Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five College Football Games to Watch (Week 13)

Well it's not the best week I've ever seen, but this Saturday in the world of collegiate pigskin deserves your attention for several reasons. As the season comes to a close, every game is an opportunity not to earn a berth, but to lose one. What a twisted world. Anyways, that's the way it goes, so if you're favorite team is in the top 10 right now, hold your breath and cross every appendage of your body that they'll run the table at this point. It's been a great season, with some memorable games, but these next 3 weeks should be the most exciting part, as per usual. Here are 5 games to watch this weekend, in no particular order, with my (humble) predictions:

9 Texas A&M @ 18LSU: The Tigers are coming off a loss to be proud of, while the Aggies look to secure a BCS bid, perhaps. While they are more or less out of the SEC title game running, they can still finish the season well, despite a poor defense. That soft defense has plagued them all season, leading to losses in games where their studly young quarterback puts up 41 (ahem, Alabama.) Speaking of whom,  Johnny Manziel is definitely another reason to watch this one, as all of a sudden some are questioning Jameis Winston's stranglehold on New York glory. I am not one to call for Winston's head just yet, (I reserve judgement, if you were interested) but we will have to see how it plays out. Regardless, the Winston case has thrown a wrinkle into the perfect little Heisman world, and for Johnny Manziel that means hope, if he can do something incredible against LSU and then Missouri next week. Closing out the season with 2 top 10 opponents means 2 oppurtunities to prove his legitimacy. Johnny Football knows this, and you can bet he wants to secure his status as frontrunner. Now is when one wins a Heisman race. I think we'll see Manziel do just that (not win per se, but at least make a good case), and people forget, as good as LSU is, they have lost thrice this season! Zach Mettenberger let me down last week, and though his two big outside threats (Jarvis Landry and Odell Becham) had some big plays, they couldn't finish the game against the Tide. I won't fall for LSU again, and say Texas A&M 31 - LSU 17

BYU @ Notre Dame: Call me a homer, but I've watched every ND game this season, as I'm a big fan. While their season ended with a loss to Pitt a couple of weeks ago, this should prove to be a good one. These are simply two traditionally powerful football teams, and while neither has lived up to potential this year, that doesn't mean we won't see great talent on display. I'll be watching for several reasons: It's Senior Day in Southbend, usually emotional, and BYU plays well against the Irish, every time. Regardless of rankings, or lack thereof, this is a good game without fail, and I go ND 27 - BYU 21

19 Arizona St. @ 14 UCLA: The Bruins have played their best in losses this season, while the Sun Devils have won 5 straight. We should see some great Pac 12 football, especially in the wake of Stanford and Oregon losses. Now these teams have something big to play for. I give this one to a high powered Sun Devil offense, although it should be an excellent matchup against the Bruin defense that contained even the mighty Ducks for a half this season. Arizona St. 24 - UCLA 16

8 Missouri @ 24 Ole Miss: For whatever reason, almost every college football guru has the Rebels in this one. I don't see that, as even with the Rebels at home there is clearly a superior team here. The Tigers have dropped one game all season in the mighty SEC and incredibly they are this close to an SEC title game. I can't see 13 year veteran head coach Gary Pinkel letting his fine Mizzou squad drop a game of this importance. They've stepped up big in some huge games already this year, including wins over Georgia and Florida. So I go against the grain and back the favorite? I guess so. Missouri 31 Ole Miss 20 
Bryce Petty's been doing that a lot this season. 
3 Baylor @ 11 OSU: This is the one to watch this weekend. It could easily be the most fun I have this college football season. I honestly can't begin to say how excited I am for this Big 12 matchup. I have been eyeing (and writing about) this game for three weeks now, as Baylor went into the only tough stretch of the season not having faced a quality opponent up to that point. Now the Bears are on the other side of games against Oklahoma and Texas Tech, and have two nice wins on the record. So this game is it, for Bryce Petty's Heisman hopes (again, we're waiting on Jameis Winston's eligibility) and Baylor's BCS title bid. Granted, even if they win in convincing fashion, they need Alabama or the Seminoles to drop a game to make it, but if, no when the Bears win this one big they can say without a doubt they are for real. This is a team that can score. They do it, early, often, and well. They seem to enjoy it, and now we've seen they can do it against pretty good football teams. The Cowboys qualify as such, so this game is huge. The Bears are now undoubtedly a team of national prominence, and I must say it suits them. It's gonna be great, and I see Baylor 42 OSU 27. 
Seriously, watch that game if no other. If you're a fan of college football, or even just sports, or, nay, just excitement, watch this game. After Winston's semi allegations exploded, Bryce Petty's odds to win the Heisman surged correspondingly. We'll have to wait and see.

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