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Tag:Pitt
Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:11 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 12:11 pm
 

PODCAST: Talking Big East, SEC, Week 5

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In this edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, Adam Aizer and J.Darin Darst  talk to one of our Eye in CFB bloggers -- the one whose name appears at the top of this post, natch -- about multiple pressing topics in college football as we head into this Week 5 weekend: what does Pitt's dominating Thursday night win over South Florida mean for the Panthers? For the Big East? Of the four undefeated SEC teams, who's stock needs buying? Whose stock's worth selling? What do we make of undefeated Houston? And who wins this week's big games? (For more on that where yours truly's concerned, check out our Expert Picks.)

To listen, either click below, download the mp3, pop the player out in a separate window to continue browsing, or subscribe in iTunes to receiver future editions of the CFB Podcast. Enjoy:



Posted on: September 29, 2011 7:56 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Report: Big 12 may be interested in TCU after all

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hooray! More conference realignment news!

Texas A&M has already left the Big 12 for the SEC and there are some who believe that Missouri may soon follow the Aggies out the door. Which would leave the Big 12 with only eight schools and looking for potential replacements. As I wrote about yesterday, BYU, Boise State, West Virginia and Louisville have all been mentioned as possibilities for the conference as it may plan on returning to a 12-team league.

One school that isn't mentioned there that seems to make sense, however, is TCU. This is because it had been reported that Big 12 schools weren't exactly thrilled with the idea of adding another conference school in the state of Texas, but according to a report in the Dallas Morning News that may no longer be the case. The Dallas Morning News report is subscription only, but thankfully The Star-Ledger picks up where that pesky subscription line leaves off.
According to a report in today’s Dallas Morning News, “the Big 12 has a new stance about adding members from Texas, potentially opening the door for TCU and other schools.”

What it means is that TCU could be out of the Big East before it ever officially joins. According to two college officials, it would be an easy departure for the Horned Frogs, since they would only have to pay a $5 million exit fee and aren’t bound by the 27-month waiting period penalty unless they are Big East members as of July 1.

The two officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss TCU’s situation.
The Big 12 may be a more desirable destination for TCU should the offer come along, and not just for geographic and traditional reasons. Simply put, with Pitt and Syracuse already leaving the Big East and UConn expressing a similar desire, hard as it is to believe, the Big 12 is the most stable option at the moment. It would also still provide TCU access to the BCS.

What isn't clear is whether or not TCU would be the Big 12's top choice of a replacement to get back to ten schools, or if the Horned Frogs are only an option should Missouri leave.

But, as with all reports on potential realignment these days, we don't really know anything until the school makes it official.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 12:14 am
 

Man vs. Woman vs. Machine: Week 5


Posted by Tom Fornelli


Man vs. Woman vs. Machine is a feature that runs every Thursday afternoon. It is here that Tom Fornelli fights against the rising tide of female empowerment and technology to ensure that men everywhere can at least claim that college football is still theirs. He does this by picking a set of games against the spread against his girlfriend, Lynn, and his Playstation 3.

Good news, my fellow containers of the Y chromosome: while we have yet to overtake her, we have crept ever closer to Woman this week in the standings. Woman is reeling from her first losing week of the season, and it has her shaken to the core. She's looking over her shoulder and she sees us drawing nearer. Her confidence is shaken. 

She knows it's only a matter of time before Man rises up and takes his rightful place atop the throne.

And that time is now.

Pitt vs. South Florida (-2 1/2) - Thursday, 8pm (All Times Eastern)

Man - Is there anything more exciting than the beginning of Big East football season? Of course there is, in fact, there are a lot of things more exciting. I'll still watch anyway, and since I had to suffer through 60 minutes of a Pitt game last weekend, I'm picking South Florida on principle. Pick: South Florida

Woman - "Skip Holtz's Bulls smacked Notre Dame around who, in turn, smacked Pitt around.  That should make this pick easy but a short week + travel for South Florida and Heinz Field + two embarrassing losses in a row + points for the Panthers makes me waver.  (By the way, am I the last person to realize the Holtz family are living the song 'SKIP to my LOU'?  Ewwww.)" Pick: Pitt

Machine - The Machine foresees a bad night for B.J. Daniels in Ketchup Stadium on Thursday night, as he throws 3 costly interceptions and the Panthers emerge victorious, 27-20. Pick: Pitt

Michigan (-20 1/2) vs. Minnesota - Saturday, 12pm

Man - This is a tough one to call. Not because I don't think Michigan is going to win, but because I'm not sure I trust Michigan's defense enough to give up nearly three touchdowns in the spread. Though I suppose that if Michigan could beat San Diego State by 21, then it should be able to handle Minnesota. Pick: Michigan

Woman - "Ah, yes, that storied rivalry known as the Little Brown Jug Bowl. Word is, next year they're changing it to the 'Little Brown Change Dish You Made for Your Dad at Summer Camp'.Bowl." Pick: Michigan

Machine - It seems the Machine is more committed to making Denard Robinson a pocket passer than Brady Hoke is, as Robinson throws for over 300 yards while rushing for only 27. Michigan wins rather easily, but Minnesota covers the spread, 38-20. Pick: Minnesota

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (-3 1/2) - Saturday, 12pm

Man - The last meeting between these two teams before they're conference rivals once again. I picked Texas A&M to end its losing streak against Oklahoma State last week, and the Aggies let me down. I don't know if I'm ready to make that mistake again. Pick: Arkansas

Woman - "'Welcome to the SEC, Aggies! Please accept these brass knuckles in your nether regions from Bobby Petrino.' 'Why, thank you, Razorbacks! Please enjoy our blood curdling practice cheers outside your hotel window at 3am.'" Pick: Texas A&M

Machine - You may want to reconsider the SEC, Aggies. The Machine tells us of a ritual sacrifice taking place in Dallas on Saturday morning, as Arkansas wins 42-21. Pick: Arkansas

Illinois (-6 1/2) vs. Northwestern - Saturday, 12pm

Man - I was at the meeting between these two teams last season at Wrigley Field and I still remember Mikel LeShoure running wild on the Northwestern defense. I'm not a big fan of trusting Ron Zook with anything, but even if Dan Persa does play this weekend, he's going to have a bit of rust to shake off. Pick: Illinois

Woman - "Oh, Sweet Sioux, here we - yawn - go again.  With or without Persa, the Wildcats are a strong team with the extra bye week to prepare. And give me the points from a Ron Zook-coached team any day." Pick: Northwestern

Machine - The Machine believes in the Fighting Zooks, but it also knows that Pat Fitzgerald's teams always keep things close. Illinois wins 24-21. Pick: Northwestern

South Carolina (-10 1/2) vs. Auburn - Saturday, 3:30pm

Man - Before last week's game against Vanderbilt, South Carolina had failed to cover in any of its first three games this season. Which makes that spread seem a bit large, because although I know Auburn isn't the same team this season, it's offense has still proved to be pretty potent. I'm going to go with Auburn to at least keep it interesting. Or, more accurately, I'm going with Stephen Garcia allowing Auburn to keep it interesting. Pick: Auburn

Woman - "Seems like a mighty big line for an offense whose quarterback has thrown nearly as many picks as passes, until you realize he's up against a team who would have their hands full defensing this." Pick: South Carolina

Machine - Remember the Georgia Dome! South Carolina gets its revenge for the SEC title game last season, kicking the defending champs while they're down, 34-20. Pick: South Carolina

Kansas State vs. Baylor (-3 1/2) - Saturday, 3:30pm

Man - At some point this year you're likely to see the "Robert Griffin For Heisman" bandwagon rolling through your town, and when you do see it, I'll be the guy driving it. Pick: Baylor

Woman - "I don't care what record Kansas State brings to this contest, until Robert Griffin III does something - anything - to prove otherwise, I'm doubling down on the amazing Baylor QB. A game I will not miss." Pick: Baylor

Machine - Not even the Machine is impervious to RG3, though it sees Griffin only being able to complete 70% of his passes this week. Baylor rolls 38-14. Pick: Baylor

Virginia Tech (-7 1/2) vs. Clemson - Saturday, 6pm

Man - I understand that expecting a Clemson meltdown is the natural thing to do, but at the same time, this Clemson team has already survived contests against Florida State and Auburn. Virginia Tech hasn't played anybody yet, and while I think playing at home gives Tech the edge, I don't think it's going to come easy, either. Pick: Clemson

Woman - "Virginia Tech should be stuffed on cupcakes by now and ready for some real football. Meanwhile, despite tougher opposition, I haven't been overwhelmed by Clemson's play and think the bubble will burst on Saturday. But I'm going to guess they'll cover." Pick: Clemson

Machine - It won't be very high-scoring, but the Machine sees an exciting game in our future. After a touchdown run by Andre Ellington gives Clemson a 21-20 lead with less than two minutes left, Logan Thomas leads a nice drive to set up a game-winning field goal in the final seconds to give the Hokies a 23-21 victory. Pick: Clemson

Florida vs. Alabama (-5 1/2) - Saturday, 8pm

Man - I haven't seen much of the Gators this season, but from what I'm told, John Brantley hasn't been completely terrible at all. Which is definitely a bonus for Florida. That being said, Brantley hasn't had to face this Alabama defense yet. I expect a tough, low-scoring battle in this one, but I feel like Trent Richardson will break through at some point, and it may be all Alabama needs. Pick: Alabama

Woman - "Florida under Will Muschamp and his offensive coach Charlie Weis is strong in new, exciting ways, but I just can't seen them holding back Satan Saban and the Crimson juggernaut. Maybe next year." Pick: Alabama

Machine - I hope you like defense, because the Machine says there will be a lot of it in The Swamp on Saturday night. The Tide doesn't exactly roll as much as it drowns. Alabama wins 13-7. Pick: Alabama

Wisconsin (-9 1/2) vs. Nebraska - Saturday, 8pm

Man - This seems like a trap. That spread just feels really big considering this game is between the two teams who are supposed to be the best in the Big Ten. Then you start thinking about how Nebraska has looked so far this season compared to Wisconsin, and it makes a bit more sense. That being said, who exactly has Wisconsin played? It's hard to make this call, but I think Taylor Martinez makes some key mistakes in a hostile environment on Saturday night and the Badgers capitalize. Pick: Wisconsin

Woman - "Welcome to the inaugural Big Ten Championship game, Round One. Of course, this version is going to be played in the cacaphonous craziness that is Camp Randall, led by a Badgers team with a dominant defense and a sterling new QB. By January, Nebraska should have the kinks worked out but this week they will yield to a superior home team." Pick: Wisconsin

Machine - The Machine says "If there's one Big Ten game you're going to watch this weekend, make it this one, because it's going to be crazy! Wisconsin holds off Nebraska 35-34." In other news, if your Playstation starts talking to you, it's probably time to turn it off or get some sleep. Pick: Nebraska

Stanford (-20 1/2) vs. UCLA - Saturday, 10:30pm

Man - If Jim Harbuagh were still around, this one would be easy to pick. With David Shaw in charge, I'm just not as sure that Stanford won't slow things down a bit once this game is in hand late, and UCLA has been somewhat bi-polar this season, so I'm not sure which team to expect. Screw it, I'll go with Stanford. Pick: Stanford

Woman - "Through some hard-hitting investigative journalism, I've procured copies of Stanford's playbook and UCLA's. So... yeah. Stanford wins but without star linebacker Shayne Skov, I think they won't quite cover." Pick: UCLA 

Machine - Andrew Luck is an unstoppable killing machine. He throws for 6 touchdowns and runs for another as Stanford obliterates the Bruins, 52-17. Pick: Stanford

Standings

Season Record (Last Week)

1. Woman 28-17 (4-6)
2. Man 27-18 (6-4)
3. Machine 23-22 (6-4)
Posted on: September 28, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Questions remain in the Big 12

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I'd like to start this post by congratulating the Big 12 for lasting nearly an entire week without talk of another one of its schools leaving and reports of the conference's possible expansion. Kudos to you, Big 12.

Now that I've got that out of the way, let's get to the latest.

There are still persistent rumors that Missouri could be headed to the SEC to become the conference's 14th team and join Texas A&M. Rumors that aren't easy to put the rest when you find out that, according to the Kansas City Star, the Missouri Board of Curators is meeting on Tuesday and the school's conference affiliation will be one of the topics under discussion.

If that's not enough, for you stalkers out there, this FlightAware link of a certain twin turboprop plane making a flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Columbia, Missouri on Tuesday should stoke the flames a bit.

Does all of this mean that Missouri is bound for the SEC? Well, if we've learned anything from the last few months, when it comes to conference realignment, we really don't know anything until it's officially announced. The whole world was ending a few weeks ago, and in the end, only three schools actually moved anywhere.

So until Missouri makes an announcement that it's joining the SEC, we can't be sure of anything.

However, if leaving is in Missouri's plans, the Big 12 is reportedly putting together a contingency plan this time around. According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, the Big 12 may not just be looking for a replacement for Texas A&M and possibly Missouri, but it may attempt to go back to 12 schools once again.

Wilner reports that the Big 12 is eyeing BYU, Boise State, West Virginia and Louisville as possible replacements because the conference feels that if it's going to be considered a peer of the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, it needs 12 schools and a title game. The Big 12 is also considering staying at 10 schools and replacing Texas A&M and Missouri if it has to. Which schools it would prefer in that case is unknown.

As for the likelihood of adding the four schools mentioned in the report, it's hard to know how interested each would be in the Big 12.

BYU may only be interested in bringing its football to the Big 12, and who knows how the Big 12 would feel about that?

West Virginia and Louisville is conceivable because the future of the Big East looks shaky at the moment with Pitt and Syracuse already leaving for the ACC and UConn telling everybody who will listen, and even those who aren't, that it would like to leave the conference as well.

Then there's Boise State. The Broncos just joined the Mountain West this year, and while it's hard to predict exactly what the school would want to do, you have to think that the lure of playing in a BCS conference and the possibility of finally getting a shot at that crystal football would be quite appealing.

Whatever happens, Dan Beebe or Chuck Neinas, it's clear that there are still plenty of question marks surrounding the Big 12 these days.
Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 12:42 pm
 

Too much Floyd has been bad for Notre Dame

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Through the first two games of the season Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd had 25 receptions for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns. Given the way that the Irish began the season with 10 turnovers and 2 losses, Floyd was one of the lone bright spots in South Bend. His numbers dipped a bit in a 31-13 win over Michigan State, as he "only" had 6 catches for 84 yards to lead the team, and those numbers dipped even further against Pitt, when he made 4 catches for 27 yards.

In that game against Pitt, only 1 of Floyd's receptions came after the first quarter. As you'd expect, once the Pitt defense -- one that came into the game as one of the worst pass defenses in the country -- figured out a way to neutralize Floyd, the Notre Dame offense did not look very pretty, though it did enough to win the game.

Well, Brian Kelly isn't all that interested in winning ugly, and he's looking to make sure that Floyd doesn't have another game like the Pitt one anytime soon. Which is why the Irish have been working on ways to make sure it doesn't happen again this weekend against Purdue.

"There are going to be some games as it unfolds that he's not going to get 10 passes," Brian Kelly told the Chicago Tribune. "It's just the nature of the game. That doesn't mean we're not going to continue to look at ways to get Michael the football.

"Certainly we're going to do that, and I think there's a number of ways that we can continue to make sure that he gets the appropriate amount of touches. But we just don't want (the Pittsburgh game) to be a consistent kind of scenario more than anything else." 

The question is, should they?

While Michael Floyd is the most prolific receiver in Notre Dame history, there's an alarming trend for the Irish and Floyd when he's making so many receptions. In his four years in South Bend, Floyd has caught 10 or more passes in a game six times. In those six games Notre Dame has gone 1-5, the lone win coming against USC last season when Floyd had 11 receptions for 86 yards.

And it's not as if Notre Dame is being blown out in these losses, causing the team to have to throw the ball more and feature Floyd. In the five losses, the Irish have lost by a combined 13 points, with one of those losses coming in overtime. So Notre Dame was in every single one of these games.

One way to explain this could be the fact that up until the second half of last season, following a 28-27 loss to Tulsa -- in which Floyd caught 11 passes for 104 yards and 2 scores -- the Irish defense wasn't very good. For every touchdown the Irish offense would ride Floyd to, the defense would give it right back.

Still, even since the defense improved, Notre Dame is still 1-2 in the three games Floyd has made at least 10 receptions. Most of that is the fault of turnovers, but either way, it's an alarming trend.

While it may not sound right, the numbers show that Notre Dame may be better off not relying so heavily on their biggest playmaker.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 3:21 pm
 

College Football Picks: Week 5

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Each week, the CBSSports.com college football staff offer their choice for the week's Expert Picks. But before we make our selections for Week 5, this is your chance to tell us who you think will come out on top in this week's biggest games.

Check the poll below to pick an outcome for seven of the week's biggest games, including Air Force at Navy, Alabama at Florida (both of which you can watch on CBS), Nebraska at Wisconsin, and Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in Dallas. To see the results of the poll, tune in to Inside College Football on the CBS Sports Network, Tuesday night at 8 ET. 



As a sneak peek of this week's Expert Picks, here's this blogger's early impressions of the week's slate:

USF at Pitt (Thursday night): The Panthers struggled badly on defense vs. Iowa, then badly on offense vs. Notre Dame. They're just not clicking well enough right now to beat a Bulls team that's finally learned not to beat itself under Skip Holtz.

Nebraska at Wisconsin: The Badger defense has looked as championship-caliber as their offense so far, but against questionable competition. If they're up to shutting down Taylor Martinez, though, Wisconsin should roll.

Alabama at Florida: If the Tide don't let down from their big win over the Razorbacks, they should be able to corral the Jeff Demps-Chrris Rainey tag team well enough to pull out a win. But that's a decent-sized "if," and the Swamp will no doubt be rocking.

Arkansas at Texas A&M: In a battle of two teams licking their wounds from last Saturday, we like the matchup of Tyler Wilson and his outstanding receivers against the same Aggie secondary that Brandon Weeden so thoroughly torched to tilt things in the Hogs' favor.

Michigan State at Ohio State: The Buckeyes looked revitalized with Braxton Miller under center, but the Spartans should offer a much stiffer challenge than Colorado. Still, at home in Columbus, the Buckeyes should have enough top-to-bottom talent to squeak out a victory.

Baylor at Kansas State: Two surprising unbeatens square off in Manhattan. The Wildcats haven't gotten credit they deserve for winning in Miami, but not sure they have the firepower to hang with new Heisman poll No. 1 Robert Griffin III, even at home.

Air Force at Navy: Both teams have played "up" in competition once, with the Midshipmen taking South Carolina to the wire but the Falcons thumped at home by TCU. With Air Force also traveling cross-country, we're giving the edge to the home team.

Posted on: September 26, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Brian Kelly showing a lot of patience with Rees

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When the 2010 season ended with a win over Miami in the Sun Bowl, the competition between Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees to be Notre Dame's starting quarterback began. It lasted all spring, through the summer and into the days before the Irish started the season against South Florida. After those months of practices, Brian Kelly decided that he was going to roll with Dayne Crist.

After 30 minutes of play in which Crist completed less than half of his passes and threw a costly red zone interception -- one that wasn't his fault, as evidenced by Kelly's tantrum with receiver T.J. Jones -- Crist lost his job as the Notre Dame quarterback. In stepped Rees, and he hasn't given up the job since.

Though he has given up the ball quite a bit. In his three and a half games of action, Tommy Rees has been responsible for 9 turnovers, with 6 interceptions and 3 fumbles. Those 9 turnovers are more than 88 FBS teams have committed all season. Yet, through all of these turnovers, Kelly says he has no plans on making another change at quarterback.

"Right now Tommy is 6-1 as a starter," Kelly said on Sunday. "He's led two very huge drives for us late in the game for us against Michigan and of course against Pittsburgh. He's obviously not a finished product, nobody is. He'll continue to get better and better."

While the Michigan loss can't be pinned on Rees, he did fumble the ball away with the Irish clinging to a 24-21 lead in the fourth quarter. He also threw 2 interceptions earlier in the game. Without those three turnovers, the Irish might not have needed Rees to lead that late drive to take the lead back and Michigan may have been in too large a hole to dig out of.

In Saturday's win against Pitt, Rees led another drive to give Notre Dame the lead in the fourth quarter, and this time it held. He also committed two more turnovers in the first half that made sure Notre Dame was never able to pull away from Pitt. Rees wouldn't have to be so adept at fourth quarter drives if he was able to keep from turning the ball over in the first three quarters.

Why is it that Kelly was only willing to give Dayne Crist a half before pulling him, yet has allowed Rees chance after chance?

The only reasoning that makes sense to me is that Crist is a senior and Rees is a sophomore. Kelly is approaching this situation like he knows his team is making progress on the field, particularly on defense, but that it's just not ready for primetime BCS glory just yet. Kelly is essentially using the 2011 season to prepare for 2012, his third season in South Bend, to truly try and wake up those echoes.

It's a calculated risk that, while frustrating for Notre Dame fans, could be one that pays off the next two seasons.
Posted on: September 23, 2011 2:03 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 4:57 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 4

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

Finally, we've reached the point of the season where conferences that aren't the Big Ten begin to offer actual meals rather than boring appetizers that add nothing. The SEC and ACC have delved into conference play a bit this season, but now the Big 12 and Pac-12 are diving in as well, which means we've got quite an impressive slate of games to sample from this weekend. 

BREAKFAST

#22 Michigan vs. San Diego State - Big Ten Network 12pm ET

Brady Hoke is San Diego State's old coach (haven't you heard?), so that's all anybody's going to talk about during the game. Don't focus on that fact too much, though, otherwise you're liable to stop paying attention to Denard Robinson, and that's a terrible idea. If Shoelace plays four quarters Saturday, he'll put up mammoth numbers on the Aztec defense. - Adam Jacobi

#25 Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina - ESPN 12pm ET

The Yellow Jackets kick off conference play with one of their most formidable Coastal Division opponents in the Tar Heels.  Georgia Tech leads the nation (yes, United States) in total offense right now, averaging just over 675 yards per game.  The numbers have been inflated thanks to a schedule, but the potency of Paul Johnson's option offense cannot be underestimated.  North Carolina's front seven is one of the ACC's best on paper, and Saturday is their chance for them to live up to the hype. - Chip Patterson

Pitt vs. Notre Dame - ABC 12pm ET

With so few must-see games going on in the morning, this matchup could prove to be quite entertaining. Notre Dame finally put a full 60 minutes together without driving off a cliff last week to pick up a win against Michigan State, and Pitt did quite the Notre Dame impression last Saturday while blowing a 27-10 lead over Iowa in the fourth quarter. Tune in for the future ACC follies! - Tom Fornelli

LUNCH

#3 Alabama vs. #14 Arkansas - CBS 3:30pm ET

The first clash of legitimate SEC heavyweights offers a compelling contrast in offensive styles: Arkansas's aerial circus of nationally-elite receivers and precision Tyler Wilson passes against a Tide attack that (thanks to the humdrum nature of AJ McCarron's performances to date) is likely to pound away with Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, pound away some more, and when that fails? More pounding. Winner becomes heavy favorite to land at BCS bowl berth--at minimum. - Jerry Hinnen

#8 Texas A&M vs. #7 Oklahoma State - ABC/ESPN2 3:30pm ET

The Big 12 no longer has a championship game, but this one could serve as a mini-playoff. The winner of this contest between two teams ranked in the top ten moves on to face Oklahoma later this season in a game that will likely decide the Big 12 title. Aside from the BCS implications, however, this matchup should be incredibly entertaining for all involved, as the Oklahoma State offense faces its toughest test of the season so far. - TF

#21 Clemson vs. #11 Florida State - ESPN 3:30pm ET

The Seminoles enter Death Valley banged and bruised after their 23-13 loss to top-ranked Oklahoma.  The most popular word in the pre game notes for Florida State is QUESTIONABLE, and thus so is the outcome of this game.  Clemson finally got their offense going against Auburn thanks to Tajh Boyd and breakout freshman Sammy Watkins, and the Tigers have a lot of momentum with their Atlantic Division rivals coming to town.  Last season this game was decided by a 55-yard walk-off field goal by Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins.  Saturday's tilt could be just as close. - CP

Ohio State vs. Colorado - ABC/ESPN2 3:30pm ET

What looked like sort of a throwaway game in August now has some intrigue. Colorado's not very good at all, but Ohio State has its own quarterback issues to work out after last week's disastrous showing in a 24-6 loss at Miami. The game's in Columbus, so it's unlikely that all hell breaks loose, but if Colorado hangs around, you never know... - AJ

DINNER

#12 South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt - ESPN2 7pm ET

The upstart Commodores move up about three or four classes from their featherweight bout against Ole Miss when they travel to Columbia to take on Marcus Lattimore and Co. Knowing that Lattimore will get his and that the terrors on the Carolina defensive front will hamper any effort to run, any chance of Vandy springing the upset rests in the passing game--in Larry Smith taking advantage of the soft Gamecock secondary, and the ballhawking Vandy defensive backs wringing a couple of game-changing turnovers out of Stephen Garcia. - JH

Kentucky vs. #15 Florida - ESPN 7pm ET

You there, good sir (or madam): do you enjoy the spectacle of wholesale slaughter? Do you take pleasure in the most savage of horse-whippings? Then may we please direct your attention this-a-way to yonder annual meeting between the Wildcats and Gators, won by the Floridians by an average of 42 points these past three years. And with these unfortunate Wildcats having had their offensive teeth removed this offseason just hence -- from cuspid to canine! -- this sideshow could be the bloodiest yet! - JH 

#1 Oklahoma vs. Missouri - FX 8pm ET

Last year on a Saturday night in Columbia, the Oklahoma Sooners came into town sporting a new spot atop the rankings. They would not return home with that #1 next to their name. This season it's the Tigers who come to Oklahoma to once again face the top-ranked team in the land. Can Missouri destroy Oklahoma's national title chances two years in a row? Tune in to find out. - TF

#16 West Virginia vs. #2 LSU - ABC 8pm ET

Anticipation for this game has had Morgantown buzzing since Monday, and I suggest you are settled into your spot on the couch (if city officials haven't removed it yet) by kickoff.  Dana Holgorsen's offense has been among the most efficient in the nation, and LSU's defense has worn down and broken every challenger they have faced.  I expect the Mountaineers to feed off the home crowd and get a fast start, the question will be how long they can keep it up against the tenacious Bayou Bengals defense.  It's the heavyweight match up of the evening - no reason to miss this one. - CP 

LATE NIGHT SNACKS

Arizona vs. #10 Oregon - ESPN2 10:15pm ET

Oregon begins conference play this weekend and is looking for their 13th-straight league victory against Arizona. The Ducks have bounced back from their opening loss against LSU to blow out a pair of opponents and get the offense cranked up again. Arizona is in the middle of a rough stretch to open the season but they do have an excellent quarterback in Nick Foles, the third best passer in the country, who has yet to throw an interception. - Bryan Fischer

Arizona State vs. #23 USC - ESPN 10:15pm ET

Though USC is ineligible for the Pac-12 South title, they will essentially be settling it on the field as the Trojans head to Tempe to take on Arizona State. Dennis Erickson's team fell to Illinois in a close game last week but are hoping to get things going again. ASU has lost 11 straight to USC so this game is about more than winning a game, it's about ending a long streak with the best team the Sun Devils have had. This game is worth watching just to see linebacker Vontaze Burfict take on Matt Barkley and Robert Woods. - BF
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com