Now that we’ve had four or five games to anoint our favorites to win the national title or make a BCS game, it’s time for them to start choking! USC got the ball rolling last week and, not to be outdone, Florida and Wisconsin joined in on the fun.
Now the questions is, who’s in danger this weekend? Here are four ranked teams most likely to need a little Pepto on Sunday morning.
1.) Texas Tech (4 – 0, #7 in AP, 7 Point Favorite at Kansas State)
Every year Texas Tech is good for one good gaffe on the road and this game could very well be the one.
The Red Raiders are averaging 46 points per game but they haven’t faced a high quality opponent. Kansas State lost to a respectable Louisville team on the road but they’ve also put up big offensive numbers, averaging 47 points per game.
Texas Tech has yet to prove that they have a defense so look for a shootout. If Kansas State pulls out the win, call it the "Murder in Manhattan".
2.) Texas (4 – 0, #5 in AP, 13 Point Favorite at Colorado)
Texas has looked good, very good in fact, all season. Colt McCoy is having a monster year but this is also their first real test of the young season.
For those of you that think this game is a gimme for Texas, you only have to look to last year when Colorado knocked off #3 Oklahoma in Boulder. Or how about current events, when the Buffs toppled West Virginia in Boulder two weeks ago.
Maybe it’s the elevation, but ranked teams often go there to get the wind knocked out of them. Throw in the fact that Texas faces their nemesis Oklahoma next week, and you can see why this is a dangerous game for the Longhorns.
3.) USC (2 – 1, #9 in AP, 16.5 Point Favorite against Oregon)
Of all the teams on this list, USC is most likely to be ready to play. Unfortunately for the Trojans, their opponent is also significantly better than anyone else’s on this list.
The Trojans had problems defending the run last week and this week they face the nations #4 rushing attack, the Ducks average a whopping 308 yards per game.
Given that Rey Maualuga is questionable, look for Oregon to try to ram it down their throat. USC has plenty of athletes but given the emotional roller coaster of the past two weeks, their psyche must be fragile.
If Oregon comes out fast, look for a battle down to the wire.
4.) Penn State (5 – 0, #6 in AP, 9.5 Point Favorite at Purdue)
The ‘Spread HD’ is in full effect. Penn State is the class of the Big 10 and looks like a lock for Pasadena…or maybe Miami? However, this is the classic trap game.
Last week they won an emotional night game at home against Illinois. Next week, they travel to Wisconsin to face a ranked (currently) Badgers team.
JoePa’s squad hasn’t been tested on the road yet, so this is their first chance to prove they can win outside of Happy Valley. The only perceived weakness the Nittany Lions have is their secondary and pass happy Purdue will try to exploit it.
Don’t be surprised if you see the score scroll across your screen on Saturday and Purdue is keeping it close. The Boilermakers took Oregon, masters of the spread offense, into overtime earlier this year.