College Football Games to Watch (and Lack of Upsets)
So instead I've outlined a few games that are worth flipping back and forth to this weekend. There are a lot of them. My recommendation? Find a bar where you can see the TV and sit tight for the day because this weekend has the potential to be a GREAT weekend of football. (If Pittsburgh's win last night is any indication).
No. 14 Texas A&M at No. 18 Arkansas, 12:00PM on ESPN2, being played at Cowboys Stadium
This week, Texas A&M was officially admitted to the SEC starting July 2012. Tomorrow, however, they will be "welcomed" by the Razorbacks (wooo hooo) in a more traditional fashion: with a good-ole SEC routing. Now I know I'm a bit biased so I'll address one issue we might have: it's being played in Texas. Even though this is technically a home game for us, it'll feel more like a home game for them. Given that both teams are ranked and this is Texas A&M's first real SEC test, I'm guessing the stands will be PACKED.
The Aggies are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma State last weekend, where they led 20-3 at half time. As for us, well we're looking for a big win this week!
Unranked Auburn at No. 10 South Carolina, 3:30PM on CBS
So I know I said that the Auburn team really was at a loss without Cam Newton, and were probably way to highly ranked in the beginning of the season? Well something similar could be said for South Carolina. So far they've beaten East Carolina after being down 17-0, Georgia in a tight game decided by the defense, Navy, and Vanderbilt. The Game Cocks have a lot of offensive problems, with QB Stephen Garcia throwing for 7 interceptions and only 3 touchdowns so far this season. However, given the lackluster defense at Auburn, I'll be surprised if they're able to capitalize on the Game Cocks weaknesses enough to secure the win.
No. 13 Clemson at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 6:00PM on ESPN2
There is no doubt about it, Clemson has been on FIRE. Beating Auburn (when they were ranked) and Florida State in big wins for the ACC school. The difference for tomorrow, however, is that the Tigers had the strength of Death Valley on their side, but tomorrow they have to travel to Blacksburg, a notoriously hostile place to play. The last time the Tigers traveled to Virginia Tech, in 2006, Clemson was one of the hottest teams in the country and then suffered a devastating 24-7 loss. This one will definitely be worth the price of admission.
No. 3 Alabama at No. 12 Florida, 8:00PM on CBS
These teams are really very similar. Both really rely on their ground game and defense ability to stop the run. I expect this to be more of a Big-10 type of a game with a low final score because of the strength of the defenses on both sides of the ball. The difference in the rankings between the two teams is really just semantic and I expect this game to be incredibly close. Last week the Tide proved they could handle greatness by knocking us (me) off of our high horse. This time, however, they're going to have to go into enemy territory and prove their worth.
No. 8 Nebraska at No. 7 Wisconsin, 8:00PM on ABC
This is Nebraska's first real challenge in the Big 10. Both teams are front runners in their respective division, and this game could be the preview to the Big 10 championship. However, whichever team loses will have an uphill battle going forward with other teams in the division having perfect records.
Both teams have yet to be challenged so far this season: Wisconsin is 4-0, pounding UNLV, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, and South Dakota. Nebraska adopted the typical Big 10 strategy of playing pancake teams the first four weeks of the season, beating Chattanooga, Fresno State, Washington, and Wyoming. Although Nebraska's out of conference schedule looks a little tougher both teams have their rankings based on potential not on results.
Tomorrow night will really be telling of the two teams' ability to handle big games and the pressure that goes along with it. As is typical in Big 10 conferences, I think that because it's a home game for Wisconsin, they have the edge.
Unranked UCLA at No. 6 Stanford, 10:30PM on FSN
To avoid showing too much of my naïveté and Big 10, SEC bias, I'll throw this game in there. I know very little about either team and the game is at Stanford, but UCLA has a bit of tradition on their side. Overall, if you're a fan of the Pac-12, head to the comments and tell us why this game is worth it? (Or is it?)