Thursday, November 20, 2008

NCAA Football: Campus Capers, Tradition, and Key Match-ups

Week 13 is when the college football season used to wind down before the super conferences, conference playoffs, and demands for more television saturation. For ACC fans, well Maryland fans, who’d ever think the Terps would be favored, albeit it slightly, against Florida State?

It seems like every Big 12 matchup this year is something big. This weekend’s top matchup, features the upstart, Texas Tech travelling to Oklahoma. In years past, few games in all of sports have the rivalry power of the annual Michigan/Ohio State matchup which marks the end of the Big 10 season, but this year, given Michigan being in full rebuilding mode under new coach Rich Rodriguez, Michigan is a miserable -10 ½ underdog. Sadly, Rodriguez is the subject of many irate Wolverine fans’ wrath, but aside from the Freshmen and walk-on’s, the Wolverines are the team he inherited. Regardless, 2008 will be one of Michigan’s worst seasons ever while they were still smarting from the season opening embarrassment losing to Appalachian State in 2007.

Finally, we can’t help but note our sorrow over Penn State’s upset loss to Iowa last weekend. How special it would have been to have “Joe Pops” in the mix again for a National Championship as his historical career is truly in its twilight years. Few have given more to the sport or raised more NFL stars the Nittany Lions’ head coach since the flower power sixties.

Miami #23 at Georgia Tech (-3 ½)
Miami has just broken into the BCS rankings but that won’t give them enough to win against the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.

Florida State at Maryland #25 (-1)
Maryland has been in and out of the top 25 for most of the second half of the season and will beat Florida State.

Michigan at Ohio State #10 (-20 ½)
Ohio State will take out its frustration for fading from Championship contention early in the season on their arch-rival from the north, Michigan. This game could be ugly.T

Texas Tech #2 at Oklahoma #5 (-7)
Everyone’s wondering when Tech’s run will finally whimper, but one of this year’s great stories will continue loud and strong against the Sooners. These guys are on a mission!

Michigan State #15 at Penn State #8 (-14)
Penn State will rally around Coach Joe Paterno as a matter of pride after last week’s heart breaking loss.

Brigham Young at Utah #7 (-6)
This one belongs to Utah all the way. Utah is one of the best stories this year further west than Big 12 country.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (-3)
Vanderbilt has surely played better than expected having broken into the Top 25 at times this year. They will surely bring out their best to beat in-state rival Tennessee as Tennessee starts to look toward the future under a new coach next year.

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