#3 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #23 Penn State Nittany Lions: Brutally Honest Game Preview

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College football has really done a much better job of pre-conference scheduling these days. Last week we had two national title contenders squaring off in the Oregon Ducks vs. LSU Tigers, and another solid offering in the Boise State Broncos vs. the Georgia Bulldogs.  This week is significantly weaker, but if this is as bad as the slate gets- I’ll take it.

Because next week you have LSU in another marquee game, this time versus conference foe, the Mississippi State Bulldogs. And two top 5 teams in the Florida State Seminoles vs. the Oklahoma Sooners. Sprinkle in a few conference games here and there, and before you know it- it’s conference season already the next week.

This game is an oddity before it even begins- both have a QB controversy, despite both teams having one signal caller clearly out-performing the other in week one.

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Penn State Nittany Lions analysis:

PSU embarassed a nobody last week, so there’s not much to learn, henceforth not much to talk about from week one. The defense was stellar in 2010, but they could have a little better stopping the run and generating sacks. Offense was blah at best, as they were just 74th in rushing. Usually, the tailback position is at PSU what the Jesse hyped up on metamphetamines singing “I’m so Excited” is to the “Saved by the Bell” franchise- the most exciting, memorable aspect. But that’s cemented in stone so far in 2011. Averaging 5 yards a carry versus Indiana State does not signal your arrival.

Matt McGloin certainly outplayed Rob Bolden last week, but Joe Paterno has still not named a starting quarterback for this game.

For the Full PSU season preview go here

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Alabama analysis: The Tide destroyed ick Saban’s alma mater Kent State last week, so again we learned nothing from watching the beat up a weakling. And like PSU one candidate was head and shoulders above the other AJ McCarron>Phillip Sims.

They have tremendous depth and NFL prospects for both 2012 and 2013 all around. G Barrett Jones; C William Vlachos, SS Mark Barron; ILB Dont’a Hightower; FS Robert Lester, LB Courtney Upshaw, WR Marquis Maze, DE Damion Square.

They’re solid on the OL, WR, RB, DL, LB, DB, ST, K, P, RS- and we shall see now about QB. The defense and special teams will be stellar. If they find the right signal caller, they’ll be ballin’ like Spaulding.

For the full Alabama season preview go here

Prediction to be taken with an entire truckload of salt, not a grain of salt: Alabama 28, PSU 9 (2010-11 prediction record 21-9)

I still believe this State team is overrated and this Bama team a tad underrated. Hey JoePa, just go with McGloin already!

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

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