Who SEC fans should root against: Week 6
SEC ROOTING GUIDE
In which we tell you which teams you should root against in the upcoming week.
The SEC’s drool-worthy schedule make this weekend special, but there are some other terrific national games Saturday. Every weekend from here on out features at least one heavy hitter nationally outside the SEC, but this may be the most loaded weekend in October. There are several chances for a playoff contender outside the SEC to step on a land mine.
Oklahoma at TCU: We don’t know what to make of the Horned Frogs yet, with the new offensive system and two of the three wins coming against Samford and SMU. But the 30-7 win against Minnesota turned heads. TCU has won by an average of 45-7. This probably is the second-toughest game for the Sooners for the remainder of the season, as OU gets Kansas State and Oklahoma State at home. As I’ve written before, this Oklahoma team is as well-suited to grind through these kind of games — ones featuring an elite team that should win, but that presents a more limited margin of error — as any of the elite teams in the country. But a loss here is a huge hit for the Big 12’s best team. SEC fans would rejoice if hater Bob Stoops got a taste of trouble.
Stanford at Notre Dame: In some ways this is a win-win for the SEC. But the Cardinal already have one loss and must yet play Oregon and UCLA on the road, not to mention a Pac-12 championship game if the team somehow channels Keanu Reeves’ character in The Matrix. In other words, even with a win against the Irish, Stanford’s College Football Playoff odds are grim. Notre Dame’s schedule is littered with power conference foes, but beat Stanford and the season may hinge on an Oct. 18 meeting at Florida State. Everett Golson hasn’t quite been spectacular, but clearly benefitted from his year training with George Whitfield in San Diego. SEC fans benefit most from an Irish loss here.
Nebraska at Michigan State: This is the most entertaining game in the country outside of the SEC. It’s a classic Big Ten matchup between two teams that love to pound the football and roll out physical, stout defenses. The Cornhuskers have an unblemished record and a fairly tame path to the Big Ten championship game with a win (Wisconsin stands in the way). The Spartans have the national ranking and a justifiable road loss against Oregon early in the year. Saddling Michigan State with a second loss is important to the SEC, and failing to do that means a diminished Ohio State and Wisconsin are all that stands in the way of MSU rolling to 12-1. This one isn’t as clear-cut, as an unbeaten Nebraska would start to become a playoff threat, but SEC fans probably want the Blackshirts to win for now.
Utah at UCLA: The Utes should’ve won last week to stay unbeaten, but blew a 17-point second-half lead against Washington State. Not that beating Michigan on the road means anything this season — just ask Minnesota — but Utah already knows what it feels like to pull a road upset against a major program. UCLA couldn’t put away anyone the first three games of the season, and if the Bruins look toward Oregon too early, this game could be tight. SEC fans could love to see a Pac-12 unbeaten crash.