This weekend there's only two match ups of ranked teams, but both match ups are absolutely huge for the BCS.
Both of these games will take place at 3:30 eastern; of course I'm referring to Ohio State @ Penn State and LSU @ Alabama. Otherwise known as 15 @ 11, and 9 @ 3.
Let's break it down.
#15 Ohio State @ #11 Penn State - If not for their loss in Purdue in mid October, Ohio State would be in perfect shape to win the Big Ten; as it stands now they look to become this Bowl Season's BCS spoiler, and they even have a chance to crash the BCS party. But it has to start this week at Penn State.
Easier said than done. Since losing at home to Iowa in September, the Nittany Lions have been lights out. It was shocking enough that Penn State lost once at home this season, it'd be even more shocking if they were to drop two at home this season.
You've got to believe this game is going to come down to whether or not Pennsylvania native Terrelle Pryor can make the plays necessary to beat Penn State's defense. A lot of criticism has come Pryor's way this season, especially after the home loss to USC, but at times Pryor has looked like the future national champion that he was projected to be coming out of high school. If Pryor wants to lead the Buckeye's to victory this weekend he's going to have to do better than his current 54% completion percentage. Easier said than done against Penn State's defense.
I think that the Nittany Lions are going to take this one. They're at home, they have more to play for, and as we speak they're already projected to be in a BCS game. To get to the BCS Ohio State will not only have to beat Penn State this week, but Iowa the following week as well.
Like I said, easier said than done. Pryor will get there one day, just not Saturday.
Final Score: Penn State 27 Ohio State 18
#9 LSU @ #3 Alabama - Alabama had a week off to digest their escape at home against a good Tennessee Volunteers team. LSU had a week off to play Tulane, who they destroyed 42-0 on Halloween. Both teams look healthy and ready to win this game, with the winner earning themselves a shot, at a shot, in the national championship game.
LSU started the season as the most unimpressive impressive team in the NCAA. They played Florida really well but couldn't put together a touchdown drive. If the Tigers want to get past the Tide they're going to have to put together multiple touchdown drives. Unfortunately for the Tigers, if they struggled at home against Florida, things aren't going to get much easier on the road at Alabama.
Alabama are hungry this year. Tennessee came the closest to beating them this season, but games like that have to be expected; no team is ever going to dominate their entire schedule, especially when you have to host teams with defenses like Tennessee's.
I think Alabama are going to control the clock in this one, and their defense is going to do what they have to to take care of LSU. Alabama fans, get ready to head to the SEC Championship.
A win this week and Alabama will back inside the top two where they belong.
Final Score: Alabama 23 LSU 16
Around the NCAA
Stanford are going to be a tough road win for Oregon, but the Cardinal will give up their first home loss of the season to the Ducks.
TCU are going to school San Diego State, who peaked in the first quarter of their season opener this year.
USC will get back on the right track and make a surge towards the BCS when they take care of Arizona State.
Georgia Tech, Iowa, Notre Dame, Miami, and Texas will all win as well.