Top Early Game- BIG 12 Rumble- #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1) vs. Texas Longhorns (3-3) - 12 ET on ABC
Longhorn fans don’t want to hear anything about moral victories but at 3-3, this young team is playing hard and well under new coach Tom Herman. They are 2-1 in the BIG 12 and just gave the Sooners all that they wanted. The Cowboys can’t be feeling too confident about this game at DKR.
The Longhorns’ defense clamps down when they get in the red zone and DeShon Elliott is tied for first in the country with five interceptions. This stuff takes time but expect another close battle in Austin this weekend. Texas will grow up fast against some top offenses over the next few weeks:
Defensively, Texas has been a much-improved unit under Todd Orlando, but the ‘Horns will be tested well beyond comfort in the coming weeks.
Beginning with No. 10 Oklahoma State on Saturday and a Cowboys offense that tops the nation in total offense (610.7) and ranks No. 2 in scoring (48.8), Texas will see three of college football’s most prolific offenses in the next six games. No. 23 West Virginia and Texas Tech fit that description, as they join Oklahoma State in the top seven, although No. 4 TCU’s 41-point per game offense does not at No. 12 in FBS — a stout Horned Frogs defense will present its own set of problems for a mediocre Texas offense, but more on that later.
Will Seminoles finally step up? Louisville (4-3) at Florida State (2-3)- 12 ET on ESPN
This game was originally thought of as a first-place battle in the ACC between a Heisman finalist and a tough Seminoles team. Now, though the Seminoles are finding an offensive rhythm, this feels like a must-win for FSU to stay bowl eligible:
“And it has everything to do with the culture of Seminoles football that has rightfully come under question through the first half of this season that has seen the ’Noles drop from a preseason No. 3 team to an unranked 2-3 squad that could struggle to make a bowl game. FSU lost its starting quarterback in a season-opening loss to the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. It lost three weeks to implications surrounding Hurricane Irma. It lost confidence by dropping a home-opener to NC State, and it lost a seven-game winning streak over the rival Miami Hurricanes.
Now, Florida State opens as a home favorite over Louisville. But there’s much more at stake here than a win or a loss. FSU could stand to lose much more than a game, regardless of the final result in Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon.”
Tide is going to roll, will heads roll too? Tennessee (3-3) at #1 Alabama - 3:30 ET on CBS
Vols’ coach Butch Jones is on borrowed time in most people’s minds. At 0-3 in the SEC, Jones is hearing the calls for his job loud and clear. It doesn’t get much easier with a trip to Tuscaloosa coming up. Most folks believe that the Vols will be looking for a replacement but when?
There’s little advantage to firing Jones now. Currie spent his final years as Kansas State’s athletic director preparing to someday replace Bill Snyder, a common-sense approach when your coach is in his 70s. Few athletic directors have worked harder over the years networking with up-and-coming coaches, getting to know established ones and generally navigating the intricate football coaching market. The aura of mystery that’s surrounded the end of Snyder’s tenure at Kansas State forced Currie to have a real-time understanding of the nuances of the coach hiring space. In other words, Currie is as prepared to hire a new coach as any athletic director and won’t be starting from scratch.
After Tennessee gets blown out at No. 1 Alabama on Saturday to fall to 0-4 in the SEC, don’t expect Currie to react. The end is coming for Jones, just not as fast as some may like.
One Loss Wonders- #11 USC (6-1) at #13 Notre Dame (5-1) - 7:30 ET on NBC
This rivalry is shaping up to be a good one and the Irish are very pumped for this home game against one of the premier quarterbacks in college football. There is no love lost between these two storied Universities:
The USC Trojans were everyone’s little darling heading into the 2017 season, but even at 6-1, Southern Cal has a lot of doubters right now. The injuries are piling up, and everyone’s Heisman favorite, quarterback Sam Darnold, has had a fairly mediocre season thus far.
It’s the Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh, and as far as I’m concerned, nothing else seems to matter right now. It’s not just a big game - IT’S THE BIGGEST MOTHERTRUCKING GAME OF THE SEASON. Get that stick back, because it’s just as important to them as it is to us, and I say SCEW ‘EM.
GAME OF THE WEEK- #19 Michigan (5-1) at #2 Penn State (6-0) - 7:30 ET on ABC
The Wolverines offense leaves much to be desired but their defense is phenomenal. They are allowing 85.8 rushing yards and 138 passing yards per game. They may bite off a little more than they can chew this week as the Nittany Lions are on the slate. Are we going to see Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorely wreck shop on Harbaugh’s boys? The problem here is that Penn State is just a solid team all around. On the other hand, this is their first-ranked opponent to play:
The biggest concern for the Nittany Lions, as it will be for the next three weeks, will be how Penn State’s offensive line can handle an incredibly talented front seven- and Michigan’s may be the best of the bunch. The Wolverines have several guys in the trenches who can make things chaotic for the Nittany Lions on Saturday night. Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is reminiscent of former Penn State star and current Tennessee Titan Austin Johnson. Not only does he take up space in the interior of the line, he has an outstanding first step that allows him to regularly make plays in the backfield. He already has 29 tackles and seven TFLs from the nose tackle position.
It’s going to be another great weekend of college football, you can find all of the games right here. The weekend is here, ENJOY!