Friday, October 11, 2013

The Battle To Decide Who's The Best, In The Pacific Northwest- It's Your Week 7 College Football Talk With Chooch

Week 6 Review 

Buckeyes survive again: It wasn’t overly pretty, but Ohio State survived its second big test of the season at Northwestern in an electric atmosphere. Carlos Hyde led the way for Ohio State on the ground, which used its superior physicality and athleticism to wear the Wildcats down. The game also saw one of the worst backdoor covers in recent memory, as OSU covered the spread on a defensive touchdown as time expired.

Tennessee loses a heartbreaker: As I left one bar Saturday night on my way to meet up with friends to watch ND-Arizona State (more below), I saw the Volunteers take a 31-24 lead over Georgia with a few minutes to play. By the time I arrived, Georgia had just tied it and forced overtime. Then, in overtime, Tennessee fumbled the ball through the endzone, allowing Georgia to kick the game-winning field goal. What a brutal loss for a program that’s been looking for that first huge win since 2007.

Notre Dame gets a huge win: On the surface, ND is just 4-2 now heading into its bye week, but this was a massive win over a ranked and very dangerous Arizona State squad that had just put up 60 points against USC. Notre Dame’s defense played its best game of the year, and although the box score shows 34 points for ASU, 7 of those came on the final drive under prevent defense, while another 7 came on a pick 6 thrown by Tommy Rees. Hopefully this game gives the team confidence as it prepares for USC in a few weeks.

Stanford wins, but Washington tough: Stanford survived at home against a resilient Huskies team, but Washington proved that it belongs at the big boy table by challenging the Cardinal all game. Keith Price might have played himself into the Heisman race with his performance.

Week 7 Preview 

Game of the Week

Oregon at Washington- I’m a little hesitant having this as the game of the week only because Washington could have a massive hangover against Oregon after a tough loss to Stanford last week. If that’s the case, look for the Ducks to continue their recent dominance. Oregon hasn’t been tested by an elite offense yet though, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to pressure if Washington starts putting up a lot of points. It’s good to see Washington back in big time college football. It’s a great program with tradition, fan support, and a beautiful stadium. However, I don’t think they’re ready to take down Oregon yet, which is simply a machine right now.

Other Games to Watch 

Florida at LSU: Last year Florida derailed LSU’s season with a shocking 14-6 victory. Since then, Florida’s offense has struggled mightily, and will be put to an even bigger test in death valley Saturday night. The Gators defense has been the best in the SEC over the past 2 seasons though. Both teams, with one loss, stand on the brink of elimination from the national title conversation, making this game as big as it gets this early in the season.

Texas vs. Oklahoma (Dallas)- The Red River shootout of 2013 could be the biggest game of Mack Brown’s career post Colt McCoy. Texas has really struggled the past few seasons, beyond any reasonable explanation beyond coaching, as the Longhorns continue to stockpile elite talent. The past two seasons, Texas has been humiliated by slightly above average Oklahoma teams in Dallas. If that happens for a third straight season, expect this to be Mack’s last in Austin.

Missouri at Georgia- Missouri is the quietist 5-0 team in the country, but they should come crashing back down to earth this week against Georgia. Can the Bulldogs avoid a hangover after last week’s draining win over Tennessee?

Heisman Watch

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: Mariota moves to the top spot as Oregon keeps rolling.

2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Bridgewater is still the best QB in the country in my opinion.

3. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: Back to his dominant self against Syracuse.

4. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M: Status quo for Manziel

5. Keith Price, QB, Washington: Price was incredible impressive at Stanford. Showcase game this week for him versus Oregon.

-Chooch (@MrCianciulli)

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