Home Drive: College Football Decision Time

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We are now in the final full month of the 2010 college football season with all teams having just three or four games left before bowl pairings are announced. Just a few weeks ago there were still 17 unbeatens standing, but today there are five. When BCS #5 and 8-0 Utah and #3 and 9-0 TCU complete their battle this weekend that number will drop to at least four teams.

Among the key matchups this weekend are the following games worth watching:

Baylor at Oklahoma State – Baylor in the Top 25?! Yes, the #21 Baylor Bears are for real, knocking off the Longhorns on the road last week. This weekend they’ll be taking on the #17 Oklahoma State Cowboys in a bid to stay on top of the Big 12 South standings. Both teams know how to air it out – the winner may need to put up more than 40 points to ensure a victory.

TCU at Utah – This is “The Game” of the 2010 Mountain West Conference season. This conference, which doesn’t have an automatic bid for the BCS has a pair of Top Five teams battling it out. And quite a battle it should be as the Utah Utes are averaging 45 points per game and the TCU Horned Frogs are putting up 41 per game. Interestingly, both teams have stingy defenses with TCU giving up a nation leading 8.7 points per game. Utah isn’t far behind, averaging 14 points per game.

Arkansas at South Carolina – The #19 South Carolina Gamecocks are atop the SEC East and can play for the SEC championship by beating the #18 Arkansas Razorbacks this weekend and the Florida Gators next weekend. But first this weekend – the Gamecocks have to figure out a way to contain Razorback QB Ryan Mallet who has already passed for 2,449 yards this season.

Alabama at LSU – The #6 Alabama Crimson Tide cannot afford to lose again this season IF they expect to defend their national championship. The #10 LSU Tigers haven’t smashed their opponents this year, but they’ve won and stayed with Auburn on October 23 before falling 24 to 17. Auburn needs to keep winning if they want a shot at likely #1 Oregon Ducks in January.

Arizona at Stanford – The #15 Arizona Wildcats still have the Oregon Ducks on their schedule, but they’ll have to figure a way of dispatching with the #13 Stanford Cardinal on the road this Saturday first. And that won’t be an easy task – Stanford’s QB, Andrew Luck, is a Heisman hopeful and someone the Wildcats must contain if they’re to have a shot at the PAC 10 title.

As for the other top teams, the Oregon Ducks host the Washington Huskies and the Boise State Broncos will try to slow down the nation’s top passing team, the Hawaii Warriors who are led by Bryant Moniz.

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