BCS National Title Game '11

BCS National Title Game '11
BCS National Championship 1/10/11 Oregon vs Auburn

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

College Football: Week 5 matchups to watch

Not a big slate of games this weekend, but you just never know who will pull the big upset this weekend. The big games of the weekend happen to be in the Big Ten. The more important Big Ten game happens to be #14 Ohio State at #20 Michigan State. The Ohio State Buckeyes are looking to get revenge on the road after losing last year at home 10-7. The other Big Ten game is Wisconsin traveling to Lincoln to take on #22 Nebraska. Other games include a Thursday night showdown between #8 Stanford and Washington and one of only two top 25 matchups this weekend between #25 Baylor and #9 West Virginia.

This week of College Football will be a real treat for me. I will be up in Seattle to see two games in three days at CenturyLink Field. On Thursday night, I will watch #8 Stanford take on Washington. This game could be very interesting. The Cardinal are coming off a bye week after their big win over USC. Washington is also coming off a bye week. We will see if the Huskies can pull off the upset. On Saturday night, it will be my #2 Oregon Ducks taking on Mike Leach and his Washington State Cougars. The Ducks are coming off a big home win over Arizona 49-0. Washington State comes in limping after being upset in the last few seconds of the game to Colorado. The Ducks look explosive as ever right now, and this game could get brutal for the Cougars.

#8 Stanford @ Washington  9:00 PM ET ESPN
#2 Oregon @ Washington State  10:30 PM ET ESPN2  

ESPN College GameDay will be live from East Lansing, MI (Live at 10:00 AM ET)

matchup: #14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State  

Thursday, Sept. 27th

1. #8 Stanford @ Washington  9:00 PM ET ESPN

- Stanford has had time to rest with a bye week after upsetting the Trojans two weeks ago 21-14. Washington is also coming off a bye week and looks to knock off the Cardinal for the first since 2007. Husky quarterback Keith Price has been consistent this season. He hasn't been flashy with 186.6 yards passing per game, four touchdowns, and one interception, but will improve as the season continues. Stanford's defense will play tough, but it is going to be interesting seeing Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes in his first road game as a starter. I'm not sold on running back Stepfan Taylor and the Cardinal offense yet. I think this is going to be closer than most people think and I feel Washington plays Stanford really tough. I smell upset on Thursday night in Seattle.

Pick: Washington 

Saturday, Sept. 29th

2. #25 Baylor @ #9 West Virginia  12:00 PM ET FX

- West Virginia is coming off a surprisingly tough 31-21 win over Maryland. Baylor beat the new Cinderella team of this season Louisiana-Monroe 47-42. This game is going to be a shootout. The mountaineers are currently third in the nation in passing yards per game and tenth in points per game. Quarterback Geno Smith has looked phenomenal along with his receiving core consisting of Tavon Austin, who had 13 receptions for 179 yards and three touchdowns against Maryland. The Bears on the other hand, rank fifth in passing yards per game and in points per game. Bear quarterback Nick Florence has played well this season after replacing Robert Griffin III. Florence has passed for about 335 passing yards per game and has thrown 11 touchdown passes. Expect a good game in Morgantown this Saturday.

Pick: West Virginia 

3. Minnesota @ Iowa  12:00 PM ET ESPN2

I can't believe I'm even saying this...the Golden Gophers are 4-0! The Minnesota Golden Gophers are off to their best start since 2008. If they can take down a weak Iowa Hawkeye team this weekend, it will be the first time they have won their first five games of the season since 2004. Minnesota will most likely still not have their star quarterback MarQueis Gray back for this game, which could hurt their chances of winning. The Hawkeyes have been struggling this whole season to win ball games and the offense has looked atrocious. The loss this past weekend to Central Michigan put Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes in complete panic mode. Iowa desperately needs to win this game.

Pick: Iowa 

4. NC State @ Miami (FL)  12:00 PM ET ESPNU

- The U had a huge come from behind victory last weekend against Georgia Tech. NC State was challenged by a subpar UConn team in Week 2, and have played FCS teams these past two weeks. NC State quarterback Mike Glennon has looked solid since the Tennessee game in Week 1 and the defense has been only giving up 15.8 points per game. Miami has found new weapons on their offense, especially running back Mike James, who had four touchdowns against Georgia Tech. The explosiveness of running back Duke Johnson and wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Davon Johnson will give the Wolfpack defense problems.

Pick: Miami (FL) 

5. Tennessee @ #5 Georgia  3:30 PM ET CBS

- Georgia looked tough last weekend beating Vanderbilt 48-3. Tennessee had a tough loss against the Florida Gators two weeks ago and struggled against MAC foe Akron until scoring a touchdown with 9:02 left in the fourth quarter. The Volunteers ended up winning the game 47-26. This is going to be an uphill battle for the Volunteers, as the Bulldog's offense and defense have been clicking on all cylinders since their big win at Missouri in Week 2. Tennessee's defense will need to play tough the whole game and not give up big plays like they did against Florida and Akron. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray will need to be collected in the pocket and need to be able make good decisions when throwing the football. The Volunteers absolutely cannot make mistakes and turn the ball over to this tough Bulldog team.

Pick: Georgia

6. #14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State  3:30 PM ET ABC

- The Spartans went into Columbus last season and shutout out the Buckeyes until they scored a touchdown with ten seconds remaining in the game. The Spartans won 10-7. It will be a lot different this season with head coach Urban Meyer at the helm. The Buckeyes and Spartans both struggled this past weekend with Eastern Michigan and UAB, but eventually pulled away late in the fourth quarter. Both defenses have played well for the most part this season, and it will come down to the offenses in this game. The Spartans running game is good with physical runner Le'Veon Bell, but I give Ohio State the advantage on offense because of quarterback Braxton Miller. I can see this being a close game and the Buckeyes winning by six points.

Pick: Ohio State 

7. #12 Texas @ Oklahoma State  7:50 PM ET FOX

- Let's see if Texas becomes the next highly ranked team to be upset on FOX. The Longhorns have not looked this good in three years. The Longhorns rank 13th in the nation in rushing yards and seventh in points per game. Longhorn quarterback David Ash has established himself as the starter by passing for seven touchdowns and no interceptions. The Longhorn defense has only given up an average of 16 points per game. The Cowboys were upset by Arizona in Week 2 59-38, but they bounced back against Louisiana-Lafayette 65-24. The Cowboys are ranked in the top six in passing yards, rushing yards, and points per game. We'll see how explosive the Cowboys offense can be as they play one of the best defenses in the Big 12.

Pick: Texas 

8. Wisconsin @ #22 Nebraska  8:00 PM ET ABC

- Last season, Wisconsin obliterated Nebraska in Madison 48-17. This season, the Cornhuskers have the upper hand with an improved quarterback in Taylor Martinez and a solid running back in Rex Burkhead. Burkhead returned from his injury against Idaho State and had eight carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The Husker defense is not as talented this season, but they should be just fine against a Badger offense that has looked bad in all four of their games. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball's status is unknown. The Badgers will also have inexperienced freshman quarterback Joel Stave starting in a hostile Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are going to take control of the game in the second half and win convincingly.

Pick: Nebraska

9. #18 Oregon State @ Arizona  10:00 PM ET Pac-12 Network

- The Beavers are 2-0 and both were big wins for the program. The Wildcats were dismantled this past weekend against Oregon 49-0. The Beaver's defense has been good and have shutdown two of the elite running backs in the country Montee Ball and Johnathan Franklin. The Beaver offense has speed and this is going to cause problems for a thin Arizona defense. We'll also see if Wildcat quarterback Matt Scott can bounce back after throwing three interceptions against Oregon. This will be a close call in the desert on Saturday night.

Pick: Oregon State

10. #2 Oregon @ Washington State (Seattle, WA) 10:30 PM ET ESPN2

- Washington State lost to a bad Colorado team this past weekend in the remaining seconds of the game. Oregon is coming off a big 49-0 victory over Arizona. The Ducks are so much faster and physically stronger than the Cougars. If the Cougars want a chance to even stay in this game they must prevent big Oregon plays. Trying to contain QB Marcus Mariota, RB Kenjon Barner, WR De'Anthony Thomas, and TE/RB Colt Lyerla is going to be a big task for a defense this has given up an average of 28 points per game this season. The Ducks win big in this one.

Pick: Oregon 

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