One of the major surprises this year has been Auburn, led by dual threat quarterback Cameron Newton (pictured above). Can he keep Auburn's SEC title hopes alive this weekend against a tough Arkansas squad?
College Football has entered Week 7. It feels like just yesterday that the season was just starting. Well now some of the contenders have been separating from the pretenders. Alabama will not go undefeated. There is a real possibility of an undefeated team coming out of the Big Ten, the Pac 10, and the Big 12. Not to mention a real possibility of Boise State running the table and qualifying for the BCS Title Game. This could be a year that really demonstrates all of the true flaws of the BCS System and could ultimately lead to the horrible system’s demise.
So when looking at this weeks’ matchups initially, not too many games really stand out. There are not many hotly anticipated matchups of highly ranked teams. But this is College Football. And there are always great games and boat load of surprises.
Here is my look into some of the major matchups.
Texas at Nebraska: So this game has lost some of the flare and mystique that many envisioned it having. These are two teams heading in very different directions. The Longhorns got this past week off after losing two consecutive games. When can you remember a Mack Brown team losing two straight games? Texas has sported a mediocre offense and a mediocre defense. They have struggled running the ball and really are missing main stays off of last year’s National Runner up, like Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley. Nebraska on the other hand. There is only one word to describe this team. WOW. Everyone expected this team to have a solid defense. Not sure with the departure of Ndamukong Suh they were expecting the defense to be scary. This team defends better than any team I have seen in the country. I do not care if they rank 4th in points given up. Watch them and let me know what you think. The real question mark on this team was would there be enough offense? Well Freshman QB Taylor Martinez has been absolutely outstanding and looked like the new Eric Crouch (former Nebraska Heisman winner). The kid has been extremely efficient passing the ball. But he has been even better with his legs. His amazing leadership as a freshman has helped Nebraska become the 2nd best rushing team in the entire country. Sorry Texas. Normally, coming off two losses I would pick a big time win. But on the road against a team with a defense as scary as the one Bo Pelini has at Nebraska? I got the Cornhuskers by 10 at home.
Arkansas at Auburn: This is another one of those amazing and highly anticipated SEC Brawls. The SEC is the best conference in the country for a reason. And due to it’s amazing depth there will be outstanding matchups each and every week. Normally multiple great games. So in this one, we have a surprise undefeated taking on a team with perhaps the most highly hyped player in the country. Can Ryan Mallett pick up his first signature victory and prove his critics wrong? Well Arkansas has had an electric passing attack. The problem has been converting in the Red Zone and running the ball effectively. In the SEC it is impossible to be one-dimensional and win consistently. Too much depth on all of these squads. Auburn on the other hand has been a team that has lived on a very strong rushing attack led by dual threat QB Cameron Newton. This Junior has been absolutely sensational in every sense of the word. So all logic would point towards Auburn protecting their home turf in this one. But I am going to go with my gut. Ryan Mallett will finally bust out with the signature performance of his Razorback career thus far and clinch a major road victory for Arkansas. Though Auburn is very good. They have flown by the seat of their pants in 4 games this year. Unfortunately in the SEC, there will always be a team waiting to convert in a close game the next week. That team is Arkansas. I got the Razorbacks by 3 in a major road upset.
Ohio State at Wisconsin: Though Wisconsin has lost a conference game already, do not count this team out in making a run at the Conference Championship. That quest starts Saturday in an old-fashioned Big Ten Heavyweight battle in Madison. Ohio State is the cream of the crop in the Big Ten, and possibly in the entire country. They have won 5 straight conference titles and are looking to make it 6. Wisconsin has a very dangerous rushing attack led by junior John Clay. Ohio State has its usual outstanding defense. Can Wisconsin control the tempo of the game through their devastating rushing attack? I would have to say no. Ohio State’s defense is too athletic and too deep. Not to mention the offense continues to improve each week behind the steady growth of Heisman hopeful, Terrell Pryor. I got the Buckeyes surviving a tough road contest by 7.
So there you have it. Though there are not a ton of games pitting two ranked foes, there are some very quality games. Games in the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 will provide major indications towards this year’s conference champions and the at-large BCS bids. It should be a fun weekend. Hopefully my picks will be more on point this week in that I have struggled the past couple. But I still love the unpredictability of the College Game. It keeps all of us on our toes every week. Make sure to tune in for the games.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.