Welcome back to the blog! Last week was a week of surprises, thrills, and scares. This week there are a number of good matchups in the Top 25, so let's get right to it
(1)Alabama @ (10)Arkansas
A grudge match in the SEC. The highest-profile of 4 games pitting two ranked teams this week. Ingram, Richardson and the Tide roll in to Fayetteville (s/t to Joe Castelli) and face Heisman hopeful Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks. Arkansas is only giving up 111 rushing yards per game, but this game may test their skill. This will be the first tough road test for the Tide, but they should prevail here. It will be close. 24-17 Tide.
(2)Ohio State vs. Eastern Michigan
Ahh yes. The weekly Big Ten – MAC matchup. Eastern Michigan hasn’t won a game in I-don’t-know-how-long. They won’t win this week, that’s for sure. Poor Eagles. Fun Fact: Eastern Michigan used to be known as Michigan Normal School. Michigan Normal School follows their normal pattern this week and loses big. 56-6 Buckeyes.
(3)Boise State vs. (24)Oregon State
A barn-burner out west. The Beavers travel to Boise to play on the blue turf this week. Oregon had trouble with the Broncos last year, and the Beavers may meet the same fate this year. The Rodgers brothers lead the high-powered Beavers into a game that really does have National Championship implications. Kellen Moore looks to keep those hopes on track for the Broncos. Ultimately, I think we see what some would call an upset here. It will be a tightly contested game, but I think the Beavers prevail, 35-27.
(4)TCU @ Southern Methodist
TCU is scoring points at a torrid pace this season. This week should be no exception. June Jones leads SMU into a matchup in which they have little chance of winning. This game shouldn’t be close, even though it is a road game for TCU. 35-14 Horned Frogs.
(5)Oregon @ Arizona State
As many points as TCU has scored this year, Oregon has scored more. The Duck will be doing a good number of pushups this week, just as he has all season. It may not be 506 or whatever insane number it was when they scored 72 points, but he’ll be doing them all game long. The Sun Devils are a good opponent, but not good enough to slow down the Ducks. 48-24 Ducks.
(6)Nebraska vs. South Dakota State
Nebraska’s QB Taylor Martinez has led them to a fantastic season thus far. This game won’t test the Huskers much. This one should be over early. 42-7 Nebraska.
(7)Texas vs. UCLA
Texas travels to the Rose Bowl this week. The Bruins’ season hasn’t been what they may have wanted it to be, and this game won’t help. Garrett Gilbert has led the Longhorns offense this year, and the Horns should roll over the Bruins this week. 31-17 Texas.
(8)Oklahoma @ Cincinnati
Cincinnati gets a high-profile opponent in their house this week. Unfortunately for them, they won’t see the Bearcats take down the Sooners. Oklahoma has had a roller-coaster type season, but if their pattern holds, this game should be a high-scoring affair. And one-sided. 49-17 Sooners.
(9)Florida vs. Kentucky
The Gators haven’t been the Gators of the past. Kentucky shouldn’t pose much of a threat to their unbeaten record, but this game might be closer than some think. The Gators have had too many flaws this year. If they can eliminate those, they can continue to be a power. If not, a second-tier bowl game might be in their future. 31-17 Florida.
(11)Wisconsin vs. Austin Peay
Who is Wisconsin playing this week? John Clay should run wild this week. This won’t be close. 45-13 Badgers
(12)South Carolina @ (17)Auburn
This should be a good game. Steve Spurrier marches the Gamecocks into Auburn for a matchup with rising star QB Cameron Newton and the Tigers. Newton is reminiscent of Terrelle Pryor…but possibly better. It will be fun to watch who dominates the game more – Newton, or South Carolina’s rising star, RB Marcus Lattimore. In the SEC, home-field normally holds a fair advantage, so I’m going with the Tigers. 24-14 Auburn
(13)Utah vs. San Jose State
The Utes continue their winning ways this year against a Spartans team that has already suffered losses to (1)Alabama and (11)Wisconsin. After this week, they will be 0-3 against ranked opponents. 24-14 Utah.
(14)Arizona vs. California
Nick Foles and the Wildcats host the Golden Bears in the desert. Cal had a rough loss against Nevada last week and they may not end up real happy with the result this week. Foles is a Heisman dark-horse and taking Arizona to the top of the Pac-10 picture. Arizona gets off to a good conference start, Cal doesn’t. 45-21 Wildcats.
(15)Louisiana State vs. (22)West Virginia
Jordan Jefferson and the Tigers host the Mountaineers this week. Anytime a team goes to Death Valley they have trouble, and this week should be no exception. The Tigers have a dynamic offense that should be simply too much for the Mountaineers to contain. 21-17 LSU
(16)Stanford @ Notre Dame
Notre Dame looks to avoid their third straight loss this week. After being soundly beat by Michigan two weeks ago and beaten on a trick-play in overtime against Michigan State, the Irish welcome the Cardinal into South Bend. Officiating seems to be pretty favorable for the Irish at home, and they may be looking to get a few calls to get them back on track this week. Andrew Luck has led Stanford to a nice season thus far, and I think they continue their winning ways despite the hostile environment. 28-24 Stanford.
(18)Iowa vs. Ball State
(19)Miami (FL) @ Pittsburgh
This is the Thursday night matchup this week, so I’ll know if I’m right pretty shortly here. Miami has a good team, but they hit a rough patch early in their tilt with Ohio State. Pittsburgh is nowhere near the caliber of Ohio State, so the ‘Canes should win this pretty easy. Jacory Harris is a good QB with the skills to leadership to take Miami far. 27-17 Miami
(20)Southern Cal @ Washington State
Lane Kiffin takes the Trojans to Washington in their conference-opener against the Cougars. The Cougars are 1-2 and have not faired well against good teams. This doesn’t bode well for them for this week. QB Matt Barkley looks to lead USC to a good conference start. Again, they can’t go bowling this year due to NCAA sanctions, so every win for them is for personal pride. 31-10 Trojans.
(21)Michigan vs. Bowling Green
I thought last week was going to be a sleeper, but I guess Michigan was really looking forward to this game with the Falcons. Rich Rodriguez should get the team in line this week and slam the Falcons. 31-10 Wolverines.
(23)Pennsylvania State vs. Temple
Temple is unbeaten this year, but they haven’t played anyone like Penn State. The Nittany Lions stumbled big time against Alabama, but the Owls aren’t the Tide. Rob Bolden has looked good-to-great in each game except Alabama, and he should continue to lead Penn State in the right direction. 38-17 Penn State.
(25)Michigan State vs. Northern Colorado
This game will undoubtedly be a bit emotional. The Spartans head into their first game under interim head coach Don Treadwell after Head Coach Mark Dantonio suffered a mild heart attack following the thrilling win over Notre Dame last week. The best thing here is that the opponent will cause the Spartans little trouble. The Spartans might be in trouble early if they look forward to Wisconsin next week, but I don’t think that will be a problem. The team should want to win this one for Dantonio. 45-13 Spartans.
There are a number of other good games this week, including matchups like Florida State/Wake Forest and Georgia/Mississippi State, but I'm going to just focus on the Top 25 this week. Thanks for reading!