College Football Action Heats Up

College Football Action Heats Up

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The college football season extends approximately 15 weeks with schools playing no more than 12 games plus a conference championship, if eligible. The Army-Navy game on Dec. 14 officially closes the curtain on the regular season with the first bowl games starting a week later.

Big Games This Week

In this 11th week of action, there are a number of games that could make or break the national title aspirations of more than one team. Two of the more important games will be played tonight with another top tilt scheduled for Sat. When the smoke clears we may have a clearer picture of the best teams in the nation including the two that will most likely vie for the national title game in Jan.

Leave it to Fox Sports to nail down a prime match up between No. 10 Oklahoma and No. 6 Baylor. The game starts at 7:30, 90 minutes before No. 3 Oregon and No. 5 Stanford face off on ESPN. Expect a lot of channel surfing between games. You can also expect that there will be a lot of tired people at work on Friday, especially along the east coast.

Oklahoma has no chance of playing for the national title game. Baylor’s chances are slim, but a statement win over the Sooners and a perfect record for the rest of the season could keep the Bears up there. They’ll need a few teams to stumble first, something that may happen as soon as this weekend.

The Bears are at home and bring with them an offense averaging nearly 64 points per game, tops in the nation. Their defense is stingy too, yielding just 16 points per game. The Bears are certainly not invincible, rallying to beat Kansas State on Oct. 12. It was the first test of the season for a team that had cakewalked against three weak opponents to start the season before pounding West Virginia to open its Big 12 season.

Oregon’s Toughest Test

Early on, Oregon figured that its biggest challenge for reaching the national title game would come from another Pac 12 opponent. With games against Washington, UCLA, Stanford and Oregon State on the schedule, there are enough roadblocks to worry the Ducks.

What the Ducks have no control over are the other top teams in the nation. It is a given that Alabama will defend its national title again this year, but few people thought that Florida State would be that good. And they are. Indeed, the Seminoles are ranked No. 2 in the nation and are expected to vanquish Wake Forest on Sat. On Thursday evening, the Seminoles will be watching Oregon at Stanford, hoping for some help from the Cardinal. Should Oregon win, it will most likely swap places with Florida State again. Should they lose, then Florida State will be in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the season.

The Tide Rolls On

Alabama will have one of its stiffest tests of the season on Sat. when 7-2 LSU comes to town. The Tigers are ranked No. 13 and need a statement win. They’ll be going up against the Alabama secondary that has been wracked by injuries and appears vulnerable especially from an air attack.

Last season, Tiger QB Zach Mettenberger threw for nearly 300 yards in a losing effort. He has thrown for more yards and touchdowns than the Tides’ AJ McCarron, a Heisman hopeful who battled effectively against Johnny Manziel earlier in the season, prevailing.

If the season ends with three major teams undefeated, the hue and cry from the team and its fans will be a loud chorus. That’s a problem that won’t get resolved until 2015 when the first four-team college football playoff format emerges.

See AlsoThis Week in College Football

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Categories: NCAA Football