Folks, major conference play is getting under way or right around the corner for most. Now we are hitting October football. This is where the games really heat up, even though the weather is beginning to cool down. Injuries are taking its toll on teams, but the best teams will continue to find ways to win.
I will state this right now. Week 5 will be live.
Texas vs Oklahoma: The Red River Rivalry is one of the best games College Football has to offer year in and year out. And let’s be honest, it is in essence, a midseason Big 12 Championship game (normally). Though Nebraska has looked just as good or better than both of these formidable squads, this game will go a long way in determining who wins the mighty Big 12 in its last year as the normal Big 12. Texas is coming off of a horrible home loss to a decent UCLA game. This loss really shocked the country and showed Texas to have some big time holes this year. I will admit though, Mack Brown demonstrating great sportsmanship and gave UCLA all the credit in the world, putting the blame on him and his team’s shoulders. Got to respect that. Oklahoma barely escaped in a game that they should have lost to Cincinnati, the best 1 and 3 team in the country. Oklahoma has grinded out close games in 3 of their 4 victories this year. This team is extremely talented and athletic, though they are lacking much to be desired in the discipline department. I know the age-old rule is that actual talent can get thrown out the window when it comes to big time rivalry games, but this year, the talent will be the difference. Oklahoma is head and shoulders better than Texas and will win this game by at least 14 points. Oklahoma, in their only other game against a big time ranked opponent (FSU), looked like a juggernaut and ran the overmatched Seminoles off the field. Expect more of the same on Saturday as the combination of Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles continues to shred opposing defenses.
Wisconsin vs Michigan State: Welcome to a big time brawl in the Big Ten folks. These two old rivals do not have the greatest of relationships. Though it is heartwarming to hear that Coach Dantonio will still be able to play a role in the game from the booth for the mighty Spartans. Michigan State has looked tough this year, though they could have easily been defeated by Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish. Wisconsin, though they struggled vs Arizona State 2 weeks ago, put up a stunning 70 points last weekend. This offense is lethal. The defense is solid, and I think the vaunting Badger rushing attack will prove to be too much for the Spartans on this day. Michigan State is close to breaking into the elite ranks of College Football, but Greg Jones and the defense will struggle stopping John Clay all day on the way to a tough loss. I got the Badgers by 3 on the road in this one.
Florida at Alabama: This is probably the best game of the entire weekend, and maybe even the entire year. The two best coaches with the two best teams the SEC has to offer battling it out in front of a National Audience. This game represents what College Football is all about. Saban vs Meyer. Talk about an amazing matchup of elite coaches. Many feel that the Tide will “Roll” against the Gators as they did last year in this one. And I say not so fast. The Gators looked to be gaining back their offensive swagger last week against Kentucky and will surprise the Tide with their stellar freshman Trey Burton. The kid reminded me of a young Tim Tebow last week, accounting for 6 TDs. There is a reason why no team has ever repeated as BCS National Champions in the BCS era. There are just too many good teams in College Football, especially in the SEC. Look for the Gators to pull the unthinkable upset, shocking Nick Saban, Mark Ingram, and the Crimson Tide. I got Florida shocking the country, with a 3 point victory.
Stanford at Oregon: In essence, this is the makeshift Pac 10 Championship. Two very good teams battling it out on National Television. Sound familiar to what we have going on in both the Big 12 and the SEC? Against a fairly difficult schedule so far, the Cardinal has looked outstanding both offensively and defensively ranking among the nation’s elite. This team can flat-out play, and really stepped onto the National scene with an old-fashioned butt whipping of Notre Dame last week. Oregon on the other hand, may be the only team in the country that has ranked even better than Stanford both offensively and defensively. This team has looked nearly invincible, other than during a minor lull against ASU last week. So conventional wisdom would say to pick the home team. And that is what I am going to do. These are both great teams. But I feel the speed and athleticism of the Ducks, mixed in with the home crowd will give them the edge. Look for the Ducks to upend the Cardinal by 3 in a great football game. LaMichael James may find his way onto the short list for the Heisman Trophy after this one.
So there you have it folks. Week 5 has arguably the most exciting slate of games we will get all year. In essence, there is a makeshift Big 12 Championship game, SEC Championship Game, and Pac 10 Championship Game. I am not sure if you can ask for more excitement. And the amazing thing, there are other great matchups that I had to leave off of this post.
Week 5 appears to be a “Midseason Championship Week” for half of the major BCS Bowl Conferences.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.