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Five Intriguing College Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest

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This weekend’s games in college football don’t have the marquee matchups that we’ve seen in week’s past.  But a game in Stillwater will have a big bearing on the BCS, a possible bowl bid elimination game in the ACC looms, another in Knoxville and there’s something right in your back yard you may not have realized……

Besides the Sun Belt games chronicled in yesterday’s blog, here are some games I’ll be scoreboard watching with interest.

NICHOLLS STATE AT SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA – THURSDAY, 6pm, ESPN3 – While folks in Acadiana are super excited about the Cajuns’ eight game winning streak, they’re giddy in Hammond as well and already celebrating a conference title for the first time in over 50 years..  Southeastern’s Lions have also won eight straight, have already clinched the auto berth to the FCS postseason playoff and can finish perfect in Southland play with a win over the Colonels.  They should get it…which will make them Louisiana’s biggest football story of 2013.

CINCINNATI AT HOUSTON (Saturday, 11am, ESPNEWS) – While UCF is the ranked team, it should be noted Cincinnati is still in the mix.  The Bearcats have just one loss in American Athletic Conference play and have a chance at a 10-2 season.  Not everyone plays everyone in this league, which could hurt the Bearcats title chances.  They do not play UCF.  Tommy Tuberville has worked some magic in southern Ohio.  If only he could explain that stunning loss to USF.

PITTSBURGH AT SYRACUSE – (Saturday, 11:30am, ESPN3) – The winner of this game is bowl eliglble.  The loser has work to do.  The Orange have to play Boston College next week, while the Panthers take on Miami.  Only one of these teams can win, and while the loser isn’t eliminated from bowl contention, they’ll have a tough road next weekend.

VANDERBILT AT TENNESSEE (Saturday, 6pm, ESPN2) – The Commodores are going bowling.  The Volunteers have work to do.  They need this home game and a win at Kentucky to get to 6-6 and assure themselves of a bowl bid.  Playing at home is a big advantage against a Commodores team that can give the Vols fits.  This is doable for Tennessee.  Their season depends on it.

OKLAHOMA STATE AT BAYLOR (Saturday, 7pm, ABC) – This is the big one in college football this weekend.  Baylor is primed to move ahead of Ohio State in the BCS Standings and a win over the Cowboys would probably do it.  Many who follow the Cowboys think Mike Gundy’s squad has overachieved, as this team doesn’t have the talent of that 2011 team that many (myself included) thought had earned a shot at the national championship.  If the Cowboys win this one, they’ll have the inside track to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.  But even at home, they’re an underdog.

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