The Red River Rivalry, the end of Charlie Weis' career, and two big SEC games that may have major upsets. There's a lot of exciting action in the college football world this weekend, with five particular games jumping off the page as must-watch television.
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(3) Texas vs. (20) Oklahoma
In what should be another excellent opportunity to watch Bob Stoops choke in a big game, this season’s Red River showdown between two of the nation’s premier programs may be one of the most exciting games of the year. Last season the Longhorns got the better of Heisman trophy winner Sam Bradford and the Sooner nation, but ended up watching Oklahoma get a shot to play for the national title while Colt McCoy and company had to settle for beating Jim Tressel in a minor BCS game (not very exciting, considering pretty much everyone is doing that these days). Between the revenge factor, title hopes, and deeply talented rosters, expect a memorable four quarters in the Cotton Bowl and one hell of a hard-nosed battle between two vaunted rivals.
Prediction: Bradford struggles towards the end and Texas wins 38-21.
(4) Virginia Tech at (19) Georgia Tech
Who would've thought that after watching them get humiliated against Alabama 37 minutes into the 2009 season that the Virginia Tech Hoakies would be the fourth-ranked team in the country by the middle of October? Kind of a wacky system we have with the BCS, but just like the nerdy kid from the audio visual club who has to take the one-armed tuba player with an eating disorder to a school dance, its really is the best we can do right now - so let’s just roll with it.
And speaking of the BCS, this game has plenty of implications for the conference titles and championship game. If the Hoakies (who aren’t spectacular on the road) walk out of Atlanta with a loss to the high-octane Yellow Jackets, not only will their title hopes disappear, but they will likely be eliminated from the ACC title game as well.
Prediction: Georgia Tech Keeps it close, but Virginia Tech wins 20-17.
(6) USC at (25) Notre Dame
Not quite sure if it was their win over a Purdue team that’s been in rebuilding mode for seven years or their three point humiliation of a 3-3 Michigan State squad, but for some unexplained reason Notre Dame enters this game as a ranked team. Only problem is, there's no way in hell they'll have any kind of number next to their name by the end of the third quarter when USC comes to town. Behind their freshman phenom quarterback Matt Barkley and stable of five-star running backs, the Trojans won't just embarrass Notre Dame, but they may put the final nail in the collegiate coaching career of Charlie Weis. So, why is this must-watch football? Quite frankly if you have to ask why watching the Irish get blown out at home isn't entertaining you're probably a terrorist, because any real American knows how entertaining that will be. (On a side note, if Jimmy Clausen can put the phrase “Heisman hopeful” before his name, I’m going to start using prefaces like “Nobel Peace Prize Hopeful” and “Presidential Hopeful,” before mine. Because Jennifer Aniston Husband Hopeful David Breitman sounds half as ridiculous as that Fighting Irish assclown being the best player in college football).
Prediction: USC win 41-7 in a game that won’t be as close as this score indicates.
Arkansas at (1) Florida
If the Florida Gators are going to lose a game before the SEC Championship, this is going to be the one. The Razorbacks, led by future NFL star Ryan Mallett, are coming off a 44-23 dismantling of the previously unbeaten Auburn Tigers and have put up 40-plus points for two straight weeks. On the other side of the field the Gators are coming off an emotional win against the LSU Tigers where their offense only tallied 13 total points. This is a classic “hangover” game for the Gators, who may get caught sleeping on the Razorbacks’ potent passing attack.
Prediction: Florida wins, but it’s closer than you think. 34-26 Gators.
(22) South Carolina at (2) Alabama
Alabama may look like the best team in the country at this point, but much like their rivals in Gainesville, if they start looking ahead this week things may get messy against the ole ball coach. The Gamecocks have a surprising 5-1 record this season, including a win over the then-fourth-ranked Mississippi Rebels. Steve Spurrier knows what it takes to defeat Goliath (even though he’s still getting used to his role as David), and will throw everything he can against the Crimson Tide in a game that could finally catapult his program to the next level with a win.
Prediction: Everything I just wrote probably won’t happen and Alabama wins 30-3.