There are a lot of great games throughout college football this weekend, as most teams are getting into the meat of their schedule with conference play. With only one more week of games after this one before the first BCS rankings come out (during week 8 of the season), teams in the top 15 will be jockeying for position in that first ranking. It has already started with #13 USC withstanding an early surge from Utah last night before eventually falling to the Trojans 28 to 18. USC’s offensive line struggled in the first quarter with two bad snaps leading to fumbles deep in their own territory that resulted in 14 relatively easy points. I’ll spotlight some of Saturday’s big games with my weekly picks. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention an absolutely pivotal game in the Pac-12 North with #23Washington squaring off at #2 Oregon. However, since Washington is my team, I will not be making a pick in this game for the blog. I will say that this is the first real test for Oregon who played a Pillsbury non-conference schedule and rolled Arizona 42 to zero, and their chance to prove they are indeed deserving of that #2 overall ranking. Now for my picks:
#8 West Virginia at #11 Texas: WVU QuarterbackGeno Smith looks like the Heisman front-runner at the moment. Smith and the mountaineers defeated Baylor at home in a ridiculously high scoring shootout (reminiscent of last year’s Alamo Bowl). The tests just keep getting tougher for the newly minted member of the Big-12 conference. I like WVU in a close one. Calling it…. 31 to 27 Mountaineers.
#5 Georgia at #6 South Carolina: One of the marquee matchups in the SEC this season, up to this point. Georgia has shown the ability to put it together on all three phases of the game so far this season. Connor shaw has been impressive for SC this year. I see a very close game, but I’m going with the gamecocks. Calling it…. South Carolina 20 to 16.
#21 Nebraska vs. #12 Ohio State: A battle of two dual-threat quarterbacks. As a result of Braxton Miller’s ability to take over a game, I’m going with the Buckeyes. Calling it…Ohio State 31 to 21 over the Cornhuskers.
#4 LSU vs. #10 Florida: Ever since LSU’s 41-3 drumming of Washington, the tigers have looked very average, gaining lackluster victories over mediocre opponents. However, I think LSU just has too much talent and depth up front and at running back. Calling it….Tigers 17 to 10 over the Gators.
Arizona at #18 Stanford: Matt Scott is having a stellar year behind center for the Wildcats. This game will be a clash of differing philosophies. The spread offense of Rich Rodriquez and UA will do battle against the highly –touted, extremely physical defense and running attack of Stanford. I see the Cardinal bouncing back after last week’s upset by Washington to beat the Wildcats. Calling it…Stanford 23 to 20.
UPSET SPECIAL: Miami at #9 Notre Dame: While I home game for Notre Dame, it will be played at a somewhat neutral site of Solider Field in Chicago. I feel like I may be developing a reputation by picking against Notre, but I haven’t learned my lesson…not yet anyway. Miami’s program seems to be playing with purpose this year. If the Irish keep up with turning the ball over at a high rate, I see the Hurricanes pulling the upset. Calling it….Miami 28 to 24 over the Irish.