From the Bird’s Nest: Five Intriguing Games This Weekend
Well, last week we saw Oklahoma fall. And, it happened to Wisconsin as well.
Every year about this time, we see things start to weed out. You look at the polls and you have six, seven, eight undefeated teams and everyone thinks the BCS standings are going to be a mess at the end of the season.
And then teams start falling.
It's an interesting week. You could see three more unbeatens erased from the conversation after this week.
Here are the games I'm keeping an eye on......
STANFORD AT USC--The Trojans aren't eligible for anything No bowls. No rankings. No BCS. But Lane Kiffin's team got my attention last week with their convincing road win over Notre Dame. Now they go home to face the unbeaten Cardinal. If you haven't noticed what Stanford is doing, you haven't been paying attention. While LSU fans are boasting over their margin of victory over their opponents this year, they probably haven't noticed that Stanford has won eleven straight games by at least 25 points. But Andrew Luck and his squad have a tough one this week. This will be the week that the Cardinal fall, or make people realize they're awfully darned good.
CLEMSON AT GEORGIA TECH--Two weeks ago, this one looked like
showdown city. But the Yellow Jackets have lost two straight which has taken some of the luster off this one. But the Tigers had better be careful. Dabo Swinney's club has scored points at a remarkable pace, yet their defense hasn't been stellar. That defense gets tested against Tech's triple option offense. Be careful in Atlanta, Clemson
OKLAHOMA AT KANSAS STATE--Even though the Wildcats are undefeated, they are two touchdown underdogs against an Oklahoma squad that got caught looking ahead last week. No one is questioning Bill Snyder's club defensively, yet, amazingly, they've been underdogs in the majority of their games this year. Um....they're undefeated. If by some chance they win this week, they must then become part of the conversation in the BCS mixture, at least until they play Oklahoma State.
MICHIGAN STATE AT NEBRASKA--Can Michigan State pull off the
trifecta? First it was unbeaten Michigan, and Sparty got 'em. Last week it was unbeaten Wisconsin on a last-second Hail Mary. Can they make it three straight? This time they have to leave East Lansing and travel to Lincoln, where the Huskers don't lose very often. Michigan State has a loss and they're not part of the national championship conversation. But they're gonna get a lot of love in the polls if they pull this one off.
WKU at ULM--The Warhawks fell into the trap last week in Denton and fell hard. After that emotional, dominating win at Troy, the Warhawks were ripe for the picking, and Derek Thompson picked them for over 300 yards passing. Yes, that Derek Thompson. Now the Warhawks entire season is on the line at home this week against a WKU team that's won three straight and is very much a part of the Sun Belt title conversation. WKU has won two in a row on the road and won't be intimidated by the (lack of) crowd at Malone Stadium. ULM got bad news this week when it was announced their fine young running back Centarius Donald would be lost for the season. Look for a defensive battle in this one. Note to the Warhawks: Bobby Rainey is pretty good.