Zemek Final Thoughts: Big Game Quick Hitters

Posted Nov 16, 2012

Matt Zemek's Final Thoughts & Musings Before Week 12

By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek

IOWA-MICHIGAN: Iowa must win this game just to have a shot at playing for a bowl bid against Nebraska next week. Say, how big is that buyout for Kirk Ferentz again? Sigh.

RUTGERS-CINCINNATI: It's a real shame that this is a game only available on GamePlan and the internet. It should be getting a network window, because it's one of the few games matching two upper-tier teams in a BCS conference. The quarterback that makes fewer mistakes is the quarterback that will likely play for the winning side.

NORTHWESTERN-MICHIGAN STATE: If Northwestern blows a double-digit fourth-quarter lead to THIS Michigan State team, the immensity of the Wildcats' "achievement" would be hard to fully grasp.

CENTRAL FLORIDA-TULSA: The Conference USA Championship Game warmup edition. Keep those playbooks thin, George O'Leary and Bill Blankenship.

USC-UCLA: Allowing UCLA to take over the city of Los Angeles is the one thing that could actually apply some heat on Lane Kiffin for 2013. As long as Kiffin wins this game, though, he should be good through 2014 without any question whatsoever.

OLE MISS-LSU: If this game had been played a month ago, LSU would have been an 8- or 9-point favorite, not an 18-point favorite.

TEXAS TECH-OKLAHOMA STATE: Forget about Tommy Tuberville's shameful off-field behavior for a moment (the lying about that head slap last Saturday was far worse than the head slap itself). Tubs is going through yet another second-half-of-the-season tailspin. If he loses big here, he would deserve to be on the hot seat in 2013 for on-field reasons.

DUKE-GEORGIA TECH: As we all predicted back in late August, this is the defining game of the ACC Coastal season, a clash that will eliminate one of the three contenders in the division… with Miami being the third.

OHIO STATE-WISCONSIN: The Badgers haven't beaten anyone special or played well against anyone special this season. Ohio State is special.

UTAH STATE-LOUISIANA TECH: If Utah State wins, it will lock up the last Western Athletic Conference football championship (for the time being, at least). Regardless of the final outcome, this game should be terrifically entertaining, partly because Louisiana Tech is so banged up on defense. At least 80 points should be scored here, and that's being a bit cautious.

OKLAHOMA-WEST VIRGINIA: Remember when we were all anticipating this game in late August? In related news, Kansas State's win at West Virginia – which initially seemed to be such a big deal for the Wildcats – has become a genuine drag on K-State's strength of schedule. That point is worth keeping in mind as you evaluate resumes over the coming weeks.

SYRACUSE-MISSOURI: The winner of this game gets a bowl bid. This is why it should take seven wins to get to a bowl… and why there should be fewer bowls in general.

TENNESSEE-VANDERBILT: Commodores, if you can't beat Tennessee at home for the first time in 30 years, you're not going to beat the Vols in Nashville anytime soon. In 2014, the Vols might have themselves a coach and a future.

KANSAS STATE-BAYLOR: If Collin Klein is on his game, there's not much else to be said about this contest. If Klein wobbles, Nick Florence will get a chance to leave his mark on the 2012 season.

STANFORD-OREGON: Stanford needs to control the ball for six, seven, eight minutes at a time and score seven points with regularity. Given the condition of Oregon's defense, that's actually possible. Yet, Marcus Mariota will probably still find a way to score 49 points in 17 minutes and 32 seconds of possession.

BYU-SAN JOSE STATE: Just how good is San Jose State? We'll find out, 12 weeks into the season. College football can be like that sometimes.