Another week passes by, and the traditional powers find more success while recent powerhouses falter. Penn State and Alabama may have big tests in front of them still, but both teams have to be considered the new surprise favorite for a league title (Penn State has an outright conference lead already!). Notre Dame did lose to Michigan State and has a tough battle against USC this week, but nobody can deny Charlie Weis has this team looking like Notre Dame of old times, smashing high level competition. Nebraska did falter this week to Texas Tech, but they will face no other great test other than Texas this season assuming they continue their run through the Big XII North division. Each of these teams could have been written off for dead, and now they could be budding new dynasties. It's amazing how college football goes in cycles.
Speaking of cycles, the other side is not pretty as Michigan is 3-3 and looking terrible going into their big game with Penn State this week. Oklahoma is an embarrassing 2-3 after a killing by Texas, and Ohio State (the last team to win a national title before USC) may not be a dynasty but has taken unexpected lumps already. Hopefully the rest of the season will be as unexpected and exciting as the first half!
There are many great games this week, including Wisconsin at Minnesota, Michigan State at Ohio State, Florida at LSU, Penn State at Michigan, and Florida State at Virginia. Despite all of this great football, I must select three top games of the week, and I may pick games which may not be as close as these but they still have huge bearing in their own ways.
I begin with the Big East championship game, also known as Louisville at West Virginia. WVU plays really well at home and the loss to Virginia Tech was expected, but the Mountaineers were not very impressive in their wins. Louisville is on and off this season, dropping a conference game to South Florida but nothing else. I think Louisville has more talent and desire, but West Virginia is tough to beat in Morgantown. A virtual toss-up, I'll take the Mountaineers by 3.
Colorado is the only Big XII conference unbeaten left alongside Texas and Texas Tech, and the Longhorns will be more challenged by the Red Raiders and the Buffaloes than the Sooners this year. Texas should defend the home turf here, but Colorado could be a letdown game coming off the Red River Rundown. If Texas allows Colorado to have a 14-21 point lead early, I do not know if they will recover. Of course this is a worst-case scenario, but for Texas this is one of their few remaining games which might be close between them and a Rose Bowl appearance. I'll still take Texas by 20.
Hands down the game of the week hype-wise and in my article is USC traveling to South Bend to play Notre Dame. The Gold Domers are a lot better than the last few years, and Charlie Weis could bury USC if the Trojans come out to their fourth straight slow start. UND's extra week to prepare is also bad news for the Trojans, but the rivalry will not be overlooked by USC. The target on the champion's back is tough to shake off, and I would not be surprised if this game is won by either team. Expect a close battle which will determine bragging rights for years to come, and my pick is USC by 10.
Top 3 Games of the Week record to date: 7-11 (2-1 last week - don't call it a comeback)
Fitzy's Top 10 - Week 7
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