College Football Rankings 2012: Predicting Most Exciting Matchups of Week 7
College football's landscape is beginning to take shape and Week 7 has more scintillating matchups for us to feast our eyes on.
The most exciting matchups of the week figure to be Stanford at Notre Dame, Texas at Oklahoma and South Carolina at LSU.
Here's a look at who I see emerging victorious in Week 7, complete with my power rankings below.
No. 17 Stanford at No. 7 Notre Dame
Stanford was doing fine until meeting Arizona last week and then its defense basically imploded.
The Cardinal, despite having just one turnover on offense, gave up 48 points and needed 54 points to come away with the victory in overtime.
Stanford isn't going to be able to come close to that number on offense against a Notre Dame defense allowing just 7.8 yards per game (second in the FBS).
The Cardinal also should be worried about Notre Dame's running game after giving up 132 yards and three touchdowns to Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey in Week 6.
Based on the overall numbers, I could see Stanford upsetting Notre Dame on Saturday, but last week's performance by the Cardinal makes it hard for me to go with them.
No. 15 Texas at No. 13 Oklahoma
I give this game to Oklahoma for one reason: defense.
Texas is allowing 26.4 points per game this season, including the 48 points the Longhorns gave up against Geno Smith and West Virginia last week.
Oklahoma is averaging 38.3 points (24th in the FBS) while allowing 16.0 points per game (20th). The defense was particularly impressive against two high-powered offenses in Kansas State and Texas Tech the past two weeks, giving up a combined 44 points.
Texas isn't going to score 45 points against Oklahoma like it did against a poor defense in West Virginia, and Oklahoma has a good enough offense to come away with the victory at home.
No. 3 South Carolina at No. 9 LSU
LSU isn't the same team as it was a season ago; that much is clear.
You could say it was apparent after the 14-6 loss to Florida last week, but the reality is the Tigers looked mediocre against Auburn and FCS opponent Towson before that.
The Tigers still have a top-notch defense, but the offense is clearly struggling. Junior quarterback Zach Mettenberger went 11-of-25 for 158 yards and one interception against Florida. Even if you took out Mettenberger's four rushes for negative-19 yards, LSU still averaged 2.9 yards per carry in that game.
South Carolina just held Georgia to seven points. How do you think LSU's offense is going to fare?
That's a rhetorical question.
Ryan Rudnansky's Week 7 Top 25
|3. South Carolina||6-0|
|4. Kansas State||5-0|
|6. West Virginia||5-0|
|7. Notre Dame||5-0|
|8. Ohio State||6-0|
|9. Florida State||5-1|
|10. Oregon State||4-0|
|18. Mississippi State||5-0|
|22. Texas A&M||4-1|
|23. Boise State||4-1|
|24. Louisiana Tech||5-0|
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