|Top FBS Matchups|
Who: No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks at No. 1 LSU Tigers
Who: No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs at No. 25 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Who: Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 17 Michigan Wolverines
Who: No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers
Who: No. 6 Virginia Tech Hokies at No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers
Who: No. 20 Penn State Nittany Lions at No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers
Who: No. 18 Clemson Tigers at No. 14 South Carolina Gamecocks
|Watch Them Now|
4 Jarius Wright
Key Notes: Arkansas’ offensive attack was supposed to have suffered a setback when RB Knile Davis was sidelined for the year with a left ankle injury in mid-August. The Razorbacks haven’t missed a beat though as the passing attack — led by Wright and Joe Adams, who also has three punt return TDs this season — has put Arkansas in position to have a chance at the SEC West title. Wright ranks 13th nationally with 100.2 receiving yards per game and has 10 touchdowns among his 61 catches. With the multi-pronged passing attack, Arkansas ranks 21st in total offense, hopefully enough to provide fits for the second-ranked LSU defense.
Other Players to Watch this Week: Joe Adams, Arkansas (Sr., WR/PR); Andre Branch, Clemson (Sr., DL); Mitch Burroughs, Boise State (Jr., WR); Austin Davis, Southern Miss (Sr., QB); Jarvis Jones, Georgia (So., LB); Brandon Joiner, Arkansas State (Sr., DL); Devon Still, Penn State (Sr., DL); Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (Jr., QB).
|Keep Your Eyes on This|
The Game of the Year already may have taken place when No. 1 LSU and then-No. 2 Alabama met in Tusacaloosa, Ala., two weeks ago, but don’t think for a minute that Friday’s LSU-Arkansas matchup will be a post-Thanksgiving sleeper. The road to the national title obviously goes through the SEC for a sixth consecutive year and the Razorbacks hope to play a large role in its outcome. Arkansas is putting up similar offensive numbers as Alabama, but it’s going to need more defense than it’s shown this year. The Hogs have allowed 24 or more points six times and are facing a sneaky good Tiger offense that, while it doesn’t put up huge yardage totals, knows how to score. LSU is 14th nationally in scoring offense, putting up 37.1 points per game, meaning Arkansas may need to pick its poison either getting in a shootout or playing out of its mind on defense.
As if there wasn’t enough Southeastern Conference action to look forward to this holiday weekend, Alabama heads to Auburn on Saturday. The up-and-down Tigers are looking to end the regular season on a high note while the Tide is hoping for a tie — in the standings. With an Arkansas win Friday, Bama would force a three-way tie for the SEC West title with a victory Saturday. In that scenario, the head-to-head matchup between the two highest ranked teams (of the three) in the BCS standings on Sunday will be the division winner and head to the SEC title game.
First there was the last-second pass and push into the end zone against Michigan State and then the last-minute drive by Ohio State – both games on the road — that seemingly sunk Wisconsin’s season. But the Badgers, behind all-everything RB Montee Ball and his Big Ten-record 30 rushing touchdowns, rebounded and now face Penn State on Saturday with the winner taking the Leaders Division title and a spot in Indanapolis on Dec. 3 for the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. Luckily for UW fans, the heart-attack-waiting-to-happen pose can go back in the closet for a week as the Badgers will be jumping around in the cozy confines of Camp Randall Stadium.
We’re not going to say we told you so, but across the whole season, the numbers really don’t lie. Virginia was in our initial Power Rankings following Week 1, and while we wouldn’t say they belong in the top five, there’s little question Mike London’s squad has done everything required to be in the enviable position it currently holds: an AP Top 25 ranking for the first time since 2007 and a showdown with in-state rival Virginia Tech on Saturday with the ACC Coastal Division title on the line. The down side is the Cavaliers, who are averaging better than 410 total offense yards per game, face a Hokie defense that is 12th nationally by giving up just 307 yards per contest. Oh, and there’s the Big Brother factor as VT has won 11 of the past 12 matchups including seven consecutive.
Clemson, which enters Saturday’s matchup with South Carolina for just the fifth time in the series with both teams ranked, hopes to have fabulous freshman Sammy Watkins back in the fast lane after he was out with shoulder injury a week ago. The difference without him was immediate and apparent. The Tigers were held to 337 yards of total offense, well below their average of 465.3 which ranks 18th nationally. The newcomer has played a leading role in every phase of the Clemson attack as he averages 187.2 all-purpose yards per game in the 10 contests he has seen action. That figure is impressive and becomes even more outstanding when you realize that it’s on pace to be the second-highest average by a freshman in ACC history.
This ought to be fun. Georgia already has won the SEC East, so there’s not quite as much on the line, but when two instate rivals get together, throw the records and streaks out the door. What to look for: how well does Georgia Tech’s smash-mouth running game fare against the rugged Bulldog defense led by Butkus Award finalist Jarvis Jones. GT is second nationally in rushing yards per game at 323.6 while pacing the country with 42 scores on the ground. It will face Jones’ Bulldog squad that is second in the country by giving up just 81.3 yards per game, trailing only Alabama. UGa has also allowed only nine rushing touchdowns.
On an already somber day following the news of the tradegy involving the deaths of the women’s head basketball coach and an assistant coach, Oklahoma State suffered its first setback last week in an unsettling two-overtime stunner at Iowa State. QB Brandon Weeden was solid but hardly spectacular as the Pokes opened the Pandora’s Box for the BCS as the last clear-cut No. 2 fell from the ranks of the unbeaten despite facing the No. 99-ranked ISU defense. Now they have a week off to think about it while the Sooner State gets another dose of the Cyclone force when ISU travels to Norman, Okla. The Sooners took some of the polish off the scheduled Dec. 3 Beldam matchup as well with a 45-38 setback against upstart Baylor.
Quick, raise your hand if you have any idea who can still win the Pac-12 South Division other than USC. Anyone? Anyone? You’re not alone if you didn’t realize that UCLA, winner of three of its past four games, still has a shot at the title. It sits in the drivers’ seat for the South’s spot in the inaugural Pac-12 title game with the Trojans out of the picture because of a postseason ban. UCLA is 5-3 in the South, a game behind USC but a game ahead of both Arizona State and Utah, meaning the Bruins are the only team in the South to control its own destiny this weekend.
- Kiffin eager to put past problems to rest
- Frazier, Wuerffel to meet again in Hall of Fame
- Spring is crucial for new Pac-12 coaches
- Manziel taking smart approach to doing things he likes
- Michigan's Hoke says Irish 'chickening out'
- Auburn confident it can make athletic fixes
- Fulmer helping restart program at ETSU
- FCS Championship Inside Access Part 1
- North Dakota State earns second FCS title
- Advantageous Bison ground out victory
- Kennesaw State names Bohannon first head coach
- Ejections for hits on defenseless players?
- Delta State reintroduces ‘Fear the Okra’
- CFB: Valdosta St. captures DII national title
- Valdosta St. dominates in DII title win
- Valdosta St. overcomes rough start to win DII title
- DII unveils 2013 football television schedule
- Harlon Hill Trophy namesake dies at 80