Headliner Gridiron Match Ups This Weekend


The second half of the college football season is in full force, with most teams having played at least seven games, with some already having gotten eight games in.  What happens on the gridiron over the next few weeks will determine conference championships,  bowl invites, and likely set up the game that everyone is waiting for: the BCS National Championship.

college footballThere are a number of top match ups this week including Oklahoma State at Texas, Georgia at LSU, and Penn State at Ohio State. Tonight’s match up between Auburn and West Virginia should be a good one, but both teams are out of the national title picture and are playing for a decent bowl game, with the Mountaineers still having a chance to claim the Big East title.

The following are my picks beginning with one of tonight’s clashes:

West Virginia over Auburn — Oh what might have been. All three of Auburn’s losses have been by five points or less, including a 26-21 loss to LSU in their fourth game of the season.  The Mountaineers are 2-0 in the Big East and can still win the conference, but beating a quality out of conference team is a must. WVU 33, Auburn 27.

Boise State over San Jose State — San Jose is a decent ball club, but the Broncos are playing as well as they did two years ago when they were the surprise team of the BCS. Look for Boise to win this one 34-21.

Kansas over Texas Tech — TT is favored, but the Red Raiders haven’t faced a ranked team all season. That changes Saturday when they face the Jayhawks, the first of four consecutive games against ranked opponents. In one month we’ll know if Texas Tech is for real or just a pretender. This Saturday I’m going with Kansas 30-23.

Texas over Oklahoma State — I would love to be at this game, because 40 points may not be enough to win it. Both teams feature an explosive offense and fans are likely to be treated to an amazing shoot out that won’t be decided until late in the game. Still, the Longhorns seem to be on a magical path this year, one that will take them to the BCS if they work their way through the tough Big 12 Conference. Texas 48, Oklahoma State 37.

Georgia over LSU — Last year, LSU lost two games and still won the national championship, but they won’t have a shot at it this year if they lose again. Unfortunately for them, the Bulldogs still think that they have a shot at it, even with a 51-21 loss to Florida. This game should be a lot of fun, decided as time runs out or in overtime. Georgia 34, LSU 31.

Ohio State over Penn State — I’m not anti-Nittany Lion, I’m really not. I think Joe Paterno is a wonderful coach who is building a terrific case for why he should remain at the Penn State helm despite his age. I think Penn State is better than the Buckeyes, a national championship caliber team, but I can’t see Ohio State losing at home to the Nittany Lions. Ohio State 34, Penn State 28.

Alabama over Tennessee — My late friend, Steve Shutt, was an avid Volunteer fan, but when he wasn’t pulling for Tennessee he rooted for the Crimson Tide. This was his favorite game of the year. The Tide will not have an easy time of it against 3-4 Tennessee, but I believe that they will prevail. Like Texas, Alabama seems destined to succeed this year so I’ll take Alabama in this one 30-21.

Tulsa over Central Florida — Small time college football or what they call “mid-major” can be fun to watch with the occasional Boise State shocking everyone and getting to a BCS game. I don’t think Tulsa is that sort of team this year, but with an 8 p.m. Sunday performance on ESPN, a lot of people will be able to see the #1 offense in the nation. Scoring 56 points per game, the Golden Hurricane wants to avenge a pair of losses to the Knights last year. I think that they’ll do that and with ease — Tulsa 61, Central Florida 21.

If there are a bunch of upsets this weekend, then the national title picture will suddenly cloud over, but I don’t expect that to happen. If Penn State wins this Saturday, then they’ll have a real shot at going 12-0. Beating the Buckeyes for the first time in Columbus since 1978 is a tall order for the Nittany Lions, however.


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