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From the Bird’s Nest: Five Intriguing Games This Week

FIU Coach Mario Cristobal/Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport

Besides the Cajuns heading to Kent State for a crucial game this week, there are some other games that I’ll be keeping an eye on for various reasons.  I could have listed a couple more, but have capped it at five:

ARIZONA AT OKLAHOMA STATE (-13.5)  Tonight:  ESPN  7pm

Both of these teams can score.  Two very good offenses going at it tonight.  Neither team is great on defense.  OSU will have to play better this week, especially in the giveaway department.  Arizona, like OSU, likes to throw the potato.  Too bad the Saints are on at the same time.  This one would be a fun one to watch.  I’ll tune in briefly, though, just to see what OSU is wearing this week.

FIU AT LOUISVILLE (-3.5)  Friday, ESPN 6pm

A legitimate chance for FIU to make a bit of a statement here.  Louisville wasn’t very impressive last week in their win over Murray State.  There haven’t been many Sun Belt wins on the road against a school from an AQ conference.  FIU handled the road pretty well last year.  This is a statement game for the league this week.  Here’s hoping Cristobal’s crew can pull it off.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT AUBURN (+6.5)  Saturday, SEC Network 11:20am

Are the Bulldogs as good as they looked?  Are the Tigers as bad as they looked?  Those questions get partially answered this weekend.  Mississippi State has to be careful to be not looking past this one to LSU next Thursday night.  I’m not buying Auburn in the long run….but this is somewhat of a trap game for the Bulldogs.  A win by MSU makes next Thursday must-see TV.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA (+3)  Saturday, 3:30, ESPN

Was South Carolina looking ahead to this one when they fell behind by 17 against East Carolina last week?  Maybe so.  Georgia’s schedule is pretty soft the rest of the way and they could go 9-3 even with a loss this week.  But a loss in Athens puts them at 0-2 and Mark Richt will really be feeling the heat after this one if they don’t win.  If they do, they’re suddenly the front-runner in the SEC East.  It’s the Bulldogs home opener.  My guess is they’ll play well.  But that Boise game wasn’t a fluke.

BYU AT TEXAS (-7)  Saturday, 6pm ESPN2

BYU was fortunate to win last week at Ole Miss.  Now they head to Longhorn Country.  With all the rumors swirling about the Big 12, this one is really worth keeping an eye on.  Texas and BYU, after all, could be conference mates before long.  This game will show just how much Texas has improved since last year.

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