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Week 5 National Preview- Elimination Round

So now that we have screwed around for a month with buy games and a few interesting non-conference tilts we kick off October by jumping right into an elimination round. The Big 12, Pac 10 and SEC all boast huge conference showdowns this Saturday that could have a major impact on the post season.

For the third consecutive week the geniuses at the controls of network programming have managed to bunch all of the good games together in the same time slot. This week they even doubled down and did it at 3:30 and 8:00. Nice work. I know this happens from time to time but this season it seems to be the norm. Anyway….

Below are the games that I am most interested in this week. If you want the full TV Schedule for the week it is available here.

*All times listed are EST.

Thursday 30 September

Texas A&M at Oklahoma State 7:30 ESPN

Both of these teams put up PlayStation numbers in the first three weeks of the season against inferior competition. Now after taking last Saturday off they will face off in a very interesting Thursday Night tilt at Boone’s house. I’ll take Okie Light in a shootout.

Friday 1 October

BYU at Utah State 8:00 ESPN

After eeking out a win against Washington on opening weekend BYU has been soundly beaten by Air Force, Florida State and Nevada. Despite their struggles I think the Coogs get back on track this weekend. Utah State is just plain bad.

Saturday 2 October

Miami at Clemson 12:00 ESPN2

This is by far the most interesting of a weak slate of early games. If Jacory Harriss throws 2 picks or less Miami wins. Call it a coin flip.

Navy at Air Force 2:30 Versus

Navy has won the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy 7 consecutive times. Prior to that streak Air Force had won it 6 consecutive times. Is this the year that the trophy heads back to Colorado Springs? With Army still working to get back to a point that it can compete with these two I think the winner of this game will ultimately claim the prize.

Based on what I have seen thus far I think Air Force wins this one. Check them out. It isn’t every day you see someone running a triple option out of the Capital I.

Tennessee at LSU 3:30 CBS

LSU is due for a loss but I think Leslie Miles and company will survive one more week. Tennessee is definitely not ready for prime time and their trip to Red Stick will likely end badly. Miles will take his first lumps next week at The Swamp.

Wisconsin at Michigan State 3:30 ABC/ESPN (Regional)

Both of these teams cruised against three patsies and squeaked out a victory against the only decent team that they have faced. Wiscy is favored here but I see it as more of a toss up. I’ll take Sparty at home with Dantonio coaching from the press box.

Texas at Oklahoma (Dallas) 3:30 ABC/ESPN (Regional)

This version of The Red River Shootout lost a little shine after the Horns got upset by Slick Rick last weekend but it remains a major factor in the Big 12 South race. The Sooners are favored but from what I have seen they really haven’t looked like world beaters either. Tough call but I’ll jump on Bevo in a bounce back performance.

Virginia Tech at NC State 3:30 ABC/ (Regional)

This really isn’t that interesting except that one of these teams is 4-0 and ranked and it isn’t the one everyone thought it would be in the preseason. At this point there is little reason to think that Russell Wilson won’t cut up Bud Foster’s D too. Wolfpack.

Florida at Alabama 8:00 CBS

Bama has looked a lot more crisp out of the gate but I can’t help but think that the Gators are going to look like the Gators again any day now. Florida’s defense has played pretty well so far and their offense is still getting its sea legs. I think this is going to be an exciting game that goes down to the wire.

Stanford at Oregon 8:00 ABC/ESPN2 (Regional)

This might be the most intriguing game of the day (Non ND of course). Oregon’s speed vs. Stanford’s power. While the Oregon offense has been on fire this season their defense has looked vulnerable in the first half at Tennessee and throughout the Arizona State contest. I think the Stanford offense will have their way with the Ducks methodically scoring points by pounding on them, controlling the clock and shortening the game.

When Oregon has the ball QB Darron Thomas will have to think quick and keep the mistakes to a minimum. The contrasting styles of X’s and O’s make this one extra interesting. I will have to DVR it to give it a closer look after I get done watching….

Notre Dame at Boston College 8:00 ABC/ (Regional)

What the hell? The ABC/ESPN geniuses pick this game up then only air it in the Northeast? Come on man! So I either have to watch it on the computer or shell out the $24 to get Game Plan for the weekend. Weak. Kick this thing off at 12:00 and put it on ESPNU for crying out loud. Whatever.

As for the game itself BC is the jinx but I like the matchup in favor of the Irish. BC is about as one dimensional as you can get and will be starting a backup QB due to the ineffectiveness of David Shinskie through 4 games. The Irish D should be able to put 8 in the box and keep the Eagles in check. When ND has the ball a pretty solid BC defense could make life difficult for Dayne Crist if they effectively shut down the Irish rushing attack. This will be a close game but I like the Irish.

Penn State at Iowa 8:00 ESPN

Hey check it out there is a big game in the Big Ten too. Will this game really draw bigger ratings for the WWL than ND vs. BC? I’ll take the Hawkeyes at home in a toss up.

What do you think? Enjoy the weekend.