Week 6 College Football Outlook: Big Big Ten Showdown at the Big House

Allen SmithContributor IOctober 9, 2010

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartans gets ready to lead his team onto the field before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers on September 26, 2009 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

3 Things We Learned

First and foremost, a busy week for me so sorry for the lateness of the article.

1.  The SEC West is the dominant division by a mile now.  Once thought that Florida was an equal, now is just part of the pack chasing Alabama.  Right now it looks like that Auburn and Arkansas are more inclined to receive a Sugar Bowl bid, provided if Alabama makes it to the BCS National Championship Game. 

2.  Oregon, not Ohio St., controls their own destiny.  Right now you are starting to hear that the Pac-10 maybe the best conference this year.  As much as it would shock an SEC alum to say this, but this year the Pac-10 is right now the best conference.  In a year where defense is lacking, the highly efficient offenses in the Pac-10 are smoking their competition.  If Oregon continues to win impressively, and go undefeated, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Ducks in Glendale.

3.  Cam Newton will not win the Heisman this year, but he should be the leading contender for next year.  He is playing above a level than the rest of his team.  He is nearly solely responsible for their success.  But the fact he the offense relies on his play making ability will hurt later this year, with Auburn not having a bye week until late November, he will hit a wall at some point.  Auburn has yet to play tough defenses in LSU and Alabama.  But Auburn by far is the most impressive team this year.  

3 Games of the Week

Biggest Game:  #1 Alabama at #19 South Carolina - Saturday, October 9 - 3:30 pm EST - CBS

Columbia is a tough place to play, and if the Gamecocks are in the ball game the fan support could make a huge difference.  However, if Alabama jumps on them early, look for the fan support to wain quickly.  This is the final game of the three game gauntlet for Alabama, and they realize it.  I believe the offense will rise to the occasion, the defense will continue to improve and frustrate Garcia.  Though you may see him hook up with Jeffries early for some big plays, but in the end the power game with Ingram and Richardson, and the efficient passing attack of McElroy will wear down the Gamecocks.  Alabama will pull away in this game in the third quarter.


Intriguing Game:  #17 Michigan St. at #18 Michigan - Saturday, October 9 - 3:30 pm EST - ABC or ESPN

This is a game that pits guts versus finesse.  Michigan St, exemplifies guts, they way they won against Notre Dame, and the fact that their coach after having a heart attack is itching to return to the sidelines.  Of all words, finesse, wouldn’t be a word that you would normally associate with Michigan football, but with the spread option offense working on all cylinders right now it is a really cool style of play to watch.  This being a rivalry game, where anything can happen, and even it being on the road, I will always side with the tougher team.  Thus I’m going out a little bit and will pick Michigan State to win a close, gutty game.


Upset Alert:  USC at #16 Stanford - Saturday, October 9 - 8:00 pm EST - ABC

Ironic that the team I put on alert this week, is the one I think could pull off the upset this week.  I think Stanford, is still a bit dazed from the blistering they took in the 2nd half last week.  Also this USC team is coming off a bad loss at home, plus this team remembers the last two years.  Even though Stanford, I think, is the better team, I think USC can pull off the upset on the road.