ACC Game: Miami at Virginia Tech
This is for the ACC's Coastal Division title. The only way this game could be any bigger is if Miami had not lost opening weekend to Florida State. As it stands, The U and the Hokies are both still very much alive in the Rose Bowl picture. A decisive win here could vault Virginia Tech past Texas in some voters' ballots and also increase their standing in the objective computer rankings. A Miami win would keep their championship hopes alive should there only be one undefeated team at season's end. In their 4 home games, Virginia Tech has surrendered no more than 14 points (to Marshall). Miami will probably be the best offense they have faced in Lane Stadium this season, but this is far from the explosive Miami offense of 00-02 when such stalwarts as Dorsey, McGahee, and Winslow bludgeoned Big East opponents. Miami has not played a true road game in 7 weeks (Temple does not count as they can only win on Yom Kippur). In their 2 real road game, Miami lost to Florida State and squeaked by a 4-4 Clemson team in triple OT. These Hurricanes are Category 3 at best, and they won't be able to do enough on offense to beat Virginia Tech on the road.
Winner: Virginia Tech
Big East Game: South Florida at Rutgers
Since introducing themselves to the general public with a thrashing of a top-10 Louisville team, South Florida has dipped back under the radar losing consecutive road contests to Miami and Pittsburgh. South Florida is winless on the road, and Rutgers has lost but once at home.
Big 10 Game: Wisconsin at Penn St.
The winner in this game controls their destiny in the Big 10 race. Brian Calhoun has been a crucial piece in Wisconsin's offense, but QB John Stocco has also vastly improved meaning Wisconsin can also beat teams through the air; a quality they lacked in years past. However, Wisconsin's achilles heal is their defense. They have given up 42 points to Bowling Green, 24 to Indiana, 51 to Northwestern, 34 to Minnesota, and 24 to Illinois. The Nittany Lions have a better offense than all those teams and are playing at home where they are undefeated this season.
Winner: Penn St.
Big 12 Game: Missouri at Colorado
Before Missouri blew last weeks game to the Super Mangino Bros., the winner of this game was all but assured the Big 12 North title. If Colorado wins, they can start making plans to lose to Texas by 30 or so points. If Missouri wins, they can pretty much not show up next week at home against Baylor as their inconsistency will probably get the better of them (if not in that game then the next week at Kansas State). Missouri may have the best player on the field in QB Brad Smith, but Colorado is playing at home where they have yet to lose this season.
Pac 10 Game: California at Oregon
Oregon has been flying under the radar all season, but still have a shot at a 10 win season, and if several things happen, perhaps a shot at a BCS bowl? Cal rebounded from consecutive losses to UCLA and Oregon State to beat Washington State 2 weeks ago. However, the Bears have yet to beat a team with a winning record and are likely looking forward to next weeks showdown with the Trojans. Even without Kellen Clemens the Ducks will win at home.
SEC Game: Tennessee at Norte Dame
Tennessee is in very real danger of missing a bowl game. Following this tilt with the Irish, they play host to Memphis, Vandy, and on the road at Kentucky. While they will be favored in their 3 remaining games, at least one of these games are bound to be close. Would a losing season cost Fulmer his job? It probably shouldn't. Every coach, especially those with a national title, should get at least one mulligan. On the other sideline, Notre Dame has just finished giving Charlie Weis an $80 billion contract complete other fringe benefits like all the red meat he can eat and a lifetime suppy of manzeers. Other writers have already commented on the absurdity of his contract considering his predecesor started out 8-0 and was given a pat on the back and a few 'atta boys'. In my humble opinion, Notre Dame fans need to pull a Larry David and curb their enthusiasm. Although I have Notre Dame at #7 in my blog poll ballot, thanks mostly to their classic against the Trojans, look at the teams the Irish have beaten. Pittsburgh, Washington, Purdue, and BYU: not a looker in the bunch. The Irish have beaten Michigan, but the Wolverines for all their talent, have 3 losses. Notre Dame has also lost to a team with 3 losses, the Michigan State Spartans. Maybe the computers have it right (or at least more right) where they have them ranked: 22nd. This game will probably not go a long way in determining how good the Irish are, as Tennessee appears mediocre at best.
Winner: Notre Dame
Enjoy the Weekend.