By Josh Kramer
We are already nearly a month into the College Football season. And despite much unrest about what the future of the college athletics landscape will be, the level of play has been outstanding thus far. Down to the wire finishes. Upsets. Big time “Heisman-like” performances. Angry coaches. Even Notre Dame finally won a game. You name it, and College Football has had it. And want to know the best part? We have not even hit the prime part of the season.
Here are the marquee matchups.
Arkansas at Alabama: Crimson Tide by 14
Headline: The Tide “Rolls” behind their outstanding defensive unit, who stifles the one-dimensional Razorback attack.
-Pretty much every game in the SEC in the current College Football stratosphere is a “marquee” matchup. And this battle between Arkansas and Alabama does not differ from the SEC norm. Both of these teams are currently undefeated, and look to have a real chance to qualify for a BCS Bowl. Sadly for the Razorbacks though, they have not faced a team with a defense that is the caliber of Bama’s scout team. Alabama may have a couple of question marks at quarterback, but their defensive unit is pretty much as good as it gets.
-Arkansas must get a prime effort from junior RB Ronnie Wingo Jr. or they can kiss a chance at winning this game goodbye. Sure the Razorbacks have absolutely shredded opposing secondaries thus far averaging over 346 yards per game via the air, but a one side offensive attack will not be sufficient against Alabama, and the 2nd ranked defense in the country. I expect Bama to pad their secondary, and neutralize Tyler Wilson’s big play ability, while giving the Razorbacks a steady dose of the Richardson/Lacey train.
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M: Aggies by 3
Headline: Ryan Tannehill and the hometown team wow the fans in College Station with a thrilling down to the wire victory.
-First of all, I feel like both of these teams are vastly overrated. Neither team will end the year ranked in the top 10 in my opinion. But thus far, both these Big 12 powers have really put up the points and appears ready for a shootout. And I think that is just what this game will be. A good old-fashioned track race. Who doesn’t love a track race.
-This huge Big 12 matchup will be decided by two key factors. Number one, A&M’s defense. It is no secret that both of these teams can light up the scoreboard, considering they both average over 41 points per game. But the Aggies also are very talented on the defensive side of the ball. Secondly, home-field advantage will be crucial in this one. You better believe that the nearly 90,000 wild Aggie fans will be bringing the noise. Can 27-year-old Brandon Weeden and the upstart Cowboys handle it? I am doubting they handle it well enough to come away with a victory.
Florida State at Clemson: Seminoles by 7
Headline: The Seminoles vent their frustrations on the surprising Tigers.
-Both of these teams are coming off of very different types of games. The Seminoles lost a tough one at home to arguably the best team in the country Oklahoma. This was a game that could have given FSU the inside track to their first National Title Game since 1999. Clemson on the other hand is coming off of a monumental win over the defending champion Auburn Tigers.
-Sadly for Clemson, the “Cam-Newtonless” Tigers are not the same team as last year. I do thing that Clemson is a very good team that will make some noise in the ACC, but Florida State is an outstanding football team who is very hungry right now. Had the Seminoles defeated the Sooners last week, then this could have been one of those “Upset-Alert” games. But the Seminoles behind, E.J. Manuel will be fully ready for the ACC opener.
LSU at West Virginia: Tigers by 17
Headline: The Tigers thrash the Big East favorites in Morgantown behind their stellar defensive unit and outstanding running back tandem.
-Both of these teams have major BCS aspirations, and rightfully so. LSU has a great shot at making the SEC Title game if they can figure out a way to take down the Tide in Tuscaloosa, while the Mountaineers appears to be the best team in the Big East. Last year, WVU surprised many, and made this a very exciting game. Can they do the same this year?
-Don’t count on it. LSU has played a very difficult schedule thus far and appear to have the best defense in the country. And not only are they dominant on the defensive side of the ball, but they feature arguably the best ground attack around. Though I foresee the Mountaineers hanging around in the first half, I fully expect the Tigers to wear the Big East favorites down with their swarming defense and solid ground attack.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.