Week 12 college Preview
Written by Curt Popejoy on 11/19/2009
Week 12 of the college football season is upon us, and I won't even lie, this week doesn't thrill me. I suppose it was inevitable that there would be a down week and it took 3 months to get there. Am I saying there won't be great football? Not at all. In fact in many cases it's weekends like this that generate some of the most exciting and competitive games of the year. What I am saying is there are no marquee matchups, BCS buster type games, or games with dramatic conference or BCS implications. This is a weekend I call a weekend for the fans. But there are still some games of particular interest to me, and since I'm the only one talkin', you get to read about them.
Ohio State/Michigan-I remember a time not too long ago, when this was the biggest game of the regular season no matter what the conference. But this year, we have Ohio State who have already locked up the Big Ten, and Michigan who began the season on a tear and have since faded away. I will watch of course, mainly because guys like Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham and defensive back Donovan Warren are both potential first round picks, but because I want to see if Michigan is getting worse or better. Rick Rodriguez thought he had his man in Tate Forcier to be his new Pat White but at this point I'm not sure and I was on his bandwagon early in the year. For Ohio State, their fans have to be on an emotional roller coaster with Terrell Pryor. One week he looks like the guy they signed hype and all, and other weeks he looks downright average. This game is in Michigan, Ohio State has nothing to play for, Michigan has everything, and I have a lot of family who are Michigan alum who berate me when I don't pick Michigan, so I am calling for the upset as a motivated Wolverine unit dumps the Buckeyes.
There are a couple of Pac-10 games that have some conference significance. The first is Cal at Stanford. Stanford is still staring a shot at a PAC-10 title and a trip to the Rose Bowl square in the eyes, and although both teams have the same record, looks are deceiving. Cal is without their best player Jahvid Best, and to me just doesn't have much of a shot in this. Stanford is probably the best prepared and best coached team in the nation right now, and they are focused. I expect Stanford to make yet another statement this week, and beat down the Bears also giving Heisman hopeful Toby Gerhart another stage for the Heisman Trophy.
The other big Pac-10 game is Oregon going to Arizona. Both these teams still have a chance to win the Pac-10, with Oregon in a little bit better shape. But I don't think Mike Stoops and the Wildcats will care about that. This win would be tremendous for their program. The key to this will be if Arizona's defense can slow done LaMichael James on the ground. And will there be a LaGarrette Blount sighting? Yeah, I don't care either. If Arizona can pull the upset, and Stanford win, it would create quite a logjam at the top fo the PAC-10.
The last game I want to comment on it Oklahoma at Texas Tech. Not because this game has any national significance, but just to illustrate how far the Big 12 have fallen. This game last year was a matchup of two of the best teams in the country, and a year later, it's a matchup that doesn't even have any Big 12 Title significance. Oklahoma needs to use these last few games to decide if Landry Jones is their future, and Texas Tech needs to decide if they have their next plug and play QB on their roster. I expect Oklahoma to win on the strength of that smothering defense, and I expect both teams to be much better next year.
Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland-Keep an eye on Campbell dealing with the speed of the Florida state rush ends. Campbell is getting a ton of pub as a first round pick, but I'm not quite there yet. He's got some injury issues that will haunt him. But a great game on Saturday will certainly help.
Von Miller, DE/LB Texas A&M and Joe Pawelek, LB Baylor-The A&M Baylor game will showcase two of the more underrated defensive prospects in this draft. Miller has the look of an elite rush OLB and Pawelek is a hard nosed, lunch pail type linebacker who is all about production and not about the flash. But no doubt both of these guys have the skill set for the next level.
Last Edited: 11/19/2009