College Football Preview Week 10
Written by Curt Popejoy on 11/06/2009
Well Football fans, November is here and that means there's a change in the air, the weather starts to turn cold and you can really feel like it's football season. Mercifully the New York Yankees put an end to the MLB season and the NBA is so far off my radar I don't even care it's mucking up my Sportcenter and sports talk radio experience. Football is king, and College Football is like Julius Caesar. This weekend promises some intense matchups and for my money a couple of big upsets that promise to shake up the top of the BCS.
This weeks game of the week is pretty obvious. LSU travels to Alabama to try and knock the Tide out fo the ranks of the undefeated and honestly out of any real contention for the National Championsip. Losing late is murder to a college team, and this would be homicide for the Crimson Tide.
For Alabama their formula for success has been hand the ball to Mark Ingram, play smothering defense, and the rest of you, don't screw anything up.
For LSU, the formula has been do just enough on both sides of the ball to win, and make average teams look better than they should, even though you still beat them.
Unfortunately, neither of these approaches will get them past the other team this weekend. Alabama is going to have to find some sort of passing offense. Julio Jones has been all but invisible this year, and a lot of
that has to do with quarterback Greg McElroy.
LSU on the other hand just has to tap into all those skill players. When your team has players like Charles Scott, Russell Shepard, Keiland Williams, Terrance Toliver, Brandon LaFell, and Richard Dickson you should be able to move the ball and score on any defense in the nation. So, why can't they? Their problems also stem from the play of their QB Jordan Jefferson.
On defense, Alabama has the clear advantage in terms of talent, but LSU is an underrated unit. So, what will this game come down to? I think it'll be the team that gets the best play from their quarterback wins. LSU have owned Alabama historically when they play them in Alabama, and I have to think Jefferson will step up and LSU will upset the Crimson Tide in their own dojo.
Not to be outdone by the SEC, the Big Ten decided to throw a big matchup in as well when the Ohio State Buckeyes travel to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions.
I have poured over this game, trying to find an angle where I could go for back to back upset picks, but it's just not there for me. In terms of talent, Penn State is a much better team. Their rankings in the polls while close really aren't a good indicator of how far apart these two teams are.
I do think this game will be epic, and I do think it will get a ton of attention, but the reality is, Penn State doesn't lose very often at home, and with this group, from quarterback Daryll Clark and running back Evan Royster to defensive lineman Jared Odrick and linebacker Navorro Bowman this team is just too talented for the Buckeyes. Terrell Pryor is going to have to have the game of his life, and his next two reincarnations to win this one, and I just don't think he has it in him.
Game 3 of my big 3, is my trap game of the week. Oregon, riding high as a kite after their gangland beatdown of the USC Trojans head to Stanford to take on the suddenly competitive Stanford team.
This game is just screaming upset, so I will listen. I think Stanford is playing way out over it's skiis and really don't have the talent to match up with the Ducks but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
What does Stanford have to do to win? Stop the run, first and foremost. LaMichael James and Jeremiah Masoli have run over everyone the past few weeks, so if I am Coach Harbaugh, I stack the box and pound the run.
On offense, I pound them with Toby Gerhart, Andrew Luck, and Stepfan Taylor. Long drives, eat clock, and end with touchdowns. Then take your shots deep on a tired Oregon D. Oregon is ripe for a letdown and a road game like this is going to be it.
A few quick hits for the weekend
- Special mention of the Fresno State/Idaho. It's the last game of the night. And it features two guys who I need to give some props too, mainly because it might be the only time you get to see them on national television. Anyone who reads my stuff knows I've been pimping Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews every chance I get. But on the other side of the football is a young man named Mike Iupati. He's a guard for Idaho. I got to watch him play two weeks ago, and was really impressed. In fact he might be the best guard prospect in the country. I know keeping an eye on an interior offensive lineman isn't the most exciting thing to do during a football game, but if you are an NFL fan, who are hoping to have their team upgrade their guards next April, this kid could be the best bet in the draft.
Last Edited: 11/06/2009