just as many TDs as opposing players. If Clemson's stout defensive front stones RB A.J. Dillon here, then the three-TD favored Tigers will waltz again in this ACC bash.
Spread Notes - Clemson has banged out four consecutive pointspread wins since early October and the Tigers have covered all three of their ACC road games this year (at Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Florida State); Boston College is a dazzling 7-2 against the Las Vegas price tags this year including underdog covers against N.C. State and Miami.

FLORIDA STATE (4-5) at #3 NOTRE DAME (9-0) - 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC
For you college football historians, this ain't 1993 when then-#2 Notre Dame downed then-#1 Florida State 31-24 in "The Game of the Century" (we remember it well) but take note that if Notre Dame wins in its final home game of the '18 season, then only Syracuse (at Yankee Stadium next weekend) and a road game at USC lie ahead and in the way of a possible perfect regular season for the South Bend squad. Meanwhile, if the FSU Seminoles lose here then it ends a 36-year bowl streak for the kids from Tallahassee ... ouch! Sounds like ND star QB Ian Book won't be playing here.
Spread Notes - Florida State's a dreary 3-6 against the odds this year and the 'Noles are 3-7-1 ATS away since the start of last year; Notre Dame enters this prime-time affair with a rather quirky 4-3-2 ATS log this season and overall the Fighting Irish are 53-53-6 ATS under ninth-year boss Brian Kelly.

#24 AUBURN (6-3, 3-3) at #5 GEORGIA (8-1, 6-1) - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Last year these clubs famously split: Auburn rock-n-rolled its way to a 40-17 home win as two-point home dogs in November and then the Georgia Dawgs copped the SEC Championship Game (see below) and thus set their course for an eventual date with Alabama in the national championship tilt. Here, Georgia asks a stout ground and better-than-you-think defense (allowed 17 points or less in seven games this year) to power the way but Auburn might be playing loosey-goosey here and one of these days transfer QB Jarrett Stidham (1,953 yards passing with 10 TDs and 4 INTs) is gonna have a truly breakout game.
Spread Notes - Georgia has covered six of its last eight head-to-head showdowns against Auburn including -- of course - last year's convincing 28-7 win/cover as 1.5-point favorites in the SEC Championship Game; Auburn has not been an underdog side this year (taking two TDs in this clash) while War Eagle is 7-10-1 spreadwise as pups the past four-plus seasons.

#10 OHIO STATE (8-1, 5-1) at #18 MICHIGAN STATE (6-3, 4-2) - 12 p.m. ET, Fox
Not gonna toss out the Ohio State Buckeyes from the playoff conversation - if Urban Meyer's guys run the table and get some help they could finish with the #4 seed - but fact is QB Dwayne Haskins (3,053 yards passing with 32 TDs and 6 INTs) has been running a bit hot-and-cold lately while it's been a physical Buckeyes' ground game that's come to the rescue ... tell us right here / right now that RBs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber are gonna slice -and-dice Sparty here and then we'll tell you Meyer's men will easily cover the somewhat suspiciously low 3.5-point price tag.
Spread Notes - The road teams actually have covered six of the last eight games in this Big 10 rivalry but did you know Michigan State has failed to cover four of its five home games this season? On the flip side, Ohio State's lost its last five consecutive spread verdicts dating back to late September.

NOTE: NFL Week 10 previews in the next Jim Sez.

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