The 4th week of this College Football season is already upon us. Yes, we will be a 3rd of the way through the regular season after this weekend. Hard to believe, but the intrigue continues to mount. And we all love the excitement. After last weekends, “Dud Saturday,” the excitement is back with many big time matchups. So as usual, I am going to give you my thoughts on a few of the primetime showdowns.
Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh: These are two teams that are still really looking to prove themselves. Many experts saw both of these teams as definite BCS Contenders, and even possibly as National Title Game Sleepers. Though neither of these teams really have a chance at playing in Arizona come January 10th, they both have a lot to look forward to. For Miami, they have had an extra week to clear their heads out for yet another big time road test. After Jacory Harris demonstrated his old ways, tossing 4 Interceptions against a very good Ohio State team in Columbus, the U looks to make amends. Pitt is still recovering from an opening night road loss to Utah. And I think their reeling period is going to continue, as the overall speed and athleticism of the U bombards the Panthers at Heinz Field. Though it is hard to pick against a good team at home, I got the U by a touchdown in this one.
Alabama at Arkansas: Welcome to the SEC folks. And both of these teams are already in for big time showdown even with it only being the 4th week of the season. For Alabama, this game will be the first of three consecutive against top 12 ranked foes. Can Ryan Mallett, and the explosive offense of the Razorbacks handle the defending National Champs? Sadly, I do not think so. Though Arkansas has made tremendous strides and has looked very tough, Bama is at full strength now with Mark Ingram and just look to be “rolling.” Also take note that Arkansas has lost 4 of 5 to top 25 ranked opponents. I feel like not only will Mark Ingram at full strength be a difference maker, but the Alabama defense as a whole will play an intricate part in this one. The game will come down to which defense can get stops. And though Nick Saban is sporting a young defensive unit, I give them the edge over the Razorbacks D. Look for Bama to nab a big road win in a shootout type of game by 7.
South Carolina at Auburn: This may be the best matchup of the whole weekend in my eyes, though there are many great ones. A good old-fashioned SEC brawl. We are fortunate enough to have 2 of these top-tier SEC matchups already in a fun-filled Week 4. But the difference in this one will come down to Auburn’s home field advantage. I will state that South Carolina sports probably the most exciting freshman talent in the country in Marcus Lattimore. But after watching the Gamecocks exhibit some flaws in their game last week against a less than flattering opponent in Furman, I have jumped off the bandwagon a little. Auburn, though it has not been pretty, has learned to win close games. Winning by 3 each of the last 2 weeks against quality opponents. I expect them to utilize that resiliency and the home field advantage to edge a Gamecocks team that has lost 5 straight conference road games by a large margin. Look for Auburn to win by 3.
Oregon State at Boise State: Oregon State has practiced on a blue field all week in preparation for a monumental matchup against a very talented Boise team. Boise has been a main topic of conversation throughout College Football all year and will continue to be until they lose a game (which may not happen). Chris Petersen’s squad has shown that they can really play football despite their somewhat lackluster schedule. This is probably the toughest game the Broncos have left, and luckily for them, it is at home. Oregon State has already dropped a game against a tough TCU team this year. They got blown out on the blue field 42 to 14 in 2006. And though the Rodger’s brothers are a lethal tandem, it will not be enough. Boise is too good all around. Look for Kellen Moore, Titus Young, and Austin Pettis to have another field day on National Television. I got Boise in this one by 14. Do not expect it to be close.
So these are 4 of the marquee games of the weekend. I realize there are other major matchups such as West Virginia at LSU, Oklahoma at Cincinnati, Kentucky at Florida. So sit back, enjoy, and watch as many of the games as you can.
Week 4 will be one to remember in the College Football Stratosphere.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.