By Josh Kramer
Kicking was the name of the game last week in College Football. Sadly, many top teams did not get the memo, and paid the price in a big way. The fiasco that is Penn State continues to get worse each day. And the Stanford Cardinal finally ran out of “Luck” against a Oregon team that is playing outstanding football. Week 11 was a wild one, but Week 12 is sure to be great in its own right.
Here are the marquee matchups.
Nebraska at Michigan: Cornhuskers by 3
Headline: Rex Burkhead turns the “Big House” into his house.
-Nebraska and Michigan are both very much alive in the Big Ten Legends division race. If Michigan State is to falter at all in their final two games, one of these two storied programs will likely find their way into the Big Ten Championship Game. If you are a fan of ground attacks, then the “Big House” will be the place to be on Saturday. Both of these teams feature two of the most lethal rushing attacks in all of the land.
-You would think that the edge would go to the Wolverines in this one. Both of these teams look somewhat evenly matched on paper, but the game is being played in Ann Arbor. Michigan features one of the most stingy defenses in the nation and with well over 100,000 crazed fans helping out, many would give the Wolverines the edge. I am not one of the many. Nebraska has handled business against two ranked foes this season, while Michigan has yet to defeat one. Michigan is having a great year in Brady Hoke’s debut, but I am not sure they are quite ready for center stage yet.
USC at Oregon: Ducks by 7
Headline: Oregon sprints their way to a wild victory in Nikeville, USA.
-This very well could be a preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game. With a victory in Palo Alto last weekend, Oregon all but clinched the Pac-12 North. USC on the other hand has not been phenomenal, but fortunately plays in the parity filled Pac-12 South. Even with a loss Saturday, Kiffin’s crew would still have a chance to replay the Ducks in the title game. If you are a fan of speed and athleticism, this is the game for you on Saturday night.
-Have you ever heard the expression “speed kills.” Well we saw firsthand just how much it can kill last Saturday in Palo Alto, when the Ducks sprinted their way past a very tough Stanford team. USC is probably the second fastest team in the Pac-12, providing what will be a track meet in Eugene. As talented as I think USC is, they do not have the depth or athleticism to keep up with Oregon on either side of the ball. I think both of these Pac-12 power are more similar than they are different, but Oregon is just flat-out faster. And that will be the difference on Saturday night.
Oklahoma at Baylor: Sooners by 14
Headline: The Oklahoma aerial attack does not miss a beat despite the absence of Ryan Broyles.
-Two of the best quarterbacks in all of the land will be suiting up at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday night. This game will not be short on points. Despite the absence of Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones will still be able to sling the ball around the yard with ease against a very vulnerable Baylor defense. The Bears are no offensive slouch themselves though, led by the very dangerous Robert Griffin III.
-Had the Sooners come into this game undefeated, I would have given Baylor a better chance to win this one. Despite an undefeated record at home on the year, Baylor has really not played an opponent at home of the same caliber as the Sooners (They played OK State on the road). In addition, Baylor is 1 and 2 against ranked opponents this year, having been outscored 162 to 102 in those three contests. And though Oklahoma loses a lot without the electric Ryan Broyles, I have a feeling guys like Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds will have no problem getting open for Landry. Oklahoma will need just one more win after this game to set up what should be the “Big 12 Game of the Year” in Stillwater.
Kansas State at Texas: Wildcats by 10
Headline: Collin Klein continues to turn heads as one of the most lethal dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation.
-Texas took one on the noise last week from Missouri. Kansas State avoided losing their third straight game with a wild four-overtime victory against Texas A&M. Neither of these teams have been great lately after very promising starts. But Kansas State still has prayers of sneaking into the Big 12 Championship Game (though the odds are very unlikely).
-Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will be rocking on Saturday night when Collin Klein and the lethal Kansas State offensive attack pay a visit. Will the Longhorns be able to utilize the home-field advantage to avoid falling under 500 in Big 12 play? Don’t count on it. Texas put up five points last week in a game where they amounted just 247 total yards of offense. The lack of stability at the quarterback position for Texas has been an issue for nearly two years now. If only Colt McCoy could have remained in college forever. Too much Klein and too much balance from the Wildcats on this night.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.