There are some huge games this weekend in the world of college football. To help us break-down the games and pick a winner we have invited D-Sweet from Campus Pigskin to come in and give us the lowdown on a couple conference games and the two biggest games on the national scene in a new weekly feature here at the Machine.
Take it away D-Sweet!
Oklahoma @ Baylor
The Sooners are really heating up - they've won five in in a row, re-opened the offense and are even thinking BCS after the Longhorns' unfortunate (snicker) slip-up at Kansas State. Their chances of making the Big 12 Championship game are slim, and they have to win out to maintain hope.
Enter Baylor. Even the "one game at a time" types will have trouble not overlooking the Bears, who have played miserably since the injury to starting quarterback Shawn Bell. Baylor can't play defense or run the ball, and now they can't throw either. They're sitting ducks.
OU should be focused, however, since Baylor took the Sooners to overtime last year. The only question is whether the Oklahoma offense will revert to Switzer-era play-calling like they did against Texas A&M, Missouri and Colorado. I say no way - Kevin Wilson doesn't want Malcolm Kelly giving him the stink-eye all week in practice.
Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech
The Cowboys and Red Raiders are both bowl eligible, but this is still a huge game for both programs - 7-5 sounds much better to recruits and fans than 6-6 (Oklahoma State will probably lose to Oklahoma Nov. 25).
The Cowboys come in with momentum after stomping Baylor 66-24, but they're a much different team on the road. Check out the difference in scoring - they average 48 per game at home, but just 28 per game outside Stillwater.
On the flipside, Texas Tech scores much more at home than on the road - 40 per game vs. 24 per game, although that's a little skewed by a slaughtering of SE Louisiana.
The Red Raiders play some defense from time to time and will likely step up in their season finale. That, combined with the Cowboys' potential to look ahead to next week's match-up with the Sooners, should leave Texas Tech victorious when time runs out.
Michigan @ Ohio State
No doubt you've read more analysis on this game than you should. You can break down all the position match-ups and weather factors all you want, but the bottom line is this: games with this much hype rarely pan out. Michigan's weakness is passing on both sides of the ball; the Buckeyes happen to have a Heisman frontrunner at quarterback, and Wolverine WR Mario Manningham still can't run and cut like he did in the first half of the season.
The Buckeyes will take an early lead and hold on to win as Jim Tressel plays it close to the sweater vest. Those of you outside of Columbus with digital recorders immediately delete the game.
Cal @ USC
Now here's the game of the day. Cloaked by the 1 vs. 2 and Iron Bowl games, Cal and USC will duke it out in a battle of big plays. The Trojans are a little overrated right now, and the Bears were due to lose a game that had no business being close in the first place.
This game comes down to Cal's execution - score touchdowns in the red zone and hold on to the ball and the game is theirs. Pete Carroll has a deal with the devil that can only be broken with flawless play. But since it is in LA, and it is November - both factors where USC never loses - the the Most Hated Team in the Nation should pull it out with a play that robs Cal fans of several weeks' sleep.