If you'd told me that there would be a key game in November featuring two Pac-10 teams with national title dreams, I would have said...
"Duh! USC and Cal play on Nov. 10th."
So much for that.
With the wheels falling off for the Trojans and Bears, the real battle is between No. 4 Arizona State and No. 5 Oregon on Saturday in Autzen Stadium.
For all the hype around Tim Tebow and Matt Ryan, the real Heisman front-runner is Oregon QB Dennis Dixon.
Gone is the mistake-prone, indecisive scrambler from years past. Dixon is 14th in the country in total offense, with 24 TDs (eight rushing) and only three INTs.
It helps to have Jonathan Stewart in the backfield, but everybody knows who makes this Duck squad tick.
On the other side of the field, ASU QB Rudy Carpenter has benefited from Dennis Erickson's tutelage. Carpenter has completed 65 percent of his passes and is a great game manager—but it remains to be seen whether he'll be hindered by an injured thumb.
Speaking of Erickson—who deserves the Coach of the Year Award more than he does? He's taken a mediocre program and molded it into a national title contender.
Kudos to the coach for being the missing piece of the puzzle.
ASU-Oregon should be a hard-fought game, with the winner squarely positioned to make a run for the conference crown—as well as a national title game berth.
The talking heads are predicting a high-scoring contest, but I'm not so sure. ASU's defense has become a force, ranking in the top 10 nationally in total D.
It should be great to see these two teams clash—instead of USC vs. Cal.
Some other notes on the Week 10 action...
- Will either team score in Thursday night's game between VA Tech and GA Tech? Both teams have top 15 defenses and really bad offenses.
- Nick Saban is a jerk...but he's a jerk who can really coach football.
That said, Leaving LSU for Alabama was dumb, especially considering the beatdown the Tigers are about to give the Tide. No chance Bama wins this game.
By the way, the happiest man in the world who Saban left behind: future Michigan head coach Les Miles.
- Virginia and Wake Forest meet in the only battle between ranked ACC teams this week—this from a slate that includes BC-FSU and VT-GT.
Is THIS the future of ACC football?
- So it's now Ohio State and everybody else in the Big Ten. Can underachieving Wisconsin bring the overachieving Buckeyes back down to earth?
Without a healthy P.J. Hill in the backfield, it's going to be tough.
- Is Georgia going to bring out props after its first score against Troy? And, on the flip side, how long will it be until Vandy uses a premeditated celebration against Florida?
Honestly, this story is WAY overblown.
- Michigan-Michigan State is always a throw-down, but now the Spartans have the type of spread running attack that gave the Wolverines fits early in the year.
MSU tailback Javon Ringer holds the key to this game.
- Mizzou hasn't won at Colorado since 1997. If the Tigers want to catch Kansas in the Big 12 North, they'd better reverse that trend.
Chase Daniel is a dual-threat beast.
- UConn is now the favorite in the Big East—how weird is that?
Rutgers is still shaken up after a thrashing at the hands of West Virginia. Can Ray Rice carry his team to an upset win?
- Texas A&M closes the season with four games against top-15 opponents. Loss No. 2 will come this week against Oklahoma.
Good luck with that job security, Dennis Franchione.
- USC, in its mortal state, looks to get some revenge over Oregon State, who shocked the Trojans 33-31 last season.
If the Beavers win this one, we can honestly wonder what in the world is going on with this bunch of Trojans.
- If Florida State, by some miracle from God, beats Boston College, College Gameday will have no choice but to come to Clemson on Nov. 17.
- And speaking of the Tigers, no way they lose to Duke this week. Look for offensive numbers similar to those from the Central Michigan game.
UPSET ALERT: No. 11 Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech.
Thanks for reading...GOD BLESS!