Bama vs Georgia

Weather could be a factor as the edge of Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin threatens to dump a LOT of rain on Georgia.

Alabama and Georgia last met in 2012 (when Bama was on its way to a second consecutive BCS National Championship), but the Tide and Bulldogs are set to play in one of The Kickoff’s Games of the Week, along with Notre Dame playing at Clemson.

Weather could be a factor in both of these games with the edge of Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin threatening to dump a LOT of rain on the East Coast, which is already waterlogged. Ten to 15 inches of rain and wind gusts of 160 mph are expected in the storm’s path. A lot of surprising things can happen when you’re fighting the elements the same time you’re battling a skilled opponent.

On the field, Alabama leads the series with Georgia 37-24-3. They last met at the SEC Championship Game that Bama won 32-28. Mark Richt’s team finished 12-2 that year. Heading into Saturday’s game, Georgia sits at No. 7 and Alabama is No. 12 on our Kickoff Top 25 (AP has the Tide at No. 13, Georgia at No. 8). We’re picking the Bulldogs to win this one by a slim margin, even though Bama leads the series 12-7 while playing in Athens. The outcome of this one will have a big impact, no doubt about it. Tune in to CBS at 3:30 pm.

If you haven’t yet read this week’s issue of The Kickoff newsletter — delivered every Monday to subscriber’s email inbox or sent first class mail – our Kickoff Thermostat has Florida, Mississippi State and Northwestern rising with the heat of success while Tennessee, Oregon and Arizona State are feeling the chill. After last week, the Gators are 4-0 and the Volunteers are still in disbelief that they have had two 4th quarter leads over 10 points vanish.

Last week’s upsets included Memphis 53-48 over Cincinnati, Michigan shutting out BYU 31-0, Duke beating Georgia Tech 34-20, ECU defeating Virginia Tech 35-28, Army slamming Eastern Michigan 58-30, James Madison beating SMU 48-45, Kentucky beating Missouri 21-13, and Utah dominating Oregon 52-20. Georgia Tech, Oregon, Missouri, and BYU fell off our Top 25 completely after being ranked Nos. 19, 14, 22, and 17 last week. Utah jumped five spots.

Our News and Notes also covers last week’s performances by Brett Rypien at Boise State, Christian McCaffrey at Stanford, De’Veon Smith at Michigan, Leonard Fournette at LSU, and Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson at TCU.

When you subscribe to The Kickoff, you get those stats, plus our Kickoff Power Ratings, charts of winningest programs by percentage and win totals, a conference breakdown through issue 5, the 2015 Out-of-Conference records so far, overall trends through last week, strength of schedule ranking, our Playoff Seeds, a look back to our ranking in September 1998, and schedules and results for FBS and select FCS teams.

The Kickoff is your resourceful guide for putting the season’s college football action into context, all delivered in a concise format that lets you find just what you’re looking for when choosing your picks.

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Also, test your knowledge of college football by participating in our Thursday Throwdown questions on Facebook. Talk to us this weekend while we watch the games. Sound off! Use the hashtag #thekickoff on Facebook and Twitter so we can follow your conversations.

Enjoy this weekend’s games. We’ll be watching alongside you.