Game of the week
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
LSU at Alabama
We wonder if playing LSU, a team that has beaten Alabama in two of the previous three regular-season meetings, is one of those “special pressure” moments Tide coach Nick Saban’s agent divulged in an email to a Texas official. The Tigers get up for this game even when they’re out of the national championship picture, like this year. A handful of first-rounders in the next draft usually play in this game. The crop might include Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
Upset of the week
Virginia Tech over Miami, Fla.
The Hokies’ ACC division title hopes are all but dashed with a loss, but they’ve responded well in these positions in the past few years. Miami running back Duke Johnson is out for the season because of a fractured ankle, and the Hurricanes had been wobbling before getting overpowered by Florida State last week.
Others to watch
Nebraska at Michigan
The teams lived as opposites last week, with the Cornhuskers pulling a victory from the fire with a Hail Mary from midfield to beat Northwestern and the Wolverines getting smacked around by rival Michigan State. Short-term memories will serve both well. The Huskers need a victory to maintain control of their Big Ten Legends Division future, but they’ll need to be better defensively (allowing 399.9 yards per game) against a Michigan team that was slowed by the Spartans but few others.
UCLA at Arizona
The Wildcats’ Ka’Deem Carey leads the nation at 153.1 rushing yards per game. He also topped the NCAA last season, and is trying to keep the title in the Pac-12. Oregon’s LaMichael James was the NCAA leader the previous two years. What helps free Carey is quarterback B.J. Denker’s running abilty. He has 563 yards and 11 touchdowns. Arizona State has taken the lead in the Pac-12 South, but the race will be decided over the next few weeks as the Sun Devils, Bruins and Wildcats play a mini-round robin.
On the horizon: Nov. 16
Texas Tech vs. Baylor at Arlington, Texas
Over-under could be 90
Florida at South Carolina
Gamecocks look to keep pressure on Mizzou
Michigan State at Nebraska
Sparty thinking division championship
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org