Power Ranking the 10 Best College Football Matchups of Week 10

Luke Pashke@@luke_pashkeCorrespondent IOctober 28, 2012

Power Ranking the 10 Best College Football Matchups of Week 10

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    Week 9 was quite a roller coaster, and was chock-full of marquee games that people were dying to see.

    The Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma game for the most part lived up to its billing, and was an excellent stage to find out what the Irish were all about.

    We finally had the opportunity to see Alabama really get tested for the first time, and they passed with flying colors.

    Georgia vs. Florida kept us busy throughout the middle of the day with hard-nosed defense and a traditional rivalry full of hate and passion.

    Week 10 features two monster games in Alabama vs. LSU and Oregon vs. USC, and a couple of middle of the pack games that should be entertainingly competitive as well.

    Hopefully Week 10 can live up to its predecessor, and with a healthy slate of competitive games, my guess is that it will.

10. Ole Miss vs. Georgia

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    I've been waiting all season long for this Georgia defense to perform the way they did yesterday. They have all the talent and aggressiveness in the world, and they should terrorize every offense they come across the same way they did to Driskel and company.

    The Bulldogs host Ole Miss this coming week, and while that is far from a major test, UGA has struggled against inferior teams at certain points this season. This game could be a measurement of how serious this team is as a BCS championship contender.

    If they handle their business accordingly, their hype will only continue to grow, but if they struggle at any point against the Rebels, people will began to speculate their spot amongst the true contenders.

9. TCU vs. West Virginia

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    Once heralded as the Heisman front runner, Geno Smith and his weapons host a solid TCU team that could very easily hand them their third loss of the season.

    TCU is coming off two straight losses, but Patterson's teams are always capable of putting up a great defensive game, and if the Mountaineers can't get their offense going, they will not win. However, they must win if Geno Smith is going to stay anywhere near the Heisman discussion, and a team that was once in the Top 10 could fall near the bottom of their new conference. 

    This is a big swing game for both programs, and the winner of this game will most likely continue on to a solid three-loss season or so.

    I expect a scrappy and competitive Big 12 showdown that should satisfy your appetite for college football.

8. Pittsburgh vs. Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame's domination of the Oklahoma Sooners proved that they were for real... for now, that is.

    Due to the repetitive disappointment this program has dished out to its fans and college football fans all over the world, people are constantly suspicious of the Irish, and if they're truly as good as they appear.

    This coming week, the Fighting Irish host a Pittsburgh team that has given them major problems in the recent past. After seeing how great this team could be in Norman, I see Notre Dame dominating the Panthers—and if they do, more and more voters will put their confidence in the Irish, which will only increase their national championship hype.

7. Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State

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    Colin Klein is the absolute Heisman front runner at this point in the season, and this Saturday against Oklahoma State, he will have a prime-time stage to increase his hype.

    Kansas State is on the verge of a national championship appearance for the first time in a while, and they face a tough team in Week 10.

    Oklahoma State is a tough team coming off three straight wins. They could easily give Klein and company headaches, and maybe even pull off the heartbreaking upset. If the Wildcats want to contend for a national championship, they have to bring it each week and avoid slip-up games against decent competition like the Cowboys.

    It will be very interesting to see how this Kansas State team handles the pressure of being ranked so highly, week in and week out.

6. Arizona State vs. Oregon State

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    Oregon State has emerged from nowhere, and has stumbled their way into the Top 10. Unfortunately for the Beavers, they were finally defeated late last night in overtime, and will certainly fall out of the Top 10.

    This coming Saturday, Oregon State must avoid a week-long hangover and rebound against a solid Arizona State team to remain in the Pac-12 title race. We see this every year—where a surprise team erupts to an undefeated start and can't handle their first loss without dropping their next few games.

    Perhaps the Beavers will be the exception, but either way, this game should well worth your time.

5. Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State

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    Yesterday, Mississippi State was finally given their chance to play a credible team and prove that they were for real, and they got smashed by Alabama, 38-7.

    Up to this point, the Bulldogs really don't have a solid win, but a win over a scrappy Texas A&M team would do wonders to their confidence and resume.

    The Aggies have played everyone tough this year and are the polar opposites of Mississippi State. Unlike the Bulldogs, A&M has been hammered by a tough schedule, but have earned a lot of respect along the way.

    If Texas A&M can take out the Bulldogs this week, we'll learn that they are a good team that is just not quite ready to defeat the top dogs in the SEC.

    If they lose, we'll learn that they just can't win big games, and people will view Mississippi State as the next best thing in the SEC behind their top teams.

4. Nebraska vs. Michigan State

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    Any time two decent Big Ten opponents that are actually "eligible" for postseason play go head-to-head, it's a big game.

    Nebraska is fresh off a convincing win over Michigan, and have a great chance of making the Big Ten championship this year. Their offense has looked solid all year, and if they can get their defense to play like they did last night, they could be a tough out any week.

    Michigan State, on the other hand, has been a major disappointment this year, considering they were ranked in the Top 10 in the beginning of the year.

    This being said, the Spartans still have loads of talent on defense, and could pull off an upset that would completely shake up the Big Ten race.

3. Texas vs. Texas Tech

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    This is probably the hardest game of the week to pick, and that is precisely why it's so high in my rankings. Both teams are evenly matched, and I expect a thoroughly competitive and entertaining game.

    Yes, I'm aware that Texas Tech just got demolished by Kansas State, but I'm also aware that Texas barely took care of Kansas. Both of these teams have had their fair share of tough losses and solid wins, so something's got to give this Saturday, right?

    If that's not enough for you, Case McCoy came in yesterday and led the Longhorns to a tight victory which only reignited the quarterback controversy between him and David Ash.

    Monitoring the two QBs' playing time and performance will be like a little bonus to watching a good football game.

2. Oregon vs. USC

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    If it weren't for USC's baffling loss to Arizona yesterday, this game might be number one on my list—but I'm sure that's the very least of Lane Kiffin's worries.

    The Trojans entered this season heralded as national championship front runners, but have dropped two rough games to Stanford and, most recently, Arizona.

    Oregon, on the other hand, has demolished every team in its path, but hasn't really been tested so far. This lack of big games has hindered the Ducks in the BCS standings, as they have fallen from number two to number four despite not losing any games.

    This Saturday, on a prime-time stage, the Ducks have the opportunity to make a big statement and prove to the computers and voters alike that they are serious contenders for the BCS Championship.

1. Alabama vs. LSU

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    They say the third time is a charm, and for both of these teams' quarterbacks, one can only pray this is true. In these two team's past two mega showdowns, both offenses have been dismal, and while many think this is a result of great defense, I think it has also been poor offense.

    Whichever team can get the ball moving early will win the game, but that is a lot easier said than done. The Tigers and the Crimson Tide both feature fantastic defenses and subpar offenses, so this will most likely be another low-scoring affair.

    Nonetheless, the winner of this game will most likely determine who represents the SEC West in the SEC championship game, which will contain major national championship considerations.

    Look for this game to be a classic SEC slug-fest that should keep you thoroughly entertained as you wind down on yet another crazy college football Saturday.

    Enjoy this next week, folks, and happy college football to all.