No. 17 Florida vs. No. 10 LSU
For the Tigers to keep their BCS Bowl hopes alive, they will have to dominate Florida’s national championship-caliber defense, which will look to overwhelm LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger -- the most improved quarterback in college football this year. Keep an eye on Solomon Patton as he tries to match Mettenberger’s offensive efforts. Both teams need this win to stay in the BCS title race. The Gators need to win if they hope to stand a chance against Georgia next week. Both teams have big games next week -- LSU against Texas A&M and Florida against Georgie -- so they will need to sustain enough momentum by winning this week to take down their next opponents.
No. 25 Missouri vs. No. 7 Georgia
At first glance, Georgia seems like the obvious pick, but lingering effects from Georgia’s near-loss against Tennessee and the ever-growing Bulldogs’ injury list could keep them from beating the Tigers this weekend. Running back Keith Marshall and wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley are out for the season with a torn right ACL injury, and wide receiver Michael Bennett and punter Colin Barber hobbled out of last week’s game. Not to mention safeties Tray Matthews and Connor Norman, along with star running back Todd Gurley never even touched the field in the overtime win over Tennessee. Tigers quarterback James Franklin has to have a big game and commit absolutely no turnovers. Missouri is going to need every offensive minute they can get.
No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 16 Washington
The Huskies know how close they are to being named one of the nation’s top teams and they’re looking to prove themselves in this game. Washington just suffered a tough loss against Stanford but may get the support they need to bounce back playing at their home field. Washington’s success will depend on the energy of Oregon’s offense. If the Ducks come out slow like they did against Colorado, the Huskies may have hope. It’s essential that Washington controls the amount of return yards allowed, because long returns were central to their downfall with Stanford. Look for this game to be a high-scoring showdown with Oregon’s Heisman hopeful, quarterback Marcus Mariota, leading the show.
No. 9 Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss
Texas A&M’s offense has been gaining national recognition since Johnny Manziel stepped on the field, but its struggling defense may give Ole Miss a chance to win. The Aggies defense will need to pull of some serious stops to keep the Rebels’ high-powered offense from lighting up the scoreboard. However, Ole Miss will have to rely solely on their offense because Texas A&M’s even stronger offense will likely plow through their defense straight into the end zone. The Aggies nearly lost at Arkansas last week. The main thing giving the Rebels hope is Texas A&M’s tendency to play poorly on the road.