Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From The Bird’s Nest
This time of year, the Southeastern Conference always has a big game or two and this week is no exception. But there are big games in the MAC and American this week...and a battle on the blue turf tonight. Here are the games I'll be keeping an eye on.
BYU (4-3) at #14 BOISE STATE (6-0) (-7) TONIGHT 9:15 pm ESPN--The Broncos have done what the Broncos do...win. And now, they're positioning themselves to perhaps nab that coveted access bowl spot if Houston should lose again. The Cougars are just 4-3, but their three losses (Utah, UCLA, West Virginia) are by a grand total of eight points. This has the makings of a good one. A win by Boise could set them up as an undefeated team going into the final week at Air Force. There are some years when these two teams could combine to score 80. That won't be the case this time, but it should still be fun to watch...if you like staying up until 1am on a Thursday.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (5-2, 2-1) at TOLEDO (5-1, 2-0) (-10) 11 am, ESPN3--The Chippewas laid an egg a couple of weeks ago against in state rival Western Michigan, but this is a team that was good enough to go to Stillwater and win (sort of.) If you've not been paying attention to Toledo, you're missing out on one of the better group of five teams in the country. The Rockets' only loss came to BYU on the road by only two points on a field goal as time expired. If they get by CMU the schedule is favorable for Toledo to be 10-1 when they play Western Michigan to close the regular season. If it plays out, both teams will be in the Top 20 when they meet.
MEMPHIS (5-1, 2-0) at #24 NAVY (4-1, 3-0)(+2') 2:30, CBSSN--The Tigers may have lost Justin Fuente to Virginia Tech, but they're still winning football games. They've got plenty of big games to play, but this one is really important to both teams, who play in the AAC West Divison. The Midshipmen have the big win over Houston, but the schedule didn't do them any favors. Houston doesn't have to play South Florida. Navy does...next week in Tampa. Houston needs Navy to lose twice. They'll be big Memphis fans this week. It's possible Houston's chance to be in a big bowl game rests on Saturday's game in Annapolis.
#6 TEXAS A&M (6-0, 4-0) at #1 ALABAMA (7-0, 4-0) (-19) 2:30 CBS--After totally demolishing Tennessee last week, the Tide turns to Texas A&M , the only other unbeaten team in the SEC. The Aggies have taken care of their business, although it hasn't always been pretty and they've got a chance to get into the West Division driver's seat. But after what we saw last Saturday in Knoxville, is there anyone that can come within two touchdowns of Alabama. Vegas doesn't think so...not even the second best team in the SEC.
#23 OLE MISS (3-3, 1-2) at #25 LSU (4-2, 2-1) (-6) 8:00 pm, ESPN --Arkansas' defense harassed Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly last week and dropped the Rebels to the .500 mark...and Ole Miss still has yet to play Auburn or Texas A&M. First things first, though. LSU is 2-0 under interim head coach Ed Orgeron and the Louisiana native has Tiger fans believing again. Both of those wins were against below average teams, however and Coach "Oeaux" is going to get his first real test this week. More real tests against Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Texas A&M are still to come. The groundswell for Orgeron to get the job permanently has begun. It gets louder if LSU gets this one against their long time rival. LSU-Ole Miss on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. The way it's supposed to be.