Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
Last week, games were not only intriguing, they were downright critical to some. After seeing LSU dismantle Auburn, Ole Miss find a way to beat Alabama and BYU's near miss at UCLA, it was as good a weekend early in the season as we've had in a while. Don't know if this is going to be anywhere close to that but there are games that, although they may be less high profile than last week, still could be good ones.
BYU (2-1) at MICHIGAN (2-1) (-5.5) Saturday, 11am, ABC--Well, here the Cougars are again, underdogs as usual. This concludes the four week juggernaut to start the season before the schedule calms down a little for the Cougars. Michigan is steadily improving under Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines have played well defensively. If Michigan is going to challenge in the Big Ten, their offense needs to be more consistent. Big Blue gets one more chance here before league play opens. All three f BYU's games have gone to the final minute. Don't leave early.
TENNESSEE (2-1) (-1) at FLORIDA (3-0) Saturday, 2:30 CBS--The Gators, after squeaking by East Carolina and Kentucky the last two weeks, get a chance to make a statement against the team picked second in the SEC East. No longer ranked after that loss to Oklahoma, the Vols won't have an easy time against a team still trying to establish an identity offensively. Defensively, though, the Gators are good enough. And, there could be some rain in Gainesville on Saturday.
TCU (3-0) (-7) at TEXAS TECH (3-0)--3:45,FOX--Was TCU's struggle with SMU just a blip on the radar screen against an old rival or is there cause for concern with the Horned Frogs defense? That question hovers over Jones AT&T stadium as these teams open up league play. After a pair of lackluster wins, the Red Raiders made a statement with their ass kicking of Bret Bielema and Arkansas. Kliff Kingsbury's team REALLY gets a chance for a statement on the Caprock on Saturday.
TEXAS A&M (3-0) (-7) at ARKANSAS (1-2)--Saturday, 6pm ESPN--Razorbacks' fans thought this was the year where the Hogs took a big step forward, but back to back home losses to Toledo and Texas Tech have been a punch in the gut to those hopes. With one of their two top running backs and two receivers out, it's not an easy time up in Fayetteville. Kevin Sumlin's bunch got a really nice OOC win (Arizona State) to open the season and their defense under John Chavis has improved enough to where the Aggies don't have to rely exclusively on their offense.
USC (2-1) (-5.5) at ARIZONA STATE (2-1)-Saturday, 9:30, ESPN--The second best division in college football has a couple of big ones this week as the schools from Southern California meet the schools from Arizona. ASU was a trendy pick in the preseason before losing to Texas A&M. They've had two nondescript wins since then and now face an angry bunch of Trojans who were knocked off by Stanford last week. Bottom line is this: USC can't afford another conference loss. If Arizona State wins this game, they'll have earned it.