Tide vs. Tigers is the Game of the Week
By Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
Here's a look at every game of the Week 10 college football schedule.
No. 20 USC at No. 94 Colorado
There are no moral victories at USC, but the Trojans played extremely well in last Saturday’s overtime loss to Stanford. Lane Kiffin’s team is tough to defend right now.
USC 41, Colorado 7
No. 112 Central Michigan at No. 115 Kent State
Kent State broke through with its first win over an FBS opponent this season, beating Bowling Green 27–15 at home. The Golden Flashes, however, still rank 120th in the nation in total offense and 119th in scoring offense (up from 120th last year).
Central Michigan 20, Kent State 10
No. 2 LSU at No. 1 Alabama
Here’s an interesting stat. Both Alabama and LSU have played six games vs. BCS competition. In those six games Trent Richardson has outrushed Spencer Ware by almost 300 yards on only three more attempts. Richardson has 785 yards on 125 carries for a 6.3-yard average, while Ware has 492 yards on 122 carries for a 4.0-yard average. Ware is good. Richardson is better — much better.
Alabama 24, LSU 17
No. 14 Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State gives up plenty of yards — over 450 per game — but The Pokes are only allowing 26.2 points per game in Big 12 action. It’s tough to see K-State doing enough on offense to keep this close.
Oklahoma State 41, Kansas State 21
No. 4 Boise State at No. 108 UNLV
UNLV has scored 17 points or less in each of its five losses and 38 or more in its two wins. It won’t matter how much the Rebels’ offense scores this week. Boise State will win big.
Boise State 48, UNLV 13
No. 5 Stanford at No. 75 Oregon State
For the first time since last Nov. 13, Stanford won a game by less than 25 points. Won’t happen this week.
Stanford 41, Oregon State 13
No. 6 Oregon at No. 26 Washington
The Ducks are 5–0 in league play but are about to face their three most difficult Pac-12 opponents — Washington, Stanford and USC. The burning question in Eugene is who will be taking the snaps this week for Oregon — Darron Thomas or Bryan Bennett? The smart money is on Thomas.
Oregon 34, Washington 31
No. 24 Texas A&M at No. 7 Oklahoma
Oklahoma laid an egg two weeks ago at home to Texas Tech but bounced back in fine fashion, drilling previously undefeated Kansas State, 58–17, in Manhattan. Sooners quarterback Landry Jones has been on a tear and figures to put up big numbers on the Texas A&M defense.
Oklahoma 38, Texas A&M 24
No. 15 South Carolina at No. 8 Arkansas
South Carolina controls its own destiny in the SEC East, but the Gamecocks still have several hurdles to climb before they can plan a return visit to the Georgia Dome. This trip to Arkansas figures to be a significant challenge.
Arkansas 27, South Carolina 17
No. 55 Northwestern at No. 9 Nebraska
Northwestern should be able to score some points, but the Wildcat defense will struggle to stop the Huskers’ rushing attack.
Nebraska 41, Northwestern 23
No. 90 Minnesota at No. 12 Michigan State
Minnesota lost its first three Big Ten games by a combined 120 points but somehow, some way, beat Iowa last week, 22–21. The streak will be snapped at one.
Michigan State 37, Minnesota 13
No. 61 Purdue at No. 13 Wisconsin
The Badgers have suffered back-to-back excruciating losses on the road. They return home this week and figure to take out their frustration on Purdue.
Wisconsin 41, Purdue 17
No. 16 Arizona State at No. 51 UCLA
UCLA is 4–4 overall and has lost its last three games by an average of 30.3 points. The Bruins gave up 254 yards rushing to an Arizona team that was averaging 71.8 yards on the ground. They don’t have a win vs. a team with a winning record. Yet, UCLA finds itself still very much alive in the Pac-12 South Division.
Arizona State 27, UCLA 20
No. 110 New Mexico State at No. 17 Georgia
Georgia’s starting running back this week is sophomore Brandon Harton, who has 11 career carries, all against Coastal Carolina.
Georgia 41, New Mexico State 7
No. 18 Michigan at No. 54 Iowa
We all know the transitive property doesn’t work too well in sports, but let’s take a look at how both of these teams fared against Minnesota. Michigan beat the Gophers 58–0. Iowa lost to the Gophers 22–21. So, do we think the Wolverines are going to win by 59 points? Not likely, but Michigan should win the game — even on the road.
Michigan 27, Iowa 21
No. 35 Texas Tech at No. 22 Texas
Texas Tech was good enough to win at Oklahoma one week and lose at home, 41–7, to Iowa State the next week. Good luck trying to figure out what the Red Raiders will do this Saturday.
Texas 24, Texas Tech 17
No. 100 Indiana at No. 23 Ohio State
Last week, the Indiana defense came within one passing yard of giving up 300 yards rushing and passing to Northwestern in a 59–38 loss at home.
Ohio State 40, Indiana 10
No. 25 Houston at No. 107 UAB
Houston quarterback Case Keenum has thrown 32 touchdown passes. UAB, as a team, has scored 13.
Houston 48, UAB 17
No. 27 Notre Dame at No. 42 Wake Forest
Notre Dame bounced back from a difficult loss to USC with a very impressive 56–14 win over a Navy team that had defeated the Irish in its last two trips to South Bend. Now, ND heads to Winston-Salem for the first-ever meeting between these two schools.
Notre Dame 35, Wake Forest 22
No. 28 Cincinnati at No. 50 Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh was dealt a big blow last week when Ray Graham, who was 10th in the nation in rushing, was lost for the season with an injury. Former Wisconsin Badger Zach Brown will step in as the starting tailback for Pittsburgh, but the offense will not be the same without Graham.
Cincinnati 28, Pittsburgh 17
No. 64 Louisville at No. 29 West Virginia
Louisville is playing better of late, but the Cardinals lack the firepower on offense to beat West Virginia in Morgantown.
West Virginia 30, Louisville 17
No. 66 Duke at No. 31 Miami (Fla.)
Duke has lost two straight, at home to Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, by a combined five points. The Blue Devils now need to win three of their final four games to become bowl-eligible.
Miami (Fla.) 30, Duke 20
No. 33 Southern Miss at No. 69 East Carolina
East Carolina has taken advantage of a soft slate in recent weeks (Memphis, Navy, Tulane) to even its record at 4–4. The Pirates, however, are 0–4 vs. teams with a winning record.
Southern Miss 31, East Carolina 30
No. 34 Missouri at No. 36 Baylor
Baylor is having little trouble moving the football, but yards haven’t been translating into big numbers on the scoreboard in recent weeks. The Bears averaged only 26 points against A&M and O-State despite rolling up 1,102 total yards. This one will be highly entertaining.
Missouri 41, Baylor 38
No. 37 TCU at No. 70 Wyoming
Wyoming is very quietly 5–2 overall and 0–2 in the MWC, and is coming off an impressive 30–27 win at San Diego State. TCU, however, will be an even bigger challenge — even in Laramie.
TCU 27, Wyoming 21
No. 38 North Carolina at No. 57 NC State
There’s been a nice war of words in the media this week between UNC interim head coach Everett Withers and NC State boss Tom O’Brien. Always adds spice to an already heated rivalry.
NC State 27, North Carolina 24
No. 92 Kansas at No. 39 Iowa State
Kansas has allowed its opponents to reach the Red Zone 50 times in eight games, the worst in the nation. Alabama has allowed its opponent to reach the Red Zone nine times.
Iowa State 41, Kansas 17
No. 53 Vanderbilt at No. 40 Florida
The Commodores lead the SEC in offensive plays of 30-plus yards (22) and 40-plus yards (13). They will need this trend to continue to pull off the upset in the Swamp. This one should be tight.
Florida 27, Vanderbilt 24
No. 43 Virginia at No. 81 Maryland
Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park has been a disaster. Since beating a short-handed Miami team in Week 1, the Terps are 1–6, with the lone win coming vs. Towson.
Virginia 30, Maryland 17
Tennessee-Martin at No. 44 Mississippi State
The Bulldogs scored as many points last week in a 28–16 win over Kentucky as they had in their previous three SEC games.
Mississippi State 44, Tennessee-Martin 10
No. 114 Middle Tennessee State at No. 46 Tennessee
Tennessee has scored 12 points or less in each of its last four games. The Vols should have no problem putting points on the board this week.
Tennessee 48, Middle Tennessee 14
No. 52 South Florida at No. 47 Rutgers
South Florida was expected to contend in the Big East in 2011, but the Bulls are all alone in last place with an 0–3 record. That, however, is about to change.
South Florida 30, Rutgers 25
No. 49 Utah at No. 60 Arizona
Arizona is only 2–6 overall, but the Cats are a dangerous team. They beat UCLA, 48–12, two weeks ago and played relatively well last week in a 42–31 loss at Washington.
Arizona 33, Utah 20
No. 117 Tulane at No. 56 SMU
The Mustangs have lost two straight after their 3–0 start in league play. There is no shame in losing at Southern Miss or at Tulsa, but June Jones can’t like the fact that his team lost those games by a combined 65–10.
SMU 50, Tulane 10
No. 76 Washington State at No. 58 California
Washington State has lost four straight, but this is clearly a much-improved Cougar team. The Cougs have scored 21 points or more in six of eight games this season after hitting that mark only 10 times in the previous three seasons combined.
Washington State 30, California 27
No. 65 Syracuse at No. 79 Connecticut
Syracuse has been among the most inconsistent teams in the nation this year. Over the last three weeks, the Orange beat hapless Tulane on a field goal at the buzzer, defeated a very good West Virginia team by 26 points and then lost at Louisville by 17.
Syracuse 17, Connecticut 14
No. 67 Arkansas State at No. 118 FAU
The Owls have scored nine touchdowns in seven games. That makes it very tough to win.
Arkansas State 44, FAU 9
No. 120 New Mexico at No. 71 San Diego State
The Aztecs have lost two straight at home, by 13 to TCU and by three to Wyoming. They will not lose a third straight.
San Diego State 41, New Mexico 10
No. 109 Army at No. 72 Air Force
Air Force ended Navy’s seven-year hold on the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy last season. The Falcons can keep it in Colorado Springs for another year with a win over the Black Knights.
Air Force 28, Army 17
No. 106 Troy at No. 73 Navy
Both teams have been a disappointment: Navy is 2–6 and will need to win its final four games to become bowl-eligible for a ninth straight season. Troy is 2–5 overall, 1–3 in the Sun Belt and about to see its run of five-straight SBC titles end.
Navy 31, Troy 27
No. 80 Ole Miss at No. 85 Kentucky
Both teams are struggling, but Ole Miss has at least shown the ability to put points on the board in league play. The Rebs are averaging 14.8 points in five SEC games, while Kentucky is at 9.0 points through four games.
Ole Miss 20, Kentucky 14
No. 93 Utah State at No. 82 Hawaii
Utah State continues to lose close games. The Aggies are 2–5 and all five losses have been decided by 10 points or less, including three by four or less.
Hawaii 31, Utah State 27
No. 105 UL-Monroe at No. 83 UL-Lafayette
UL-Lafayette has won three straight in this Bayou State rivalry, and there is no reason to believe the Ragin’ Cajuns, who are a surprising 7–2, won’t extend the streak to four.
UL-Lafayette 27, UL-Monroe 22
No. 84 FIU at No. 95 at No. 95 Western Kentucky
The Hilltoppers opened the season with four straight losses and responded with four straight wins, including two in overtime. Tailback Bobby Rainey has rushed for 100 yards or more in all but one game this season.
Western Kentucky 31, FIU 30
No. 88 Louisiana Tech at No. 86 Fresno State
The recent schedule hasn’t been too grueling, but Louisiana Tech has won three straight to even its record at 4–4. The Bulldogs are leaning heavily on tailback Lennon Creer, who rushed 31 times for 112 yards last week.
Louisiana Tech 30, Fresno State 27
No. 113 Idaho at No. 89 San Jose State
San Jose State has won three of its last five games after an 0–3 start. The Spartans are clearly on the right path with second-year coach Mike MacIntyre.
San Jose State 33, Idaho 13
No. 91 Ball State at No. 104 Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan, at 5–3, is one of the surprise teams in the nation. The Eagles are one win away from clinching their first non-losing season since 1995.
Eastern Michigan 21, Ball State 20
No. 96 UTEP at No. 98 Rice
UTEP has done a good job beating the teams it is supposed to beat (Stony Brook, New Mexico State, Tulane, Colorado State), and Rice is a team that the Miners should beat.
UTEP 31, Rice 28
Last week — 36–14
Season — 381–84