It's officially official: We're in conference play. We're going to start seeing the wheat separated from the chaff when the rubber hits the road, and [cliche] [cliche] [cliche]. Honestly though, this is where we start to find out whether teams that got fat off cupcakes are the real deal. Outside of the Big Ten, there are three games between ranked opponents. Do some of these teams deserve their ranking? Maybe yes, maybe no, but we're going to find out.
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What we know about Alabama: They run the ball down your throat, and they don't give up points. What we know about Florida: Pretty much nothing, except that Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey are fast. Since the Tide were able to hold an explosive Arkansas team to only 14 points last week, I'm struggling to find a way that the Gators can put together a better outcome than that. Roll Tide Roll.
Both of these teams have had well documented issues with big games. This game? It's a big game, and a possible preview of the ACC Championship Game. You'd have to think that Clemson's looked better, but they're still Clemson, and they're still coached by a grown man named "Dabo." Tech is still Tech, which means they run like hell, can't pass at all, and play good defense and special teams. This game could go any number of directions, but I highly doubt it will provide unintentional comedy of the level that Tajh Boyd delivered last weekend.
(18) Arkansas Razorbacks vs. (14) Texas A&M Aggies in Dallas, TX (Noon, Saturday)
I don't think I'd be overstating it when I say that the loser of this game is running the risk of having their season go down the toilet. Arkansas took a systematic and thorough beating at the hands of Alabama last week, and the Tide exposed the Razorbacks' dificiencies on their lines. A&M is in a better position, heath-wise, but had a bad loss of their own last week. I think the Aggies have the edge here, but if Ryan Tannehill repeats his second half performance, the Hogs will be able to take advantage.
Worthy Of Your Consideration
The best medicine for South Carolina's sputtering offense? Auburn's horrific defense. Stephen Garcia should be able to shake off his hangover enough to move the ball effectively against the Tigers. Also on the Gamecocks' side is the fact that their defense scores about two touchdowns a game.
After four games, Robert Griffin III has more touchdown passes than incompletions. 13 TD passes, 12 incompletions and ZERO interceptions. He can beat Kansas State by himself, and he very well may on Saturday.
I'm a bit skeptical of South Florida's bona fides at this point, but you can't deny that they play good defense and run the ball effectively. That's a pretty good formula for success. Pitt, on the other hand, has a defensive secondary that is made up entirely of kittens and puppies. I mean, sure they're cute, but they really suck at playing football. Pitt's defense is ranked 97th in the country in total yards allowed, and 116th against the pass. BJ Daniels might not be great, but he doesn't have to be in order to move the ball effectively in this game. Needless to say, GO BULLS.
This was the game last year when we realized that Texas wasn't going to be alright. The Longhorns are better this year than they were last year, but so is Iowa State. This is the first game where the Cyclones have faced an actual defense though (Sorry Iowa, you apparently don't have one this year), and that may be problematic for working class quarterbacking hero STEELE JANTZ and his motley crew of ragtags. I think the Horns get revenge.
Do you love America and/or the triple option? This will undoubtedly be the shortest game of the day.
Avert Your Eyes
Nevada Wolfpack @ (4) Boise St. Broncos (2:30 pm, Saturday)
The Battle for the Iron Skillet!
Bye: (5) Oklahoma State, (9) Oregon, (23) Florida State