Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
There are some pretty good games being played this weekend, and we're going to see a little separation in the rankings after some pretty highly thought of teams play each other. We're also going to find out something about a couple of Sun Belt schools.
LSU AT FLORIDA-- Remember how un-competitive this game was a year ago? That shouldn't be the case this time. Many point to Florida's offense to try to discredit them, but the reality is, Will Muschamp is building this team on the defensive side first. And, on that side of the ball, they're rock solid. LSU's defense is solid as well. LSU has some issues on the offensive line which could make it hard for them to run consistently. I've said all year the time would come when Zach Mettenberger needed to make a play for LSU to win. I think the time has come. If LSU (read: the QB) doesn't turn it over, I think they come out of the swamp with a "W". If they leave it on the ground or throw it to the wrong guy, all bets are off.
GEORGIA AT SOUTH CAROLINA--These teams are both ranked in the top six and this week we find out which of the teams is worthy of that ranking. Steve Spurrier has his best Gamecocks team and although they aren't flashy offensively, Marcus Lattimore is very, very good and Connor Shaw has improved just since the start of the season. Georgia has firepower offensively and that offense has overshadowed the fact they're pretty salty defensively themselves. Home field advantage could mean the difference in this one.
WEST VIRGINIA AT TEXAS--WVU's offense rang up points like a pinball machine Saturday, but unfortunately, their defense got rung up as well. Now the Mountaineers have to take their show on the road. No place in the Big East has an atmosphere like West Virginia will see in Austin, where the Longhorn faithful really believe their team is back among the college football elite. This won't have a Baylor-WVU type of score, but I'll be surprised if the winner has fewer than 40 points.
WASHINGTON AT OREGON--The Huskies haven't lost since their embarassing performance at LSU and after beating Stanford last week, the question is which game was the aberration? Methinks that Huskies team, despite the fact they've gotten ranked in one of the polls, is closer to the team we saw in Baton Rouge than the one we saw in Seattle. I want to see how competitive they are against the Ducks.
LOUISIANA-MONROE AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE--Okay, here's what we've learned. ULM beat what is turning out to be a really bad Arkansas team, lost to a mediocre Auburn team and got outscored by a very good offense at Baylor. Middle Tennessee was bad enough to lose to McNeese State and good enough to roll Georgia Tech by three touchdowns. Their other two wins were over bad football teams. I'm still trying to figure out just how good these teams are. The only thing I've learned is Kolton Browning could play for me. We're going to find out a little more this week. This is ULM's league opener.