Every football season there comes one weekend that life gets in the way and football takes a backseat. This is that week for the year. I work for free (internship, finishing my last semester of college) at Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky., in the sports information office. This weekend is homecoming with the volleyball team and both men’s and women’s soccer teams in action at home. To top it off, it is my wife’s five-year reunion and the class is getting together and she wants to go. So I have to work the volleyball matches at 2 and 4 pm then the gathering is at 7 pm. Lovely.
So this guide represents what I wish I could see this weekend. Don’t worry though, nothing will compare for the Showdown in South Bend next weekend.
Quick glimpses in between volleyball matches for these…
Oklahoma vs. Texas, Dallas, 1:00 p.m., ABC
Two weeks ago this game appeared to be a cakewalk. Oklahoma was struggling to say the least and Texas was resting on their win at Ohio State. Nothing has changed for Texas now, outside of a blowout at Missouri, however, the Sooners chose the right quarterback and are showing signs of life. This game comes down to attitude. The Oklahoma upperclassmen have no idea what losing in Dallas feels like. They have always carried home the gold cowboy hat (trophy between the two). Texas is talking in clichés this week about how the past doesn’t matter, convincing themselves they can win, I for one, witnessed Florida’s mastery of Tennessee in the 90’s and it didn’t matter what UT did, Florida knew they would win. I believe the same thing happens here with Texas’ dreams of a national championship once again dying in the Cotton Bowl.
Oklahoma 17, Texas 14
Georgia at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Who is for real? Who will be behind the eight ball should they lose. This game will set up the East to determine what team will represent the SEC in Atlanta. Both teams play incredible defense while the offenses run a bit conservative. The last two road teams have won this game in the series. For Georgia, this game will be their first test of the year, while the Vols pulled out the win in Baton Rouge for their proving game after losing to the Gators in the Swamp. Tennessee, then, is the more known quantity. The Vols have the better receiving crew and the running back position is a dead heat. The Dawgs have the better depth, but Tennessee has the best back in Gerald Riggs. Its cliché, but the turnover, field position battles truly will determine your winner in this one. This game is a pick’em, for sure.
Tennessee 21, Georgia 14
Texas Tech at Nebraska, 4:00 p.m., TBS
70-10. Every Nebraskan remembers Mike Leach running it up on the Huskers last year in Lubbock. There will be a stadium full of revenge-seekers in Lincoln this Saturday. Not much is known about Texas Tech after their creampuff non-conference schedule and subsequent win over Kansas last week. The Huskers can’t really say much more than that, having only won a home game against Iowa State in overtime last week for their resume. Nebraska plays at home for the fifth straight game to open the season. That schedule maker deserves a raise. The Husker defense is for real, and revenge is a motivator. I think Mike Leach will wish he had brought some of the points from last year to this year’s game.
Nebraska 24, Texas Tech 21
Home for the second half kickoff…
California at UCLA, 7:00 p.m., TBS
This is the Game for the Holiday Bowl. I would love to believe that the Pacific Ten conference could get two teams to the BCS, but it’s a rare occurrence. UCLA beat weak-at-the-time Oklahoma and Cal’s shining win is over Illinois at home. The winner of this game will then emerge as the team to beat for USC to return to Pasadena. The loser gets a consolation prize of perhaps being able to sneak up on the Trojans already having one loss. The only thing I know about each team is that they play decent defense for Pac-10 teams. Other than that, I am picking on intuition that tells me that the Golden Bears are just a bit stronger.
California 28, UCLA 21
Ohio State at Penn State, 7:45 p.m., ESPN
No one questions Ohio State, yet everyone wonders aloud about Penn State. I see two identical teams at Happy Valley this Saturday. Troy Smith is more mobile for the Buckeyes, but Penn State has speedy receivers in Deon Butler and Derrick Williams and a Smith-replica in QB Michael Robinson. The Nittany Lions are looking to prove they are back, ala Alabama last week at home against Florida.
I think they make their announcement.
Penn State 16, Ohio State 7
The one game I might get to see…if FSN Ohio cooperates…
Oregon at Arizona State, 10:15 p.m., FSN
Last week I was supposed to get the Washington-UCLA game. I didn’t think the Huskies were going to hang with the Bruins, but it would have been nice to see. This week’s midnight snack features the two teams that led USC before collapsing. Andrew Walter of ASU and Kellen Clemens of Oregon will explode the scoreboard in Tempe. Both teams are jockeying for bowl position in the Pac 10. The defenses either stop you three in out or had better force a turnover. I expect this to be a traditional shootout.
Arizona State 49, Oregon 38
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