Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
This week, we look at one obvious game and some others that may be flying under your radar. There are a few teams coming off big wins that have traps to avoid this weekend. Here are the games I'll be keeping an eye on.
NAVY (5-2) vs. NOTRE DAME (3-5) (-7) Game in Jacksonville, FL 10:30 am, CBS--Despite their loss to USF last week, Navy is still in the drivers' seat in their division for a chance to play for the American Athletic Conference title. And, if they would win that, getting that Group of Five bowl bid still isn't out of the question. A win over Notre Dame would boost their resume and, depending on what some other teams do, just might land them in a New Years' Six bowl game. That flicker gets extinguished with a loss.
TEXAS (4-4, 2-3) at TEXAS TECH (4-4, 2-3) (+3') 11am FS1--A great win over previously unbeaten Baylor has quieted the "Fire Charlie Strong" group for a week. That win makes that trip to Lubbock a potential trap game. Tech has lost twice at home, but we all remember that crazy shootout a couple of weeks ago against Oklahoma. Winning on the caprock isn't easy. Texas better be ready.
#18 OKLAHOMA STATE (6-2, 4-1) at KANSAS STATE (5-3, 3-2) (-3) 2:30 ABC/ESPN2--Nice win for the Cowboys over previously unbeaten West Virginia last week and they're right in the middle of things in the Big 12 race. There are tough games ahead, however, including this one. Kansas State is one tough customer when they play at Bill Snyder Family Stadium...and the Wildcats are unbeaten at home again this year. There's a reason why K-State is favored in this one
#1 ALABAMA (8-0, 5-0) at #13 LSU (5-2, 2-1)(+7') 7:00pm CBS--Well, here we go again. Tiger fans have genuine hope after winning three in a row and doing it impressively, with each win by double digits and showing there's more to their offense than Leonard Fournette. There had better be. Alabama hasn't just won games, they've overwhelmed their opponents. Their propensity to get turnovers and turn them into touchdowns is just one of the things that makes them the nation's best team. Freshman Jalen Hurts has added a new dimension to the Tide's offense. But he hasn't been in the hostile atmosphere he'll see in Baton Rouge. His play could mean the difference, especially if LSU can keep Alabama's defense and special teams from putting up points.
#5 WASHINGTON (8-0, 5-0) at CALIFORNIA (4-4, 2-3) (+16') 9:30 ESPN --What in the world is this game doing on the list? Well, the Huskies had a big win on the road against a very good Utah team last week. Now they are on the road again against a potentially dangerous group of Bears. And, Berkeley's Memorial Stadium isn't the easiest place to win. Cal has been road kill. But they are unbeaten at home. Beware the trap game.