It’s hard to comp this together, especially considering that I won’t be able to watch a whole lot of these games (well, the ones at night anyway) due to outside events putting me in Los Angeles this weekend. But let’s just say that now and next week are where it gets interesting.
- Texas Tech – after watching Alabama look just kind of pedestrian, the Red Raiders have to be #1 as they go into Norman. If they aren’t #1 in all the polls and the BCS if they win on Saturday, you can all justifiably call it a fix.
- Alabama – Merely avoiding a Crooming isn’t good enough. Saban and his crew have done an admirable job, pulling performances out of the team when he needs them, and let’s not think that Auburn is any particular challenge in two weeks.
- Florida – Should scare the ever-loving shit out of anyone they come across. I don’t want to buy into the suggestion that losing when you should not have makes you better — but is there any doubt that Urban Meyer would have unleashed the speed of Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey had the regular “bash Tebow up the middle when he’s not throwing” approach worked better than it did against Ole Miss?
- Texas – No Orakpo, but the offense is still reliably consistent and they’re through the gauntlet. Will likely be the primary beneficiary if the Sooners fuck up Tech’s shit.
- Oklahoma – Needs to beat Tech and needs Texas to not have runaway wins.
- Penn State – Gunshot in the gut wounded you once against Iowa, JoePa. Don’t let the fake rivalry with Sparta be the one that delivers the slug to the heart.
- Utah – Brian Johnson is the Machine and the Utes keep pulling wins out of their asses. With chaos in mind, and loathing of Mormon institutions in my heart, go forth and plow over those fuckers from Provo this weekend.
- USC – Irrationally placed here because how good can you look when you can only get 17 points against both Cal and Arizona — also, the whole “Oregon State is actually in the driver’s seat here” factor matters. Can you say with a straight face that the majority of the Pac-10 programs are of that much higher a caliber than the Mountain West?
- Boise State – We can safely say that about the WAC, but let’s not let that ruin our fun. Kellen Moore has been a revelation for Chris Petersen at QB, and the hero of the Fiesta Bowl, Ian Johnson, is merely another solid running and blocking cog in the Potato State’s machine.
- Ohio State – If any year merits a wacky, improbable loss to Michigan to tell us how bad the Big 10 can be, it’s this one. Please, oh please, ye gods of the prolate spheroid, make it come to pass. Of course, it shall not, and Rich Rod will spend the whole game trying not to stare at Terrelle Pryor, lest he be on the verge of tears.
There are stwo match-ups on the table that are directed at your senses of schadenfreude and tolerance for mediocrity. This week’s Car Wreck Bowls include:
- Syracuse-Notre Dame: I do not envy the NBC Sports flack who had to produce the promo for this. Gerg, the Condemned Man, comes to South Bend with his head already cut off, to face Fat Charlie, who should note that while they may not be ready to can him, there are fans willing to sharpen the guillotine personally.
- Washington-Washington State: This year’s Apple Cup is spectacularly rotten, with the only win between the two teams being a win over a I-AA squad by Wazzu. For only the hardcore and those who get kicks out of laughing at teenagers. (I will be watching if it’s on at noon on my mom’s cable system.)
Other notes: this is one of the two geographic rivalry weeks, which gives us these games worth at least viewing. Some of them do not apply, but I’m too lazy to give them another category:
- Mississippi-LSU: This is rather tragic because each team shows flashes of competent football frequently — and then the Tigers have to go put the ball in the hands of Jarrett Lee from time to time; the Rebels remember that they are Ole Miss, and commit turnovers on top of turnovers.
- Michigan-Ohio State: Again, will feature plenty of sobbing from Rich Rod — or at least, I can only hope.
- Illinois-Northwestern: Ron Zooks pissing intensity hasn’t quite rubbed off on Juice Williams, and Evanston’s legendary underwhelming should make for a potent environment (sarcasm!) Regardless of that, do the Illini actually put a decent stop to Mike Kafka?
- N.C. State-North Carolina: For ACC junkies only, but still of merit since the Heels need Miami to lose to get their shot back at the conference championship.
- Stanford-Cal: Despite the early Jeff Tedford Collapse, worth viewing to see if another nerd school can crack the bowl eligible burden again.
Now, the other games you might actually care about:
- Miami-Georgia Tech: The U heads to the Beehive. Massively sick defensive line and linebacking talent goes up against flexbone. Watch the bodies fly tomorrow night.
- BYU-Utah: Since I love BCS busters like fat kids love cake, still pulling for the Utes to Tabernacle the Cougars.
- Florida State-Maryland: Because the Terps going to the ACC Championship Game mean the most righteous fall of the ACC as a conference. Utter hilarity.
- Pitt-Cincinnati: Yes, you might actually want to look at this, because this is probably your BCS entry from the Big East right here, as Brian Kelly auditions for a few head coaching vacancies that pay more money and Dave Wannstedt continues to make his journey to competency.
- Texas Tech-Oklahoma: Um, duh. (And I’ll be missing it for a wedding.)