College Football Week 12: 25 Questions Heading into This Week's Games
College football's 12th week is upon us, and can you believe that it's been 28 years since "The Big Game" between Cal and Stanford? But it's a game that still sticks in our collective memory as one of the best finishes to a game in college football history.
Those two teams will meet again in Berkeley this weekend, but this time Stanford looks to have a huge edge in the game.
Not to say that Cal can't pull off the same kind of shocker it did 28 years ago, but this is a different time and a different game.
That's not the only game going on this weekend as we have another full slate in front of us.
Boise State has a showdown on the smurf turf against conference rival Fresno State.
Alabama has cupcake state, also known as Georgia State, coming to Tuscaloosa for what's sure to be a blowout.
Wisconsin pays a visit to the Big House to take on Michigan, which should be a doozy.
There's plenty to watch this weekend, so let's preview all the goings on for another college football Saturday.
25. South Carolina and the Men of Troy
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South Carolina will welcome in Troy, and no I'm not talking about the "Men of Troy" as in USC. Though that's a game I would love to see at some point.
The Gamecocks should have some fun at the expense of their opponents, unless they pull another Kentucky, which is unlikely.
24. We're Not in Kansas Anymore. Oh Wait, Yes We Are
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Why is it that every time I see Kansas' name on the weekly schedule, I always want to use the line from "The Wizard of Oz," though I don't even like that movie.
But I digress.
Turner Gill has to be wondering what he got himself into when he took the job at Kansas. But, I will say this in his defense. When he is able to recruit his own players and build up his own program, things should get a lot better.
For now, the Jayhawks will take the blowout they have coming at the hands of Oklahoma State.
23. Michigan State Needs Another Win
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If the Spartans want a shot at a BCS game, they need to keep winning, and that includes their home game against Purdue.
They're on the right track; they just need to stay on course.
I just realized I wrote a train analogy and a boat analogy in the same sentence. I need to stop doing that.
22. Alabama Has a Bake Sale
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Get your money out, folks. Alabama is apparently bring in cupcakes to Tuscaloosa.
Wait, what do you mean that was a figure of speech? Oh, apparently I was just informed that they are bringing a cupcake team in this weekend. Guess I heard it wrong.
Yes, the Alabama Crimson Tide will welcome in Georgia State for what will be no more than a scrimmage or tuneup for Auburn.
21. Boise State Plus or Minus a Lot
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Boise State will be back in its comfortable home on the smurf turf to take on WAC rival Fresno State. Though some might consider this a trap game, I would ask what kind of trap they're referring to.
Fresno State can't stop the run, while Boise State can run well. The only thing that could stop the Broncos from running off the field and into another stadium is load of bear traps.
But, since those are illegal, the Bulldogs will hope to lose by a little less than a lot.
20. Could Ohio State Be Headed for a Trap Game?
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The Buckeyes need to be careful when they travel to Iowa. This is not a team that they can take lightly, and this is not a team they can roll over.
This is an Iowa team that can bite you when you least expect it.
Can the Buckeyes play up to par, or are they headed for a trap game that could push them out of the BCS?
19. Utah Headed for a Third Straight Loss?
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The Utah Utes have disappointed just about everyone over the last two weeks. After a blowout loss to TCU, they went to South Bend and stunk it up in an embarrassing loss to Notre Dame.
This week, they travel to San Diego State to face another solid, and much-improved, football team.
Are the Utes headed for a third straight loss, or can they finally right the ship?
18. Missouri Eyes a Move in the Polls
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The Missouri Tigers have a road trip to Iowa State on Saturday, and a win could push them a few more spots up in the rankings.
Nothing against Iowa State, but the team's win over Texas is looking less and less impressive, since the Longhorns don't seem to be able to beat anyone at this point.
The Tigers were a top 10 team a few weeks ago, and maybe they're better than I give them credit for.
17. Is Nevada Looking at a Letdown?
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Nevada came just that close to losing to Fresno State this past Saturday. They were trailing by six with less than two minutes to go before running back Vai Tuaua got the touchdown that gave them the win.
Back home in Reno, they will take on New Mexico State. This isn't your normal game that you would look at and wonder if it's a trap game. The Aggies aren't a good football team, and they're nowhere near where Nevada is in terms of talent.
However, it only takes one game to derail a great season.
16. Will History Repeat Itself?
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We all remember when USC went to Corvallis, Oregon, and got beat. It wasn't expected then, and it's certainly not expected now.
But USC and Oregon State aren't nearly the teams they were then.
The Trojans shouldn't look past the Beavers. If they do, could history repeat itself?
15. LSU Is This Close
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The LSU Tigers are this close to a BCS bowl game. They can feel it. It's that close.
They still have a few games left, and they need to take care of business. They are the second best team, according to the BCS rankings, in the SEC.
Though that can be argued, LSU would love for Auburn to lose and for them to get the shot at the national championship.
To make that happen, as I said before, the Tigers need to take care of business.
14. Texas A&M Can Ruin Nebraska's Season
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Since Ryan Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback at Texas A&M, the Aggies are unbeaten. Maybe they should have made this decision earlier.
They have four straight wins over Kansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Baylor.
On their radar for this coming Saturday are the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Aggies would love nothing more than to ruin Nebraska's dream season and push the Huskers out of the BCS picture.
The question is, how good are the Aggies, really?
13. Don't Feed the Bears
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The Oklahoma Sooners aren't the team of the past. Then again, neither are the Baylor Bears.
These two teams will meet in Waco on Saturday, with the Bears getting a chance to beat both Texas and Oklahoma in the same season. When was the last time they were able to say that?
Oklahoma still has a chance at a BCS bowl game, but a loss to Baylor could ruin that completely.
So, Sooner fans, don't feed the Bears. These are the kind that bite the hand that feeds them.
12. Arkansas Will Be Tested
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It never gets easy in the SEC, does it? I hear that a lot these days, especially living in Texas.
However, for Arkansas that holds true, as the Razorbacks will take on Mississippi State on the road on Saturday. Ryan Mallett will need to prove his leadership and abilities as Arkansas' quarterback.
He's got tremendous talent and an arm that will land him in the NFL. But for now, he has a game to focus on, as a win could push his team inside the top 10 and into the BCS picture.
11. 28th Anniversary of
It was 28 years ago that Joe Starkey made the famous call that Stanford's band was out on the field during the game's final play. It was also 28 years ago that a Stanford band member was crushed, as seen in the picture just before he was run over.
What a game that was and what a game this could be on Saturday between the same two teams that took part in "The Play."
This time, Stanford is ranked in the top 10 and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. The Cardinal's only loss is to Oregon, and it's the only loss the team will probably have when the regular season comes to a close.
10. Virginia Tech Going for Nine Straight
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Since starting the season with a pair of losses, including an embarrassing home loss to James Madison, Virginia Tech has run off eight straight wins and looks to make it nine against Miami on Saturday.
Everyone around college football held Boise State's win over Tech against the Broncos, but now that win is starting to look better and better as the weeks go by.
The Hokies want number nine. Can they get it?
9. Showdown at the Big House
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The Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan Wolverines will meet at the Big House on Saturday for a Big Ten showdown.
Though the Wolverines aren't playing quite as well as they did to start the season, this is by no means a lackluster game.
Wisconsin ruined Ohio State's reign at number one in the polls, and Michigan would love to ruin what seems to be a "perfect season" for Wisconsin.
This is going to be one of those "don't miss" games.
8. Keep Your Eye On...
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A San Diego State upset of Utah.
The Utes have been nothing short of awful over the last two weeks, and although they want to prove they're a different team, don't count out a good Aztecs football team.
7. Possible BCS Buster...
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The Iowa Hawkeyes will be at home against Ohio State. They're going to be a dangerous football team for the Buckeyes to deal with.
6. Coach on the Hot Seat...
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Fans are expecting, and have expected, more from head coach Jeff Tedford.
They haven't gotten that this season, and he could be on the hot seat during the off-season.
5. Take Your Blowout and Say Thank You
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Hawaii at home against 1-9 San Jose State.
Yeah, that's a recipe for a early ending to this one.
4. That Couldn't Happen, Could It?
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The 4-6 Texas Longhorns will be taking on 4-5 Florida Atlantic in Austin.
Now, when Mack Brown scheduled this game, presumably some time ago, he didn't expect that his team would be quite this bad in 2010.
But the Longhorns couldn't possibly lose to Florida Atlantic, could they?
3. Notre Dame Losing to the Armed Forces?
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The Irish have a loss to one branch of the military this year--a 35-17 drubbing by Navy on the road. Could they make it a pair of losses to the military when they face Army this weekend?
2. Ugly Against Uglier
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UCLA against Washington, and a combined record of 7-11. Makes me want to go get a slurpee.
The Bruins and Huskies haven't had the seasons that they were hoping for, and when both meet this weekend, the winner won't feel much better about how things have gone.
In fact, both Rick Neuheisel and Steve Sarkisian are probably feeling the heat from their fans for not producing a winning team.
With Jake Locker on his way out of Washington, you have to wonder if things get worse before they get better.
1. In My Own Words...
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Everyone wants to talk about Cam Newton, and it seems most everyone wants to find him guilty in the court of public opinion.
The fact of the matter is, we don't have all of the details and we don't have all of the evidence. What we've heard so far has been nothing more than word-of-mouth and reports from different news outlets.
What we don't know is if money changed hands from Auburn to their quarterback when he signed his letter of intent, or if he's received any illegal benefits at all during his time there.
We know about his background, and we know about the problems he had at Florida. But this is a new time, and I'm not ready to convict him until we know ALL of the facts.