By Josh Kramer
College Football has hit a new low. With the recent developments in Happy Valley, it is hard to focus on this week’s games. The matter going on in Pennsylvania is much bigger than football. It is bigger than college athletics. These were felonious acts that went on, but rest assured, the game will go on. My condolences and sympathy go out to all of the kids and families that were hurt from these most despicable acts. I once respected Joe Paterno as much as any coach in sports. Now my respect level for him is zero.
Here are the marquee matchups.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech: Hokies by 3
Headline: The Hokies reign supreme in the ACC Coastal as they set their sites on another BCS berth.
-Georgia Tech is coming off of their best performance of the year hands down. They simply gave Clemson the business from start to finish. Virginia Tech on the other hand looked awful last week, and could have easily lost to the annual ACC doormat (in football), Duke. Last week was last week though. Saturday is a new day as both teams square off for supremacy in the ACC Coastal division.
-The Hokies live and die on their great defense while Georgia Tech relies on their high-powered triple-option offensive attack. Both of these teams contend for the ACC title every year and the coveted BCS bid. All logic points towards the Yellow Jackets, who appear to be back on the right track to handle business at home. But college football has never been logical. Now as I have said many times on this forum before, after every high comes a low. Georgia Tech hit a major high last week in spanking the Clemson Tigers. This week, they hit a major low in losing to one of their arch rivals at home.
Nebraska at Penn State: Cornhuskers by 10
Headline: The Penn State downward spiral continues.
-I am elated that Penn State has come to their senses and parted ways with the legendary Joe Paterno. He had no business being in that stadium on Saturday. In terms of a Big Ten matchup, this is a huge game. The Cornhuskers still have an outside shot in the Legends division while Penn State appears to be the cream of the crop in the much weaker Leaders division. The Nittany Lions have lived on an outstanding defensive unit while the Cornhuskers played much more balanced football.
-I have thought Penn State was overrated all year. They could have easily lost to Temple, Indiana, and Purdue. Had they had lost any of these games, this team would by no means be a top 15 team. But they have been able to pull out close games. Nebraska on the other hand is a team that has been very Jekyll and Hyde this year. They can go out and lose by over 30 to Wisconsin and lay an egg against Northwestern, then they can lay a merciless meeting on a team the caliber of Michigan State. Lady luck should not be in the Nittany Lions favor in terms of recent events. Expect Nebraska to run over a very overrated Penn State squad.
Auburn at Georgia: Bulldogs by 7
Headline: Bulldogs move one step closer to the SEC Championship game with a huge victory over the defending champs.
-After a very unfortunate start to the season, the Bulldogs are now one of the hottest teams in America, and the cream of the crop in the SEC East. Auburn on the other hand has had a much different type of season. Nobody said it would be fun adjusting to life in the post-Newton days. Though they have salvaged a solid season, this year is nothing like the magical 2010/2011 campaign.
-Georgia is a very balanced team. They rank among the nation’s elite on both sides of the ball and have won seven straight games for a reason. Auburn does not really do much especially well. Plus they have already dropped three games on the road this year. Well expect number four on Saturday, as Mark Richt gets the Bulldogs one step closer to the SEC Championship Game.
Oregona at Stanford: Cardinal by 3
Headline: The Luck Heisman Campaign hits new record highs in Palo Alto.
-Stanford had one bad half all year last season. That bad half happened in Eugene against Oregon and cost them both the Pac-12 title and a shot at a possible National Championship berth. It is without question that these two teams are the cream of the crop in the Pac-12 just like last year. Only this year, the roles appear to have been reversed, with Stanford now the higher ranked team. Since an embarrassing performance in Week 1, the Ducks appear to be as strong as ever, featuring the 5th ranked offensive attack in all the land. Stanford on the other hand has put up points at an even more impressive rate, and appear to be a possible National Championship Game contender.
-This game features two of the very best players in all of the land. I am of course referring to Andrew Luck and LaMichael James. And despite dealing with injuries, James is turning in a very impressive year. Luck on the other hand is without question the Heisman frontrunner. He willed his team to a wild victory at the Coliseum a couple of weeks back and I expect much of the same on Saturday night. Plus, which star would you rather have leading our team into battle on Saturday? I think the answer is obvious (Luck). In addition, this game is set to take place in Palo Alto. Luck will not lose at home. The combination of home-field advantage and a very stout defensive unit will give the Cardinal the nod in what should be a wild game. Stanford’s National Championship hopes will be a whole lot brighter come Sunday.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.