Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
By the time teams take the field Saturday, it will be November. And, it will be one month before we find out who those four teams are who will be competing for college football's national championship.
November also means the weather could get interesting. Lke this Saturday. Here are some games to keep an eye on.
EAST CAROLINA (6-1, 3-0 American) (-7.5) AT TEMPLE (4-3, 2-2) Saturday 11AM ESPNEWS--The Pirates are in the committee's top 25 rankings this week and that means if they take care of their business, they'll be reaping the benefits of a big money bowl. They need to be ready to play against the Owls. Temple was just horrible a year ago, but this year they aren't. There's a 70% chance of rain for this one with temps in the mid-40's at kickoff.
DUKE (6-1, 2-1) AT PITTSBURGH (4-4, 2-2) (-3.5) Saturday, 11am, ESPNU--On the other side of Pennsylvania, it's a big game in the ACC Coastal Division. Duke leads with just one loss and they're the defending division champions. Yet they are underdogs against a 4-4 Pittsburgh team. A closer look reveals a very weak non conference schedule for the Blue Devils. On the other hand, Duke has a win over Georgia Tech, a team that beat Pitt by four touchdowns. A Pittsburgh win will give six of the seven teams in the Coastal two league losses. That, in itself, is pretty intriguing. So is the forecast: 80% chance of a rain/snow mix with wind chill around 30.
TCU (6-1, 3-1) (-5) AT WEST VIRGINIA (6-2, 4-1) Saturday, 2:30pm ABC--The streaking Mountaineers have won four in a row, including a win over Baylor. Now, it's the Horned Frogs coming into Morgantown. TCU has a loss to Baylor, but that was in Waco. I'm a little surprised TCU is favored in this one, especially when you look at the forecast: 60% chance of snow showers. Windy, Temp at kickoff 37, with wind chill in the 20's. And, oh, by the way...the over/under in this game is 73.5.
AUBURN (6-1, 3-1) AT OLE MISS (7-1, 4-1) (-2) Saturday, 6pm, ESPN--The Tigers squeaked by South Carolina last week at home and there are some who think maybe Auburn was looking ahead to this one. This game could be a real bear to win for Ole Miss after that devastating loss to LSU last Saturday. Beware the hangover. Ole Miss better be ready, or they'll be the one falling down in what could be a defacto elimination game for not only the SEC West, but also a spot in that last four. Clear, but cool in Oxford with temps near the mid-40's at kickoff.
STANFORD (5-3, 3-2) AT OREGON (7-1, 4-1) (-8)--Saturday, 6:30 FOX--Oregon is one of the ladies in waiting for a spot in that last four. This game, if they win, will give them a boost, strength of schedule-wise. A win by the Ducks and they're sitting there at the precipice of the top four. The Cardinal are no slouch. But if Oregon takes care of their business, they will reap the benefits. Weather shouldn't be a big factor.
I also think Florida/Georgia has a story line as well. Everyone is assuming Will Muschamp will be gone at the end of the season and they're probably right. But wins by Florida over Georgia are looked at very kindly. Can it be a job saver? Time will tell. But they've got to win it first.