College Football Texas-Texas A&M, LSU-Arkansas [College Football Thursday/Friday Open Thread]

College Football Starts Early--Big Tilts Before Saturday [College Football Thursday/Friday Open Thread]

11/24/11 in NCAAF   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

The college football feast starts early this Thanksgiving weekend. So to aid fans in planting themselves on their couches in a post-turkey comatose for the entire weekend, the NCAA is doling out some gems on Thursday and Friday.

Here are the pre-Saturday highlights:

Thursday: 

No. 25 Texas at Texas A&M, 8 p.m. ET
This will be the 118th, and perhaps last, meeting in this bitter rivalry. With Texas A&M headed to the SEC, the two squads will no longer be slated to face off on Thanksgiving year-in and year-out. The end of the rivalry, which Texas leads 75-37-5, is unquestionably sad for college football, but is emblematic of the changing landscape of the sport.

The Aggies enter this year's matchup at 6-5, but with all five losses coming at the hands of quality opponents such as Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas State. A&M can score with just about anybody in the country led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but they have had trouble closing out games. Case in point: blown second half leads to the Cowboys and the Razorbacks. 

Unlike the Aggies, the Longhorns' problems are on offense. They come in at 6-4, but on a two-game losing streak where they have scored a combined 18 points. 

My prediction: The Aggies say goodbye to the Big 12 in fashion with a convincing victory at home over Texas.

Friday:

No. 3 Arkansas at No. 1 LSU, 2:30 p.m. ET
Yeah, this one is kind of important. The Razorbacks have flown under most peoples' radars this season with most of the attention in the SEC going to LSU and Alabama, but with last weekend's chaotic results, Arkansas is right in the thick of the National Championship hunt. Arkansas enters the game with just one loss, which came at the hands (in a thumping, mind you) of No. 2 Alabama. Arkansas boasts a potent offense led by Tyler Wilson at quarterback and Dennis Johnson at running back, filling in capably for the injured Knile Davis. Fans of other one-loss teams trying to back their ways into the National Championship Game, like Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech and Stanford will be rooting hard against the Razorbacks, as an Arkansas victory likely would assure an all-SEC title game.

LSU has been the best team in the country this year, and frankly it hasn't been all that close. Their defense is scary fast and the Tigers have beaten Oregon on a neutral field and also won at West Virginia, Mississippi State and Alabama. The Tigers utilize two quarterbacks, Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson and as long as they get solid play out of the position, they look very difficult to beat.

My prediction: LSU wins, and it won't be close. 

Other Friday games of note (my predicted winners in bold):

No. 8 Houston at Tulsa, 12 p.m. ET
Iowa at No. 21 Nebraska, 12 p.m. ET 
Pittsburgh at West Virginia, 7 p.m. ET
California at Arizona State, 10:15 p.m. ET
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11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

LSU scores once again and has turned this close game into a blowout.  

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

 Arkansas seems to be running out of gas against LSU. Tigers have turned it up a notch since trailing 14-0 and now have a 31-17 lead early in the 4th quarter

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

 Hogs and Tigers exchange field goals in the 3rd quarter.  Tigers lead by 7 heading into the 4th

11/25/11   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Eric_ wrote:
If I remember the rules, as long as Houston finishes in the top 12 of the BCS or top 16 and ahead of one of the AQ champs (a given since the Big East is terrible), they're in automatically. You have to win the conference, so Boise State can't get that automatic spot.

 You are indeed, correct.

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

 Hogs commit two turnovers and LSU turns them into 14 points.  #1 heads into the half with a 21-14 lead

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

 Tigers force a 3 and out and then return a punt 92 yards for a touchdown.  Just like that, LSU is right back in the game

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

LSU has a 14 play drive and punches in a score to cut the Razorback lead in half

11/25/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Scott wrote:
 Houston is on their way to the C-USA title game and still have an outside shot of making a BCS bowl game after their win in Tulsa

If I remember the rules, as long as Houston finishes in the top 12 of the BCS or top 16 and ahead of one of the AQ champs (a given since the Big East is terrible), they're in automatically. You have to win the conference, so Boise State can't get that automatic spot.

11/25/11   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

 Uh oh...

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

 Razorbacks return a fumble recovery for a touchdown.  14-0 Arkansas

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

 Houston is on their way to the C-USA title game and still have an outside shot of making a BCS bowl game after their win in Tulsa

11/25/11   |   Scott   |   52846 respect

 Razorbacks dont look the least bit intimidated playing in Baton Rouge.  Hogs go up 7-0 early in the 2nd quarter on a touchdown pass from Wilson to Wright