Top 25 Games to Watch: Week 10

The following 32 teams are bowl eligible, having 6 wins or more: Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Auburn, BYU, Boise State, Cincinnati, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are all bowl eligible. 22 teams have 5 wins and are a win away from being bowl eligible: Ball State, Florida International, Florida State, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ohio University, Rutgers, SMU, Syracuse, Temple, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Toledo, Tulsa, Virginia, Wake Forest, and Western Michigan.  I’ll preview matchups involving Top 25 teams and try to offer some insight regarding the games to watch. All hype scores are out of 10.

#15 Michigan (7-1) (3-1 Big Ten) @ Iowa (5-3) (2-2 Big Ten)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 12:00 PM EST on ESPN/ESPN3.

Series: Michigan leads 40-12-4.

Michigan: Offense 21st (Rushing 8th; Passing 79th); Defense 35th (Rushing 55th; Passing 26th).

Iowa: Offense 57th (Rushing 60th; Passing 50th); Defense 76th (Rushing 69th; Passing 81st).

Despite being at 2-2 in the Big Ten, Iowa controls their own destiny, facing Michigan, Michigan State, and Nebraska in the coming weeks. After a loss to lowly Minnesota, a return home to the friendly confines of Kinnick Stadium may be exactly what the Hawkeyes need. Under Coach Ferentz, the Hawkeyes are 57-21 at home, including 22-4 since 2008. Michigan has never lost three straight to Iowa; Iowa has won four of the last seven meetings. Offensively, Iowa is led by RB Marcus Coker (969 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 10 rushing TDs), QB James Vandenberg (1918 passing yards, 62.2% completion, and 17 passing TDs) and WR Marvin McNutt (858 receiving yards, 17.9/catch, and 9 receiving TDs). QB Denard Robinson (2104 total yards, 53.5% completion, and 21 total TDs, but 11 INTs) still continues to make errors throwing the ball. RBs Fitzgerald Toussaint (423 rushing yards, 6.0/carry, and 4 rushing TDs) and Vincent Smith (268 rushing yards, 6.5/carry, and 2 rushing TDs) lead the Wolverine ground attack. This year, the Wolverines have given up an average of 15.29 points (7th in all of NCAA); the Wolverines have also recovered 12 fumbles (tied for 1st in all of NCAA). Since 1997, six of the ten meetings have been decided by six points or less. Expect this one to be close.

Game hype grade: 6.

#17 Michigan State (6-2) (3-1 Big Ten) vs. Minnesota (2-6) (1-3 Big Ten)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 12:00 PM EST on Big Ten Network.

Series: Michigan State leads 26-17.

Michigan State: Offense 84th (Rushing 81st; Passing 60th); Defense 2nd (Rushing 14th; Passing 1st).

Minnesota: Offense 113th (Rushing 72nd; Passing 107th); Defense 97th (Rushing 103rd; Passing 67th).

Minnesota is coming off their second straight win over rival Iowa; Michigan State is coming off a dominating loss in Lincoln. Last season, Michigan State won over Minnesota for the first time since 2004. Senior QB Kirk Cousins (1693 passing yards, 63.6% completion, 11 passing TDs, but 5 INTs) RB Edwin Baker (472 rushing yards, 4.3/carry, and 2 rushing TDs), and WR BJ Cunningham (723 receiving yards, 15.1/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) lead the Spartans offensively. QB Marqueis Gray (1440 total yards, 50.8% completion, 7 total TDs, but 4 INTs) and RBs Duane Bennett (406 rushing yards, 4.1/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and Donnell Kirkwood (190 rushing yards, 3.7/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) lead the Golden Gopher offense. Michigan State is a much more physical team than Iowa and should easily dispose of the Gophers. With that said, Michigan State is only 4-6 against Minnesota against 1997, including 1-1 under Coach Mark Dantonio.

Game hype grade: 2.

#21 Texas (5-2) (2-2 Big 12) vs. Texas Tech (5-3) (2-3 Big 12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 12:00 PM EST.

Series: Texas leads 45-15.

Texas: Offense 49th (Rushing 17th; Passing 90th); Defense 13th (Rushing 19th; Passing 21st).

Texas Tech: Offense 8th (Rushing 70th; Passing 5th); Defense 102nd (Rushing 114th; Passing 48th).

These teams meet for the Chancellor’s Spurs, which first was instituted in 1996, with Texas winning 11 of the 15 meetings (Texas is 6-1 in Austin, with the lone loss coming in 1997). Texas Tech was upset by Iowa State, one week after knocking off Oklahoma in Norman. The Longhorn offense has been led by Malcolm Brown (635 rushing yards, 4.8/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and Foswhitt Whittaker (288 rushing yards, 5.5/carry, and 4 rushing TDs). QB Seth Doege (2779 passing yards, 67.9% completion, and 22 passing TDs), WRs Darrin Moore (354 receiving yards, 15.4/catch, and 4 receiving TDs), Eric Ward (492 receiving yards, 10.0/catch, and 8 receiving TDs), and Alex Torres (510 receiving yards, 12.4/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) have led the Red Raider offense. The Longhorns have dominated the series and haven’t lost to Texas Tech in Austin since 1997. With that said, Texas Tech’s offense could keep the game close, and interesting.

Game hype grade: 6.

#24 West Virginia (6-2) (2-1 Big East) vs. Louisville (4-4) (2-1 Big East)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 12:00 PM EST on GamePlan/ESPN3.

Series: West Virginia leads 10-2.

West Virginia: Offense 13th (Rushing 87th; Passing 7th); Defense 25th (Rushing 47th; Passing 28th).

Louisville: Offense 103rd (Rushing 92nd; Passing 80th); Defense 12th (Rushing 12th; Passing 30th).

This rivalry began in 2005, and West Virginia has dominated the series, winning 10 of 12. The Mountaineers look to extend their winning streak in this series to a series high five games. West Virginia is led by QB Geno Smith (2715 passing yards, 63.3% completion, 20 passing TDs, but 5 INTs), WRs Stedmon Bailey (815 receiving yards, 19.0/catch, and 7 receiving TDs) and Tavon Austin (691 receiving yards, 12.3/catch, and 3 receiving TDs), and RB Dustin Garrison (517 rushing yards, 6.2/carry, and 5 rushing TDs). Offensively, Louisville has struggled, getting inconsistent quarterback play from Teddy Bridgewater (1029 passing yards, 63.3% completion, 7 passing TDs, but 6 INTs). WRs Michaelee Harris (356 receiving yards, 13.7/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) and DeVante Parker (185 receiving yards, 16.8/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) have chipped in, through the air. West Virginia is staring up at Cincinnati as the conference leader, and will need to continue to win to make sure a showdown with the Bearcats means something. Expect West Virginia to come out and play a tough game against a good Louisville defense.

Game hype grade: 3.

#18 Georgia (6-2) (5-1 SEC) vs. New Mexico State (3-5) (1-3 WAC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 12:30 PM EST on GamePlan/ESPN3.

Series: Georgia leads 3-0.

Georgia: Offense 56th (Rushing 52nd; Passing 54th); Defense 7th (Rushing 8th; Passing 13th).

New Mexico State: Offense 45th (Rushing 94th; Passing 16th); Defense 107th (Rushing 111th; Passing 65th).

Georgia has averaged 31.2 points/game in their six straight wins. The Bulldogs take a week off from conference play, but better not sleep on the Aggies, who have one of the nation’s best passing offenses. Georgia is led by QB Aaron Murray (1822 passing yards, 58.2% completion, 18 passing TDs, but 8 INTs), RB Isaiah Crowell (689 rushing yards, 4.7/carry, and 4 rushing TDs), WR Malcolm Mitchell (438 receiving yards, 17.5/catch, and 3 receiving TDs), and TE Orson Charles (330 receiving yards, 12.7/catch, and 4 receiving TDs).  QB Matt Christian (1292 passing yards, 53.7% completion, 11 passing TDs, but 4 INTs) has stepped in well for the injured QB Andrew Manley (892 passing yards, 56.9% completion, 6 passing TDs, but 3 INTs). RB Kenny Turner (593 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) and WR Taveon Rogers (669 receiving yards, 20.9/catch, and 8 receiving TDs) have led the New Mexico State offense. Georgia will be without Crowell, as he has been suspended for Saturday’s contest. Given New Mexico State’s porous run defense, expect Georgia to run early and often. Given Georgia’s depth at running back, expect the Bulldogs to have no problem.

Game hype grade: 1.

#4 Stanford (8-0) (6-0 PAC-12) @ Oregon State (2-6) (2-3 PAC-12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 3:30 PM EST on ABC.

Series: Stanford leads 49-25-3.

Stanford: Offense 9th (Rushing 19th; Passing 20th); Defense 23rd (Rushing 6th; Passing 88th).

Oregon State: Offense 61st (Rushing 108th; Passing 22nd); Defense 55th (Rushing 64th; Passing 59th).

Despite Stanford’s overall dominance in this series, they are only 5-8 against Oregon State since 1997. Stanford has their eyes set on their first PAC-12 title since 1999. First, however, they will need to get by an Oregon State team that is 42-24 at home under Coach Mike Riley, but only 1-3 this season, including a loss to FCS Sacramento State. Heisman trophy candidate QB Andrew Luck (2218 passing yards, 71.9% completion, and 23 passing TDs) leads the Cardinal. RB Stepfan Taylor (796 rushing yards, 5.9/carry, and 8 rushing TDs), TE Coby Fleener (405 receiving yards, 22.5/catch, and 7 receiving TDs), and WR Chris Owusu (370 receiving yards, 11.2/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) also lead the Cardinal offensively. QB Sean Mannion (2195 passing yards, 64.7% completion, 10 passing TDs, but 13 INTs), including 11 in PAC-12 play, needs to cut down on the turnovers in order to propel Oregon State to victory. RB Malcolm Agnew (401 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 4 rushing TDs) and WR Markus Wheaton (702 receiving yards, 12.3/catch, and 1 receiving TD) have contributed for Oregon State. This game could be closer than people think, especially with the Oregon-Stanford showdown looming, next week. Expect Oregon State to keep this one reasonably close, if Mannion can cut down on the turnovers. If he can’t, look out, it could get ugly, early.

Game hype grade: 2.

#6 Oklahoma (7-1) (4-1 Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (5-3) (3-2 Big 12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 3:30 PM EST on ABC/ESPN2/ESPN3.

Series: Oklahoma leads 18-11.

Oklahoma: Offense 2nd (Rushing 51st; Passing 2nd); Defense 34th (Rushing 34th; Passing 53rd).

Texas A&M: Offense 7th (Rushing 16th; Passing 17th); Defense 90th (Rushing 21st; Passing 120th).

Oklahoma has dominated this series as of late, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings. However, Oklahoma looks to start a new winning streak in this series, after falling last year in College Station, 33-19. The Sooners have been led by QB Landry Jones (3094 passing yards, 66.5% completion, 26 passing TDs, but 9 INTs), RB Dominique Whaley (627 rushing yards, 5.5/carry, and 9 rushing TDs), and WRs Ryan Broyles (1070 receiving yards, 13.2/catch, and 10 receiving TDs), Jaz Reynolds (503 receiving yards, 19.3/catch, and 4 receiving TDs), and Kenny Stills (566 receiving yards, 14.5/catch, and 7 receiving TDs). The Aggies’s balanced offense has helped keep them in games, and to win them, led by QB Ryan Tannehill (2322 passing yards, 65.4% completion, 18 passing TDs, but 7 INTs), WR Ryan Swope (725 receiving yards, 13.9/catch, and 7 receiving TDs), and RBs Christine Michael (811 rushing yards, 6.1/carry, and 8 rushing TDs), and Cyrus Gray (704 rushing yards, 4.7/carry, and 7 rushing TDs). Texas A&M could keep this close – if they decide to play defense and eliminate the turnovers. But they probably won’t, expect Broyles, Reynolds, and Stills to feast on the pathetic Aggie secondary.

Game hype grade: 4.

#10 Nebraska (7-1) (3-1 Big Ten) vs. Northwestern (3-5) (1-4 Big Ten)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 3:30 PM EST on Big Ten Network.

Series: Nebraska leads 3-1.

Nebraska: Offense 51st (Rushing 9th; Passing 106th); Defense 29th (Rushing 63rd; Passing 12th).

Northwestern: Offense 27th (Rushing 33rd; Passing 49th); Defense 98th (Rushing 95th; Passing 78th).

The Huskers and Wildcats last met in the 2000 Alamo Bowl, with Nebraska walking away with the win in San Antonio. Northwestern’s lone win in the series was in 1931. QB Taylor Martinez (1915 total yards, 54.9% completion, 17 total TDs, but 7 INTs) continues to panic when getting pressured. RB Rex Burkhead (882 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 12 rushing TDs) has come up big when needed the most, totaling 249 yards and 5 total TDs against Michigan State and Ohio; he has five 100 yard rushing or more games to date. QB Dan Persa (1251 passing yards, 75.5% completion, and 9 passing TDs) is now healthy, and won his first game of the season this past week, in Bloomington. All-purpose player/QB Kain Colter (1269 total yards, 66.7% completion, and 11 total TDs) and WR Jeremy Ebert (569 receiving yards, 12.6/catch, and 7 receiving TDs) lead Northwestern. I was very high on Northwestern until the loss to Penn State. Northwestern is awful on defense; expect Nebraska to have their way with Northwestern, despite a very good quarterback in Dan Persa.

Game hype grade: 2.

#20 Wisconsin (6-2) (2-2 Big Ten) vs. Purdue (4-4) (2-2 Big Ten)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 3:30 PM EST on ABC/ESPN2/ESPN3.

Series: Wisconsin leads 41-29-8.

Wisconsin: Offense 10th (Rushing 13th; Passing 35th); Defense 11th (Rushing 53rd; Passing 4th).

Purdue: Offense 76th (Rushing 42nd; Passing 89th); Defense 53rd (Rushing 75th; Passing 40th).

Wisconsin hasn’t lost to Purdue since 2003, outscoring Purdue by an average of 29.2-10.6 since that time. Wisconsin has lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2009. Wisconsin hasn’t lost three straight games since 2004. Purdue has played QB Caleb TerBush (1283 passing yards, 62.2% completion, and 10 passing TDs, but 4 INTs) as compared with QB Robert Marve (283 passing yards, 54.5% completion, 3 passing TDs, but 2 INTs). The ground game has paced the Boilermakers, led by RBs Ralph Bolden (420 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and Akeem Shavers (328 rushing yards, 5.0/carry, and 5 rushing TDs). Wisconsin is led by QB Russell Wilson (2033 passing yards, 71.3% completion, and 22 total TDs), RB Montee Ball (853 rushing yards, 6.0/carry, and 18 rushing TDs), and WR Jared Abbrederis (595 receiving yards, 16.5/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). Wisconsin is reeling right now, but can still make the Big Ten Title game. They need a win this week, and it should be easy.

Game hype grade: 2.

#25 Southern Miss (7-1) (3-1 C-USA) @ East Carolina (4-4) (3-1 C-USA)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 4:00 PM EST.

Series: Southern Miss leads 26-10.

Southern Miss: Offense 18th (Rushing 18th; Passing 38th); Defense 28th (Rushing 43rd; Passing 35th).

East Carolina: Offense 54th (Rushing 112th; Passing 11th); Defense 56th (Rushing 88th; Passing 20th).

Southern Miss is East Carolina’s most common opponent since 1978, having played 29 times since then. From 1978-1993, Southern Miss dominated this series, going 11-2. Since then, East Carolina was made the series a bit more competitive, going 6-11, including winning two straight. East Carolina needs two more wins to avoid staying home for the holidays; after starting the year 1-4, averaging 19.6 points/game, East Carolina has won three straight, averaging 35.7 points/game. The Pirates are led by QB Dominique Davis (2342 passing yards, 70.4% completion, 15 passing TDs, but 11 INTs), RB Reggie Bullock (428 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 4 rushing TDs), and WR Lance Lewis (600 receiving yards, 10.0/catch, and 8 receiving TDs). Southern Miss is led by QB Austin Davis (2014 passing yards, 63.9% completion, 17 passing TDs, but 8 INTs), RB Patrick Hardy (426 rushing yards, 5.9/carry, and 2 rushing TDs), and WRs Ryan Balentine (468 receiving yards, 14.2/catch, and 5 receiving TDs) and Kelvin Bolden (404 receiving yards, 10.6/catch, and 5 receiving TDs). Conference USA is a quarterback-rich league, even then, these two quarterbacks are in the top tier. What do East Carolina’s last three opponents have in common? None have a total defense ranked above 59th (East Carolina is 0-3 against teams with top 50 defenses, but 4-1 against teams outside of the top 50 in total defense). Southern Miss has a top 50 defense, any guess which way this one goes?

Game hype grade: 4.

#13 Houston (8-0) (4-0 C-USA) @ UAB (1-7) (1-4 C-USA)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 7:00 PM EST.

Series: UAB leads 4-3.

Houston: Offense 1st (Rushing 60th; Passing 1st); Defense 86th (Rushing 92nd; Passing 63rd).

UAB: Offense 95th (Rushing 104th; Passing 64th); Defense 115th (Rushing 99th; Passing 108th).

Houston is led by Heisman candidate QB Case Keenum (3219 passing yards, 71.9% completion, and 32 passing TDs), RBs Michael Hayes (460 rushing yards, 5.9/carry, and 6 rushing TDs), and Charles Sims (380 rushing yards, 7.5/carry, and 6 rushing TDs), and WRs Patrick Edwards (1069 receiving yards, 21.0/catch, and 11 receiving TDs) – 318 receiving yards, 45.4/catch, and 5 receiving TDs last week – and Tyron Carrier (638 receiving yards, 12.0/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). UAB has given QB Jonathan Perry (1057 passing yards, 56.1% completion, 2 passing TDs, but 6 INTs) keys to the offense, benching QB Bryan Ellis (743 passing yards, 52.8% completion, 2 passing TDs, but 5 INTs). RB Pat Shed (223 rushing yards, 3.7/carry, and 1 rushing TD) and RB/WR Jackie Williams (468 total yards, 9.4/catch, and 2 total TDs) have led an otherwise anemic offense. Since the beginning of the year, I said Houston would not run the table. Is this the week they lose? Look at UAB’s defense. Houston wins, easy.

Game hype grade: 1.

#7 Arkansas (7-1) (3-1 SEC) vs. #9 South Carolina (7-1) (5-1 SEC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 7:15 PM EST on ESPN/ESPN3.

Series: Arkansas leads 12-7.

Arkansas: Offense 25th (Rushing 83rd; Passing 9th); Defense 71st (Rushing 89th; Passing 44th).

South Carolina: Offense 64th (Rushing 23rd; Passing 97th); Defense 6th (Rushing 41st; Passing 3rd).

Since the 1992 SEC expansion, Arkansas and South Carolina have met every year. Like the Big Ten, the SEC schedule is comprised of five divisional games, three rotating inter-divisional games, and one constant interdivisional game. Arkansas and South Carolina are the constant interdivisional game. QB Tyler Wilson (2327 passing yards, 62.7% completion, and 17 total TDs) has led the Razorback offense. Wilson has been aided by WRs Jarius Wright (709 receiving yards, 16.1/catch, and 7 receiving TDs), Cobi Hamilton (378 receiving yards, 18.9/catch, and 2 receiving TDs), and Joe Adams (453 receiving yards, 12.2/catch, and 2 total TDs). QB Connor Shaw (582 passing yards, 62.5% completion, 6 passing TDs, but 3 INTs) leads the Gamecock offense, along with WRs Alshon Jeffrey (468 receiving yards, 14.2/catch, and 5 receiving TDs) and Ace Sanders (202 receiving yards, 12.6/catch, and 1 receiving TD). This should be an excellent matchup, as Arkansas’s top 10 passing offense goes up against South Carolina’s top 10 passing defense. Provided South Carolina can neutralize the Arkansas passing game, they should be able to use their run game, even without RB Marcus Lattimore (out for season) (818 rushing yards, 5.0 carry, and 10 rushing TDs), to their advantage.

Game hype grade: 8.

#19 Arizona State (6-2) (4-1 PAC-12) @ UCLA (4-4) (3-2 PAC-12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 7:30 PM EST on Versus.

Series: UCLA leads 16-10-1.

Arizona State: Offense 30th (Rushing 76th; Passing 18th); Defense 60th (Rushing 54th; Passing 84th).

UCLA: Offense 68th (Rushing 34th; Passing 87th); Defense 89th (Rushing 83rd; Passing 81st).

The Sun Devils started this series in 1976, going 1-9-1 through the 1991 season. Since 1992, Arizona State is 9-7 against UCLA, including winning three of the last four meetings. These teams are guaranteed to meet each year now, with both being members of the South Division. The game takes on more importance, with the winner controlling their own destiny to a PAC-12 Title berth. Arizona State has been playing good ball, lead by QB Brock Osweiler (2275 passing yards, 65.9% completion, and 17 passing TDs), RB Cameron Marshall (632 rushing yards, 4.6/carry, and 12 rushing TDs), and WRs Gerell Robinson (612 receiving yards, 17.0/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) and Aaron Pflugrad (446 receiving yards, 14.9/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). With QB Richard Brehaut (935 passing yards, 55.5% completion, and 6 passing TDs) out with an ankle injury the past two games, QB Keith Prince (635 passing yards, 52.6% completion, 3 passing TDs, but 4 INTs) has filled in well. RBs Johnathan Franklin (565 rushing yards, 5.9/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and Derrick Coleman (423 rushing yards, 5.0/carry, and 9 rushing TDs) have led the Bruins offense, despite who is under center. Its anyone’s guess who will be under center Saturday for UCLA. Regardless, UCLA has a shot at keeping this one close, provided the defense shows up.

Game hype grade: 7.

#1 LSU (8-0) (5-0 SEC) @ #2 Alabama (8-0) (5-0 SEC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 8:00 PM EST on CBS.

Series: Alabama leads 45-24-5.

LSU: Offense 81st (Rushing 31st; Passing 99th); Defense 4th (Rushing 3rd; Passing 10th).

Alabama: Offense 23rd (Rushing 14th; Passing 63rd); Defense 1st (Rushing 1st; Passing 2nd).

Noticing a pattern yet? Many of this week’s best games are around 7:30 PM EST and 8:00 PM EST; great scheduling, huh? Since 2000, LSU leads this series, 8-3. Since 2005, four of the six games have been decided by seven points or less (from 2000 to 2004 only one game was decided by seven or less). The media will tell you the winner will be in the BCS title game, but with four games remaining for the winner, a lot can change in the interim. RBs Trent Richardson (989 rushing yards, 6.6/carry, and 17 total TDs), Eddie Lacy (465 rushing yards, 8.0/carry, and 5 rushing TDs), and Jalston Fowler (329 rushing yards, 7.0/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) have led the Alabama ground game. QB AJ McCarron (1664 passing yards, 67.0% completion, and 10 passing TDs) won the quarterback competition and is relying on WR Marquis Maze (482 receiving yards, 12.4/catch, and 1 receiving TD). CB Tyrann Mathieu, the Honey Badger, has led the Tigers defensively, (2 FUM REC, 2 INTs, 2 TDs), as has CB Morris Claiborne (3 INTs, 399 KR yards, 30.7/return, and 1 KR TD). Offensively, LSU has been led by RBs Spencer Ware (512 rushing yards, 4.0/carry, and 6 rushing TDs) and Michael Ford (441 rushing yards, 5.6/carry, and 6 rushing TDs). This might be the best game of the year, with the winner controlling their own destiny to the BCS Title Game and the loser still having a good shot at a BCS bowl game.

Game hype grade: 10.

#14 Kansas State (7-1) (4-1 Big 12) @ #3 Oklahoma State (8-0) (5-0 Big 12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 8:00 PM EST on ABC/ESPN2/ESPN3.

Series: Oklahoma State leads 35-22.

Oklahoma State: Offense 4th (Rushing 41st; Passing 4th); Defense 111th (Rushing 84th; Passing 101st).

Kansas State: Offense 93rd (Rushing 20th; Passing 113th); Defense 60th (Rushing 17th; Passing 103rd).

Since 1990, Kansas State is 10-3 against Oklahoma State, but has lost three of the last four meetings with the Cowboys, being outscored an average of 32.5-29.5 over those four meetings. Only one of the last four meetings have been decided by more than four points. The Pokes are led by QB Brandon Weeden (2710 passing yards, 71.3% completion, and 22 passing TDs), WR Justin Blackmon (834 receiving yards, 11.3/catch, and 10 receiving TDs), and RB Joseph Randle (842 rushing yards, 6.2/carry, and 16 rushing TDs). The Wildcats have been playing excellent defense, forcing 12 interceptions (tied for 11th in NCAA). Last year, through this point, Kansas State averaged giving up 25.6 points/game. This year, Kansas State has averaged giving up 24.5 points/game. The Wildcats were absolutely destroyed through the air last week, giving up the most points in any game for them all season, and the most at home since giving up 56 to Nebraska in 2008. Kansas State is in the midst of a tough stretch a games, this one is no exception. Oklahoma State has too much firepower.

Game hype grade: 7.

 

#5 Boise State (7-0) (2-0 MWC) @ UNLV (2-5) (1-1 MWC)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 10:30 PM EST.

Series: Series tied 3-3.

Boise State: Offense 12th (Rushing 38th; Passing 14th); Defense 16th (Rushing 50th; Passing 6th).

UNLV: Offense 116th (Rushing 71st; Passing 114th); Defense 110th (Rushing 74th; Passing 110th).

These teams haven’t met since 1977, with Boise State winning the last one. Boise State has never won two straight in this series. Boise State has been led by QB Kellen Moore (2010 passing yards, 76.3% completion, and 24 passing TDs), who has targets such as WRs Geraldo Boldewijn (78 receiving yards, 11.1/catch, and 2 receiving TDs), Matt Miller (375 receiving yards, 11.4/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) and Tyler Shoemaker (499 receiving yards, 17.8/catch, and 9 receiving TDs), and RB Doug Martin (747 rushing yards, 5.3/carry, and 9 rushing TDs). The Rebels are led by QB Caleb Herring (730 passing yards, 54.4% completion, 7 passing TDs, but 5 INTs), RBs Dionza Bradford (371 rushing yards, 4.9/carry, and 1 rushing TD) and Tim Cornett (367 rushing yards, 5.5/carry, and 4 rushing TDs), and WR Phillip Payne (385 receiving yards, 13.3/catch, and 6 receiving TDs). Kellen Moore has to love seeing UNLV’s passing defense. UNLV has probably played better than expected this year; expect them to be exposed this game.

Game hype grade: 1.

#8 Oregon (7-1) (5-0 PAC-12) @ Washington (6-2) (4-1 PAC-12)

Where to find the game: Saturday, November 5th at 10:30 PM EST.

Series: Washington leads 58-40-5.

Oregon: Offense 5th (Rushing 4th; Passing 72nd); Defense 72nd (Rushing 65th; Passing 83rd).

Washington: Offense 41st (Rushing 45th; Passing 37th); Defense 95th (Rushing 47th; Passing 117th).

Oregon has won seven straight against Washington, with an average score of 43.6-17.1 over that stretch. Oregon is probably out of the national title discussion at this point, absent losses by Alabama, Boise State, LSU, and Oklahoma State. Realistically, this game means little for them for PAC-12 Title purposes as well, since they would still control their own destiny even with a loss. QB Darron Thomas (1380 passing yards, 61.4% completion, and 18 passing TDs), freshman RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas (382 receiving yards, 15.3/catch, and 10 total TDs), RBs LaMichael James (905 rushing yards, 8.4/carry, and 8 rushing TDs) and Kenjon Barner (560 rushing yards, 7.1/carry, and 7 rushing TDs) remain the major leaders for Oregon, with WR Lavasier Tuinei (335 receiving yards, 14.0/catch, and 7 receiving TDs) contributing. The Huskies’s balanced offense is led by QB Keith Price (1990 passing yards, 66.5% completion, and 23 passing TDs), RB Chris Polk (1016 rushing yards, 5.6/carry, and 9 rushing TDs), WRs Devin Aguilar (427 receiving yards, 15.3/catch, and 3 receiving TDs), James Johnson (330 receiving yards, 12.7/catch, and 3 receiving TDs), and Jermaine Kearse (395 receiving yards, 12.7/catch, and 6 receiving TDs), and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (335 receiving yards, 16.0/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). Washington’s pass defense has been awful, being shredded by Stanford, but the run defense has been pretty good, and the Huskies do have a balanced offense. Don’t be surprised if this one is pretty close.

Game hype grade: 7.

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