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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sportaholic College Football Weekend Setup 11/10/11

Clearly the slate of games this weekend will be overshadowed by the Penn State scandal that has jolted the college scene to its core. I’ve already spoken my piece on it( so I won’t rehash any of that. As difficult as it is, games will still be played this weekend and a few will make a difference in the national championship race. No game is bigger than Stanford-Oregon this weekend as the Pac-12 takes over for the SEC for game of the week honors. Speaking of the SEC, how good was that LSU-Bama tilt? I’ve got a mixed response from fans as some say that the game was boring. I say you don’t like football if you couldn’t enjoy that slugfest. That was an epic game and even though it was more of a defensive battle, that shouldn’t take away from the great performance that both teams put on. The game of the week in the SEC is Auburn vs. Georgia as the “Dawgs” look to continue their winning ways. Georgia is in the driving seat in the SEC East and it appears as if Mark Richt has saved his job for the meantime.

For the first time since LSU and Miss. State played there is actually a good Thursday night game with Va Tech and Georgia Tech doing battle in Atlanta. This game is important as Georgia Tech can stay alive in the Coastal Division with a win over the Hokies, which is always easier said then done against Frank Beamer boys.


Boise State will face their stiffest test since beating Georgia in week 2 as they take on TCU. Boise probably won’t make it into the championship game as their schedule has all but prohibited them from making any noise this year but they still will make a BCS bowl as an at-large bid

Can you even imagine what the atmosphere will be like in Happy Valley for their last home game of the year against Nebraska? If you got a chance to see the rioting and ruckus after Joe Pa was let go on T.V., then you know this one could get out of hand. Its going to be one of those most see moments as the game is mighty important for Penn State who is currently leading their division in the Big 10. Hopefully playing the game can began the healing process for the Nittany Lions and their entire community.

Stanford vs. Oregon – This is a very interesting game in terms of styles. Oregon and Stanford couldn’t’ be any different as the Ducks run a high powered spread offense predicated on tempo. Stanford of course is old school with its pro-style power offense featuring two tight end sets. One thing that thing that both teams like to do is run the ball as they come into the game with the #1 (Oregon 286.2 YPG) and #2 (Stanford 213.2 YPF) rushing offenses. They also have the 1st and 2nd ranked scoring offenses with Oregon dropping 47.0 PPG on opponents and Stanford coming in with 40.3 PPG. We can talk about the numbers all we want in this game but what I think it will essentially come down to is QB play and of course that means Mr. Everything himself Andrew Luck. He will be the difference maker as when two teams are closely matched as these two are. Darron Thomas of Oregon can make plays but isn’t consistent enough. If he played the game of life than the Ducks will have a chance but I will take Luck’s brilliance over a Thomas potential to have the game of his life.

The Pick: Stanford

Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech – The game of the Techs should be an entertaining on especially for a Thursday night affair. The Hokies looked as if they finally would give up their strangle hold on the ACC after being thrashed by Clemson (They have won the last 4 of 7 conference championships). But they have turned it around just in time for a showdown with the Yellow Jackets. Both teams have four wins in conference but Va Tech is ahead by percentage points as they only have that loss to Clemson and Georgia Tech has two conference losses. The Yellow Jackets will try as they always do to pound the Hokies on the ground as GA Tech averages 328 YPG on the ground. The Hokies defense looks to be up to the challenge as they lead the ACC in scoring defense at 15.4 pints allowed per game and are second in rushing yards allowed at 86.3. I don’t know how the Hokies will respond on the road playing such a physical opponent. Their offense is pedestrian even though QB Logan Thomas has come on of late. For some reason I just think the Yellow Jackets will too physical and too tough at home for the Hokies.

The Pick: Georgia Tech

Penn State vs. Nebraska - This will be one of the most emotional games ever played in college football. Joe Pa who coached the Nittany Lions since 1966 will not be on the sidelines which will be a surreal sight for all college football fans. I won’t to focus on the game so I won’t get into any of the scandal talk. The Nittany Lions are currently the only undefeated team in the Big 10 at 5-0 and could all but clinch the Leaders division. Its hard to say how the Penn State kids will play with everything that’s going on in Happy Valley, but I would think they are just foaming at the mouth to get on field and away from everything else. The Huskers are coming off a humiliating loss to Northwestern and gave up their chance to control their own destiny in the Legends division. Penn State has to play the way they have this season of defense, as they have been suffocating opponents. Nebraska has to get its run game in back into gear as it went Rex Burkhead and crew went silent against the Wildcats last week. Taylor Martinez did have one of his best passing games of the year but he needs balance in that offense for them to win. I believe just because of sheer emotions and all of the controversy surrounding the game its hard not to go for the home team in this one. I think they will come out and put together a great performance and take it to the Huskers.

The Pick: Penn State

Game of the Week: Stanford vs. Oregon: Easy pick this week as the winner of this game propels themselves right into the thick of the national championship race. Two high profile teams with powerful offense, this one should be fun.

Most intriguing game of the week: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech: You have a chance for some real offensive fireworks here. These two combine for 80 points per game and have the 2nd and 3rd ranked passing teams in the pass happy Big 12. Should be an entertaining one to watch.

Under the radar game of the week: West Virginia vs. Cincinnati: No one really cares about the Big East in college football as they usually send a unworthy team to the Orange Bowl to smacked around. But this one should be good as they feature two great QBs in Geno Smith of West Virginia and Zach Collaros of Cincy. Someone has to get the BCS bid from the Big East.

Coach better get it right game: Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: The winner of this game will be one game away from becoming bowl eligible. That means either Joker Phillips or James Franklin will lead their unlikely team to a bowl. Who ever loses this one won’t have that chance so this one is important. Can Joker find a way to sneak Kentucky team after such a horrendous start to their season or can first year man James Franklin slide Vandy through in his inaugural season? Coaches you better get this right.

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