Will Cam Newton play? Will it even matter?

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Cameron Newton  of the Auburn Tigers reacts after scoring a touchdown against the LSU Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

One of the beauties of getting XM radio is that I get to listen to the Paul Finebaum show on a daily basis. For those that don’t know, Finebaum’s show is technically now a national college football radio show, but it can’t get away from its southeastern roots.

Every four out of five callers is from Alabama or Mississippi, and they’re crazy. The conspiracies they come up with on the officiating and play-calling from week to week would make Glenn Beck proud.

But the Cam Newton scandal has sent these folks into overdrive, and forced me to spend more time inside my car while it was sitting still in my driveway than one person should. People are blaming the press, Mississippi State, the press, Florida, the press, Nike, the press, Florida and the press. One caller, minutes after ESPN’s Joe Schad hung up with Finebaum, basically threatened to beat him up. It was amazing.

I don’t have a conspiracy theory on this, which is sad. But it will be really interesting to see how Auburn and Newton play today after having to listen to all of this over the last week.

I’m not picking the game because I have no idea who’s taking the field, but if Newton doesn’t play, expect the Bulldogs to win. A.J. Green has made them a legit SEC team. If Newton plays, however, the Tigers will roll on.

It’s a fairly light week in college football, meaning we’re probably going to see something crazy happen. So let’s look at what should be the biggest games.

No. 24 Kansas State at No. 17 Missouri, 12:30 p.m.: These teams are going in opposite directions, which could have a big impact on this game. Missouri has lost two straight games after making it deep into the top 10. Kansas State, meanwhile, is coming off a beating of Texas. I know the Longhorns are awful this year, but that’s still a confidence booster for the Wildcats. It’s kind of like beating up the school bully while he has a broken leg. It’s obviously not as cool as it should be, but it’s still helps your confidence. But I do think that Missouri is the better team, and the home-field advantage will help, too. Pick: Missouri 31-28.

Penn State at No. 9 Ohio State, 3:30 p.m.: Detroit News columnist Terry Foster threw out a random “Joe Paterno is retiring” tweet this afternoon. Now, before you take that to heart, you should realize that Foster uses his Twitter feed for verbal diarrhea as opposed to actually breaking news. Either way, Ohio State is way too strong for the Nittany Lions, no matter how good they’re playing right now. And of course, how good they’re playing right now is relative, considering they just played Michigan and Northwestern. The Buckeyes are severely overrated, considering the schedule they’ve played, but they’ll win this one without a lot of trouble. Pick: Ohio State 24-10.

No. 19 Mississippi State at No. 12 Alabama, 7:15 p.m.: Mississippi State is probably better than you think it is. The Bulldogs lost to Auburn and LSU, and the Auburn loss was very close. Alabama is struggling a little bit with defending its title, but it’s also struggling with calling plays, lately. The Crimson Tide have ridiculous playmakers in Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Julio Jones, but are somehow finding ways to not put them in the best ways to succeed. Moving halfway toward to finding that will be enough this weekend, because as good as the Bulldogs are, Alabama is that much better. Pick: Alabama 31-14.

No. 23 South Carolina at No. 22 Florida, 7:15 p.m.: Florida’s offense was a lot of fun to laugh at early in the season, and that’s not totally gone. But the Gators are improving as the season goes on, and Steve Adazzio completely succumbs to Urban Meyer’s commands starts to use his playmakers. I’m hearing that Marcus Lattimore is completely healthy for this one, which will help the Gamecocks, but I don’t think even he and Alshon Jeffery will overcome a Florida team that’s at home and finally moving in the right direction. Pick: Florida 21-17.

No. 10 Oklahoma State at Texas, 8 p.m.: I keep thinking that the Longhorns are going to come up with a Texas-type effort and win a game they shouldn’t. The problem is, nothing I’ve seen from them so far has shown me they’re in any position to do that. Texas is obviously in flux, and struggling with its young players. This is not a good week to be in that situation, as Oklahoma State looks to be firing on all cylinders. Justin Blackmon is the real deal, and I don’t think Texas, or anyone for that matter, can stop him. Pick: Oklahoma State 34-24.

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