By Josh Kramer
It is safe to say that Week 8 was great. Riddled by blowouts and its fair share of upsets, fans were kept on their toes until the last second across the country (especially in East Lansing). As the nation continues to prep for what many are calling the “Regular Season National Championship” in Tuscaloosa, do not overlook Week 9. It has the makings to be mighty fine.
Here are the marquee matchups.
Michigan State at Nebraska: Cornhuskers by 3
Headline: After every high comes a low. The Spartans struggle in the cornfields of Lincoln.
-Both of these schools are very much alive in the hunt for the Big Ten title. With Ohio State pretty much out of the picture, for the first time in a long time, the crown will not be shared in some facet by the Buckeyes. MSU is coming off of arguably the most exciting victory of the season thus far, while Nebraska appears to have recovered from the brutal beating they took at Camp Randall on October 1st.
-It is no secret that these are both teams that have a legitimate shot at bringing home the Big Ten Championship. One key item I have learned over the years from watching College Football is that it is very unpredictable. After every high must come a low. Sadly for the Spartans, this low will ruin their attempt at an undefeated season. Not only will it be a raucous crowd at Memorial Stadium, but the home team will be able to lean heavily on an outstanding rushing attack. Look for Nebraska to take advantage of a Spartans team that left everything on the field last Saturday. Too much Martinez and Burkhead in the end.
Oklahoma at Kansas State: Sooners by 14
Headline: The Sooners recover in time to spoil the Wildcats magical season.
-Can anyone else remember a time when Kansas State was this good? I think you may have to go all the way back to the Darren Sproles days in 2004. That year, the Wildcats lost in a wild Fiesta Bowl to Craig Krenzel, Santonio Holmes, and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Oklahoma on the other hand was the preseason number one ranked team this year. And up until last Saturday, despite relinquishing their number one ranking, had helped up their end of the bargain. OU was in the midst of a possible Big 12 title and National Championship Game appearance. Now they are really going to have to fight for a Big 12 Championship.
-The Wildcats are a very solid team. They flat-out dismantled Kansas last weekend. Well I hate to say it, this game may be taking place in Kansas, but Oklahoma is not Kansas. Not only is Oklahoma an outstanding team, you better believe that they are going to come out with a chip on their shoulder after last week’s shocking loss. If Oklahoma would have won last week, I could have seen the Wildcats surprising the Sooners. Sadly for KSU, Oklahoma is not a happy team right now. Though many question Bob Stoops ability to motivate his players week in and week out, I do not see too much motivation being needed for this one.
Clemson at Georgia Tech: Tigers by 3
Headline: The Tigers escape the triple-0ption trap at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
-Georgia Tech was considered a favorite in the ACC coming into the regular season. Up until two weeks ago, they had upheld their end of the bargain. Clemson on the other hand did not come into the season with the highest expectations. Little by little, the Tigers have won the respect of every College Football fan in the country. Clemson appears to be a National Championship Game contender at this point.
-It appears teams have fingered out how to stop the vaunted Georgia Tech triple-option offensive attack the past couple of weeks. This is not good news for the once 6 and 0 Yellow Jackets. Clemson on the other hand keeps getting better and quieting the doubters each and every week. This team can flat-out put up the points behind their sophomore QB Tajh Boyd. In addition, Boyd is from Hampton, VA. Another great dual-threat from the same area comes to mind (Michael Vick). Expect a track meet at Bobby Dodd with the edge going to the Tigers.
Stanford at USC: Cardinal by 17
Headline: Luck proves that the high ranking is not “Lucky” as the Cardinal smack around a tough Trojans team in the Coliseum.
-This is quite possibly the best matchup of the week. It features arguably the two best NFL QB prospects in the country and the nation’s top wide receiver. Plus it is being played at the Coliseum. Talk about the bright lights.
-USC appears to have recovered from the brutal beating they took from the Sun Devils back on September 24th. Stanford on the other hand appears to have somehow improved since the amazing performance they put on in smacking around Virginia Tech at the Orange Bowl in January. Luck is proving that last year’s success was no fluke, with or without Coach Harbaugh. Though this game is at USC, Stanford is just so balanced featuring one of the nation’s best offensive units and top-notch defensive attack. Too much “Luck” for USC to handle in this one.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.