Published November 6, 2012 - 8:30am
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Week 11 brings us only three games that involve ranked teams playing each other. Two of them are from the SEC and one is from the Pac12. Nonetheless, we are counting them all down, and there are only three weeks left of the best regular season in all of sports.
Here are the most interesting games for week 11:
#15 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama
Everyone knows this Bama team is the best in the country, but the biggest question in this game is not whether the Tide can shut down Johnny Manziel – it’s whether they will bounce back as expected from such an emotional win in Baton Rouge last Saturday night. Texas A&M features an electric offense led by the best player in the SEC in Manziel, but can he do enough to beat the Crimson Tide in their house? What a tall task to ask of a freshman, and the Aggies will have to play their best game and force at least two turnovers. Several things have to go the Aggies’ way to pull out the win. This should be a great game.
#11 Oregon State at #14 Stanford
Let’s be honest, the only reason we’re paying attention to this game is because it involves two ranked opponents. We’re keeping a close eye on Oregon State to see if they can make it to play Oregon with only one loss in three weeks. Stanford has already lost two games and is out of the Pac12 race. This is important for Oregon’s strength of schedule, and it’s important to the Ducks that OSU hangs around the top ten.
#21 Mississippi State at #7 LSU
Both LSU and Mississippi State are coming off losses, LSU to Alabama and MSU to Texas A&M. MSU hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since 1991, and the Tigers will have an edge playing a night game in front of the home crowd. LSU played their best game last week in the losing effort to Bama, and it’s looking like MSU’s 7-0 start had everything to do with the weak schedule, because they are losers of the last two against Bama and Texas A&M. The Bulldogs have just looked out of sync and soft the last two, and it will be a tall task to rebound against LSU on the road.
#3 Oregon at California
Oregon escaped with a 15-13 victory the last time these two tree-hugging schools hooked up in Berkley. Oregon should hang 50 nonetheless, but they narrowly escaped two years ago before ultimately making it to the national championship against Auburn. Expect Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to have big games and for Barner to get more Heisman pub this week if all go as planned.
#10 Florida State at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech continues to be the most overrated team in college football year-in and year-out, and a Thursday night in Lane Stadium is tough for anyone to play. And with the Noles coming to town, VT could shatter any remaining hope FSU has to play in the national championship with one loss. FSU still plays a top ten Florida in three weeks, and they are hoping to somehow back into the national championship picture again. VT and its fans will be up for this one, and no matter that the Hokies, are 4-5 Lane Stadium will be rocking.