College Football: Lindsey's 10 Most Important Games,Who Wins Battle of Michigan?
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The question wasn’t if but when, and this was the week when Boise State got passed by another team from one of the big six conferences in the AP and USA Today polls.
Oregon steamrolled Stanford by outscoring the Cardinal 28-0 in the second half; as a result, the Ducks secured the No. 3 ranking in the country.
While there are several people upset over the idea that Boise State could get passed when all they have done is win games in convincing fashion, it is worth noting that there are several weeks of football left and a lot will happen between now and the end of the season.
Last week was the first week I picked 10 winners. Most impressive pick the upset pick of Washington over USC. On the season, my record is now 37-8.
This week’s 10 most important games of the week:
No. 7 Nebraska v. Kansas State
The Cornhuskers have the classic trap game in Kansas State as they travel to Manhattan, Kan., to play the Wildcats after playing a lackluster 17-3 game against South Dakota State.
The Wildcats have a solid running back in Daniel Thomas, who is averaging slightly more than six yards a carry, an experienced senior quarterback in Carson Coffman. They just might catch the Cornhuskers looking ahead to their match-up against Texas.
Prediction: Coach Bo Pelini, with an extra few days to prepare, should have the Cornhuskers ready to reestablish themselves as a team capable of playing in the BCS Championship game. Nebraska 35-21 over Kansas State.
No. 12 LSU v. No. 14 Florida
The buzz in Baton Rouge this week has been on how LSU again mismanaged the clock and if not for a penalty by Tennessee, LSU would have lost the game by falling to get a play off at the two-yard line on the last play of the game.
Coach Les Miles, however, appears to be having the last laugh as his team is undefeated.
The road for LSU gets tougher this week as the Tigers play the first of their three road games against ranked opponents as they take on Florida in the swamp.
Prediction: Florida needs this game to reestablish its swagger, the Gators in a close one 17-14 over LSU as the Tigers continue to get inconsistent play at the quarterback position.
No. 1 Alabama v. No. 19 South Carolina
Last year, Mark Ingram “won” the Heisman trophy largely on the basis of what he did against South Carolina in Tuscaloosa.
Ingram ran for 246 yards on 24 carries, including taking five direct snaps on the game-clinching touchdown drive that covered 68 yards.
This year, Alabama’s running game could be even more impressive as Ingram is paired with Trent Richardson.
South Carolina was idle last week but two weeks ago gave up 344 rushing yards to Auburn.
However, the Gamecocks played well against Auburn and with a week off they might be catching the Tide at the right time as Alabama might be spent after two highly emotional weeks of football.
Prediction: Alabama wins, but it is closer than expected, 21-17.
Indiana v. No. 2 Ohio State
The Hoosiers have a very good quarterback-receiver tandem in Ben Chappell and Tandon Doss. The problem for Indiana is that they struggle to run the ball.
Ohio State should be able to keep Indiana one-dimensional and win the game of field position throughout the day.
Jim Tressel may seek to limit Terrelle Pryor’s reps if the Buckeyes defense is able to control the tempo of the game.
Prediction – Ohio State 31-17 over Indiana.
No. 17 Michigan State v. No. 18 Michigan
The last time that the 5-0 Spartans played the 5-0 Wolverines the year was 1999, the Spartans won the game 34-31. This year’s game will likely be as exciting and both teams will likely put a bunch of points on the board.
Michigan State’s defense against Denard Robinson will likely play keep away by incorporating long, sustained drives running the ball behind Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell.
Prediction: Michigan State 34-27 over Michigan as Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins mixes things up to keep the Wolverines off balance.
Minnesota v. No. 20 Wisconsin
Both teams come into this game desperately looking for a win. Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster is under fire and murmurs have begun as to the wisdom of terminating him before the end of the year.
Wisconsin’s Coach Bret Bielema knows that his team can’t afford an upset because they are still thinking what might have been in East Lansing if they want to have any shot of playing in a BCS bowl.
Prediction: The last three games have been decided by only 12 cumulative points; Wisconsin in another close one 30-27.
Oregon State v. No. 9 Arizona
Two weeks ago, Arizona barely escaped California 10-9 when quarterback Nick Foles engineered the game winning drive with in the final two minutes of the game.
Arizona had the week off to get ready for Oregon State, hopefully the talk of being ranked in the top ten teams in the country will not go to their heads.
Prediction: The week off allows the Wildcats to keep their eyes on the prize as they win 24-16 over the Beavers.
No. 23 Florida State v. No. 12 Miami (Fla.)
Both teams lost to ranked opponents during the second week of the season; Florida State got spanked by Oklahoma 47-17, while Ohio State beat back Miami 36-24.
Since Sept. 11, however, both teams have been perfect. Miami has a good chance to run the table the rest of the way as they don’t face a ranked opponent the rest of the season.
Prediction: The Seminoles seem to be a year away, Miami should win 35-27 and talk of possibly sneaking in the back door to the BCS Championship game begins.
No. 11 Arkansas v. Texas A & M
Both teams are coming off of games in which they failed to put away the game after establishing sizable leads.
Arkansas lost to Alabama after leading by 13 points in the third quarter, Texas A & M lost to Oklahoma State after taking a 21-7 lead into halftime. Which team is over the hangover and ready to put the past behind them?
Prediction: Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett should have a big day passing in a likely shoot out with the Aggies. Arkansas wins 42-31.
No. 10 Utah v. Iowa State
Iowa State raced out to 24-0 lead over Texas Tech on their way to a 52-38 win. The Cyclones may need another offensive explosion as Utah is averaging 42 points a game.
Of course, Utah might be overrated, as while they beat Pittsburgh 27-24 in overtime, the combined record of their next three opponents is only 2-13.
Prediction: Iowa State stuns the Utes in a shocker in Ames, 27-24.
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