No. 10 FLORIDA at TENNESSEE
► When: 3:30 p.m., CBS
► The line: Florida by 15
► Why you should watch: In his first major game last week, Tennessee first-year coach Derek Dooley hung around with No. 5 Oregon for a half before getting waxed by the Ducks in the second half. Now comes his first Southeastern Conference game and another top-10 team and rival, No. 10 Florida. The Gators’ offense has struggled mightily without Tim Tebow in its first two games and one can only assume that it won’t be long before this sleeping giant wakes up. Florida QB John Brantley has thrown for 285 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, but hasn’t shown the flashy playmaking or leadership skills of his predecessor. If ever there is a time for the young Vols to pull off a big-time upset, it’s this week.
► Prediction: Tennessee 17, Florida 14
CLEMSON at NO. 16 AUBURN
► When: 7 p.m., ESPN
► The line: Auburn by 9
► Why you should watch: Auburn shockingly used defense in its SEC-opening win over Mississippi State. It also had quarterback Cam Newton, who has 322 yards passing and 241 rushing so far this season. Newton brings an excitement to the quarterback position rarely seen at Auburn and has already popped up on several Heisman watch lists. The defense will need to step up again against a Clemson offense that has scored quickly this season. In their 14 scoring drives, the Tigers have averaged four plays and used just more than a minute and a half of clock. This game has the makings of a shootout. I give Auburn a narrow edge because of home-field advantage.
► Prediction: Auburn 42, Clemson 37
No. 6 TEXAS at TEXAS TECH
► When: 8 p.m., ABC
► The line: Texas by 3
► Why you should watch: Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville’s Big 12 debut is a doozy against in-state rival Texas. Tuberville has had two games to rid the Red Raiders of exiled coach Mike Leach’s offense and install his own, but is it enough? The Red Raiders struggled in a season-opening 35-27 victory over SMU and won handily 52-17 against New Mexico last week. Tuberville also has a strong record in rivalry games, winning six straight over Alabama while at Auburn and also has a solid history against top-10 teams. Texas has only averaged 34 points in two games against lesser opponents this season – Wyoming and Rice. Like Florida, the Longhorns have struggled breaking in a new quarterback – Garrett Gilbert. However, it’s hard to see Tuberville making a big enough impact this early in the season. His Red Raiders will be undone by Longhorns’ defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who coached on Tuberville’s staff at Auburn in the same position.
► Prediction: Texas 31, Texas Tech 20