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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sportaholic College Football Weekend Setup 10/27/11

College football’s Armageddon is on hold until next week (LSU vs. Alabama) so all eyes will be on a few intriguing games on the slate this weekend. USC vs. Stanford pits two projected 1st round grade QBs against each other with the Trojans Matt Barkley and Stanford’s Heisman front-runner and assumed # 1 pick Andrew Luck. Michigan State follows up their big upset by traveling to Nebraska to play the Cornhuskers. Hopefully they won’t have a let down after last weeks thrilling upset of Wisconsin. The world’s largest outdoor cocktail party (Wish I was there) is going down in Jacksonville with Florida vs. Georgia. Many are saying this is the game that will make or break Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt future in Athens. Oklahoma takes an undefeated Kansas State team that really hasn’t been tested but certainly will as the Sooners should come to town angry after being upset by Texas Tech. And last but not least Wisconsin takes on a revitalized Ohio State team that is capable of springing the surprise if the Badgers are still sulking from last weeks noble lost to Sparty.

So as you can see even with the two SEC goliaths taking a break, there are still plenty of good games on the docket. The national championship picture is clearing up every week as top teams are being upset more than Lindsay Lohan’s dwindling fan base. It’s usually this time of the year where the best teams separate themselves from the rest. Can Andrew Luck have his Heisman moment in Los Angeles Coliseum this weekend? Can the agitated teams that were upset last week (Oklahoma and Wisconsin) pull it together and get back on schedule? Or will teams with nothing to lose like K-State and The Ohio State topple the favorites? Makes for an interesting weekend so let’s look at the prime time match ups and break them down.

# 6 Stanford vs. USC – Well USC here is your chance to take down the conference favorite on your home turf. The Cardinal just haven’t t been the Andrew Luck show. They have a huge offensive line that help them put up a school record 446 rushing yards against the Washington Huskies last week. They also have probably the best set of tight ends in the country as well. If you worry too much about Luck then you will end up getting bulldozed by the Cardinal run game. And just when you try and stop it, Luck hits you over the top with a deep play action pass. From everything that you read and hear about Luck then you know he is as good as advertised. The Cardinal are also the third ranked team in the country in the red-zone so you know they will be efficient inside the 20. The Trojans led by Matt Barkley are having an up and down year but are 6-1 and nothing would be better than to take down Luck and Cardinal. Barkley can make all the throws and has dangerous weapons at his disposal especially with the electrifying Robert Woods at WR. Check out Woods numbers this year: 17 catches (a school record) for 177 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener against Minnesota,14 catches for 255 yards (five shy of the school record) and two TDs against Arizona and he topped that off 12 catches for 119 yards and two TDs in a 31-17 win over Notre Dame. I see this one predicated by the dynamic QBs of both teams and turning into a high scoring affair, but the Stanford defense will make the necessary stops against Barkley and Woods and that should win them the game.

The Pick: Stanford

Florida vs. Georgia - The world largest outdoor cocktail party is always a grand event here in the south. I personally have never made one but from some of the Georgia and Florida alums I know they say it everything you think it is. In other words a lot of drunken people before the game even starts and there will be no shrotage of characters in attendance. These two teams come into battle with a small chance of still taking the SEC East title. Someone has to win rather it be one of these two or South Carolina. I know what your saying because I’m thinking it at this moment. Who ever wins the East will just be the LSU vs. Bama winners’ punching bag in the SEC championship. Yeah I know but like I said someone has to fill that role. The Gators welcome back Senior QB and leader Jeff Brantley back into the fold. He has been out the last couple weeks after being twisted up pretzel style by that ferocious Bama defense. The offense has been one dimensional since his departure as Charlie Weis has been reluctant to trust his two freshman QBs. As a result the Gators have dropped their last two games. The Bulldogs on the other hand have been on a roll since losing their first two of the season to Boise St. and S.Carolina. Andy Murray isn’t having as big of a statistical year as he did last year but he still is effective and one of the better QBs in the SEC. You can tell he misses stud wide out A.J. Green but the emergence of freshman Isaiah Crowell has given him a nice security blanket iso he doesn’t’ have to wing it every play. Florida’s defense has gone flat after dominating in their first four games. Provided they played LSU and Bama in consecutive weeks but their front seven was suppose to be one the best in the country, they just haven’t lived up to that billing this year. Georgia’s defense is stout up front and will provide a stiff test for the Florida speed demons Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. I see this one shaking out to a battle of field position and the QBs needing to make some plays to help their team out. If that is the case then I have to go with the Bulldogs. And plus this is the game that defines Mark Richt’s season and I think everyone in Athens knows that so luck for the “Dawgs to come out with extra motivation.

The Pick: Georgia

#9 Oklahoma vs. #8 Kansas State: So I like everyone else just thought the Sooners would roll through the Big 12 and eventually meet and winner of the SEC for the national championship. So much for that as the Sooners allowed Seth Doege, Alex Torres and the Red Raiders to roll up 41 points and shock everyone in Norman. I could tell from the beginning of that game that Texas Tech wasn’t going for any of that Boomer Sooner mess. What can you say about the job that Bill Snyder has done once again in Manhattan? He has the Wildcats undefeated and a chance at doing something special this year if they can pull an upset or two. QB Jordan Webb has proved that he can make plays with his arm as well as his feet and leads this current version of the Wildcats. Even with all that is being said about K-State this one isn’t hard to predict. Bob Stoops and the Sooners should be fired up after last week. Landry Jones Ryan Broyles, and Kenny Stills will attack a so-so Wildcat defense and should have a lot of success with their no huddle attack. K-State will have to play ball control to stay in this one but I don’t even know if that will be enough. The odds makers aren’t buying the K-State Kool-aid either as they have them at -13.5 in the books. Ouch.

The Pick: Oklahoma

Game of the Week: Stanford vs. USC – Call this one the battle of the Pac-12 super QBs as Luck and Barkley do battle in Los Angeles. This game could define the college career for Barkley if he can topple the heavily favored Cardinal. Luck has received more pub then the Occupy Wall Street movement but Barkley could still his joy with a win in this one. I can’t wait to see those two guys do battle in the NFL.

Most Intriguing Game: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State – This one has all the makings of a major let down game for the Badgers. They were seconds away from remaining undefeated and in the thick of the NC picture all to have it taken away by Kirk Cousins arm and the Hail Mary pass that beat them. Ohio State get an added benefit of OT Mike Adams and RB Dan “Boom” Herron in addition to having the bye week to prepare for this one. And to top it off this one is in the “Shoe. Watch out Wisconsin.

Under the Radar Game: Michigan State vs. Nebraska – I’m not 100% sure I can call this one under the radar but I couldn’t fit it into the breakdowns. I haven’t’ been sold on the Huskers every since they were handed that beat down from Wisconsin. And the Huskers are missing their best defensive player in T Jared Crick. The Spartans just beat the very team that whooped on the Huskers so there is no way they beat Michigan State right?

Coach better get it right game: Florida vs. Georgia – Dear Mark Richt, this is the game that you need your team to go above and beyond for you as this should determine if your still employed by the University of Georgia in the future. So to your players like Andy Murray, Isaish Crowell and Richard Samuel please go out and represent for your coach. Sincerely,

The Sportaholic.

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