College football games of the week: Rare tragedies and the biggest upset of theyear
This past week, College football saw drama than usual, and lots of it wasn’t remotely funny. Tragic, actually. Thoughts and prayers to Tennessee State, Houston and my beloved Texas Longhorns.
But some news was more lighthearted, like Tommy Tuberville being a jerk, Bo Pelini getting some of his own medicine and USC’s cheating footballs.
Oh, yeah, also the biggest upset of the year. I can’t wait to see what happens this week.
We look west and in our backyard for the best games in college football this week. Of course, you never know when you’ll get a nail biter, right Florida? Let’s see what is going on this weekend.
No. 13 Stanford Cardinal @ No. 2 Oregon Ducks: 7 p.m. on ABC
K-State took over the top spot this week in the BCS, but with Baylor and No. 15 Texas on their schedule, the Ducks can move ahead of them with wins over No. 13 Stanford and No. 16 Oregon State.
The Cardinal are nasty and physical and with Kenyon Barner injured last week against Cal, the Ducks might not be able to run as well against the nation’s top rush defense (58.6 yards per game allowed), but Ducks qb Marcus Mariota is the real deal and he’s going to have a field day at home as the Cardinal stack the line to slow down De’Anthony Thomas (and Barner if he' healthy).
I think the Ducks blow up on a close game in the second half and run away with it, but the Crimson Tide Nation is desperately hoping for a Stanford (or Baylor) win. Neither willl happen. Quack 45, Tree 21.
No. 18 USC Trojans @ No. 17 UCLA Bruins: 2:05 p.m. on FOX
This is going to be fun, because these two schools and fan bases hate each other and from the outside looking in with no stake in the fight, it’s awesome. I hope UCLA wears their blue uniforms and USC wears these black helmets, but I’m not holding my breath.
Jim Mora and the boys from Westwood really want this game: UCLA has not beaten USC since 2005 and that win was the lone Bruin victory in the last 13 years. The UCLA pass defense is not very good, and Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee are going to light them up; however, I see the balanced attack of UCLA shredding the inconsistent Trojan defense, as well.
The Rose Bowl is going to be loud and the Bruins know a win pretty much locks up the Pac-12 South Title. this time with no asterisks. A few costly USC penalties and a hyped-up home crowd push the Bruins to victory in a shootout. UCLA 38, USC 35.
No. 23 Texas Tech Red Raiders @ No. 24 Oklahoma State Cowboys: 2:30 p.m. FSN
The best game of the day in the Big 12 should offer some fireworks and fantastic uniform combinations. Yay! The Cowboys’ quarterback situation is like the drummer from Spinal Tap. Junior Clint Chelf is now the man after JW Walsh (knee) and Wes Lunt (knee) have gone down this year.
Lunt won the job in the summer, was hurt against Louisiana-Lafayette, JW Walsh took over, was lost for the year against Iowa State, Lunt came back and was reinjured against K-State, and Chelf took over last week and led OSU to a 21-point win over West Virginia.
All caught up? Welcome to TheDays of Our Quarterbacks. The common theme in the quarterback shuffle is the offense hasn’t missed a beat — and that will continue this week. The Pokes are going to score a lot of points as they can run and pass on anyone; but expect Texas Tech and Seth Doege to do the same. In the end I like OSU’s special teams much better, and that will be the difference in fun game for the rest of us to watch. Cowboys 40, Red Raiders 31.
Worst Game(s) of the Week
I-AA Directional School @ SEC Team
STUPID AND UNNECCESSARY. I have expressed my thoughts on the utter nonsense it is that I-A schools play I-AA schools at great length. STUPID. No one benefits from 87-0 (Savannah State @ Oklahoma State to start the year), and the NCAA should outlaw the practice of I-A teams scheduling lay-ups against overmatched I-AA schools who are showing up to get their heads caved in for a paycheck. UNECCESSARY. The best conference in football and winners of the last six National Titles has seven of its 12 teams playing I-AA opponents this week:
Western Carolina @ No. 4 Alabama
Georgia Southern @ No.5 Georgia
Jacksonville State @ No.6 Florida
Sam Houston State @ No.8 Texas A&M
Wofford @ No.9 South Carolina
Alabama A&M @ Auburn
Samford @ Kentucky
In another weekly column I write, I refuse to mention any I-A vs. I-AA games in protest, and I shall do the same here from now on. Watch out, Auburn. You might be in real trouble.
It’s Johnny Football’s world, I’m just housekeeping and maintenance.
No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies @ No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Why it was included: Top 10 match up, Title implications.
Prediction:Bama 34, Ags 17. Kirk Bohls is wrong. I hate A&M, and that is enough for them to lose, right?
Reality: Ags 29, Bama 24. Kirk Bohls was right. I hate A&M, and that is enough for them to lose, right? No. No, it isn’t.
Wow. Johnny Manziel is putting on quite a show, isn’t he? The kid is fearless and can run, pass, scramble around and make plays like few in college football right now. He’s definitely a Heisman candidate and I’d put them up against anyone in college football right now.
It was a historic win for the Ags, who ironically enough might have knocked their beloved SEC right out of the National Title game. I think A&M is on their way to a BCS game. Well done, Kevin Sumlin, you are definitely a finalist for National Coach of the Year and should already have the SEC Coach of the Year locked up.
No. 11 Oregon State Beavers @ No. 14 Stanford Cardinal
Why is was included: Top 15 match up, one of the better games of the day
Prediction:Beavers 27, Tree 24. Solid defense on both sides, but Oregon State throws the ball better and wins.
Reality: Tree 27, Beavers 23. Solid defense on both sides, but Stanford threw the ball better and won.
I was very close, but close doesn’t mean much. Freshman Kevin Hogan got his first career start and out-dueled OSU’s Cody Vaz, throwing for 254 yards and three scores (Vaz had 226 and 1 score) and led the Cardinal back from a 23-14 deficit in the second half, capping off the comeback with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz with five minutes to play.
Stanford can still win the Pac-12 North with wins over Oregon and UCLA to finish out the season, but as I stated above they aren’t beating Oregon. Still, great win though.
No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs @ No.7 LSU Tigers
Why it was included: SEC! SEC! SEC! Top 25 match up. In the SEC!
Prediction:LSU 37, Cow Bells, 14. An overrated Cow Bells gets beat up by a faster, more athletic LSU. Mettenburger goes off.
Reality: LSU 37, Cow Bells 17. An overrated Cow Bells got beat up by a faster, more athletic LSU. Mettenburger went off.
Nailed it! I hit it all in the above: LSU is more athletic, and I’m not sure how Mississippi State got ranked this high in the first place. Tiger qb Zach Mettenberger threw for 273 yards and two scores and LSU was too much for the Bulldogs in all phases of the game.
WorstMost Intriguing Game of the Week
No. 18 UCLA Bruins @ Washington State Cougars
Why it was included: Washington State stinks. Mike Leach is crazy.
Prediction: Bruins 48, Wazzu 13. As stated above, Washington State stinks, and Mike Leach is crazy.
Reality: Buckeyes 44, Wazzu 36. UCLA was up 37-7 at halftime and turned it off, Washington State kept playing.
Credit to the Cougars for not quitting. Down 37-7 at halftime and it being 20 degrees outside, they surely could have. It was clear that SoCal kids were done with the weather and ready to go after the first 20 minutes, but Wazzu brought second half effort. So much effort their coach complimented them.
It was not the worst game of the week, but like I thought it was very intriguing. It's hard playing for a really bad team and it has to be harder when the head coach is off his rocker. Credit to the Wazzu kids for fighting the good fight.
That’s it for this week. See you next week.
For more nonsense follow Trey on Twitter @TreyMcLean