Zemek Final Thoughts Before Week 10

Posted Nov 2, 2012

Matt Zemek's Final Thoughts & Musings Before Week 10

By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek

TEXAS A&M-MISSISSIPPI STATE: November is here. Do we know all that much about these teams? Not as much as you might think. Back-loaded schedules, folks – pay attention to them. They exist in the Big East Conference. They exist for Oregon, Oregon State, and Stanford. They exist on Saturday in Starkville, Miss.

AIR FORCE-ARMY: Air Force must win this game to stay alive in the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy race. Army is just trying to win a ballgame, really.

SYRACUSE-CINCINNATI: Syracuse is 3-1 in the Big East. It hasn't played Cincinnati or Louisville yet. Those two facts are closely related to each other.

TULSA-ARKANSAS: Here's your chance to make a statement, Conference USA.

GEORGIA TECH-MARYLAND: If Beano Cook were still alive, he might have quipped that Maryland quarterbacks, UCLA quarterbacks, and Iowa running backs have sustained almost as many losses in the past decade as Napoleon did at Waterloo.

TCU-WEST VIRGINIA: The over-under for this game was set at (or very close to) 68 points. Please realize that TCU's defense is not as good as Texas Tech's or Kansas State's defense. Geno Smith's production is connected to the caliber of opponent he faces.


TEXAS-TEXAS TECH: Would it be surprising if Bevo keeps this game close? Yes – is that what you're telling me? Have your way with us, then, Mayan overlords.

NEBRASKA-MICHIGAN STATE: This game can be neatly halved into two matchups. Nebraska's offense versus Michigan State's defense deserves to sell tickets. Nebraska's defense versus Michigan State's offense deserves a nice long nap for casual observers… and heavy doses of medication for the two fan bases that care about this important Legends division contest.

IOWA-INDIANA: No. Just no. The Hoosiers won't make the Big Ten Championship Game. STOP IT!

CLEMSON-DUKE: Duke got blasted by a big-boy ACC opponent last week. Can Clemson join Florida State in cutting Duke down to size?

SMU-CENTRAL FLORIDA: SMU needs to win this game to keep pace with Tulsa in Conference USA's West Division. The Ponies are really going to regret losing at Tulane, aren't they?

OREGON-USC: The Trojans have to score at least 40 points just to stay in the conversation. Matt Barkley must max out just for USC to have a shot. Yes, that's the proper way to frame this game. Yes, that's how much respect Oregon owns… and has rightly earned. It's up to USC to live up to its potential for once.

ALABAMA-LSU: Why Alabama will win: LSU can't throw. Why LSU hopes it can win: It can rattle A.J. McCarron, something no other team in America has done or will be able to do this season. LSU would love to be able to win this game solely on defense, but the chances are good that Alabama won't commit enough turnovers for the Tigers to experience that fantasy. LSU will likely have to make a few big plays in the passing game to win this contest. The odds – and history – suggest that Zach Mettenberger won't measure up. This will be a close game, but it's one LSU can't be expected to win. Not quite. Not this year.

OKLAHOMA STATE-KANSAS STATE: Last year, Pokes-Wildcats was a better game than Alabama-LSU on the first Saturday night of November in the 8 p.m. Eastern time slot. Don't expect that to be the case in 2012. Purple Kansas should dominate.

ARIZONA STATE-OREGON STATE: Oregon needs Oregon State to win the next few weeks. College football can compete with American presidential elections in terms of creating strange bedfellows.

SAN DIEGO STATE-BOISE STATE: Please realize that San Diego State might be the toughest conference opponent Boise State faces on the smurf turf of Idaho this year. That's how meager the Broncos' roster of opponents really is.

ARIZONA-UCLA: The Wildcats could be in the driver's seat in the Pac-12 South if they win this game. Rich Rodriguez has every reason to think that his team can begin to defy history at the U of A, a program that can best be described as "The Northwestern of the Southwest" as far as college football is concerned.