How big is this weekend for the #1 and #2 teams in the country? Don't ask them because they aren't talking. They're getting ready for one of the biggest games of their year. They know that anything can happen on any given day. But we all have the same question in mind:
On Sunday Morning, who survives Hell Week Part One?
Alabama Crimson Tide (#1 AP Top 25, #1 BCS)
The Tide are #1 in the country. They are #1 in the BCS. They are undefeated. Now that they we have that cleared up, it's time to look at the bigger picture. Alabama is already in the SEC Championship Game in a few weeks. Alabama rolled over Mississippi State last weekend after almost losing to LSU in Death Valley the weekend before.
Now they have their annual rivalry game against Auburn next weekend, and the game is just as severe as originally advertised. We expected the Bulldogs to put a fight after a successful campaign last season, but they didn't even show up to the game. Guess that's typical of those in Starkville: Always coming up short on their goals. But Auburn has been putting up a fight every single week. Win or lose, they're always fighting for the victory.
But this is the Tide's last chance to gain some serious momentum in regards to the SEC Championship...especially with their opponent being the most dangerous team in college football. But they can't focus on Florida just yet. They have to get pass Auburn first. And the Tigers are ready for this rivalry game. But will a win for Auburn spell doom for Alabama...or for Florida?
Texas Tech Red Raiders (#2 AP Top 25, #2 BCS)
The Red Raiders are arguably one of the biggest success stories this season. After shocking Texas, they continued the onslaught by destroying Oklahoma State heading into their bye week to prepare for the storm that comes after the calm. The Storm in this case comes in the form of the Oklahoma Sooners.
The Sooners have no one's best interest at heart. The Sooners know that the loss to Texas hurts their chances of playing for the National Championship. But a three way tie is better than being close but no cigar. For the Raiders, the plan is simple: Survive the trip, and the rest will work itself out. For the Sooners, the plan is simple: Beat the Raiders and cause an even bigger form of controversy.
But the Sooners are dangerous at home, and they all know that the world will be focused on this one game. If there was ever a time to pay attention to the Big XII Conference, this would be the time. Texas will be watching, as will Alabama, USC and Florida. For Texas, this improves their chances of sneaking past both teams and playing Missouri for the Big XII Championship. But all three teams have one thing in common: They may survive the Big XII Conference, but they won't survive the SEC in the BCS.
I see this weekend being interesting mainly because of the circumstances surrounding the two main games of the weekend. With Florida playing The Citadel this weekend, and Texas enjoying a bye week up until Saturday night, it comes down to who has more heart and more determination to make it all the way to the end.
I'm not one to bet against an underdog, but I'm predicting that someone will fall this weekend. Alabama had a slugfest against LSU, a beatdown on Mississippi State and a possible shootout on with Auburn upcoming next weekend. Alabama survives until next weekend, but they it won't be by much.
As for Texas Tech, they know that when they leave Norman Saturday night, they will either be #1 or lower than #2. If there was ever a time for another upset, this would be the time. Tech should follow the advice of teams that have beaten Oklahoma in the past in their backyard. They have enough firepower on offense in Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree to make it 2-0 against the Sooner State. They have enough talent on defense to contain Sam Bradford and that sick and twisted Oklahoma offense.
Judgment: Texas Tech