College Football Games to Watch in Week 10

Bryan FlynnAnalyst INovember 6, 2009

Week nine saw the end of USC's title hopes. Now the Trojans will need help to even win a Pac-10 title that seems out of reach.

Iowa used some wind, great defense, and favorable calls from the replay booth to get a win over Indiana. The Hawkeyes still are looked upon as the weakest undefeated team so far.

As college football heads into week 10, the season begins to take a whole new meaning.

Some teams are looking to win out and keep their conference championship hopes alive. Other teams are looking to get to the required six wins to get a chance at the postseason.

This week, four teams put their BCS hopes on the line.

The surprise team of the ACC gets ready for a big rivalry game, two teams look to avoid let-downs, and every five-win team goes for six. So here is your guide to the college football games to watch.

Thursday Night:  Virginia Tech Hokies vs. East Carolina Pirates

The Hokies lost just about any hope of winning the ACC Coastal division with their loss last week to North Carolina. Virginia Tech’s only non-conference loss this season was to Alabama at the start of the season.

Skip Holtz and the Pirates seem to get a big non-conference win nearly every year. East Carolina has only beaten FCS team Appalachian State so far this season. A win would also give the Pirates the six needed to go bowling.

Who needs the win more: Virginia Tech

East Carolina should get six wins in conference play with games against UAB and Southern Miss left to play. The Hokies are on a two-game losing streak and would like to go back into conference play feeling good about themselves.

Virginia Tech plays three of its final four games on the road, and a road win would help boost confidence. The Hokies need to win this game to avoid another upset loss and hurting their bowl position.

Miami (OH) RedHawks vs. Temple Owls

The RedHawks got their first win of the season last week against Toledo. This team has no chance at a bowl but can play spoiler for the rest of the season.

The Owls have been one of the pleasant surprises this year in college football. Temple started out the season slowly, losing their first two games. The Owls have ripped off six straight wins since then.

Who needs the win more: Temple

The Owls lead the Mid-American East division and are in line to play in the conference championship game. Temple is bowl eligible for the first time since 1979 when it played in the Garden State Bowl.

This could be the most under-reported turnaround in college football this season. Temple in any conference title game would be a great story, and the credit has to go to Al Golden.

Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

The Eagles are coming into this game without a win this season. Eastern Michigan is one of three teams so far this season not to win a game.

Northern Illinois is one win away from getting to six wins. The Huskies enter this game on a two-game winning streak.

Who needs the win more: Northern Illinois

A win by Eastern Michigan would be great, just to get a win, but the Huskies have a lot more to play for this season. Not only would a win make Northern Illinois bowl eligible, but they are also in the conference championship race.

Northern Illinois is in second place in the Mid-American West division. The Huskies only have one conference loss but have not played division-leading Central Michigan yet. They have to keep winning to keep pace.

Friday Night:  Boise State Broncos vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

The Broncos come into this game with a lot to lose in a loss at Ruston. Boise State is hoping to bust the BCS again. The Broncos have not lost to the Bulldogs since their first meeting as WAC teams.

The Bulldogs come into this game after two heartbreaking losses on the road. Louisiana Tech is looking for its 11th home win in 12 games. Their last home loss was to the Broncos last year.

Who needs the win more: Boise State

The only way Boise State can play in a BCS game is to finish the season undefeated. The Broncos might even have to start running up scores just to gain votes from the pollsters.

This team will see its BCS dreams busted with even one loss. Boise State has a lot to lose, and a trip to Ruston is not an easy win. Just ask Mississippi State.

Saturday and Saturday Night:  UCF Knights vs. Texas Longhorns

The Knights come into this game seeking their sixth win in an effort to go bowling. Last week UCF rallied to beat Marshall in conference play. Last time these teams met, Texas had to come back for a three-point win.

Texas took care of the last major obstacle with a win last week. This non-conference game could be a trap if the Longhorns have a letdown. This team has to take care of business if they want to play for a national title.

Who needs the win more: Texas

A UCF win over the Longhorns could be the biggest win in program history. Texas, on the other hand, is playing for much more.

The Longhorns do not want a repeat of last year with a loss keeping them out of the BCS title game. Texas cannot afford to overlook the Knights to accomplish their goals.

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Last week the Wildcats took a beat-down from Penn State. Northwestern will be looking for that sixth win against Iowa. The Wildcats can take solace in the fact that they won this game last year and have not lost in this game since 2002.

The Hawkeyes made another great escape last week against Indiana. Iowa is making a bad habit of needing comebacks to win games. A loss would end any chance of a national championship.

Who needs the win more: Iowa

Iowa is the one undefeated team left that everyone in the country is waiting to drop a game. The Hawkeyes have not looked dominant from start to finish in any game this season. Iowa cannot get caught looking ahead to next week against Ohio State if they want to fulfill their BCS dreams.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kansas State Wildcats

One thing is for sure: The winner of this game will be bowl eligible. The Wildcats are the surprise leader in the Big 12 North. A win could give them some separation from the rest of the division, and a loss would bring them back to the pack.

Kansas still has a chance for a division title and a chance at a conference title. A loss in this game would hurt their cause a lot. Both teams are coming into this game with a loss last week.

Who needs the win more: Both

This game has it all. Both teams are going for their sixth win, in-state bragging rights, and division hopes on the line. Kansas is hoping to salvage a once promising season. Kansas State is hoping to build upon a very good season.

This game has a lot at stake for both teams. The loser of this game could be in serious trouble.

Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Midshipmen come into this game after a loss against Temple last week. Navy needs one more win to become bowl eligible.

Notre Dame got by Washington State last week with ease. The Irish got even better news with the return of Michael Floyd after breaking his collarbone. The quest for 10 wins and saving Charlie Weis’ job is at six and counting.

Who needs the win more: Both

The Irish could use a win to get more stock in their coach, who could be on the hot seat. Notre Dame must avoid looking ahead to next week's trip to Pittsburgh. The Irish would be on a three-game winning streak with a win in this game.

Navy is searching for that first big win of the season. The Midshipmen have come up just short against Ohio State and Pittsburgh. A win would give this team a great chance at a 10-win season.

LSU Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

This game is the only one featuring two top 10 teams. This game will also have major BCS implications as well.

The Tigers could be the best one-loss team to control its own destiny. LSU could win the SEC West and have a chance to avenge its only loss to East champion Florida.

Alabama only has to win out to play in the SEC title game. A loss will mean the Tide will need help to make its fourth trip to Atlanta in two years.

Who needs the win more: Both

There might not be a bigger game all week long depending on where you live. A loss here could end the hopes of either team.

Either way there will be one winner, and that is the fans. The story lines abound as the Tigers would love to ruin former coach Nick Saban's BCS hopes.

Alabama would love to beat up on the Tigers and end their shot at the BCS as well. The offenses for both these teams could be stymied by the great defenses on the field.

Oregon Ducks vs. Stanford Cardinal

Oregon comes into this game after putting a whipping on USC. The Ducks own the conference title as long as they do not slip up.

Stanford snapped a two-game losing streak against Arizona State last week. A win in this game would give the Cardinal the much-needed six wins and keep their Pac-10 title hopes alive.

Who needs the win more: Oregon

The Ducks have to keep winning just to stay in good shape in the conference and hope for a chance at the BCS title game. A loss by the Ducks would not end their Pac-10 title hopes but would end their national title hopes.

After the horrible start to the season, the Ducks have a chance to turn a nightmare into a dream season. Oregon has no room for error in the national race.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

This game has a lot at stake for both teams. Wake Forest comes into this game after a one-point loss to Miami last week. The Demon Deacons need a win to keep pace in the ACC Atlantic division.

Georgia Tech only has to win out to play in the ACC title game. Last week, the Yellow Jackets beat their second SEC team of the season in Vanderbilt.

Who needs the win more: Georgia Tech

This one was close because a win gives Wake Forest six wins. A win also keeps them in the division race.

Still, a loss by Georgia Tech opens the door for the rest of the ACC Coastal division. The Yellow Jackets can try to enter the national title picture as well if they keep winning.

The loser of this game will be hurting in conference either way. A win is a major help to both teams as well.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

As much as LSU and Alabama means in the South this game means in the North. There is just as much on the line as well.

Ohio State can still win the Big 10 title with a win in this game. The Buckeyes have taken a lot of heat this season. Star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and head coach Jim Tressel have taken the brunt of the criticism so far.

The Nittany Lions need help, but they have a chance at a conference title and maybe more. Penn State is a one-loss team that does not control its own destiny. This team can help its own cause by winning this game.

Who needs the win more: Both

The Buckeyes have no hope of a national title but can win the Big 10 and play in a BCS game. A loss in this game ends both goals. Ohio State can take a lot of pressure off with wins the next two weeks.

Penn State needs help, but a win in this game keeps their goals alive. The Nittany Lions have to hold up their end for any help to do any good. A loss ends their hopes of a conference title and a BCS game as well.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Both these teams come into this game off a loss. The winner of this game each the last four meetings has been the home team.

Oklahoma State still has slim hopes of a Big 12 South title. The Cowboys were beaten soundly by Texas last week.

Iowa State is one of six teams with a shot at the Big 12 North title. The Cyclones were wasted by Texas A&M the week before this game.

Who needs the win more: Both

The Cyclones will be bowl eligible with a win in this game. They can also keep their division title hopes alive as well. A loss could end the hopes of both.

Oklahoma State has very slim hopes of a division title, but anything is possible. The Cowboys can keep piling up wins to help their bowl position as well. This team will not have Dez Bryant no matter what this season.

Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

This game means something for the first time in who knows how long, if ever. Both these teams are playing for more than just in-state bragging rights.

The Blue Devils enter this game on a three-game ACC winning streak for the first time since Steve Spurrier was head coach. A win gets Duke one win closer to bowl eligibility as well.

North Carolina shook off the meltdown to Florida State with a win over Virginia Tech. A win would also give the Tar Heels the needed six wins to play in a bowl game.

Who needs the win more: Duke

A win by Duke in this game sets up a showdown with Georgia Tech the next week. The Blue Devils control their own destiny with a win.

The Blue Devils could be the surprise team of the season if they play for an ACC title. Duke has to win this game if they hope to make next week mean something.

Florida State Seminoles vs. Clemson Tigers

For the Seminoles, what a difference two weeks and two victories make. After hearing their coach needed to go, and this program was a mess, wins silenced the critics.

Clemson has had some bumps along the way but now control their own destiny in the Atlantic division. A win would also make the Tigers bowl eligible.

Who needs the win more: Both

Florida State can become a player in the division with a win this week. Bobby Bowden can expect an emotional performance from the defense—this after longtime defensive assistant Mickey Andrews announced he was retiring after the season.

Clemson only has to win out to play in the ACC title game. A loss here drags the Tigers back to the pack. This game has lost some luster not being Bowden vs. Bowden and both being average teams.

Connecticut Huskies vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

The Huskies are still suffering from the loss of Jasper Howard. Connecticut is also suffering from their kickoff coverage to start the last two games as well.

The Bearcats only have to win out to play in a BCS game. Cincinnati can use some help if they hope to play in the BCS title game.

Who needs the win more: Cincinnati

A big win by the Huskies to honor a fallen teammate would be great. The whole country would love to see them upset the Bearcats with Howard’s jersey and helmet with them in this game.

The Bearcats cannot afford a loss if they hope to stay in the national title picture. Cincinnati only has to win out to stay in the title talk. A loss could also end their Big East championship hopes as well.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

This would be the game of the week if it was 20 to 25 years ago. The season started with this game looking like a marquee matchup once more.

That was until the losses started to mount up, both in the form of players and games. This matchup lost some of its luster. Still, this is the Sooners and the Cornhuskers, and it does not happen every year anymore.

Who needs the win more: Both

A win by either team makes them bowl eligible. A win helps Nebraska keep pace in the Big 12 North. A win over Oklahoma is still big to the Cornhusker faithful, no matter what the records.

The Sooners would love to get the six wins and know they will be going bowling after the year they have had. Oklahoma would love to beat Nebraska even if the Cornhuskers had not won a game all year long. 

This game could be a preview of next year’s Big 12 championship game. One can hope, right?

Other games to keep an eye on:  Western Michigan Broncos vs. Michigan State Spartans

The winner of this game keeps any bowl hopes alive.

The loser starts to look to next year.

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan with a win becomes bowl eligible and can get the taste of the Illinois loss out of its mouth.

Purdue hopes to keep its bowl hopes alive with a win, and a loss ends them.

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

South Carolina is working on its bowl résumé with each win.

The Razorbacks need some wins if they want to go bowling at all.

BYU Cougars vs. Wyoming Broncos

The Cougars are bowl eligible and can still finish in second place in the conference to build on next year.

Wyoming needs some wins if they want to make it to the postseason.

Maryland Terrapins vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack

A loss ends Maryland’s postseason hopes.

The Wolfpack could use some wins if they hope to go to a bowl.

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Colorado Buffaloes

The Aggies become bowl eligible with a win.

Colorado is still alive in the Big 12 North.  No one wants them to win, but a loss ends it all.

Baylor Bears vs. Missouri Tigers

A win makes the Tigers eligible for the postseason and keeps them alive in the Big-12 North.

Baylor needs some wins if they hope to keep their bowl hopes alive.

Washington State Cougars vs. Arizona Wildcats

This game is all about the Wildcats. Arizona still has a chance at a Pac-10 title.

A loss just about seals it up for WSU.

Syracuse Orange vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

A win keeps the Orange's bowl hopes going strong.

Pitt needs to keep winning to keep pace with Cincinnati in the conference.

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Miami Hurricanes

A win keeps Virginia’s hopes for a bowl alive and helps save Al Groh’s job.

The Hurricanes have to keep winning and hope for a Georgia Tech slip-up. Miami still has a chance to play for an ACC title.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Indiana Hoosiers

Wisconsin needs to keep winning to help its place in the bowl pecking order in the conference.

The Hoosiers need to start keeping some leads if they even hope to go bowling.

Washington Huskies vs. UCLA Bruins

The winner of this game keeps its bowl hopes alive.

A loss does not end any postseason hopes, but does put the loser in a big hole.

Army Black Knights vs. Air Force Falcons

The Black Knights are fighting for their bowl lives and need some wins.

A win makes Air Force bowl eligible.

Both teams are playing for the Commander in Chief Trophy.


TCU Horned Frogs vs. San Diego State Aztecs

TCU is playing for a BCS bowl and cannot afford a loss if they hope to be a BCS Buster.

The Aztecs need some wins if they want to make the postseason.

Oregon State Beavers vs. California Golden Bears

The Bears are bowl eligible and are working to solidify their position in conference.

The Beavers can hit the magical six-win mark with a win in this game.

Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Florida Gators

The Gators will look to keep their season perfect with a win. Florida will try to not to gouge out anyone’s eyes as well.

Brandon Spikes will miss this game for his actions last week.

Houston Cougars vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

The Cougars can finish the season with one loss and a top 10 ranking if things go their way. This game will be their final test of the season.

Tulsa is looking for wins to make the postseason.

USC Trojans vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

USC looks to bounce back after they were taken behind the woodshed by Oregon.

Arizona State would love to add to the Trojans' misery and get wins needed to go bowling.

Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Idaho Vandals

A win makes the Bulldogs bowl eligible.

An Idaho win sets up a big showdown against Boise State next week.

Sunday Night:  Nevada Wolf Pack vs. San Jose State Spartans

A loss ends San Jose State's postseason hopes.

A win by Nevada makes them bowl eligible.

The national title picture will become clearer no matter what this weekend. There are several great games and some that mean a lot nationally.

Teams are playing for postseason spots and trying to improve their bowl status with each win. Enjoy week 10 of college football and some great NFL games Sunday.


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