The College Football Weekend Ahead
What a weekend of heart-break we just had. Hours after Boise State’s slim(or really, totally fabricated) title hopes were dashed by TCU, Stanford fell to Oregon amid a flurry of turnovers and big runs by LaMichael James. Things are still simple, for now, because if LSU and Oklahoma State win out, they’re both still making the BCS championship game. Where it now gets interesting, however, is if Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma in Bedlam in two weeks and both Alabama and Oregon win out.
If that were to occur, then the only undefeated team left would be Houston, and I know nobody wants to see Houston play LSU for the title. To be honest, I actually assume the BCS would just go to Oklahoma because they’re a power program, but let’s assume common sense prevails and their terrible home loss to a bad Texas Tech team is actually taken into account. Then, it would become a question of rematches. Would you rather see a rematch of LSU’s convincing win over Oregon in Dallas on opening weekend, or a rematch of LSU’s remarkably boring 9-6 overtime win over Alabama in which both teams were on the verge of lulling the national television audience to sleep with their play calling?
For my part, give me the LSU-Oregon rematch. Oregon at least showed they could score points, and they played the majority of that game without Heisman hopeful LaMichael James in an environment that closely resembled Tiger Stadium. I think if LSU players were honest, they would say they were more concerned with a team that could spread them thin and use their speed to exploit individual matchups. This will be a moot point if Okie State wins out, but I just think Alabama had their shot, AT HOME, to knock off LSU before quarterback Jordan Jeffries got going. At this point, only Oklahoma St. and Oregon seem to be real threats to the Bayou Bengals.
With all that said, here is everything you need to know about this weekend’s college football games.
Game of the Week
Unfortunately, there are only two games between ranked opponents this week, and they are both of the “this game is not actually going to be any good and the lower ranked team is only ranked because they are in the Big 12” variety. So, forget about Oklahoma at Baylor(although that actually does have the makings of a trap game) and Kansas State at Texas(because neither of these teams are actually any good), and get ready for a sweet Conference-USA showdown.
Saturday at 3:30, Southern Methodist heads to Houston for the biggest game in Cougar football history. Houston leads the nation in total and passing offense, led by sensational quarterback Case Keenum. If the Cougars roll over SMU Saturday, look for them in a BCS bowl come January. That is assuming they beat SMU again in the C-USA title game in a few weeks. The saddest thing about this is, if you don’t live in Texas, you will probably have to stream this game illegally. Well, if you love high-powered spread offenses, I would recommend google searching “off-shore football gambling streams.”
1. LSU- Most assume the Tigers are a lock, but a matchup with speedy Arkansas and the SEC title game still loom in the coming weeks. Don’t write LSU into the title game quite yet.
2. Oklahoma St.- The Cowboys have a laugher against Iowa St. this week, before Bedlam and the Sooners.
3. Oregon- Chip Kelly and his “Blur” offense reign supreme again. The Ducks have the inside track to a third consecutive conference title.
4. Alabama- The Tide is as talented as anyone, but if Nick Saban won’t take the handcuffs off his offense, they can’t beat LSU.
5. Oklahoma- If they can knock off the Cowboys in Bedlam, Oklahoma may get into the title game because voters don’t want a rematch. Oh, and they’re Oklahoma.
6. Arkansas- The Razorbacks have blown out back-to-back SEC opponents and still have a shot at the SEC west with a game at LSU in two weeks.
7. Houston- Keenum, Sumlin and the rest of the Cougars have two tests left on their schedule, and they will both involve hosting SMU. First challenge comes this weekend, then comes the C-USA title game in two weeks.
8. Stanford- The Cardinal were uncharacteristically turnover prone against Oregon. But, the scariest thing for Stanford was how slow their defense looked against the Ducks’ zone read. Then again, who doesn’t?
9. Clemson- The Tigers still only have one loss, but they seem to get less impressive by the week. I will be interested to see a rematch between Clemson and the team below in the ACC title game to see which direction both teams are moving in.
10. Virginia Tech- The Hokies beat UNC Thursday and are just a win at Virginia away from clinching a spot in the ACC title game.
The NFF Heisman Power Poll
1. Brandon Weeden- Eye-popping numbers and an undefeated team racing for the title game usually equals a Heisman Trophy.
2. Andrew Luck- We’ve seen that Luck is human in the games he’s been faced with athletic defenses. Also, Stanford’s offensive game plan is not conducive to video game stats. Still, the Cardinal quarterback is the top signal-caller in the nation, and his efficiency is unmatched throughout college football.
3. Case Keenum- He takes Kellen Moore’s spot as the “non-AQ QB that puts up huge numbers and hasn’t lost yet.” In all seriousness, Keenum now either holds, or will hold, every passing record in major college football history. That, and he has Houston on the fast track to a BCS bowl. Pretty impressive.
4. LaMichael James- He was slowed by injuries early on, but his performance against Stanford gets James right back into the conversation. However, time is running out, and he will need the three quarterbacks ahead of him to stumble.
5. Trent Richardson- Stereotypical Heisman candidate. Great runner on a great team that pounds the rock and plays defense.
The NFF BCS Bowl Projections
BCS Championship Games- LSU vs Oklahoma: Get ready for Oklahoma to knock off Okie State and jump all the way to the title game.
Fiesta Bowl- Oklahoma St. vs Houston: The Cowboys will do their best Sooner impression and limp into a BCS game. Much like Oklahoma, they will probably lose to a vastly inferior opponent.
Rose Bowl- Oregon vs Wisconsin: Speed against power. Speed usually wins in modern college football.
Sugar Bowl- Alabama vs Stanford: A battle between Alabama’s simple pro-style, run with superior athletes, and Stanford’s complex pro-style, run by a cerebral quarterback.
Orange Bowl- Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati: My God, who cares?!?!