Five Intriguing College Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
I’m going to publish this blog early this week…mainly because one of the games is Wednesday night. While this weekend doesn’t have an LSU-Alabama or Oregon-Stanford, there are still some interesting games coming up.
BALL STATE AT NORTHERN ILLINOIS (Wed., 7pm, ESPN2) – The Huskies have their sights set on another BCS game (although Fresno State has the inside track as far as mid-majors are concerned). But to have any chance, they’ve got to take care of the one-loss Cardinals, who are unbeaten in MAC play. There will be no rematch since they are both in the same division. The winner will probably get Buffalo in the title game. There’s talk of NIU to godaddy, who would love to match them up with the Cajuns. That becomes moot if the Huskies don’t win tomorrow.
GEORGIA AT AUBURN (Sat., 2:30, CBS) – A win by Auburn sets up the big showdown on Nov. 30 at home against Alabama. The Tigers are one of the real stories in college football this year. Then there’s Georgia, who has survived injury after injury and remained a factor in the SEC East. If the Bulldogs win out they still have a shot at the SEC title game (Missouri still has Ole Miss and A&M to play.) The Bulldogs have plenty to play for and this one, even though it’s on the plains, won’t be a walk in the park for Gus Malzahn’s team.
MICHIGAN STATE AT NEBRASKA – Sat., 2:30, ABC/ESPN2, check local listings) – This could very well be for the division championship. Sparty has two good, but not great opponents left in Northwestern and Minnesota. A win here pretty much sends them to the Big Ten title game. Meanwhile, Nebraska, who survived Northwestern with a Hail Mary and beat Michigan last week, would earn the tiebreaker with a win this week and then Penn State and Iowa. This one is in the land of the blackshirts, but it should be noted, Nebraska’s loss to UCLA this year came at Memorial Stadium.
OKLAHOMA STATE AT TEXAS (Sat. 2:30, FOX) - Texas has remained unbeaten in Big 12 play after coming back from the dead to beat West Virginia on the road. They’ve won six in a row since that loss to Ole Miss. A win here probably sets up a showdown with Baylor for the league title in Waco on Dec. 7. OSU has won five in a row, but not against a really good Big 12 team. They have Baylor and Oklahoma after the Longhorns. Good luck, Cowboys.
TEXAS STATE AT ARKANSAS STATE (Sat. 6:30, ESPN3) – After shellacking ULM last week, ASU is a good bet to be bowl eligible since they have Georgia State at home next week. The Bobcats have already reached that threshold. Texas State has WKU and Troy after this one and could really use a win to get that seventh victory. There’s a solid chance not every Sun Belt team will have a place to play and the more wins you get, the more attractive you become if there’s a slot open somewhere. A Bobcats upset and a Cajuns win over Georgia State clinches at least a tie for the Sun Belt championship.