College Football Week 7: Which Undefeated Teams Must Beware Upsets This Weekend?
As always at this point in the season, there are just a few teams that have somehow still gone unscathed.
Every week these teams are tested more and more, not only with the team they are playing against, but also with the thought of being undefeated with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Some years there are just a few undefeated teams—which makes it easier on the BCS, of course—but some years, like this year, we still have plenty of teams who will have their case just because they are undefeated.
There is still half the season left to go, though, and plenty of time for the mighty to fall. This week is no exception to the upset bug.
Thirteen teams are still undefeated—more than half of the Top 25. Even though they are all susceptible to the upset, there is only a handful that must really beware.
No. 21 Missouri (5-0) Vs. Texas A&M (3-2)
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Being a 5-0 Big 12 team, there is no reason you should not be in the Top 25, despite the five weak teams you have played so far.
Sure, Illinois and Colorado are decent competition—key word being decent—but convincing wins over Miami (Ohio), McNeese State, and a last drive touchdown win over lackluster San Diego State certainly aren't convincing, if you will.
Now Texas A&M probably would not be too happy that I am considering this an upset given their last-second field goal loss to undefeated Oklahoma State and near win over a very good Arkansas team last week. The Aggies probably feel that this should be them, 5-0 riding high in Week 7 with two solid wins on their resume. But we can't all get what we want, can we?
I look for Texas A&M to win this week mainly on the arm of Jerrod Johnson. Johnson, who has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns, has suffered his share of heartbreaks this year. He looks to break the hearts of Blaine Gabbert's Tigers with a win this weekend.
No. 12 Arkansas (4-1) Vs. No. 7 Auburn (6-0)
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Perhaps the most intriguing game of the weekend is the CBS afternoon showdown between these two SEC powerhouses.
Both of these teams in recent years have not played up to the potential we have seen them play at in the past, but this year has certainly been different for both squads.
They have both returned to center stage and put themselves back on the map. They each boast tall, lanky, athletic, and just plain good quarterbacks.
Cam Newton is Auburn's dual threat who is an absolute menace for opposing defenses and their respective coordinators, while Ryan Mallett is the Razorbacks' smart, big-armed, NFL quarterback who can pick apart any defense.
It seems every week that the SEC has the biggest game lined up on the menu, and this week seems to be one of the biggest yet, maybe even rivaling last week's upset from South Carolina over Alabama. Both Auburn and Arkansas are coming off very close wins, Auburn having to march to a last-second field goal at Kentucky and Arkansas playing it close with a good Texas A&M team.
This is one of those games that could make or break a season. If Auburn wins, they may have a shot at a title; Arkansas wins and who knows, they may even have a shot at a title. I look for both offenses to explode in this one, and the quarterback who outplays the other I believe will come out victorious.
Texas (3-2) Vs. No. 5 Nebraska (5-0)
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Let's hope you either have the picture in picture device on your television or you know how to use the "last" button to go back and forth between this game and the last one I just showed.
You may think that this game may not even concern you or interrupt your watching of Auburn-Arkansas, but I would definitely tune in every now and then.
Texas, who has had a terrible downfall this year, can get themselves right back into the mix with an upset in Lincoln on Saturday. Nebraska, on the other hand, would like to bid the Big 12 adieu by beating everybody and winning the conference title and maybe going on to win a national title. Those are just two of the reasons to watch this game.
The Cornhuskers have relied on their rushing attack not only from Taylor Martinez, but from their other backs as well. But they seem to have had some problems this year with ball security. If Texas can force some early turnovers and play good defense like they are capable of all game, they have a legitimate chance in this one. I mean, they have beaten Nebraska seven of the last eight meetings, so why not do it again?
Remember though, the Cornhuskers didn't forget about last year's Big 12 Championship Game.
No. 20 Oklahoma State (5-0) Vs. Texas Tech (3-2)
Another matchup of quarterbacks on the list, but this one is more about stats. Brandon Weeden and Taylor Potts have both put up some stellar numbers, both in the top 10 for passing yards and touchdowns.
But are stats equal to wins? For Weeden they have been. Potts, on the other hand, has had a good year statistically, but two losses—one to Texas, who flat-out beat them, and one to Iowa State, who simply scored more points than the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech always seems to have a few solid wins under the belt every year, and this could be the first, but Oklahoma State, who was supposed to have a big year last year with Zac Robinson at the helm, didn't perform their best.
Weeden has silenced the critics this year who didn't think he could take over for Robinson, and he's not going to stop now. Can Potts silence his critics who think maybe Steven Sheffield should have a shot at the starting job? He can do so starting with a win this weekend. It should be a high-scoring shootout in Lubbock, as always.
No. 19 Nevada (6-0) Vs. Hawaii (4-2)
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Air Attack vs. Ground Attack.
Another game that features a big-time quarterback matchup is on the list, but these two quarterbacks are very different.
The guy most people know about, Colin Kaepernick, has finally got the Wolf Pack working together and playing to their potential. They are undefeated and are the only team left that poses a real threat to Boise State, a game down the road that will be one to watch.
Kaepernick is 15th in the nation in rushing and fourth among quarterbacks with over 600 yards, and he is tied for second in rushing touchdowns with his fellow running back teammate Vai Taua with 11 touchdowns each. Nevada has the most lethal rushing attack in the nation next to Oregon, as Taua also is third in the nation in rushing yards. All around these guys can run the football.
The guy we have not seen much of since the USC game, Bryant Moniz is the leading passer in the nation with 2,245 yards, nearly 600 more than the next guy on the list. He is also tied for first in touchdowns with 18. Moniz and the Warriors haven't had much competition besides USC, who they battled, and Colorado, who as I stated earlier is decent at best. They also barely squeaked by a not overly impressive Army team 31-28.
Nevada will try to grind it out on the ground all night long with its potent pistol offense, while Hawaii will air it out down the field for lots of yards and lots of points. It's going to be a late night (11:30 ESPN3) and high-octane WAC battle that I believe will come down to defense. If Hawaii's D can slow down Nevada rushing attack, it could be upset city in Honolulu.
No. 1 Ohio St. (6-0) Vs. No. 18 Wisconsin (5-1)
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Of course I wasn't going to forget the GameDay game, the biggest Big Ten battle yet. The Madison crowd is going to be rocking for this one, and they are going to need to get involved early.
It is always the same argument every year about who the best conference is and no one is as good as the SEC and Big 12 and the Big Ten just is not good enough.
Well, that has not been true this year, and even if it was, the Big Ten always makes for some good football to watch on a cold October Saturday night.
A game with the Big Ten championship on the line, and possibly a national championship, is all going to come down to Terrelle Pryor and John Clay.
Besides No. 15 Iowa for both teams, this is the biggest game on the schedule. Wisconsin suffered a tough loss in East Lansing two weeks ago but rebounded against Minnesota. Ohio State has not yet fallen, hence why they are on this list, but I have not been convinced by their 6-0 record yet despite their crushing of Miami. A win over Wisconsin and I do believe they are the No. 1 team in the nation, for now.
The Buckeyes have an extremely difficult task in stopping Clay, while the Badgers have to get pressure on Pryor. If you only had one game to watch Saturday, you might want to choose this one; okay, if you only had two games to watch Saturday, you would choose this one and Auburn-Arkansas.
If the home crowd gets into it early and Clay can march all over the Buckeye defense, it will be a celebration in Madison Saturday night.