On paper, this is a very sub-par slate of games outside of the Big Ten. It doesn't look to be anywhere near the non-stop excitement that occurred last week, where it seemed impossible to keep up with all of the tight finishes. However, all of the action last week could play a major role in week 11. There are plenty of teams that are ripe for an upset if they allow for an emotional letdown. Are we in store for "Surprise Saturday?" We very well could be.
Game of the Week
(2)Kansas State at TCU 7 p.m. FOX
Kansas State may very well be "letdown-proof" as they look to be the most disciplined and well-coached team in the nation. Plus, they had another ho-hum blowout win on Saturday, this time against a surging Oklahoma State squad. However, on Saturday they play a scrappy TCU team and may be without starting quarterback and Heisman front-runner Colin Klein. Besides the computers, escaping Forth Worth with a victory may be the biggest barrier to Kansas State's national title aspirations.
Prediction: Kansas State- 31 TCU- 20
(15)Texas A&M at (1)Alabama 3:30 p.m. CBS
Many people bemoaned Texas A&M's move to the SEC for good reason. How could a team that had been struggling in the Big 12 possibly compete in the SEC? Unlike Missouri, the Aggies have fared quite well as a new member, and narrow losses against LSU and Florida are all that separates them from an undefeated season. Defeating the Tide in Tuscaloosa may seem virtually impossible, but the Aggies could benefit from a hangover from Alabama's instant classic victory against LSU last Saturday night.
Prediction: Alabama- 31 Texas A&M- 24
(11)Oregon State at (14)Stanford 3 p.m. FOX
As I've mentioned before, the Pac-12 seems to be Oregon and everyone else. With the disappointment surrounding USC, these two teams are fighting for that number two spot. A possible trip to the Rose Bowl is on the line, and both teams will leave everything on the field.
Prediction: Oregon State- 28 Stanford- 24
Keep an Eye On
(21)Mississippi State at (7)LSU 7 p.m. ESPN
Mississippi State has played two ranked teams this year, and lost both games by a combined score of 76-20. Needless to say, the Bulldogs are probably about to exit the rankings for the rest of the 2012 season. The only thing that could save them is a total collapse by LSU after what was likely the most heartbreaking loss of the 2012 college football season. If the Mad Hatter gets his team to come out angry and motivated, the Bulldogs better look out.
LSU- 28 Mississippi State- 10
(10)Florida State at Virginia Tech 7:30 p.m. ESPN (Thursday)
The wheels have come off at Virginia Tech, and will need to pull off an upset against Florida State to save their season and remain hopeful of going bowling. After several crushing losses in the ACC, a Virginia Tech win is very doubtful. If there is ever a time for the Hokies to pull out some Beamerball magic at home, this would be it.
Prediction: Florida State- 30 Virginia Tech- 17
(4)Notre Dame at Boston College 8 p.m. ABC
This game looks like a total snoozer on paper. However, the Eagles have history on their side. Notre Dame was on its way to undefeated seasons twice in my lifetime, only to see their hopes collapse thanks to stunning upsets at the hands of Boston College. The Eagles have been a hot mess this year, but did anyone imagine that Pitt would come so close to beating Notre Dame in South Bend last week? The Irish find ways to keep just about each game very close, so don't be shocked if the Eagles are able to wake up a few echos of their own.
Notre Dame- 20 Boston College- 16