For God’s sake, when will this end? Trudging along the back stretch with the third part of this awesome miniseries on the biggest games of this upcoming NCAA season. Enjoy! Or don’t. Whatever. I need to get some breakfast.
UCLA at Oregon – Does the Pac-12 scheduler hate the Bruins? In back-to-back weeks they go to Stanford and then up to Oregon. If somehow, UCLA wins even one of these games, then Jim Mora, Jr. is definitely one of the best coaches in the nation.
Vanderbilt at Texas A&M – Two of the best coaches in college football square off in this one. Now, Vandy has to handle being a good team now. Expectations are high so they will be expected to at least keep this one close.
Texas at TCU – Mack Brown cannot look past this game. Being in Fort Worth, it will be a bit of a hostile environment for the Longhorns. Chances are, this is to keep their undefeated season alive. Gary Patterson would love nothing more than to put the first checkmark in the L column of the Horns.
Penn State at Ohio State – Another landmine game here. This would be much worse if it wasn’t at the Horseshoe. Ohio State has the team, the coach, and the schedule to run the table. But these types of pitfall games always seem to trip up the good teams. Get through this and they probably go into the Michigan game at 11-0.
Stanford at Oregon State – Stanford always worries about Oregon. Should they be worried about the Beavers as well? Hehe, I said Beaver. Anyway, their chance at the Pac-12 North will hinge very heavily on this tilt.
Honourable mention: Notre Dame at Air Force, Tennessee at Alabama, Texas Tech at Oklahoma
Georgia vs. Florida – World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party….er, I mean, the Florida-Georgia game. I can honestly see WILL MUSCHAMP! working his team into a frenzy for this one. Georgia should come in as a favourite in this one and the favourite to represent the SEC East in the SEC Championship. And now, in honour of this game with no mention of alcohol, I will raise my glass (of beer) and toast this great alcohol-free game…..for once I would love to hear Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson piss drunk in the broadcast booth. Just once. It would be a classic! (Verne: Hey (BURP) Gary, waddya think of that thing…you know…the thing…the PLAY! That’s it, the play. Gary: SHUT UP Verne, you baloney.)
Michigan at Michigan State – Many are saying this is the game that could derail the Wolverines’ season. I hate to break it to you, but I’m sure that Michigan’s chances at a national championship or even a Big Ten Championship will be gone by now. Still always a great game though. Will be interesting to see if it is “downgraded” to the Big Ten Network.
Navy at Notre Dame – The Middies will be looking for revenge after last year’s shellacking over in GuinnessLand (known to most as Ireland) to start the 2012 season. Again, Navy will be an above-average team but Notre Dame could be undefeated going into this game. Could Navy play spoiler if that’s the case?
Miami at Florida State – WIDE RIGHT! Just kidding. Or am I?
North Carolina at NC State – A bit of a surprising pick here perhaps. However, here are two well above-average teams on the rise. The winner here could take the next step towards truly being a contender in the up-and-down ACC.
Honourable mention: USC at Oregon State, Mississippi State at South Carolina, Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
LSU at Alabama – At this point, this game is by far the most important game of the week. Nick Saban has had Les Miles’ number the last two meetings. If LSU wants to stop Bama’s reign as SEC West champ, this is their chance. As far as I know this is the only CBS primetime game this season.
Oklahoma at Baylor – Hey funny thing. I just watched the highlights of RGIII beating the Sooners in the last minute a couple years back on YouTube. And for some reason, I smiled. A big smile. If the Bears can put up the points in this one, they have a shot to outlast the (probably) favoured Sooners.
Oregon at Stanford – OK scratch what I said about LSU/Bama being the most important game of the week by far. It’s only by a little. This will most likely decide the Pac-12 North winner and Rose Bowl participant from the conference. It’s in Stanford this time so there’s a bit of an edge there but not much. These two teams are very evenly matched.
Virginia Tech at Miami – 145-year-old Frank Beamer may finish the reload from last year’s subpar performance if they can beat the Canes in south Florida. A Hokies win puts them in the driver’s seat in the ACC Coastal, depending on what North Carolina does.
Nebraska at Michigan – Nebraska may have a chance to clinch the, um, well, their division (whatever it’s called) with a win here. And I truly believe that Michigan will be out of contention and playing spoiler at this point. If they put Bo Pelini’s face on Brady Hoke, that would be the scariest coach to look at in NCAA history. Just sayin’.
Honourable mention: Kansas State at Texas Tech, Vanderbilt at Florida, Mississippi State at Texas A&M
Oklahoma State at Texas – The battle for the Big XII title probably comes down to this tilt in Austin(unless you read what I said about the Red River Shootout…in that case….I have no excuse other than I was probably drunk when I posted this…which would be a whole other issue since it’s like 8 in the morning). Could be a November match up of undefeateds as well which would make it an even bigger showdown.
Stanford at USC – Possible Pac-12 Championship preview. The Fighting Kiffins are going to have high expectations this year and I see them coming close to matching them, if not exceeding them. But Stanford has been one of the best big-game programs in recent memory. And yes, this would qualify as a big game.
Michigan State at Nebraska – The Huskers have a brutal ending of the year (other than Harvest Fest against Iowa on Thanksgiving Friday). If Michigan doesn’t try to kill their Big Ten championship aspirations, then the Spartans will certainly try to this week. Don’t count out a team coached by Mark D’Antonio.
Washington at UCLA – Many think the Huskies will be just above-average again this year. Husky fans are hoping for better showing this year and this is one of the games they have to win if they want to move into the upper echelon among Pac-12 teams.
Florida at South Carolina – The Ol’ Ball Coach’s current team against his previous team. No matter how often this game occurs, that’s always a huge story. Bigger story: the Cocks (yeah I went there) need wins over teams like the Gators (and the Bulldogs and now, evidently, the Commodores) to be the true beasts of the east on a regular basis.
Honourable mention: Michigan at Northwestern, TCU at Kansas State, Oregon State at Arizona State