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Week 10 Preview

by Big Al

October is complete. Feeling dumber? I sure am. Yeesh. Well, now we're into November, which is for contenders. Let's see what our contenders are doing.

Penn State at Michigan State

This is one heck of a matchup to put at noon. I would have thought they would be kicking this one off at 3:30.

Michigan State may have been caught looking ahead last weekend against Northwestern. Penn State is coming off of an emotionally crushing loss against Ohio State. But Penn State is good enough to figure out what they are doing in time. Penn State gets back on track with a win.

Stanford at Washington State

Washington State has been so hit-or-miss that it's darn near impossible to figure out which team is going to show up. Especially on defense. Stanford has been its usual steady self, but without Bryce Love, their offense was not in the mood to go anywhere against Oregon State of all teams. Better hope he's back and back to full speed by Saturday. There are so many variables here I can't even begin to guess what's going on with either team. So I'll just pick Stanford for no other reason than that they are at least somewhat reliable.

Clemson at NC State

Just in time for the playoff rankings, Clemson gets a big test against a conference foe. NC State is coming off of a bad loss to Notre Dame. Clemson is still trying to figure out how on earth they ever lost to Syracuse. NC State is still trying to figure out how it lost to South Carolina. But those good wins NC State had over Florida State and Louisville aren't looking so good anymore. Clemson provides a healthy reminder of just who is still at the top of the ACC.

Iowa State at West Virginia

I keep picking West Virginia in these games, and the Mountaineers keep letting me down. So I'm going with Iowa State out of spite.

Wake Forest at Notre Dame

Notre Dame shouldn't sleep on Wake Forest, who has proven to be tough team in the last few years. But they won't be tough enough against Notre Dame.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

Oklahoma is ranked ahead of Ohio State, which makes a lot of sense, considering they dominated Ohio State at Ohio State earlier this season. But they'd better not get cocky, because they have a big game against Oklahoma State this weekend.

Oklahoma State has been doing well, though they have not been generating much buzz. With a win here, they would be buzzing pretty loudly. Oklahoma, meanwhile, would solidify their position here, and if Georgia and Alabama meet in the SEC championship, you can pretty well guarantee Oklahoma a spot in the playoffs if they win out. I expect Oklahoma to hold on for now with a win.

Texas at TCU

Texas has been improving as the year has gone on, but that wasn't hard. TCU stubbed their toe against Iowa State, but that ain't so embarrassing anymore. This has the look of a very good game despite the records of the teams playing in it. If Texas were at home, I'd be more tempted by the upset.

You know what? This game is talking to me. So I'll take Texas for the upset.

LSU at Alabama

Oh yeah, Alabama plays football don't they? It's been so long since they played a game of consequence that I forgot they didn't just go straight to the playoffs. I'll be interested to see how they do in their return to action. I'd be stupid to pick against Alabama. So I won't.

Virginia Tech at Miami

Miami has been sliding by against every team they play. You'd like a blowout every once in a while just to see that they have the firepower to overwhelm a team. You need heavy firepower to beat top-level teams. But Miami will have just enough for one more week.

Oregon at Washington

Washington is the forgotten team in the national race. They are pretty far down the list, but they are still there. And they still have plenty of substantial games against good-but-not-great teams that could help their standing. For instance, Oregon. Washington needs a lot of help to get back into the top 4, but they will get a lot of help as the teams above them play each other. Supposing, of course, they win all their games. They'll get off to a good start on that here.

Arizona at USC

USC has been underwhelming so far this year. Arizona looks like they are figuring things out. I'll go with an Arizona team that has been on the upslope.

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