Mississippi @ #5 LSU – LSU is promoting the concept that the highest ranked SEC team should have a shot to play in the BcS national championship game. If Auburn loses to either Alabama in the Iron Bowl or in the SEC game against South Carolina, LSU is making the case that they are the natural choice to play in the big game. The argument is that their schedule is much tougher than either Bosie or TCU. LSU should win.
#6 Stanford @ California – Stanford is a well balanced team ranking 9th nationally in points scored and 27th in points against. Cal’s only hope is to use their running game to keep QB Luck and the Stanford O off the field. Stanford wins but they do not play as well on the road so it could be close.
#7 Wisconsin @ Michigan – This is the last test for the Badgers. The Blue D is very young but has gotten a little better this season. The Blue O will be a challenge IF QB Robinson is healthy. Look for the Badgers to win but it should be fairly close.
#8 Nebraska @ #19 Texas A&M – Both teams need this game to have a chance to play in the last Big 12 Championship game. Nebraska has a 1.5 game lead on Missouri including the tie breaker. TAM is 1.5 games behind Oklahoma State and has very little chance to catch them. Most will be watching the 8th ranked passing game of TAM against the great pass defense of the Huskers. But the difference will be the Nebraska O and their 7th ranked rushing game against a good TAM D.
#9 Ohio State @ #20 Iowa – The Buckeyes were big fans of Iowa last week but the Hawkeyes lost at Northwestern. That took a lot of the luster off this game and hurt OSU’s chance to overtake Wisconsin in the polls. OSU does not play well on the road but Iowa is reeling after the bad loss last week. OSU should win unless QB Pryor turns the ball over a bunch.
#13 Arkansas @ #21 Mississippi St. – This game is more important to Hog QB Mallett than the rest of the team. He has only 3 more chances to impress NFL scouts. His rating in the draft estimates will be a major factor in determining if he declares for the 2011 Draft or not. He will not impress that much against a very good Bulldog D and will stay in college. The Hogs only lose to top 10 teams and MissSt is 21st. Arkansas wins anyway.
#16 Virginia Tech @ #24 Miami – VTk’s loss to #3 Bosie 33-30 hurt but it was followed by a humiliating 21-16 loss to James Madision and James was sick and didn’t play. VTk has spent all season trying to live that loss down. They have won 8 in a row including 6 ACC league games. Look for Tech to win on the road.
Game of the week: Colts (6-3) @ Patriots (7-2)-3 – Both great QBs have lost key WRs. Colt QB Manning has lost his guys from injury. The Pats traded WR Moss away. Home field advantage will be significant because the Colts that play inside will have to deal with the weather. I’ll take the Pats in this one.
Raiders (5-4) @ Steelers (6-3)-7 – The Raiders are leading the AFC Weak but that doesn’t say a lot. But they do have a solid D and an O that has played better than expected. Even so, the Steelers are the Steelers and I will give the 7.
Giants (6-3) @ Eagles (6-3)-3 – No team could have looked more inept than the Giants last week against the Cowgirls. The Eagles looked outstanding against the Skins Monday. Normally I don’t take the Monday night winner but the Birds hardly worked up a sweat. I will give the points and take QB Vick.
Stinker game of the week: Broncos (3-6) @ Chargers (4-5)-10 – This is an elimination game to decide who if anyone can challenge the Chiefs and Raiders. Neither of these teams deserve any sniff of the playoffs and probably won’t get one. Who cares who wins.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on
and edits .The pressure mounts on College and NFL teams. by Bill Smith