Ohio State – are you okay? What a drumming Purdue put on the Buckeyes last weekend in West Lafayette, which now has the Buckeyes reeling and asking questions about themselves, like whether HC Urban Meyer is still up for the grind of college football. That loss also potentially put the BigTen at risk of missing the playoff and has the Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines on a collision course to determine the East Division in the BigTen. Michigan seems to have found their edge, as they were methodical in their victory over rival Michigan State, while in the Pac-12, Oregon couldn’t handle success. They weren’t even close in their game at Washington State following their victory over Washington the previous week. Heisman update: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa has thrown 25 TDs to 0 INTs in 8 games this season, and he’s yet to play the second half of any game this year! Tagovailoa and the Tide are off this week as they prepare for their trip to Baton Rouge to take on the #4 LSU Tigers in Death Valley (I cannot wait!).
Friday October 26th
7:00PM Miami at Boston College (ESPN) – Both teams were expecting to be in better positions entering this game. Boston College has played down to its competition the past month, shellacked by Purdue in West Lafayette (seems to be a trend here), struggled against Temple, lost in a tight game at NC State and topped a bad Louisville team. The Eagles are 5-2 on the year and 2-1 in the ACC. Miami was supposed to build on their success last year (a 10-3 record) and dominate the ACC Coastal division. That perception changed when they lost at Virginia 16-13 and now are looking up at Virginia and Virginia Tech in the division. With five games to go in the ACC (including this one), Miami cannot afford a slip-up if they look to retain their Coastal Division title. The Hurricanes still have to go to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (3-0 in conference), which is no easy task.
Saturday October 27th
12:00PM Purdue at Michigan State (ESPN) – Purdue put on a show for their home crowd last week as they out-schemed and out-played Ohio State for long stretches in their 49-20 victory over the #2 ranked Buckeyes. Purdue started the year 0-3 and are now in the midst of a four game winning streak. Freshman sensation Rondale Moore is worth the price of admission with every catch and run he makes for the Boilermakers, and is certainly going to be not only a Freshman All-American, but probably a 1st Team All-American, as well at WR. The Boilermakers are 3-1 in the BigTen and are one of four teams in the BigTen West with only one loss in conference. Michigan State was humbled last weekend by Michigan, as the Spartans didn’t even break 100 yards of total offense (not to mention the $10,000 fine for the pre-game incident). These teams play two very different styles – Purdue with an offense that’s entertaining to Michigan State’s ground-and-pound running game. I love the clash of styles in what will be an important game for Purdue!
3:30PM #9 Florida vs #7 Georgia at Jacksonville, FL (CBS) – “Must Watch.” A heated rivalry game here, as Georgia is coming off a demoralizing defeat at LSU, while Florida is coming into this game riding a four game win streak in the SEC. The winner here is definitely in a good position to take the eastern division in the SEC, however, let’s not forget about Kentucky, who beat Florida and is sitting at 4-1 in the SEC. Kentucky will host Georgia next week. I think Florida might be the better team in this game – their offense under new HC Dan Mullen actually has momentum and an identity. Currently the Gators rank 25th in the nation in total offensive efficiency, which is the highest it’s been ranked since Tim Tebow graduated (2009). I’m curious to see how Georgia bounces back after their loss last week at LSU. This really is their first true test with a Gators team that’s just as talented as the Bulldogs.
#21 South Florida at Houston (ABC/ESPN2) – A very intriguing game as the South Florida Bulls (7-0, 3-0) travel across the Gulf of Mexico to take on Houston (6-1, 3-0) in a potential preview to the AAC championship game. While the American Athletic Conference isn’t one of the Power Five conferences, it is in the midst of an exciting race within it’s Eastern division. Defending “National Champions” #10 UCF (7-0, 4-0), Temple (5-3, 4-0), #21 South Florida (7-0, 3-0), and Cincinnati (6-1, 2-1) are all alive in the eastern division race. For Houston, however, the race could be nearly over if they win this game, as only SMU remains as a potential threat to them in the West. I’m interested to see how Alabama transfer QB Blake Barnett plays while under the constant pressure of Houston’s All-American DT Ed Oliver.
8:00PM #6 Texas at Oklahoma State (ABC) – “Must Watch.” Now, some loyal readers may say, “C’mon Dave! You left out a ranked match-up between Stanford and Washington State?!” My response: watching Stanford is like watching paint dry. Texas is 6-1 and undefeated in the Big XII so far this season, including their Red River rivalry victory over Oklahoma two weeks ago. However, last week, the Longhorns were nearly upset by Baylor. Oklahoma State leads the nation in sacks but is a disappointing 4-3. A primetime game in Stillwater, retro Barry Sanders-inspired uniforms and a hobbled Texas QB in Sam Ehlinger could spell upset for the Horns.