Friday, October 26, 2007

Big Games in College Football, Week 9

#2 Boston College 14, #8 Virginia Tech 10: Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 of the game to seal the win and avoid becoming the fourth straight #2-ranked team to lose, maintaining their ranking with four games left and a very manageable schedule remaining.
#5 Oregon vs. #9 USC: For the first time in four years, the Trojans head into a game as underdogs. This game marks the first time that Autzen Stadium will be hosting two Top-Ten teams as both squads look to stay one game behind both Arizona State and UCLA in the Pac-10 race, and work themselves into the national championship hunt. Ducks 31, Trojans 27
#1 Ohio State at #24 Penn State: Joe Paterno, speaking about this game, said it best earlier this week when he said "If we're good enough to win this game, then we will." In a season that is so crazy and complicated, it's good to see a wise football master like JoePa simplify it all. Todd Boeckman has done a fabulous job quarterbacking the Buckeyes (7-0) to another #1 ranking. But the hostile environment of Happy Valley may be too much pressure for him. Buckeyes 24, Nittany Lions 14
#7 Arizona State vs. #18 Cal: The suddenly reeling Golden Bears (5-2, 2-2 Pac-10) will try to play spoiler and end the Sun Devils' national title aspirations, a situation that California was in just two weeks ago. Surprisingly ranked #4 in the BCS, Rudy Carpenter should throw for plenty of yards in Tempe. Problem is, DeSean Jackson is on the Golden Bear side. Bears 42, Devils 38
#9 Florida vs. #20 Georgia: The stakes are high, but simple: the winner grabs control of the SEC East and gets the inside track to the SEC Championship Game in December. Matt Ryan's heroics yesterday may have put him on the inside track just before Gator QB Tim Tebow, giving Tebow the opportunity to make a statement of his own in the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party-" er, apologizes to the two prestigous universities who don't want to call it that anymore. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford is a pretty decent quarterback himself, especially for a sophomore, who could make fireworks happen in Jacksonville. Gators 23, Bulldogs 13
#11 South Florida at Connecticut: Explain this: The UConn Huskies (6-1) are leading the Big East, one of the nation's four toughest conferences this season, with a perfect 3-0 record. They are the only undefeated team left in the conference. This means they are leading West Virginia, the Bulls, Cincinnati, and Rutgers, all who are ranked, yet they are not ranked themselves. Do not be surprised if UConn, the home team, hands the Bulls their second consecutive loss. This is the Huskies' chance to show the nation that they are for real. Huskies 27, Bulls 24
#15 South Carolina at Tennessee: Yet another huge game in the muddled, but extremely good, SEC East. The Gamecocks (5-2, 3-2) are tied for first in the division with Florida and Georgia, while the Vols (4-3, 2-2) are just a half-game behind the three teams. Steve Spurrier has done a great job with his squad, but faces a stiff test at the Rocky Top, particularly after their surprising loss to Vanderbilt last weekend. Volunteers 21, Gamecocks 20
#17 Texas vs. Nebraska: While they are 5-2, the Texas Longhorns feel that they have underachieved this season, especially when there is little chance that they can work their way into the Big XII Championship when they are two games behind Oklahoma in the Big XII South. Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers feel the same way at just 4-4 and two games behind Kansas in the Big XII North, a division they were supposed to win this season. When they were 4-3, New Husker AD and Nebraska coaching great Tom Osbourne said that it was OK; at least they were still having a winning season. I won't be surprised if his feelings drastically change in just two weeks when the team is a losing club with just three games remaining. Longhorns 34, Huskers 17

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