College Football Weekend: Week Ten Preview and Predictions

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College Football Weekend: Week Ten Preview and Predictions
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Let’s all pretend for a moment, that the big wigs in college football had a brain.

Let’s pretend that they realized that the BCS system was BS and that a playoff system would not only be the healthiest thing for the sport, but by far the most enjoyable process for the fan (yes, we’re pretending that they actually care about the fan).  

Let’s pretend that the 2009 college football season will be decided by an eight-team playoff. The top eight teams in the BCS rankings get into the playoff.

As of today, here’s how that playoff would look:

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 8 Oregon

This would be an intriguing match-up between the defending champs and the Pac-10 wunderkinds. Oregon would give the Gators a game, but I’ll take Florida by a touchdown.

No.2 Texas vs. No. 7 Boise State

It wasn’t that long ago that Boise State shocked another Big 12 powerhouse in a big bowl game, but this Texas team is better than that Oklahoma team. The Longhorns would move on to the semis.

No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 6 TCU

Uh-oh, Tide fans. Alabama would face another Mountain West team just a year after losing to Utah in the Sugar Bowl. The Horned Frogs dominant defense could keep up with Bama’s. I’ll take TCU in the upset.

No. 4 Iowa vs. No. 5 Cincinnati

How great of a game would this be? The two teams no one thinks belong in the BCS discussion facing off  in the first round. Cincinnati’s big-play ability to build a big lead and even the miracle working Hawkeyes couldn’t dig out of this hole.

Semi-Finals:

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 5 Cincinnati

Tebow and Co. cruise to the BCS title game.

No. 2 Texas vs. No. 6 TCU

Again, I think the Horned Frogs would give the Longhorns all they could handle, but Texas has more weapons on offense than does TCU.

BCS Title Game:

No. 1 Florida vs. No.2 Texas

Sure, this is probably the title game we’ll get in the current system anyway, but how great would it be to know that these teams have truly shown they deserve to play in this game? By the way, I’ll take Florida to win its second straight title.

How great would it be to see teams like Boise State and TCU get to prove themselves against the big dogs?

How fun would it be to see how “for real” teams like Iowa and Cincinnati really are?

A playoff system like this would not only be thrilling to watch, but would make an incredible amount of sense.

Probably far too much sense, unfortunately, for college football to ever adapt.

And so, we return to reality where the BCS disaster of 2009 inches closer with what could be a wild week 10.

Five games you can’t miss this weekend

5. Navy at No. 22 Notre Dame (Sat. 2:30 EST, NBC)

Notre Dame continues its high-wire act this season. The Irish have been good, bad and then great this season, culminating in last week’s 40-14 demolition of Washington State. For the Irish to qualify for a big time bowl, they basically need to win all their remaining games.

Navy always presents a test for their opponents. Two years ago, the Midshipmen left South Bend with a triple-overtime victory. The Irish have to contain the nation’s third-best rushing team.

Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Navy 24

4. No. 24 Oklahoma at Nebraska (Sat. 8:00 EST, ABC)

Nebraska has been one of the hardest teams to figure out this season. They’ve looked extremely impressive at Virginia Tech and at Missouri, and extremely awful against Texas Tech and Iowa State. This game will serve as a bell weather for where the Huskers’ season ends up. Win it, and a Big 12 North title is still a realistic possibility. Lose and Husker fans have to start wondering if their team is still a year or two away.

Prediction: Oklahoma 34, Nebraska 28

3. No. 8 Oregon at Stanford (Sat. 3:30 EST, Fox Sports Net)

A week after one of the biggest wins in program history, the Oregon Ducks face a dangerous test on the road against Stanford, which had last week off on a bye. That means the Cardinal will be extra-prepared and anytime a quarterback as talented as Andrew Luck has more time to prepare, it’s a scary thought. This one will be close.

Prediction: Oregon 33, Stanford 29

2. No. 16 Ohio State at No. 11 Penn State (Sat. 3:30 EST, ABC)

Well, this game doesn’t quite have the luster we thought it would at the start of the season when the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions were expected to be playing this game for a Big Ten title, but both teams are still (technically) in the hunt, but need Iowa to slip up somewhere.

This game will probably be determined by which team gets the most effective quarterback play. Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor has been wildly inconsistent this season, while Penn State’s Daryll Clark has yet to be what many expected; a dominant play-maker. Keep an eye on both guys under center on Saturday.

Prediction: Penn State 28, Ohio State 17

1. No. 9 LSU at No. 3 Alabama (Sat. 3:30 EST, CBS)

Just another week in the SEC. Two hard-hitting defensive-minded teams clash in a game with national implications. While everyone knows Alabama and Florida are in the thick of the BCS race, LSU has slipped through the cracks a bit. Win this game and suddenly the Tigers are back in the BCS discussion.

Alabama has been less-than-dominant in its last two games, especially in the nail-biter against Tennessee two weeks ago. LSU is a better team all-around than the Vols, with plenty more play-makers on offense. Alabama has to play better. Luckily, I’m guessing Nick Saban will have his boys pretty fired up against his former team.

Prediction: Alabama 16, LSU 13

 

For your viewing pleasure

Boise State at Louisiana Tech (Fri. 8:00 EST, ESPN2): Boise State 38, La. Tech 25

No. 21 Wisconsin at Indiana (Sat. 12:00 EST, Big Ten Network): Indiana 26, Wisconsin 21

Syracuse at No. 13 Pittsburgh (Sat. 12:00 EST, ESPNU): Pitt 34, Syracuse 13

Northwestern at No. 4 Iowa (Sat. 12:00 EST, ESPN): Iowa 28, Northwestern 16

BYU at Wyoming (Sat. 2:00 EST, The Mtn.):  BYU 29, Wyoming 19

Wake Forest at No. 10 Georgia Tech (Sat. 3:30 EST, ABC): Georgia Tech 31, Wake 14

No. 19 Oklahoma State at Iowa State (Sat. 3:30 EST, ABC): OSU 34, ISU 22

Duke at North Carolina (Sat. 3:30 EST, ESPNU): North Carolina 24, Duke 10

No. 6 TCU at San Diego State (Sat. 4:00 EST, Versus): TCU 38, SDSU 17

Oregon State at No. 20 California (Sat. 7:00 EST, Fox Sports Net): Cal 33, OSU 26

Florida State at Clemson (Sat. 7:45 EST, ESPN): Clemson 30, FSU 20

No. 12 USC at Arizona State (Sat. 8:00 EST, ABC): USC 42, ASU 24

Connecticut at No. 5 Cincinnati (Sat. 8:00 EST, ABC): Cinci 40, UCONN 21

 

Heisman Hunt

Jacquizz Rodgers (RB – Oregon State)

“Quizz” ranks third in the country with 14 rushing touchdowns this season. He also ranks 15th in rushing yards (922). Rodgers will get a chance to shine this week against Cal’s Jahvid Best (Sat. 7:00 EST. Fox Sports Net), a name more Heisman voters are familiar with these days. Sure, he’s a long-shot, but if he keeps scoring at this rate, he’s going to get some consideration.

 

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