ACC Game: Florida St. at Virginia
Its been 10 years since the Cavs upset the 'Noles on that Thursday night in Charlottesville. In the decade that has passed, that win has turned out to be more of a random upset than a program-definer. Since that time, Florida St. has played in 4 national championship bowl games (winning 1 in 1999) and is undefeated so far this season. Virginia on the other hand has continued their stretch of 7-4, 8-5, 7-5 seasons (first under George Welsh and now under Al Groh). Virginia's best season in that same span was 1998, when they went 9-3 and lost the Peach Bowl to Georgia. Florida St. has made Virginia pay for that game back in 1995 as well. The Cavs have come no closer than 5 points (a 19-14 loss at home in 2003) in the 9 games against the 'Noles since that monumental upset, andFlorida St. has won 4 of the contests by 30 or more points. In the preseason, this looked like a game Florida St. would struggle to win and possibly even lose. However, the 'Noles have proven themselves to be national title contenders while Virginia has yet to prove they are bowl contenders.
Winner: Florida St.
Big East Game: Louisville at West Virginia
The 'Ville is a hard team to get a handle on. In three games at home, they have scored over 60 points and blown out decent BCS teams Oregon St. and North Carolina as well as Florida Atlantic. However, on the road, they have struggled. They scored 31 against against a bad Kentucky team, but only won by 7. In their most recent road game against unknown quantity South Florida, they managed only 14 points and lost by 31. West Virginia is a better team than Kentucky and South Florida, so i foresee more road struggles for the 'Ville this week.
Winner: West Virginia
Big 10 Game: Michigan St. at Ohio St.
This game trumps Penn St. at Michigan and Wisconsin at Minnesota in a loaded Big 10 weekend. Its strength versus strength as the Buckeyes and their stout defense host Sparticus and their high-octane offense. The loser here is out of the Big 10 race and should prepare for a postseason trip to San Antonio, El Paso, or Orlando. Ohio St. has lost only once at home all season (a 2 point loss to Texas). However, Michigan St. is no stranger to hostile environments as they have beaten Notre Dame in South Bend. Michigan St. has not scored less than 31 points this season. If they get to that number, Ohio St. has no chance.
Winner: Michigan St.
Big 12 Game: Colorado at Texas
Very quietly, the Buffs are 4-1, with their only blemish a 23-3 defeat at the hands of The U in the Orange Bowl. Texas on the other hand, is eyeing a possible undefeated season and a shot at the national championship. Texas is better than Miami, and is playing at home. The upset won't happen this week.
Pac 10 Game: Southern Cal at Notre Dame
The Trojans have been tested in their last 2 road games against Oregon and Arizona St. Is Notre Dame better thna those 2 squads? On the one hand, the best team they have beaten is either Michigan (3-3) or Purdue (2-3). However, all 4 of their wins have come on the road. Road games are never easy in college football or any sport. We'll find out how good the Irish are after this game. After all the hype and pomp, this game has a lot to live up to. It won't.
Winner: Southern Cal
SEC Game: Florida at LSU
Florida's last road game was a 31-3 whipping at the hands of Alabama. LSU's last home game was an OT choke job against Tennesee. This is easily the hardest game on the docket to prognosticate. I haven't been impressed with LSU's performance against either Mississippi St. or Vandy in their 2 games since the Tennessee debacle. I haven't been impressed with Florida's performance against real NCAA defenses in games against Tennessee and Alabama (19 combined points). In situations like this, take the home team.
Close but no Cigar:
Penn St. at Michigan: Michigan is actually the favorite playing at home against the undefeated Nits. They should be. In their only road game, Penn St. struggled to beat Northwestern. This is a step up in talent.
Wake Forest at Boston College: Surprisingly, my alma mater has won the last 2 games in this contest. Our running game will keep it close, but Boston College will prove too much.
Nebraska at Baylor: The Bears have played extremely well this season under Guy Moriss. Their only loss was an OT defeat at Texas A&M. Nebraska is coming off a tough home loss to Texas Tech, and will get ambushed in Waco.
Kansas St. at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders needed a miracle to get by Nebraska last week in the first tough game they played all year. The Wildcats will get back in the Big 12 North race with a win here.
Enjoy the weekend.