This weekend, 10 members of the Pickin’ Splinters Top 15 College Football Poll take to the road for what could be pivotal games in their march towards a BCS appearance or a chance at the National Championship. Let’s take a look:
LSU (#1 PSCFP) vs. Tennessee:
On paper this has all the makings of a blowout. A tough Tigers defense against a Volunteers offense that struggles to generate a running game and has a quarterback making his first start of the season – Matt Simms. Never fear, Simms almost led the Vols to a stunning upset over LSU last year, but a too-many-men on-the-field penalty cost them a stop on a 4th and goal; and eventually the game. Can Simms do it again? Without a running game this time, I think the Vols are in for a long day. LSU wins 34-7.
Oklahoma (#2 PSCFP) vs. Kansas:
One might worry that the Sooners fresh off an impressive beat down of Red River rival Texas, would be prime for a letdown. Looking for the best remedy possible? Try the worst defense in college football, fresh off a 70 point pasting at the hands of Oklahoma St.. Let’s not waste anymore of this article on this game. Sooners win 52-3.
Alabama (#3 PSCFP) vs. Ole Miss:
The Crimson Tide visit Oxford this weekend and bring a defense that has thrown up 2 shutouts so far this season. The Crimson Tide’s offense depends on Trent Richardson and expect Saturday to be no different. Ole Miss’ chances of producing a shutout on Saturday took at major hit with the suspensions of 4 players, including starting running back, Brandon Bolden. Something tells me it wasn’t going to matter. Crimson Tide roll, 31-10.
Boise State (#4 PSCFP) vs. Colorado State:
Boise State starts its inaugural season in the Mountain West Conference by visiting Colorado State. Kellen Moore (23 for 31 for 254 yards and 3 TDs) was impressive in the Broncos’ win over the Fresno St. Doug Martin provided the running game with 94 yards on 16 carries. The Rams fresh off a 38-31 loss to Fresno State, gave up 313 yards in the air and needs to improve in order to stay in this game. Boise State marches on, 42-21.
Oklahoma State (#6 PSCFP) vs. Texas:
Texas is fresh off a thrashing by the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners, and are home to recover. Oh wait, they were home last week and in comes another high-powered offense. The Cowboys’ offense is led by Pickin’ Splinters’ favorite, Brandon Weeden, who threw for 409 yards in last week’s win over Kansas. Expect more of the same, as OSU will see if the Longhorns have anyone to cover Justin Blackmon. Texas’ misery continues, Oklahoma State wins 38-17.
Arizona State vs. Oregon (#9 PSCFP):
The Sun Devils travel to Autzen Stadium to face in the Ducks in what might be the best game of the weekend. Will anyone see it? The Ducks may be without Heisman hopeful, LaMichael James who suffered a nasty elbow injury in last week’s win over Cal. Dennis Erickson’s Sun Devils will rest their hopes on QB, Brock Osweiler. Osweiler threw for over 300 yards in last week’s win over Utah. The Devils will need a repeat performance as they are going up against a Ducks offense that averages 42.3 in the last 6 games of this series. This should be a high scoring game, but I think the Ducks win, 41-38.
Michigan (#10 PSCFP) vs. Michigan State:
The state of Michigan takes center stage this weekend, as state rivals collide in what should be a great game. Michigan State rides a 3 game win streak in the rivalry and a win Saturday would make their longest win streak in the rivalry in over 50 years. Denard Robinson leads the Wolverine offense against a stingy Spartans defense. Robinson threw for 337 yards and two TDs, to go along with 117 yards on the ground and 2 more TDs in last week’s win over Northwestern. Michigan State comes off a bye week and an extra week to prepare for this one. Kirk Cousins who threw 2 INTs for the Spartans in their last game, has to play better in order for the Spartans to win. Something says he will. Spartans win 17-14.
Buffalo vs. Temple:
The Bulls travel to Lincoln Field to take on the Temple Owls. Expect a heavy dosage of Bernard Pierce, another Pickin Splinters favorite, who has run for 692 yards and 15 TDs this season. The Owls are coming off a 42-0 thrashing of Ball State, while Buffalo is riding high after a 38-37 win over Ohio. A strong dose of Pierce will be just what the doctor ordered. Temple wins 35-17.
Have a prediction? Let’s hear it on the Pine.