College Football's Most Overrated and Underrated Top 25 Clashes of Week 10
Week 9 of the 2012-2013 college football season gave us plenty of spills and thrills, complete with upsets and jaw-clenchers.
Georgia proved me wrong by dispatching then-No. 2 Florida, 17-9. Jarvis Jones and the Bulldogs certainly came to play, racking up five sacks while forcing six turnovers.
No. 11 Mississippi State vs. No. 1 Alabama indeed ended up being an overrated clash, as the Crimson Tide dominated the Bulldogs, 38-7.
Michigan State went on to upset then-No. 25 Wisconsin, as humbly predicted.
And Notre Dame made a mockery of an Oklahoma team many had winning in Norman, including yours truly.
Week 10 boasts some promising Top 25 matchups, including some underwhelming ones getting way too much credit.
Here's a look at Week 10's most overrated and underrated Top 25 matchups.
Overrated: No. 16 Texas A&M at No. 15 Mississippi State
Mississippi State's run defense still leaves a lot to be desired, which is why I had Alabama rolling over the Bulldogs in Week 9.
Mississippi State has allowed 4.13 yards per carry this season (tied for 64th in the FBS), per CFBStats.com. That includes allowing Alabama to rush for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they face another strong rushing attack in Week 10. Texas A&M, led by dual-threat freshman sensation Johnny Manziel, has averaged 5.81 yards per carry this season (third in the nation) while racking up 27 rushing touchdowns (tied for 11th).
After rushing for 356 yards and six touchdowns against Auburn last week, expect Manziel and Co. to roll through Starkville and leave the home team demoralized.
Underrated: No. 20 Nebraska at Michigan State
I'll admit that I didn't expect Nebraska to roll over a Michigan run defense that had been playing better in Week 9. Sophomore Ameer Abdullah and dual-threat quarterback Taylor Martinez combined for 159 rushing yards.
On the other hand, Michigan State's run defense is one of the elite units in the nation and that showed last week against Wisconsin, when it held Montee Ball and James White to 62 rushing yards on 29 carries. Ball and White had been rolling before facing the Spartans.
In fact, the Spartans have held opponents to 2.99 yards per carry (11th in the FBS) and three rushing touchdowns this season.
That's in addition to the fact that they've held opposing quarterbacks to 5.5 yards per pass attempt, tied for ninth in the country.
While Nebraska has a strong pass defense of its own, its run defense needs work, allowing 4.23 yards per carry (71st) and 11 rushing touchdowns this season.
Perhaps Le'Veon Bell finds some daylight in East Lansing.
Overrated: No. 4 Oregon at No. 17 USC
A reason why I called USC one of the most overrated teams in the Top 25 this week is because quarterback Matt Barkley hasn't been the same guy this season.
He's thrown eight interceptions in eight games after throwing seven picks all of last season.
On top of that, Oregon's defense has notched 14 interceptions this season, tied for sixth in the country with Alabama.
Nine different players have grabbed at least one pick for the Ducks. That includes junior cornerback Avery Patterson, who has not only registered three interceptions, but run two back for touchdowns.
In what should be a high-scoring game, the team that wins the turnover battle and simply limits the other should come out on top.
Underrated: Arizona State at No. 11 Oregon State
Arizona State has been known to give up a lot of points to explosive offenses (like, say, UCLA and Oregon the past two weeks).
On the other hand, Oregon State doesn't have an explosive offense, averaging 24.9 points per contest (85th in the FBS).
You may not know the name Taylor Kelly, but after this game it could be hard to ignore him. The sophomore quarterback has improbably risen up the depth chart at ASU this season, supplanting Michael Eubank last week against UCLA and proceeding to go 25-of-35 passing for 315 yards and four touchdowns with one pick. You can't exactly blame Kelly for the 45-43 loss.
In fact, Kelly has averaged 9.2 yards per pass attempt this season, tied for ninth in the nation. He's also tossed 19 touchdowns to five interceptions.
Oregon State better not overlook Taylor Kelly on Saturday; that's all I gotta say.
Underrated: No. 22 Arizona at UCLA
UCLA beat Arizona State with a last-second field goal last week, 45-43.
Arizona came back from a 15-point deficit to stun USC last week, 39-36.
So there's that.
Both teams can put points up on the board. Arizona is averaging 39.1 points per game this season, 20th in the nation. UCLA is averaging 33.4 points and the 45-point outburst last week against ASU gives Arizona reason for concern.
This should be a shootout in Los Angeles, which the offensive-minded should enjoy.