|Top FBS Matchups|
Who: No. 19 Auburn Tigers at No. 1 LSU Tigers
Who: No. 20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes
Who: Marshall Thundering Herd at No. 21 Houston Cougars
Who: Texas Tech Red Raiders at No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners
Who: No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 15 Michigan State Spartans
Who: No. 22 Washington Huskies at No. 7 Stanford Cardinal
|Watch Them Now|
7 Case Keenum
Key Notes: In 2010, Keenum entered his senior year carrying some Heisman buzz, but an injury early in the season sidelined him for the campaign. Fast foward to 2011 and the Cougars’ gun-slinger is back to his old tricks. He leads the nation in total offense (388.8) and passing yards (2,309) and ranks sixth in passing efficiency (174.8). Keenum has completed 170 passes and had just two interceptions on 238 attempts. Watch him this weekend against Marshall and you could see history as he is only 421 yards from the NCAA career total offense mark. He will also likely break the career passing yards and passing touchdowns records this fall.
Other Players to Watch this Week: Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin (So., WR); Dyshawn Davis, Syracuse (Fr., DL); Mike Hunnicutt, Oklahoma (Fr., K); Chuckie Keeton, Utah State (Fr., QB); Zach Line, SMU (Jr., RB); Keith Price, Washington (So., QB); Tahir Whitehead, Temple (Sr., LB); Kendall Wright, Baylor (Sr., WR).
|Keep Your Eyes on This|
With little surprise, LSU was the top-ranked team in the first BCS standings released on Oct. 16. The Tigers barely edged ahead of conference rival Alabama by a .9522-.9519 margin. The tandem was a runaway from the rest of the field as No. 3 Oklahoma (.9301) was the only other team above .8600. The Tigers and Crimson Tide will meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 5. LSU has No. 19 and defending national champion Auburn this weekend while UA faces Tennessee. Both teams have byes heading into the monumental matchup in two weeks.
While the Tigers and Crimson Tide being so far ahead of the field was not unexpected, Wisconsin’s long road may have been. The Badgers were sixth in the initial rankings, meaning they will need to climb past the likes of Boise State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. UW has a leg up on the Big Ten and with the addition of a conference championship game, but it may be a stretch for one of the nation’s most explosive teams to reach the title game. It could take a big step to make up ground this weekend as it heads to Lansing, Mich., where QB Russell Wilson and Co. will face Michigan State’s second-ranked defense. Wilson leads the highest-scoring team in the country (50.2 ppg) against a Spartan defense that is allowing just 186.1 yards and 10.8 points per game.
Put the BCS standings aside for a minute and you’ll find one of the top rivalries in the nation on Saturday night. Sure, the luster has worn off some in recent years, but there will still be plenty of eyeballs on the USC-Notre Dame contest. The Irish are playing at home under the lights for the first time in 20 years and the first time in the series against the Men of Troy. Last fall, Notre Dame snapped USC’s eight-game win streak in the series from 2002 to 2009 and now leads the series 43-34-5. Coming into the game, the Irish have put together their best three-game stretch in rushing in eight years. ND has 735 in the past three contests, trailing the 2003 squad which had a three-game streak with 804 yards on the ground. On the other end of the field, the Irish rank third nationally in fewest rushing TDs allow, giving up only three rushing scores this year.
If nothing else, Clemson is definitely making people watch. QB Tajh Boyd has been playing out of this world and the defense is flying around. Maybe a little too much actually last week as it feel behind early against Maryland and had to make an 18-point comeback, the second-largest in school history, to remain undefeated. This week, the Tigers are at home but are facing one of the league’s top young QBs in Bryn Renner, who is seventh in the country in passing efficiency while throwing for 1,593 yards and 14 touchdowns for North Carolina.
Kansas has been bad on defense. Potentially historically bad as the Jayhawks are allowing an FBS-worst 565.0 yards per game while also ranking 120th (out of 120) in scoring defense by giving up an incredible 49.0 points per game. It will not get any easier as the Jayhawks play their third consecutive top-15 squad when they host rival No. 12 Kansas State. In the past two weeks, KU has suffered a 70-28 loss to Oklahoma State and a 47-17 setback against Oklahoma.
After a 4-0 start and jumping into the national rankings, the South Florida Bulls have lost their last two contests, both in Big East play. If USF has hopes of finishing toward the top of the league, this week would be a great place to start as Cincinnati comes to town. The Bearcats are 11th nationally in scoring offense (41.7 ppg) while producing 421.7 total ofense yards per game.
Want to know a team that has quietly and steadily climbed back into the national spotlight despite losing a top-10 pick at QB? Look no farther than the Washington Huskies, who are ranked No. 24 this week and bring an offense that averaged 37.0 points and nearly 420 yards of total offense into this weekend’s matchup with No. 7 Stanford. QB Keith Price threw for 257 yards and had four first-half TD passes while blowing out Colorado, and RB Chris Polk is seventh nationally in rushing at 121.3 yards per contest.
The Cardinal will pose the stiffest challenge for Washington to date, as Stanford is one of two teams in the country ranked in the top five in both scoring offense (45.8 ppg) and scoring defense (11.2 ppg), along with Wisconsin. The Cardinal also has momentum on its side as it owns the nation’s longest active winning streak at 14 games dating to last fall.
Kentucky may not be playing a Southeastern Conference opponent this weekend, it will still need to be on top of its game. The Wildcats are playing host to Jacksonville State, which is 5-1 and ranked No. 8 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). JSU will aim to add another FCS win against an FBS opponent, something that’s already occurred three times this fall.
That date on your calendar for the LSU-Alabama game? It shouldn’t be the only one that is already circled. The Bedlam rivalry is set for Dec. 3 in Stillwater, Okla., and could easily determine a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. Bedlam for the BCS — does it get any better?
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