BCS National Title Game '11

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

Friday, October 12, 2012

College Football: Week 7 matchups to watch

This weekend does not consist of the best matchups, but a majority of the games are a toss up. There are a lot of even matchups, along with matchups that could potentially lead to an upset of a top ten team. The biggest games of the weekend consist of the good ole' Red River Rivalry game between #15 Texas and #13 Oklahoma, along with a meeting in Death Valley between #3 South Carolina and #9 LSU. Another big game will be between #17 Stanford and #7 Notre Dame, as this game is crucial for the Irish to put themselves in a good position to receive a BCS bowl bid. Wisconsin and Purdue, who are the contenders for the Big Ten Leaders Division, will play an important game that could end up deciding who plays in the Big Ten Championship game. Lastly, #5 West Virginia, #6 Kansas State, and #10 Oregon State will all have road contests this weekend and be on upset alert.

ESPN College GameDay will be live from South Bend, IN (Live at 10:00 AM ET)

matchup: #17 Stanford @ #7 Notre Dame

Saturday, Oct. 13th

1. #15 Texas @ #13 Oklahoma (Dallas)  12:00 PM ET ABC

This will be the most important Texas-OU game since 2009. Both teams are battling for the Big 12 crown and need to win this game to stay in the race. Oklahoma bounced back last weekend against Texas Tech with a strong defensive performance. The Sooners had three interceptions with one going for a touchdown. The Sooner'd defense held Texas Tech to just 89 total rushing yards. Texas comes in  after a tough loss at home against West Virginia. The Longhorn offense is clicking and quarterback David Ash is third in the country with a quarterback rating of 180.1. The Longhorn defense was the main focus coming into the season, but the offense is the real deal this season averaging 46.8 points per game. There is going to be a lot of pressure on the Sooner defense to stop this surprisingly lethal Longhorn offense. It should be a rather intense Red River Rivalry game this year.

Pick: Oklahoma

2. #6 Kansas State @ Iowa State  12:00 PM ET FX

- The Kansas State Wildcats have not been ranked this high since the 2003 season. Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein continues to put on solid performances every week and will look to put on another as the Wildcat offense takes on a Iowa State defense that is giving up just 15.8 points per game (19th in the country). The Cyclones are coming off a big win as they upset #15 TCU on the road 37-23. The Cyclones are notorious for upsetting highly ranked teams. Last season, the Cyclones did the unthinkable and knocked off #2 Oklahoma State in double overtime 37-31 at home. The Wildcats may be in for a tough game when they travel to Ames on Saturday. We'll see if the Wildcats can live up to the hype and avoid the big upset.

Pick: Kansas State 

3. Wisconsin @ Purdue  12:00 PM ET Big Ten Network

- Both teams have lost one non-conference game and one conference game. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible to win the Big Ten Leaders Division, it is up to one these two teams to be the representative in the Big Ten Championship. Wisconsin has had quarterback problems, but it appears freshman Joel Stave has finally gained the starting job. The Badgers have looked better offensively these past three games, even though one of them was a three point loss at Nebraska. Wisconsin has lost both of their games by a combined total of six points. Purdue was blown out at home last weekend 44-13 by Michigan and desperately needs this win to get back on track. Michigan put up 409 total yards on the Boilermaker defense and 235 of the rushing yards were from quarterback Denard Robinson. The Boilermaker defense now must try to defend one of the most physical runners in the country Badger running back Montee Ball. I feel the Badgers pull away in the fourth quarter and get the win on the road.

Pick: Wisconsin

4. #1 Alabama @ Missouri  3:30 PM ET CBS

- Alabama is coming off a bye week and Missouri is looking to get revenge after they were upset at home last weekend against Vanderbilt. The Tiger's offense lost quarterback James Franklin last weekend to another injury and will have to rely on freshman Corbin Berkstresser to take on the best defense in the county. The Alabama defense is ranked first in the country giving up an average of seven points per game. The Tiger defense will also have their hands full with quarterback AJ McCarron, physical running back Eddie Lacy, and wide receiver Amari Cooper. The Tigers won't stay in this game for more than a quarter. Alabama is to talented and physical on both sides of the ball, it is hard to picture the Tigers keeping up in this one.

Pick: Alabama

5. #5 West Virginia @ Texas Tech  3:30 PM ET ABC/ESPN

- The West Virginia Mountaineers beat the Texas Longhorns last weekend 48-45. West Virginia must travel back to Texas again, this time Lubbock. This could be a trap game for the Mountaineers after winning two close games against Baylor and Texas these past two weekends. Texas Tech was manhandled by Oklahoma last weekend at home and will have to rely heavily on their defense on Saturday. If the Red Raiders want to pull off the upset this Saturday, they must stop one of the most explosive offenses in the country. The Mountaineers are averaging 406.8 passing yards per game and 52.0 points per game. The only way Geno Smith and the Mountaineers lose this weekend is if they come out flat after last weekend's big win.

Pick: West Virginia 

6. #17 Stanford @ #7 Notre Dame  3:30 PM ET NBC

- This is an important game for the Fighting Irish. If they win here, the only other tough games they have left is at Oklahoma and at USC. This game could determine their fate of earning a BCS bowl bid. The Notre Dame defense is one of the biggest surprises of the college football season. The defense is only giving up 7.8 points per game, which is second in the country. The Cardinal offense has been up and down these past two weeks. They couldn't get one touchdown against Washington two weeks ago, then put up 54 on Arizona this past weekend. They lack consistency on offense and I don't see quarterback Josh Nunes and running back Stepfan Taylor being able to put up enough points on a tough Irish defense led by Manti Te'o. The Irish will be looking to get their first win against the Cardinal since 2008.

Pick: Notre Dame

7. #10 Oregon State @ BYU  3:30 PM ET ABC 

- Oregon State was a lock to win this game about five days ago, then we found out starting quarterback Sean Mannion had suffered a knee injury. This has now turned into a real challenge for the Beavers. BYU's offense should look a little more stable this game as quarterback Riley Nelson returns after he suffered a back injury against Boise State on September 20th. The Cougars offense looked awful last Friday as they only put up six total points on Utah State. Thankfully, the highly talented Cougar defense held Utah State to just three points to help BYU earn their fourth win of the season. The Beavers offense struggled last weekend against Washington State at home and now they must travel to Provo without their leader. This is going to be a very defensive game and both offenses will not produce a lot of points. This could potentially be a 13-10 outcome.

Pick: BYU

8. #3 South Carolina @ #9 LSU  8:00 PM ET ESPN

-South Carolina moved to number three after blowing out the Georgia Bulldogs at home 35-7. LSU went from four to number nine after losing a hard fought game at Florida. There is going to be tremendous pressure on South Carolina, because they are in uncharted territory. The Gamecocks are not used to being in this type of position. LSU should be fortunate they have this game at home in Death Valley, where they have a huge home field advantage. The Tigers have not lost at home since October of 2009 when they were beat by Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators 13-3. This game will showcase two of the best defenses in the country and it will come down to the offenses putting up points on the scoreboard. South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw was just six of ten for 162 yards last weekend, but still managed to throw two touchdowns and no interceptions. Shaw is going to have to manage the game this weekend and rely on Heisman candidate running back Marcus Lattimore to run through a tough LSU defense. On the other hand, LSU has no big playmakers on their offense this season. LSU's offensive line has to play its best game of the season this weekend. The Offensive line cannot afford to let Gamecock defensive end Jadeveon Clowney get to quarterback Zach Mettenberger, otherwise it is going to be another long night for the Tiger offense. I feel LSU bounces back with a win on Saturday night in a very close and hard hitting game. This game will be a battle in the trenches.

Pick: LSU

9. Tennessee @ #19 Mississippi State  9:00 PM ET ESPN2

Mississippi State is off to their best start since 1999 and Tennessee is trying to win their first SEC road game since the end of the 2010 season. This will be the Bulldogs first real test of the season. The best opponent the Bulldogs have faced is an Auburn team that is currently 1-4. The Bulldogs have a great defense that is giving up only 13.4 points per game, which is the 11th best in the country. The Bulldogs offense has also been consistent this season and Junior quarterback Tyler Russell has lived up to the hype so far. Russell has thrown ten touchdown passes and just one interception. The Bulldog offense is going to have to put up their average this season of 34.2 points if they want to move to 6-0. Tennessee has an explosive offense consisting of quarterback Tyler Bray, running back Rajion Neal, and wide receiver Justin Hunter. The Volunteers are 3-2, but they have lost two very close games to tough Florida and Georgia teams. The Bulldog's defense has to be able to contain the Volunteer offense. If the Volunteers start putting points on the board, it is going to be hard for the Bulldog's offense to keep up. The Bulldog defense is key to winning this game.

Pick: Mississippi State

10. #22 Texas A&M @ #23 Louisiana Tech  9:00 PM ET ESPNU

- This game was originally scheduled for opening weekend, but was cancelled due to Hurricane Isaac. Louisiana Tech may have had an advantage in Week 1 because Texas A&M was inexperienced at the quarterback position. Here we are though, both teams are ranked and off to a good start this season. The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are currently on a 12-game regular season winning streak. If the Bulldogs win this game, they could very well be in the hunt for a BCS At-Large bid. The Texas A&M Aggies have looked solid so far this season and are ranked in the top 15 in the country in points for and in points against. The Bulldog defense, which ranks 109th in the country in points against, must contain dual threat Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel has thrown 11 touchdown passes and rushed for seven. This game could turn into a shootout with Louisiana Tech averaging 53.2 points per game and Texas A&M averaging 44.6 points per game .

Pick: Texas A&M

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