Previewing the Top Games of 2012: Week Eleven

One of these guys might be Whiskey's kin. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

Less than 7 weeks until the college football season begins. Yes, we're almost through the dark days of summer with fall camp just around the corner.

These are exciting times.

As we inch closer to the actual season full of live football, this series crawls closer to an end. Up next is week eleven as we are in the chilly throes of November.

Thursday

Florida State at Virginia Tech

Here are your odds-on favorites to win their division in league play, so in a way this game won't be that big if they're just going to play each other again a month later.

These programs do have a decent rivalry but they haven't played many regular season games in the ACC. This will only be the second trip to Blacksburg for the Seminoles since Tech joined the league, and just their third visit overall since 1989.

Saturday

Tulsa at Houston

Conference USA bragging rights will be on the line for this one. Leave me alone, there aren't that many good games to preview this week, okay?

Last year the Cougars demolished the Golden Hurricane 48-16, but that's just the nature of this series. We've seen some nail biters and some epic blowouts. Both teams are expected to be in the running game for a league title so this game carries some importance.

Southern Miss at SMU

More Conference USA excitement!

I never would have believed these teams have played just three times in history. It's a day of reckoning for the C-USA as the presumed top four teams are in action against each other. Southern Miss has yet to lose to SMU and have outscored the Mustangs 83-22.

SMU has been improving though so there's going to be stiff competition for Southern Miss in this one.

Arkansas at South Carolina

Arkansas has won three straight in this series for the second time ever, but the Hogs have never taken four in a row from the Gamecocks.

Despite South Carolina experiencing a historical revival in recent years, they haven't come close to beating Arkansas since 2009 being outscored 118-64. You have to like the Gamecocks' chances at home but Arkansas has clearly proved in the past that they are the better team.

Georgia at Auburn

Due to their schedule and other factors such as "talent" and "skill" the Georgia Bulldogs are a legit national title contender. Somehow they managed to avoid the top three teams in the SEC West and instead face their biggest challenged from the other league division in Missouri and Auburn.

This is a must-win for the 'Dawgs if they plan on having any dreams of SEC titles or national championships. Georgia has owned the series in recent years winning 5 of the last 6.

Georgia Tech at North Carolina

This is the second time during this series that I've been surprised at how dominant Georgia Tech has been against an ACC opponent. The Yellow Jackets have won three straight against North Carolina, as well as 6 of the last 7 and 12 of the last 14 games.

Both of these teams could be solid and in the running for the ACC title game.

Kansas State at TCU

6th game ever between these new Big 12 rivals, and the first since 1986.

TCU won 3 of the 4 matchups against the Wildcats in the 1980's, but Kansas State won the first two meetings overall. I've got a strong feeling that TCU wins this game in a blowout, we'll see if I'm right on that.

Oregon at California

Berkeley contains some Duck kyrptonite because Oregon has not played well on the road at California in recent years. The Ducks have won 3 straight in the series but barely won the last game 15-13 at Cal, and they've lost the previous three matchups on the road before that.

Which is to say, I'm sure Chip Kelly will have his troops ready for this game and we see a score much similar to the 2011 and 2009 games.

Penn State at Nebraska

Thanks to a close win at Happy Valley for Nebraska last year, this series is now tied at 7 apiece.

It will be interesting to see what kind of team Penn State puts on the field this year, but most expect Nebraska to be a step or two above the Nittany Lions in 2012. As such, the Cornhuskers will have to win this game to stay in the race for whichever division name they are in.

West Virginia at Oklahoma State

This will be the first regular season game between these teams in over 80 years. The two programs played against each other in the 1987 Sun Bowl and haven't played in a non-postseason game since back-to-back games in 1928 and 1929.

Did you know that Oklahoma State led the nation with 44 takeaways last year and that most of their defense returns for 2012? Just something to keep in mind...

Which games are you looking forward to?

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