To wrap up this week’s edition of the knotmove.com College Football Round Table, we want to point out some games to watch this weekend in addition to the big ones we have already mentioned.
Texas A&M and Arkansas face off in the Southwest Classic in Cowboys Stadium and Wisconsin and Nebraska’s Big Ten opener is our featured game of the week. So for the hardcore football junkies out there, what other games should you be paying attention to this weekend?
Other than games we mentioned already, what is one game you think should be watched closely this weekend, and why?
Gerald Nicdao, San Diego Sports Examiner: There’s 3-0 Texas versus 3-0 Iowa State in their Big 12 opener, Alabama travels to Florida, and undefeated Clemson goes to Virginia Tech.
But the game fans should keep an eye on is Air Force at Navy. Both teams are 2-1. Both are good enough to get into bowl games (Air Force has a dark horse’s shot at the Mountain West title). Both have been rumored to join the flailing Big East, and would good reason. Both play a brand of football that hearkens back to the golden age of the service academies, and both execute that brand very well.
And here’s the real reason to watch: the winner of the Air Force-Navy game has won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy (given to the winner of the annual Air Force-Army-Navy round robin) since 1997. So, sure Army-Navy will always be the rivalry with the pageantry and tradition, but in reality, people should be watching Air Force-Navy instead.
Chances are, the winner of this year’s matchup will also take the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy home.
Jordan Caldwell, Utah Utes Examiner: There are a few great rivalry games on the slate for this weekend where rivalry trophies are at stake such as: Utah State @ BYU- The Beehive Boot*; Minnesota @ Michigan- The Little Brown Jug; Northwestern @ Illinois- Land of Lincoln Trophy; Air Force @ Navy- Commander in Chief’s Trophy*; SMU @ TCU- The Iron Skillet. All of these games should be very entertaining and mean a lot to each school.
The main game I will have my eye on though has to be Auburn @ South Carolina. The state of South Carolina obviously hasn’t been kind to Auburn as they lost to Clemson a couple of weeks ago. However, the jury is still out on South Carolina. This should be a classic SEC slugfest and could have conference champion implications.
Max Price, Oregon Ducks Examiner: Normally I’d give you a West Coast matchup here, but it’s looking like a pretty good weekend for Pac-12 fans to go camping. Clemson at Virginia Tech would be an easy pick, but I’m going to go with Auburn at #10 South Carolina. The Gamecocks don’t have a quarterback, and things finally boiled over this weekend when Stephen Garcia threw 4 interceptions against Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, Auburn has struggled to a 3-1 record. If they can slow down the S.C. running game and force Garcia or backup Connor Shaw to throw the football, they should have some great opportunities to turn takeaways into points. I’m not saying they’ll win, but Auburn has a great shot to pick up a win over a top-ten opponent this weekend.
Schimri Yoyo, Big East Examiner: Alabama at Florida because I will take every opportunity I am afforded to watch Trent Richardson play football. Secondly, I want to see how for real Florida’s 4-0 record is. If they can hang with and/or beat the Crimson Tide, then I’ll begin thumping for the Will Muschamp for Coach of the Year campaign.
Sean Jackson, Ohio State Buckeyes Examiner: Florida at Alabama.
How does the Crimson Tide respond to two consecutive big games? How far along are the Gators? This game should answer those questions and give us a good idea if Florida is back to past form as well as if Alabama can keep up with LSU.
Troy Hyde, Iowa Hawkeyes Examiner: I’ll give you two games. The first one is Alabama at Florida. This game is the first of many that Alabama will have to win to keep itself in the title mix. I think Alabama wins this game but it is in the Swamp and could give the Tide problems. The other game to watch features to other undefeated teams – Virginia Tech and Clemson. This game could very well decide the champion of the ACC this season and a BCS representative in the Orange Bowl. Clemson has shown me a lot this year with some good wins. I like them on the road against the Hokies.
Kevin, National College Football Examiner: I have the benefit of seeing everyone’s responses before putting together this weekly post and while I normally try to avoid seeing what everyone else has to say I felt like this time I should take note and try to point out another game to pay attention to.
Honestly I am a little surprised that nobody, not even our own Big East writer, pointed out the Thursday night game between South Florida and Pittsburgh. The Bulls are off to a great start highlighted by a win over Notre Dame and with an offense that all of a sudden looks like a formidable unit. The Panthers are coming off two straight tough losses (Iowa, Notre Dame) and need a win in conference play to avoid falling behind early in the Big East. South Florida was a trendy pick in the Big East this season and a win at Heinz Field Thursday night will let the rest of the conference know they are a real threat, and possibly the favorite.
For the revenge game of the season, Boise State hosts Nevada in what is now a non-conference match-up (until next year when Nevada joins the Mountain West Conference). Remember, Nevada is the team that handed the Broncos their only loss of the season last year, dropping Boise State from BCS championship picture with one missed field goal. Look for the Broncos to run wild in this year’s match-up as Nevada is not as string as last year and the Broncos will look forward to make amends for what happened last year and not let the Wolf Pack ruin their season again.
*The rivalry trophy is awarded to the team who has the best record against teams in the rivalry.
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