Here are the storylines that stand out for me this week in college football action:
North Carolina (+2.5) at Georgia Tech – This is a good test to see if North Carolina is worthy of their 18th rank (I have doubts), and we’ll get to see how Georgia Tech bounces back from Miami.
Fresno State (+17) at Cincinnati – The Bearcats have been impressive this year, but this could be a letdown game for them if they aren’t prepared and focused. Fresno State isn’t great this year, but they will be up for this one.
LSU (-11) at Mississippi State – The public loves the Tigers in this one, but the line keep falling – all the way from 14 to 11. That’s enough to sound the alarm bells in my head. LSU needs a decisive win to prove that they are worth their spot in the polls.
Cal (-5.5) at Oregon – This is Cal’s biggest test. They have to travel to face a team that has a lot to prove and a lot of embarrassment to forget about. This one could be dangerous for Cal if they aren’t ready.
TCU (+2.5) at Clemson – The Horned Frogs have to feel a little insulted by being the underdog in this one despite being ranked number 14 and having a stout defense. They’ll have to prove that they are right to feel insulted.
Arkansas (+17.5) at Alabama – Can the Sooners’ defense hold up against a pretty explosive offense? Can Arkansas finally show anything even remotely resembling a defense?This will be a good test of two rebuilding programs – though one is obviously far, far ahead of the other.
UTEP (+36.5) at Texas – It would be really nice to see Colt McCoy finally look like Colt McCoy.
Miami (-3) at Virginia Tech – The Hurricanes have been the biggest story of the young season so far, but can their unlikely winning streak continue against another tough opponent? On the other side, is Virginia Tech ever going to learn to stop the run?
Florida (-21.5) at Kentucky – Tebow and company won last week, but it was far less than they were supposed to be. How well they bounce back will tell us a lot about this team going forward. People who like this team would be relieved to see an offensive explosion.
Texas Tech (+1) at Houston – Houston is another team that has jumped significantly in the minds of almost everyone this year. The Red Raiders aren’t what they were last year, but a Houston win here would still prove a lot for this team. This one could be a crazy, crazy shootout.
Washington State (+45.5) at USC – This is a massive, massive spread. If USC plays like they did last week then they certainly wouldn’t cover it. They need to show that they are better than that, and they need to get their act together in a real hurry.