Friday, October 31, 2008

Fan's Weekend Guide - Week Ten

The Conference Title is on the Line When…
Texas Visits Texas Tech (November 1, 8:00, ABC):

For the fourth straight week the Texas Longhorns play a game where something of significance is on the line—the Red River Rivalry, Texas pride, the Big 12 South and a spot in the BCS Championship game. While they still don’t have to leave the state of Texas, the ‘Horns are playing in enemy territory for the first time during this stretch. Colt McCoy has jumped out ahead of the pack in the Heisman race, leading Texas in passing (2,285 yards, 21 touchdowns) and rushing (412 yards, seven touchdowns). Defensively, Brian Orakpo (nine sacks) has been a force. His battle with Tech’s Rylan Reed, who kept Chris Long sackless in the Gator Bowl, will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this game. If given time, the combination of Graham Harrell (3,147 yards, 28 touchdowns) to Michael Crabtree (60 receptions, 794 yards, 14 touchdowns) could be too much to handle, even for the No. 1 team in the land. If too much attention is paid to the defending Biletnikoff winner, it will allow Detron Lewis, Eric Morris and Tramain Swindall to break free. With the duo of Baron Batch (537 yards, 7.5 ypc) and Shannon Woods (481 yards, 5.2 ypc) running the ball well, the Red Raiders may actually have the more balanced offense of the two.

Don’t Call it an Upset When…
Florida St. Visits Georgia Tech (November 1, 3:30, ABC):
Quietly, the Seminoles have worked their way up to No. 15 in the country. They are winners of four in a row while the Yellow Jackets lost to Virginia last week and were banished from the land of the ranked (for now). This all points to a Florida St. win, yes? No. In the last five intra-conference games between a team that is ranked and a team that isn’t, the unranked team has won four times. In a conference where Duke beat Virginia, who beat Maryland, who beat Wake Forest, who beat Florida St., who beat Virginia Tech, who beat North Carolina, who beat Miami, who beat Duke…there are no upsets.

The Team That Can’t Afford to Look Ahead is…
Utah Visiting New Mexico (November 1, 9:30, The MTN):
Heading into the weekend the Utes from Utah are the highest ranked non-BCS team—they stand at No. 9 in the Coaches Poll and No. 10 in both the AP Poll and the all-important BCS Standings. Their two biggest obstacles to their BCS dream are TCU and BYU. The Utes take on the Horned Frogs next Thursday, only five days after their trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Lobos are only 4-5, but that is what makes them dangerous. New Mexico has won three in a row in University Stadium, including a 36-28 upset of Arizona. In senior tailback Robert Ferguson (865 yards, 5.0 ypc, 11 touchdowns), the Lobos possess the Mountain West’s leading rusher.

The Team on the Cusp is…
California Hosting Oregon (November 1, 3:30, ABC):
A 41-20 victory over UCLA was not enough to vault Jahvid Best (643 yards, 7.0 ypc, six touchdowns) and the rest of the Golden Bears into the rankings, but a win over No. 24 Oregon this Saturday certainly will.