Texas (+6) at Oklahoma – These teams both have underrated defenses (though the Longhorns quickly need to figure out how to stop the pass), and quarterbacks that are pretty much as good as it gets in the college ranks. The stakes are incredibly high – the winner is the temporary king of the incredibly tough Big 12, and the loser quite probably sees their national championship aspirations end. On top of that all, this is one of the two or three most heated rivalries in the country, and the neutral ground and evenly split crowd gives it a special feel. This should be a great one.
Nebraska (+20.5) at Texas Tech – This one won’t be nearly as great, but it should be educational. Nebraska had a disastrous outing last week – so bad that coach Bo Pelini apologized to the entire state after the game. He’s new to his post, but he is a very good coach, so it will be interesting to see what he can do in a week to get this team back together. On the other side, this is another chance for Texas Tech to prove itself, and we get another chance to what this freakish offense.
Michigan State (-1) at Northwestern – This one is noteworthy just because a lot of people won’t remember the last time that Northwestern was actually somewhat compettive. They are on the verge of making the AP poll, and are in the coaches’ version. This is their biggest test, and our chance to see, against a pretty solid team, if the Wildcats are for real. It’s also a good chance to see what Javon Ringer is made of, and what he can do against a team that has so far been fairly decent against the run.
Penn State (-6) at Wisconsin – After a very promising start, the Badgers find themselves in a freefall. They’ve lost two in a row, and they have to be desperte to turn things around and try to salvage this Big Ten season at least a little. Unfortunately, to do that they have to find a way to beat the hottest team in the conference. Penn State is firing on all cylinders, and this is our best chance yet to see if we need to consider them nationally, or if they have just taken advantage of a reasonably soft early schedule.
LSU (+6) at Florida – There has been something missing with Florida this year – that indescribable aura that has surrounded them throughout the Urban Meyer era. Before now, you just knew the team was going to be in form whenever the team took the field. Now you just don’t know what you are going to get. They have, at times, looked as good and as bad as a team can. This is a stout test, and similarly a chance to see if LSU, a team playing better than most expected, is as good as they appear.
Oklahoma State (+14.5) at Missouri – These teams are eerily similar, but only the home team is getting real attention. They both have QBs who can shoot the lights out, and receivers who make it look way too easy. Missouri has yet to take a misstep yet, and seems to be one of the most complete teams in the country. The Cowboys are upstarts, but upstarts that could give a team serious headaches if they are taken lightly.