Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
There are two really good games with national implications this week. After that, pickins' are a little slim. But that doesn't mean there aren't games to keep an eye on for various reasons. Here's what I'm looking at this weekend.
(22) KANSAS STATE (6-2, 2-2) (-6') at KANSAS (3-5, 1-4) 2:30pm FS1--A rousing win for the Wildcats over previously undefeated Oklahoma last week has vaulted them into the Top 25. Now it's a trip to Lawrence. If you don't think the Jayhawks have gotten better under Les Miles, just look at the last two weeks: a last second loss at Texas and a comeback win over Texas Tech. The revamped offense is making Kansas competitive and this game has trap written all over it.
(8) GEORGIA (6-1, 3-1) (-6') vs. (6) FLORIDA (7-1. 4-1) in Jacksonville 2:30 pm CBS--Florida is ranked higher because their quality of loss (LSU) is so much better than Georgia's (South Carolina). But let's remember, the Bulldogs' loss happened because of some really uncharacteristic turnovers. Florida played well against the Tigers and still came up two touchdowns short. All that said, don't be surprised if this one comes down to the final couple of minutes. Winner is pretty much assured of a spot in the SEC title game.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC (5-3, 3-1) (+1) at WKU (5-3, 4-1) 3:00 pm, ESPN+--They weren't happy in Bowling Green earlier in the season when the Hilltoppers lost to FCS Central Arkansas. But, since then, WKU has played good football. Both of these teams have lost to Marshall, but Marshall also has a conference loss. Either team would lose the tiebreaker in CUSA-East, but Marshall still has to play West leader Louisiana Tech and the other two do not. Winner of this one has a shot at the title game.
(15) SMU (8-0, 4-0)(+6) at (24) MEMPHIS (7-1, 3-1) 6:30 ABC--There are six (yes, six members of the Group of Five that are nationally ranked and that race to see who gets the New Years Six bowl has a long way to go. But this week is a big part of the story. Memphis is a touchdown favorite despite SMU being the highest ranked member of the G5. It's a west showdown, but SMU still has a good shot at the title game, even if they lose, as Memphis has (17) Cincinnati still on the schedule (at home), while the Mustangs to not play the Bearcats. An SMU win pretty much sews things up. There's a reason why College Gameday is in Memphis this week, and why it's ABC's featured game.
(7) OREGON (7-1, 5-0) (-4') at USC (5-3, 4-1) 7:00 pm FOX--Mario Cristobal's Ducks have worked their way into the College Football Playoff discussion after reeling off seven straight wins after their opening loss to Auburn. USC has overcome a rash of injuries to put themselves in good position in the Pac-12 South, already having beaten Utah. And, it should be noted, all three of the Trojans' losses have come on the road...and this one is at home.