Alright, on to part deux of the biggest games this season…at least at this point.
Oklahoma at Notre Dame – Bob Stoops and the Sooners are looking for revenge for last year’s loss in Norman. If the Irish can be undefeated through this game, then they have to be taken very seriously again (which would make all non-Irish fans hang their heads in shame).
USC at Arizona State – Put up or shut up for Arizona State. If they want to compete in the Pac-12 South, this is the kind of game they must win. The Fighting Kiffins will be ready for them.
Wisconsin at Ohio State – Games between these two teams are usually really good. They have a primetime slot on ABC (at this point), so they will have the better part of a national audience watching. First true test for the Buckeyes this season.
Arizona at Washington – The team that loses this game could conceivably miss a bowl game this year. Both teams looking to get back into their division title conversations. Possible first national look at renovated Husky Stadium.
LSU at Georgia – Now we are really starting into the SEC gauntlet. LSU goes Between the Hedges to face a Bulldogs team that looks BCS-ready. The “Mark Richt could be on the hot seat” discussions would die down (for at least 9 hours) if the Dawgs win this one.
Honourable mention: Ole Miss at Alabama, South Carolina at UCF, Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech
Ohio State at Northwestern – Test number two for Urban Meyer. The Wildcats look to be moving up the Big Ten food chain and this should be close, especially since it’s in Evanston. Other than The Game, this could be the only derailment to a perfect regular season.
West Virginia at Baylor – Should we just put the over/under at 110 points right now? Might as well.
North Carolina at Virginia Tech – Miami notwithstanding, this could be the game that decides the ACC Coastal (or is it Atlantic? Why couldn’t they come up with better names for the divisions? Like North and South. Or Mason and Dixon.).
TCU at Oklahoma – One of these teams keeps their Big XII title hopes alive after this game and one is essentially eliminated.
Arizona State vs. Notre Dame – Catholic Football Recruit-A-Thon 2013 hits Jerry World. Wouldn’t it just suck if the Irish come in here undefeated and blow a tire against a pretty good ASU team? Brian Kelly’s head might just explode if that happens.
Honourable mention: Kansas State at Oklahoma State, BYU at Utah State (Holy War Lite), Washington at Stanford
Oklahoma vs. Texas – The Red River Shootout! Yes, Oklahoma State will be in the mix but this game could be the one that decides the Big XII this season.
Florida at LSU – LSU gets such a brutal cross-conference schedule in 2013. Two weeks ago they play Georgia and this week they get WILL MUSCHAMP! and the Florida Gators. Chances of the Tigers winning both games? The answer is very slim. As slim as a blade of grass in Les Miles’ teeth.
Northwestern at Wisconsin – Once the doormat of the big Ten (or the toilet paper…you can choose the analogy), the Wildcats are a top-tier team inside the conference. Wisconsin will have their hands full with a team that is hoping to win the final Legends Division (or is it Leaders Division…gimme a fucking break, Delany, with your dumb-ass division names) title.
Michigan at Penn State – Bill O’Brien shocked everyone last year with the performance of the Nittany Lions. They might regress a bit but will still be pretty good. Michigan cannot sleep on this game as they have heavy competition in their division to get to the Big Ten Championship.
Texas A&M at Ole Miss – It’s the Hype Bowl! JOHNNY FOOTBALL! KEVIN SUMLIN! HUGH FREEZE! THE PLACE WHERE THAT BLIND SIDE GUY WENT TO SCHOOL! Any other division and this could be the game that determines who goes to a conference championship. But not in the SEC West. Loser is probably eliminated.
Honourable mention: Rutgers at Louisville, Arizona at USC, Oregon at Washington
USC at Notre Dame – Would USC be the underdog going to South Bend? All depends. If the Irish are undefeated coming in here, I don’t think it matters if the Trojans are as well…the Irish would be prohibitive favourites.
Florida State at Clemson – This is the game for the Atlantic division title. With all due respect to NC State and Syracuse, there is not a single team in this division within 10,000 country miles of the Noles and Tigers. Clemson has to be the favourite with this game in Death Valley.
Washington at Arizona State – This is probably the statement game for both squads. Both teams would need a win here to stay in the hunt for a berth in the conference championship. A loss hurts them in this regard and changes bowl outlooks drastically.
Miami at North Carolina – ESPN has lucked out this year with some crazy-good Thursday night matchups (compared to last season’s lackluster schedule). This is definitely one of them. Al Golden and Al Golden’s tie lead the Canes into Chapel Hill to face Larry Fedora (who should wear a fedora…yeah that would be awesome and hilarious all at once) and the Tar Heels. Winner stays in the race for the division crown.
UCLA at Stanford – A rematch of last year’s Pac-12 Championship. This time, the Bruins need this game to stay relevant in their division race. Saying that, Stanford can’t afford to take the day off here. Lose here, even though it might not be considered a huge upset, and it may cost them the division.
Honourable mention: Georgia at Vanderbilt, LSU at Ole Miss, UCF at Louisville