After a couple of weeks that haven’t exactly been soaked in excitement, on paper at least, we have another classic week of college football. Here are the games I will be paying attention to. My remote finger will be getting a workout:
Michigan State (+16) at Penn State – The Big Ten doesn’t have a conference championship, but this is a de facto one this year. If Penn State wins they are the champions and headed to the Rose Bowl. If Michigan State wins then Ohio State goes (unless, through some miracle, Michigan wins tomorrow, in which case the Spartans head to Pasadena). There is going to be some good running in this game that will be fun to watch. I can see this one going a lot of ways. My first sens when I saw the line, though, was that it didn’t give Michigan State very much respect considering they are 6-1 in the conference.
Michigan (+20.5) at Ohio State – This one won’t be pretty, but I have to be loyal and watch my boys mercifully end their season. And heck, maybe they can pull it off – we did beat UCLA yesterday, after all.
Texas Tech (+7) at Oklahoma – THE game. I am literally counting the minutes until this one kicks off. There are lots of things I think about this one, but not much that I know for sure. I think, for example, that the Red Raiders have a pretty big edge defensively. And that the Red Raiders should be able to protect Graham Harrell despite Oklahoma’s potent pass rush. In other words, I think I think that Texas Tech is the real deal. By about midnight eastern time we’ll know if I’m right, or if I’m deluded.
BYU (+7) at Utah – The Holy War is always fun to watch, but it’s been a while since we have seen one with stakes this high. Utah has a spot in the BCS all but locked up if they can win this one. And they can. But it won’t be easy. there is a very good chance that this one is going to be a thriller.
Boise State (-6.5) at Nevada – This game starts a couple of hours before the Holy War, so Boise State won’t know its’ fate yet. Not that it has any control anyway. All it can do is win out, and win impressively. They need to clobber Nevada and then wait and see what happens. If that’s not motivation enough for a huge performance then this isn’t the team I think it is.
Pittsburgh (+5.5) at Cincinnati – Another virtual conference championship for a conference that doesn’t have one. The home team can sew up a BCS bid with a win here. If Pitt wins then things get really convoluted. It’s not like the Big East is particularly thrilling or relevant this year, so it would probably be easier if it just got over with in this game. Cincinnati is fresh blood for the BCS at least.