Ohio State (-10.5) at Northwestern – It has been a long time since Northwestern has been even remotely relevant. This will be a good test of whether anything has changed. Northwestern has some disadvantages – most notably QB issues. They also need to prove that they are fast enough on defense to keep up with the Buckeyes. This one could be really interesting, or really, really not. It will also be a good chance for us to see what Terrelle Pryor is made of. He blew the Penn State game with a fumble, and he has been sitting around for two weeks thinking about that. He’ll be angry, but this will tell us if he can channel that anger.
Utah State (+35) at Boise State – This won’t be a close or particularly interesting game. At least, the Broncos hope that it won’t be. After Utah’s win last night (I told you that that would be a game worth watching), Boise State needs to keep winning very impressively to stand a chance of crashing the BCS party. It doesn’t look good for them unless Utah stumbles, but the only thing they can do is keep blowing out their opponents. That’s the only thing they can control.
Alabama (-3) at LSU – This game will be a victory for Alabama if Nick Saban doesn’t get killed. Literally. There is a whole lot of hate for this guy in town. Alabama faces their biggest challenge of the year so far – the Georgia win looks less impressive as time passes. I’m not sure I believe in them, but I will begrudgingly have to if they can beat a tough LSU team in the most hostile setting possible.
Cincinnati (+6.5) at West Virginia – The Big East is so wide open and unpredictable that pretty much every game in the conference is a crucial one for the final standings. West Virginia is in first place, and they would be more secure there with a win. Cincinnati has been better than expected this year, though. They are well coached, and they played the Mountaineers tight last year. The Big East is a bit of a joke this year, but the winner still gets a BCS bid, so this game is very important. The winner is in reasonably good shape to get that bid, while the loser is in a bad place.
Oklahoma State (+3.5) at Texas Tech – For the second week in a row the biggest game of the day is played in Lubbock. I can guarantee that that has never happened before. Texas Tech needs to prove that they can stay focused after the incredible, emotional win over the Longhorns last week. If they can then they should be able to win, but if they don’t then the Cowboys are more than good enough to win here. You’ll want to fasten your seatbelts for this one – it should be a potent offensive shootout.