Biggest College Football Games Remaining in the Regular Season
Five weeks into the 2012 college football season several storylines have started to develop. Teams that were supposed to be contenders are now looking more like pretenders, while other Cinderella teams have started to emerge.
Here's a look in order into some of the biggest games left on the schedule as teams battle it out to decide who is the nation's best.
The Battle for the SEC East: Georgia vs. South Carolina
Much of the talk around the SEC leading into the 2012 season focused on the battle for supremacy in the SEC West. However, the battle for the SEC East is turning out to be just as interesting as both Georgia and South Carolina come into Saturday's contest 5-0 (3-0, SEC).
With a tough Florida team looming just behind both the Bulldogs and Gamecocks, this game gives one team an advantage, but not a guarantee, to reaching the SEC title game.
This will be the first of three consecutive games against teams ranked in the AP Top 10 for the Gamecocks as they take on LSU and Florida after the Bulldogs.
West Virginia vs. Texas: A Good Ole Shootout
Led by Heisman candidate Geno Smith the Mountaineers have averaged a massive 441.5 passing yards and 53 points per game so far this season. The Mountaineers have needed every bit of offense they can get, however, as their defense has been less than stellar so far this season giving up an average of 32.5 points per game.
During their inaugural foray into the Big 12, the Mountaineers will look to make a statement by going into Austin and taking down a Texas team that has not exactly been struggling for offense this season (47.3 points per game) in a primetime game.
Kansas State vs West Virginia: Battle for Big 12 Supremacy
After starting the season ranked No. 22, the Wildcats of Kansas State got off to a hot start, cruising through their first three games before squeaking out a big win over then-No. 6 Oklahoma to stay undefeated and atop the Big 12.
The run game behind John Hubert was the key for the Wildcats in their victory over the Sooners, and they will look to keep the run game going when they head to West Virginia. The Mountaineers, on the other hand, will look to their dominant passing game to take the lead on October 20.
Both teams have crucial games before they meet in Morgantown, but this game looks to be a determining factor as both teams battle to win the Big 12.
Oregon vs. USC: A Heisman Candidate Showcase
This games boasts two players who have at one point this season been mentioned in the Heisman Trophy race in USC's Matt Barkley and Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas.
The Oregon Ducks are looking to prove that they are worthy of getting another shot at a national title. Boasting a high-flying offense that is averaging 52.4 points per game, the Ducks look to prove to everyone that they are the team to beat in the Pac-12.
The Trojans, on the other hand, are playing with a chip on their shoulder as they want to show that their early-season loss to Stanford was a fluke. Barkley and the Trojans feel that they are one of the nation's premier teams and look to prove it against the Ducks
LSU vs. Alabama: National Championship Rematch/Preview?
The Tigers have stumbled recently falling from No. 2 to No. 4 in a matter of two weeks. But LSU is still definitely in national championship discussions.
After last year's title game ended up being a rematch of this crucial SEC West game, Alabama and LSU have been juggernauts in the college football landscape and do not look to be going anywhere any time soon.
The winner of this game would, by all appearances, seem to gain a ride on the fast track to the BCS National Championship Game. However, as we saw last year, this game could just be a national championship preview.
Florida vs. Florida State: the Battle for the Sunshine State
When the Seminoles host the Gators on November 24, they will look to continue their dominance of the Sunshine State and win a third straight game against their bitter rival.
The Seminole offense has been nothing short of dominant so far this season behind the arm of EJ Manuel. The Gators, who are currently being overshadowed by the great seasons that Georgia and South Carolina are having, look to prove that for the first time since the end of the Tim Tebow era in Gainesville they can compete with the top teams in the SEC (and nation).
This game has all the makings of a big game, bitter rivalry, two hungry teams trying to prove their worth and powerful offenses.
Notre Dame vs. USC: Are the Irish Really Contenders?
The Irish have busted out 4-0 start, but much of the success must be attributed to their defense led by Manti Te'o. After several dismal years for Irish fans, the team under head coach Brian Kelly looks to be headed back in the right direction to once again becoming a constant force in the national spotlight.
While both teams have a several tough tests leading up to their matchup, a game between two of the nation's more successful, and famous programs always brings hype and scrutiny. Look for this game, even if both teams have fallen out of any contention, to bring lots of intensity and be a game worth watching.
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