BCS National Title Game '11

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

Friday, October 5, 2012

College Football: Week 6 matchups to watch

We could be in for the best Saturday of the season! This weekend is crucial for teams who want to stay in the national spotlight and be BCS title contenders. The two big games of the weekend consist of teams from the SEC Conference. #5 Georgia will play at #6 South Carolina in a game that could decide who wins the SEC East Division. The other game will be a struggling #4 LSU Tiger team traveling to "The Swamp" to take on the #10 Florida Gators. The Big 12 will have their own showdown as well. Big 12 newcomer #8 West Virginia and Geno Smith will head down to Austin for their first road game of the season to battle #11 Texas. This will be a real test for the Mountaineers and could be crucial in them capturing the Big 12 title. The important Big Ten game this weekend will be in Columbus as #21 Nebraska takes on #12 Ohio State. The Pac-12 also has a rivalry game in #23 Washington and #2 Oregon. Lastly, a few matchups that could surprise us this weekend could be Miami (FL) vs #9 Notre Dame in Chicago, Michigan at Purdue, and #17 Oklahoma at Texas Tech.

This Saturday night, I will again be at Autzen Stadium in Eugene to watch #23 Washington take on #2 Oregon. Washington and Oregon both come off big victories that took place at Seattle's CenturyLink Field. Washington, of course, upset #8 Stanford 17-13 last Thursday night. This should be an interesting game and we will see how Washington's offense does against the Duck defense. Washington has not beaten rival Oregon since 2003. 

#23 Washington @ #2 Oregon  10:30 PM ET ESPN

ESPN College GameDay will be live from Columbia, SC (Live at 10:00 AM ET) 

matchup: #5 Georgia @ #6 South Carolina

Saturday, Oct. 6th

1. #24 Northwestern @ Penn State  12:00 PM ET ESPN

- The Fighting Fitzgerald's of Northwestern are 5-0 and the only Big Ten team that is eligible to fight for a National Championship. Penn State has been solid since their 2nd week heartbreaking loss at Virginia. The Nittany Lion offense has improved tremendously since their 0-2 start, and this would be a huge win for Bill O'Brien and his squad. The Nittany Lion defense will need to be able to contain Wildcat quarterback Kain Colter, who can pass, run, and even receive. The Wildcats have not won in Happy Valley since 2004.

Pick: Penn State 

2. Virginia Tech @ North Carolina  12:30 PM ET ESPN3/GAMEPLAN

- The Virginia Tech Hokies have coughed up two non-conference games to Big East teams. The games matter now for the Hokies as they get into ACC Conference play. Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas will be relied on heavily to control the game and make big plays. The North Carolina Tar Heels have lost two games this season by a combined five points. The Tar Heel defense is ranked in the top 20 and the offense is averaging 43.2 points per game. You can bet this will be a very close game.

Pick: Virginia Tech

3. #4 LSU @ #10 Florida  3:30 PM ET CBS

- This will be nothing like last year's blowout as the Tigers trounced the Gators 41-11 at home. Both teams are a lot more even this season and rely on their tough defenses to win ball games. LSU has not looked good their past two games against Auburn and Towson. A main reason is because of the production of the offense and their problem of turning the ball over five times in two games. The Gators started off the season slow, but head coach Will Muschamp has his squad ready to take on a tough and physical LSU team. One advantage the Gators have right now is that quarterback Jeff Driskel is looking better and better each game he plays. Driskel is able to rely on big playmakers RB Mike Gillislee, RB Trey Burton, and WR Frankie Hammond. It is going to get heated in "The Swamp" on Saturday afternoon and this game will come down to which team makes that one clutch play late in the fourth quarter.

Pick: Florida

 4. #17 Oklahoma @ Texas Tech  3:30 PM ET ABC/ESPN2

- The Sooners come off a bye week after being upset at home against Kansas State two weeks ago 24-19. The Sooners were upset at home last season to Texas Tech in Norman 41-38. The Sooners now go into Lubbock where they have been upset the last three times they have played there. A lot of pressure will be on senior quarterback Landry Jones and the offense to put up points in this game. The Red Raider defense is only giving up an average of 167.5 yards per game, which is first in the country. The Red Raiders are also fifth in the country by only giving up an average of 10.8 points per game. Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege has been solid this year too, as the Red Raiders are seventh in the country with 358.8 passing yards per game. Everything points to Texas Tech winning, but I think the Sooners sneak it out and come up with a crucial win in Lubbock.

Pick: Oklahoma 

5. Michigan @ Purdue  4:00 PM ET Big Ten Network

- The Wolverines are off to a disappointing 2-2 start. Quarterback Denard Robinson has thrown eight interceptions and just six touchdown passes in four games. This is a very important game for the Wolverines and their offense. The Boilermakers are an improved team this season and the offense is averaging 42.5 points per game. This game will simply come down to defense. If the Boilermaker defense contains Denard Robinson and the running game they have a good shot at knocking off Michigan at home.

Pick: Michigan 

6. #5 Georgia @ #6 South Carolina  7:00 PM ET ESPN

- This will be the most intriguing match-up of the weekend. Both teams could be competing for the SEC East Division title. The Big match-up will be quarterback Aaron Murray and his offense vs defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and his Gamecock defense. The last seven of ten meetings have been decided by seven points or less. I believe this game will look a lot like last year's game as 87 combined points were scored. This will be a very high scoring affair and it will come down to which defense can come up big late in the fourth quarter.

Pick: Georgia 

7. #8 West Virginia @ #11 Texas  7:00 PM ET FX

- West Virginia will officially get a warm welcome to the Big 12 on Saturday. This game is very important for both teams in battling for the Big 12 conference, as well as staying in the National Title hunt. I don't think scoring points will be a problem for any team in this game. Texas is ninth in the country averaging 47.3 points per game and West Virginia is third averaging 53.0 points per game. All eyes will be on West Virginia Heisman front-runner quarterback Geno Smith, as he will have his first real test of the season against defensive end Alex Okafor and the Longhorn defense. The Mountaineer defense looks weak and Texas should be able to put points on the board. It just depends if the Longhorn defense can get enough defensive stops to win the game.

Pick: West Virginia 

8. Miami (FL) vs #9 Notre Dame (Chicago)  7:30 PM ET NBC

- The Hurricanes were blown out in Week 2 at Kansas State 52-13, but are now rolling after winning three straight games. The Hurricanes are learning who they are as a team and the offense has looked explosive by averaging 41.3 points these past three games. The Fighting Irish are coming off a bye week and will continue to rely on their defense to win ball games. The question for the Fighting Irish will be who their quarterback will be? Tommy Rees came up big against Michigan, but there is no way of knowing if it will be him or Everett Golson. The key to this game will be Notre Dame being able to  shutdown their opponent's offense. The Hurricanes will be finished if they can't move the football.

Pick: Notre Dame

9. #21 Nebraska @ #12 Ohio State  8:00 PM ET ABC

- Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini returns to his old stomping grounds of Ohio State. Both the Huskers and Buckeyes are coming off two close conference wins against Wisconsin and Michigan State. This game will really test the Huskers if they are for real and can contend in the Big Ten this season. Taylor Martinez and the offense did what they did against Wisconsin last weekend like they did against Ohio State last season. The Huskers struggled and fumbled the football in the first half, then showed up in the second half and played lights out. The Huskers cannot do this in a hostile Ohio Stadium environment against a Buckeye defense giving up an average of 17.0 points per game. Another challenge for the Huskers will be their defense trying to contain dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller. This will be a very close game and I see the Buckeyes escaping by a field goal.

Pick: Ohio State 

10. #23 Washington @ #2 Oregon  10:30 PM ET ESPN

- The Washington Huskies are coming off a huge upset win over Stanford 17-13. The high flying Oregon Ducks appeared to struggle in the first half against Washington State, but went crazy after the third quarter began. Husky quarterback Keith Price is going to need to be consistent Saturday night and be able to move the ball down the field on the Oregon defense. The Husky offense has struggled this whole season to put points up on the board. You have to be able to put points up if you want to have a shot at upsetting the Ducks. I think the first half is close, but as usual Marcus Mariota and the offense consisting of Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas put up big numbers in the second half. The Huskies have not beaten the Ducks since 2003 and have not won in Autzen Stadium since 2002.

Pick: Oregon

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