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Big Games and an Unranked Big 10

No ranked teams in the Big 10

Following Saturday’s action, it is possible that the Big 10 could have only one team rated in the Top 25.  If Penn State wins at home against Northwestern, and Ohio State beats Nebraska, it is possible that only Ohio State will be ranked.   Even more shocking is the possibility that because the Buckeyes are ineligible to be ranked in the coach’s poll, the Big 10 could be sitting at the halfway point in the season without a single team ranked in the coach’s poll.

BCS Busters

Right now, there are only two teams from non AQ conferences that remain undefeated, the Ohio Bobcats and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, and neither are ranked in the Top 25.  Louisiana Tech is averaging 52 points per game and has beaten teams from the Big 10, the ACC, and Conference USA on the road.   This is a very exciting team to watch, and if Tech keeps winning, you’ll begin to hear their name, enter into the BCS conversation.  The day of reckoning will be next week against Texas A&M from the SEC.  Hopefully, the Bulldogs won’t be caught looking ahead tonight when they face UNLV.  For Ohio, a victory today and the Bobcats could become the first bowl-eligible team this season (they kickoff at the same time as Northwestern).

Lots of Great Games

No. 5 Georgia at No. 6 South Carolina The Gamecocks are looking to beat Georgia for the third year in a row, something that has never before happened.  The USC defense has been lights out, allowing an average of only 11 points per game.  For the Bulldogs, the offense has been lights on, scoring more than 40 points per game.   The Bulldogs will be without their most productive receiver, but has a running back tandem that is averaging more than eight yards a carry and that has scored 14 touchdowns already this year.  The winner of this game has the inside track to the SEC East Championship.

No. 9 Notre Dame vs. Miami in Chicago  – Even though these teams don’t play very often, this has been of the biggest rivalries in the last 25 years.  Featuring legendary coaches, Heisman trophy winners, big wins on the way to national championships, and the infamous battle of “Catholics vs. Convicts” the game between the Fighting Irish and the Hurricanes can be larger than life.   This year, Notre Dame enters with a top  10 ranking, and a defense that is allowing only nine points-per-game, to face a Hurricane squad that puts up 35 PPG.  The winner of this game will get a lot of attention nationally, and may be on their way to a BCS bowl game.   The temperature is forecast to be around 40 degrees at game time, and that may help the Irish.

No. 8 West Virginia at No. 11 Texas  – The Mountaineers head to Austin for their first road game as a member of the Big XII Conference, in what promises to be a display of offensive firepower.  Combined, the two starting quarterbacks in this game have thrown 30 touchdown passes and only one interception – through four games.   Last weekend, West Virginia scored an astounding 70 points against a nationally ranked team for the second time in five games and  Quarterback Geno Smith had more touchdowns (eight) than incompletions (six).   This could be one of the most exciting games of the season!

No. 4 LSU at No. 10 Florida  The last few weeks, LSU has looked sloppy and unprepared, just slipping by Auburn and Towson en-route to a 5-0 start.  Florida has impressed, with solid victories against Tennessee and Kentucky, and seems to be improving every week.   We think LSU will show up with an intensity level they haven’t displayed yet this year.  For either team to make it to the SEC Championship, this is a must-win game.  Both teams as they both still have to play two or three teams ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Other games

The big game out west is the No. 2 Oregon Ducks hosting former arch-rival No. 23 Washington Huskies.   The Ducks have won eight in a row in this series, and average 52 points per game to the Huskies 23.   But Washington is coming off of a win against then No. 8 Stanford, and emotions tend to run high in this game.

Oregon State faces Washington State, led by new coach Mike Leach.  Will the No. 14 Beavers, who have defeated three nationally ranked teams this season, be able to shut down Leach’s passing attack?  Will UCLA be able to win in Berkeley for the first time in 14 years?  Does Stanford bounce back?

Can Oklahoma beat Texas Tech in Lubbock for the first time since 2003?  Will No. 15 TCU win the Horned Frog’s inaugural home game as a Big XII Conference member without Quarterback Casey Pachall, who is suspended following an arrest earlier this week.

Will Nebraska be able to score on an outstanding Ohio State defense?  Will Purdue be able to slow Denard Robinson, and can Bill O’Brien lead Penn State to another unexpected victory?   This promises to be another great Saturday of college football.

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