Saturday, November 12, 2005

College Weekend Preview

It's weekends like this that make college footbball the sport it is. So many great games all day long.

Weekend Six-Pack:

ACC Game: Georgia Tech at Virginia
The Yellow Jackets and Wahoo get together in a game of dire importance to both schools. Should Georgia Tech lose this game, and with Miami and Georgia still to play, there is a good chance they will finish 6-5. A season that started off with such promise after a win at Auburn over Labor Day Weekend will end with a low level bowl trip. On the other hand, Virginia probably needs to win this game in order to finish 6-5, as they have Virginia Tech and Miami remaining on the schedule. From 1995-2003, the home team won every game in this series. Virginia stopped that streak last year by winning in Atlanta. Georgia Tech will return the favor this year. Virginia is undefeated at home, but 3 of their 4 home wins are against Western Michigan, Duke, and Temple. The 4th was of course against Florida State. However, that was a game the Cavaliers had marked on their calendar and waited all season for. The crowd and players will not be as emotionally charged for GT. Additionally, Florida State has struggled away from Tallahassee the last few seasons. Georgia Tech owns a road victory over Auburn this season, so they will not be phazed by the crowd in Charlottesville.
Winner: Georgia Tech

Big East Game: Navy at Notre Dame
Technically, this is not a Big East game. However, since the Big East has played most of its 'marquee' games over the work-week recently, we are left with Connecticut at Pittsburgh and South Florida at Syracuse as our choices. Since the Irish play in the Big East in basketball, they get to be an honorary Big East gridiron team this week. Navy's struggle with the Irish is a well-known fact in college football. The people of Haddonfield had better luck with Michael Myers. Navy has not beaten the Irish since 1963. That streak will continue this season and the Irish will continue their undeserved march to a BCS bowl.
Winner: Notre Dame

PS: This game was actually played in Dublin, Ireland in 1996.

Big 10 Game: Iowa at Wisconsin
This is Barry Alvarez's last home game as Wisconsin's head football coach. When Barry Alvarez came to Wisconsin in 1990, the Badgers were in the midst of a six-season bowl drought. His 1990 team won only 1 game, but the administration stuck with him and by 1993, the Badgers won the Big 10 and were in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1962. Since 1993, the Badgers have had only 2 losing seasons, while compiling 2 Big 10 championships and 2 more Rose Bowl appearances (which they won). To put that into perspective, Penn State has won 1 Big 10 championship since 1993, and Ohio State has won 3. Of course, none of that history will beat Iowa this week. The Hawkeyes are a dangerous team coming off consecutive close losses to Michigan and Northwestern. They need to win this game or their home finale against Minnesota to become bowl eligible. It won't happen this week. Camp Randall will be rocking, and Brian Calhoun will run wild as Barry Alvarez goes out a winner in his final home game.
Winner: Wisconsin

Big 12 Game: Colorado at Iowa State
The Big 12 North could be decided in this game. If Colorado wins, they are North Division champs. If Iowa State wins, they must also win their finale at Kansas and hope Colorado falls to Nebraska. The Buffs have been flying under the radar, but their only losses have come to the top 3 teams in the country, Texas and Miami. It will be close, but Colorado will clinch the North Division this week.
Winner: Colorado

Pac 10 Game: Southen Cal at Cal
This game has lost some of its preseason luster as Cal has dropped 3 of its last 4 games. Still the fact remains that Cal was the last team to beat Southern Cal, and also gave them one of their stiffest tests on the road last season. However, Cal quarterback Joe Ayoob has been downright bad under passing guru Jeff Tedford. He has completed less than 50% of his passes and tossed 10 interceptions, including 3 last week against Oregon. Berkeley will be rocking, but you can't trust a team that lost at home to Oregon State to knock off the #1 team in the nation.
Winner: Southern Cal

SEC Game: LSU at Alabama
Control of the SEC West is at stake here, not to mention an undefeated season for the Tide. An LSU win would put them in the driver's seat for the SEC West, while 'Bama could clinch the division with a win and an Auburn loss (to Georgia). This is the game where the Tide's offensive ineptitude will be their downfall. 1 offensive touchdown has been the production in 3 SEC games since Prothro's injury. If LSU does not turn the ball over an obsene number of times they will win going away in Tuscaloosa.
Winner: LSU

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