College Football Week 10 Preview: Biggest Stories and Games to Watch

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College Football Week 10 Preview: Biggest Stories and Games to Watch
Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

Through nine weeks of the 2012-2013 college football season, there are only five undefeated teams left in the BCS standings.

Week 10 features some exciting conference clashes, including a rematch of last season's BCS Championship Game participants.

Whether you keep an eye on the SEC, the Big 12 or the Pac-12, there are plenty of matchups to whet your appetite this week.

Let's take a look at the biggest storylines and games of Week 10.

 

Biggest Storylines

No. 1 Alabama has been coasting for most of the season, taking care of teams such as Michigan, Tennessee and Mississippi State. But No. 5 LSU figures to be the Crimson Tide's toughest test to date on Saturday. The Tigers could avenge last season's loss in the BCS Championship Game in a big way by knocking out Alabama, but it won't be easy.

No. 4 Oregon and No. 17 USC are atop the North and South divisions of the Pac-12 this season, but a loss from either squad puts them in a precarious position in the conference.

We also have another SEC clash between No. 15 Mississippi State and No. 16 Texas A&M, as well as a (big) Big 12 matchup. Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) has a chance of stealing the conference away from No. 2 Kansas State (key word: "chance").

 

Key Matchups

No. 4 Oregon at No. 17 USC

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Where: Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox

 

Analysis

Oregon at USC pits two explosive offenses against each other. USC is averaging 35.0 points per game (29th in the nation), while Oregon is averaging 53.4 points (best in the country).

Though Oregon's run defense leaves plenty to be desired, the Ducks have allowed just 5.3 yards per pass attempt this season (tied for sixth with Florida) while notching 14 interceptions (tied for sixth with Alabama).

That very well could turn the tide in Oregon's favor in what should be a high-scoring affair.

Prediction: Oregon 42, USC 30

 

No. 1 Alabama at No. 5 LSU

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA

When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

 

Analysis

Both Alabama and LSU like to run the ball, but both teams also have elite run defenses. This makes me think that the passing attacks will ultimately decide this game. 

While A.J. McCarron is a Heisman contender this season (tossing 18 touchdowns to zero interceptions), the LSU passing game leaves a lot to be desired. I think that will be the difference in this matchup, although the fact that it is being played in Baton Rouge should make things interesting. 

Prediction: Alabama 20, LSU 13

 

No. 16 Texas A&M at No. 15 Mississippi State

John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

Where: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS

When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 12 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

 

Analysis

Johnny Manziel's Texas A&M Aggies have two losses on their record, but those losses came against Florida and LSU. That's certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

The 63-21 blowout of Auburn last week served as a reminder that the Aggies are still lethally dangerous.

Mississippi State is allowing 17.4 points per game this season (15th in the nation), but the 38-7 loss to Alabama last week and the 31 points allowed against Tennessee give me pause.

Prediction: Texas A&M 27, Mississippi State 24

 

No. 24 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Kansas State

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Where: Bill Snyder Stadium, Manhattan, KS

When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. ET

Watch: ABC

 

Analysis

Both of these teams have explosive offenses, but the season-ending injury to quarterback J.W. Walsh hurts Oklahoma State, and Kansas State's defense isn't half-bad.

The Wildcats have allowed an average of 19 points against Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas Tech this season. Cowboys freshman quarterback Wes Lunt may struggle in this one.

Prediction: Kansas State 31, Oklahoma State 20

 

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