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National Preview: Week 12

Ezra Shaw

Game of the Week

(13)Stanford at (2)Oregon ABC 8 p.m.
There seems to be two schools of thought regarding #2 Oregon. One side believes that the Ducks offense is so powerful they are pretty much unbeatable. On the other side, you have those that don't see how a team that has given up huge numbers is really championship-caliber. Saturday's game will go a long ways towards seeing who is correct. Stanford prefers a more methodical, ground-control attack, but is also comfortable in a shoot-out as well. The Cardinals either score in the 20s or the 50s, but nowhere in between. Expect it to be closer to the latter if the Cardinals hope to pull off the upset in Eugene.
Prediction: Oregon- 49 Stanford- 40

Worth Watching

(18)USC at (17)UCLA 3:05 p.m. FOX
This game has moved up from its usual spot on the last weekend of the regular season, but don't expect it to lessen the intensity of this rivalry one bit (especially from the UCLA student population). The typical rivalry, rah-rah, both team leaving everything on the field does not apply here as USC cannot seem to stop sabotaging itself with costly turnovers and penalties.
Prediction: UCLA- 31 USC- 28

(1)Kansas State at Baylor 8 p.m. ESPN
If Kansas State had the name recognition of an Alabama or Oklahoma, you would be hearing plenty of terms like "invincible" and "unstoppable" thrown around. Since they are Kansas State, the likes of mark May and others will continue to pick them as their upset special of the week. Baylor has fallen off a bit in the win column with the departure of Robert Griffin, but they are still a pesky team that will put up a fight- at least for part of the game.
Prediction: Kansas State- 48 Baylor- 27

Keep an Eye On

North Carolina State at (11)Clemson 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2
NC State has a knack for pulling off big upsets from time to time, like when they handed Florida State its only loss of the year earlier this season. Clemson has looked impressive all season, and there's no logical reason to think they will drop this game....but, that's what makes college football great, right?
Prediction: NC State- 30 Clemson- 28

(12)Oklahoma at West Virginia 7 p.m. FOX
It seems like ages since West Virginia was in the top ten and Geno Smith was on top of everyone's Heisman list. The Mountaineers try to save their season with a big win, but it will be hard to come by if the defense can't slow down the Sooners. If they somehow find a way to put everything together, this could be a very fun game.
Prediction: Oklahoma- 49 West Virginia- 41

Tennessee at Vanderbilt 7 p.m. ESPN
Derek Dooley will probably be unemployed in a couple weeks, but I'm not convinced he deserves to be shown the door despite Tennessee's lack of success. The Volunteers are winless in conference play, but every game outside of Alabama could have went their way had the ball bounced a little differently. Tennessee could be in store to finally turn the corner next year, but a coaching overhaul will likely prevent any chance of that happening. Vanderbilt is a tough team, but the Vols just seem due.
Prediction: Tennessee- 24 Vanderbilt- 21

Editor's Choice: How I'm Spending my Saturday
TV1- Indiana at Penn State
TV2- Bowling Green at Kent State (Big East title game- MACtion!)
TV3- Northwestern at Michigan State
Also Watching: Iowa at Michigan

TV1- Ohio State at Wisconsin
TV3- NC State at Clemson
Also Watching: Wake Forest at Notre Dame, Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

Night Games
TV1- Stanford at Oregon
TV2- Kansas State at Baylor
TV3- Oklahoma at West Virginia
Also Watching: Tennessee at Vanderbilt, Syracuse at Missouri

Late Games
Eh, no thank you

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