College Football Scores 2012: In-State Rivalries That Will Turn into Nail-Biters
Some of college football's best rivalries occur within the same state, as two teams fight for control of their home state.
Some of these games aren't even conference rivalries, but they are treated with even more importance for the right to rule your own backyard.
With geographic dominance on the line, these schools will provide thrilling games in these in-state rivalries.
No. 4 Florida at No. 10 Florida State
In an ACC-SEC showdown, the Seminoles host the Gators in a Top 10 matchup on Saturday.
Florida State's dynamic offense, which ranks seventh in the country with 42.9 points per game, will try to score against Florida' stingy defense, which ranks third in the country behind just No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama.
The Gators also have a solid offense, which has the tough task of finding a way to punch it in against a Seminoles defense that ranks fifth in the nation.
E.J. Manuel's Seminoles may not have the same level of opponents as the Gators have in the SEC, but the team is very talented and is going to give the Gators one heckuva a fight in Tallahassee.
The difference in this game will be the fact that Florida State excels on both sides of the ball compared to Florida relying heavily on its defense. It's because of this that FSU will pull off the upset in this clash of the titans.
Prediction: Florida State 24, Florida 23
No. 8 Stanford at No. 17 UCLA
In what could be a precursor of the Pac-12 Championship Game if Stanford wins, the Cardinal are trying to secure a bid to the conference championship game, while UCLA has already punched its ticket.
Stanford's balanced offense is playing well despite the loss of Andrew Luck, while the defense has kept this team among the nation's best.
When the Cardinal travel to Westwood, it will be to face a Bruins team that has struggled against elite opponents.
Of the three Top 25 teams that UCLA has beaten this season, only one remains in the AP Top 25, while of the two teams that the Bruins have lost two, one has found its way into those same rankings.
Stanford, on the other hand, has gone 3-1 against Top 25 teams this season, with its only loss coming against No. 1 Notre Dame in overtime.
Stanford has simply played better against quality opponents, and I see the Cardinal winning back-to-back games against UCLA to win the Pac-12 and play in the 2013 Rose Bowl.
Prediction: Stanford 28, UCLA 21
No. 5 Oregon at No. 15 Oregon State
Not many people would have pegged this as a game to watch this week at the beginning of the season, but Oregon State has become a great team this season.
The Ducks of Oregon and their high-powered offense, which ranks second in the nation in points per game with 51.1, go on the road to take on Oregon State with the team's last hopes of winning the Pac-12 title on the line.
Behind the team's incredible rushing attack, which ranks fifth in the nation with 313.5 yards per game, the Ducks will try to finish the season with a victory after losing its first game of the season to Stanford last week and losing the ability to control its own destiny.
With a victory and a Stanford loss, the team would win its division in the Pac-12 and move on to face UCLA in the Pac-12 title game.
However, the Beavers have been incredible this season, losing just twice on the season and posting a winning record against Top 25 opponents.
Home-field advantage will help the Beavers keep this game close, but I'm taking the Ducks to come away with a victory.
Prediction: Oregon 31, Oregon State 27
No. 21 Oklahoma State at No. 13 Oklahoma
Oklahoma State's No. 6 passing attack and No. 18 ground game have the team ranking third in the nation in points scored per game at 45.4.
The team will take on an Oklahoma team that has no problem putting up points of its own, averaging 40.8 per game. However, what makes Oklahoma special is that the team plays tight defense as well, ranking No. 29 in the nation.
While both teams have solid defenses, I expect this game to turn into a shootout between two incredible air attacks.
Prediction: Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 45
No. 12 South Carolina at No. 11 Clemson
In another ACC-SEC game, this matchup features two teams ranked right next to each other in the AP Top 25.
The Gamecocks started the season 6-0 after beating Georgia and handing the Bulldogs their only loss of the season, but then lost back-to-back games against LSU and Florida. The team has now rattled off three straight wins and is trying to finish the season strong.
Which game will you watch on Saturday?
Clemson, on the other hand, is ranked highly because it has only lost one game this season at the hands of Florida State. Now the team has won seven straight games and is looking to win the ACC if those same Seminoles lose to Florida.
However, I don't see Clemson coming away with a win in this game.
The Gamecocks simply have more experience against good teams, beating Georgia and putting up a great fight against LSU. Clemson, on the other hand, lost its only game to a Top 25 team by a dozen points.
After beating up on a weak ACC I see Clemson losing to a battle-tested South Carolina team in an exciting game.
Prediction: South Carolina 38, Clemson 34 (OT)
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