NCAA Football Outlook Week 10: Mountain West Showdown and Saban Bowl IV

Allen SmithContributor INovember 6, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After taking a week off to really survey the landscape this is what I’ve learned as we head toward third base of the college football season (unfortunately).  That this season’s national title contenders have dwindled down to these few teams: Alabama, Auburn, Boise St., Oregon, and the TCU/Utah winner. 

That’s it, if you aren’t amongst these teams, you don’t have a shot.  As for the Heisman, I think if your name isn’t LaMichael or Cameron, you don’t have a shot.  The controversy will be how the various selecting committees (Heisman and BCS) will determine their winner. 

And I know you are asking how the Heisman will be controversial, and there is only one way, that this Cam Newton/Mississippi State pay for play deal continues to linger for a few weeks, then you could see some people switch their vote.  Those guys are still mad they wasted their votes for Reggie Bush, they don’t want to do it again.

Games of the Week

Biggest Game of the Week: No. 6 Alabama at No. 10 LSU - Saturday, November 6 - 3:30 pm EST - CBS

Both sides recruit really really well, so talent wise this is a toss-up.  The thing that makes this game the most interesting is the strengths of each team will be on the field at the same time: Alabama’s offense versus the LSU defense.  It will be interesting early in this game, to see if the 400-plus yard rushing beatdown the Tigers took on the chin against Auburn is a mirage or not. 

If it isn’t a mirage, game, set, and match Alabama.  I’ve said it many times this year, though, if you don’t have an offense this year, you can’t win a championship.  And we all know how the LSU offense is performing this year, with that reason, and I truly believe that Alabama, got its groove back against Tennessee.  I’m picking the Crimson Tide and its running attack in a solid win on the road.

Alabama 27  LSU 14

Most Intriguing Game: No. 3 TCU at No. 5 Utah
- Saturday, November 6 - 3:30 pm EST - CBS College Sports

This is going to be the most intense game of the day.  Both teams are great teams, Utah is unbeatable at home, and TCU’s defense is rarely scored upon.  The winner of this game will have a huge impact on Boise State, because the winner may have enough juice from beating a top-five team (something Boise doesn’t have) to maintain a lead on them in the BCS standings. 

Also, this is pretty much a title game for the Mountain West, and I’m sure TCU will fight for conference pride and try to keep a Pac-12-bolting Utah from taking the title with them.  That, along with that defense, is why I’m picking the Horned Frogs in a tough, physical game.

TCU 14  Utah 7

Upset Alert: No. 24 NC State at Clemson

There was one stat that jumped out at me.  The Wolfpack are giving up nearly 24 points a game while Clemson, is giving up about 18 points a game.  That is nearly a touchdown more that North Carolina State is giving up.  That kind of play especially on the road in a hostile environment in Death Valley, is a prime candidate for a upset in Week 10.