College Football Preview: The Playoffs are Calling

By Ron Johnson

The weather is getting colder. The World Series is official. And the madness of college football is going up another notch. With the first College Football Playoff Poll due next week, every team is vying to be a part of the Dirty Dozen. This weekend promises to be enjoyable for some…and painful for others.

College Football Weekend Schedule

4 Florida State vs. Wake Forest

The Seminoles have been a team possessed this season. Whether it’s showing out on the field with huge wins against Duke and Clemson to making it clear they are shopping around for another conference, one cannot go anywhere without talking about Florida State. This weekend, the Noles head to Winston-Salem for a conference battle with Wake Forest (who are 1-3 in conference play). I’m pretty sure this should be a warmup for the Noles for the conference title game, and the Demon Deacons should not pose much of a problem for them.

6 Oklahoma vs. Kansas

The Sooners are the masters of their own destiny to this point. After dispatching Iowa State easily and surviving battles with Texas and UCF, the Sooners now turn their attention to the Jayhawks who are coming off a seven-point loss to Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks are just look to get themselves back on track, and holding their own against a game Sooners team should at least get the morale back up in Lawrence.

Indiana vs. 10 Penn State

The Nittany Lions are coming off a tough defeat at the hands of Ohio State, and they are looking to get themselves back on track against an Indiana team that has lost three straight games. They aren’t out of the conference championship picture, but another conference loss would be detrimental to their chances of some redemption.

1 Georgia vs. Florida

What was once known as The World’s Largest Cocktail Party has been a bit off the wall. Georgia has owned the Gators in the series recently. While Georgia has been on a rampage, Florida has been on a tear of its own (with the exception of Kentucky). The Bulldogs are looking to keep pace on their Road to Atlanta, and they know that either Alabama, LSU, or Ole Miss are going to be there in the end. While Florida may be looking to get themselves some respect, Georgia will be looking to punch their ticket to the SEC Title Game.

BYU vs. 7 Texas

The Cougars have had some tough sledding this season, but to face a very angry Longhorns team this late in the season is not going to make it any easier. Texas is eyeing to continue their climb towards their final Big XII Championship, but the loss to Oklahoma may be detrimental to that quest. 

8 Oregon vs. 13 Utah

The Ducks lost a heartbreaker to the Huskies in a shootout but bounced back against Washington State. They now have to face a Utes team that is coming off a successful trip to the Golden State with wins over Cal and USC. They are looking to add the Ducks to that list after taking out the Beavers at the end of September.

Pitt vs. 14 Notre Dame

The Irish lost a pair of close games to Louisville and Ohio State, but they got a huge win against the Trojans of USC. They look to return to the College Football Playoff and finally getting that elusive National Championship. The Panthers have not been a very threatening team, so this should be smooth sailing for the Irish.

college football

20 Duke vs. 18 Louisville

Louisville was on a roll until their loss to Pitt a few weeks ago. Duke was on a rampage until they face Notre Dame. After losing to Florida State last week, the Devils are looking to get back into the swing of things. An upset over the Cardinals could do just that. And if there is any program that can do it, Duke has proven that they can hang with the best of them.

24 USC vs. Cal

Both teams are coming off back-to-back losses. Both teams have lost to Utah. Something has got to give in this Golden State Showdown. One more loss could cost either of these programs a shot at a New Year’s Six Bowl.

5 Washington vs. Stanford

Washington is looking to improve their rankings prior to the first CFP Poll is about to be unveiled next week. Stanford had a huge win over the Buffs a few weeks ago, but failed to show up against Bruins last weekend. Washington is eyeing the playoffs, while Stanford is just looking to get back to good.

21 Tennessee vs. Kentucky

Tennessee lost a close battle with Alabama last week, while Kentucky also lost a close one to Mizzou. Both teams are still looking at the postseason, but their dreams of playing for the SEC Championship is put on the backburner for now. Either way, this border war should be fun for both of them.

3 Ohio State vs. Wisconsin

The Buckeyes have been given the nod as one of the top two teams in the country…again. BUT the big question is are they setting themselves up for a fall with Michigan? As for the Badgers, they’re still in the driver’s seat to play for the Big 10 Championship, and a win over the Buckeyes would be good for their division lead against Iowa.

Colorado vs. 23 UCLA

The Buffs have been in a slump, but the Gospel of Prime should be focused on the next game. A win over the UCLA Bruins should give them a push in the right direction. If the Sanders brothers play a near-flawless game, Colorado could pull the upset. So how will UCLA react to the many trick plays that Coach Prime will most likely draw up for this game?

Old Dominion vs. 25 James Madison

The only reason this game is on this piece is because James Madison is one of the only undefeated teams NOT ranked in the Top 15. OD is looking to remedy that by handing them their first loss. But the way that they have been playing, can anyone really stop them?

11 Oregon State vs. Arizona

The Beavers look to climb back into the top 10, but to do that, they will have to face an unpredictable Wildcats team that is out to show that their school is not just about basketball. The Beavers are looking to pad their resume a little better with the first CFP Poll set to come out next week. This should be a victory for them, but never take Arizona lightly. They can pull upsets if necessary.

Florida Atlantic vs. Charlotte (Friday Night Lights)

The Owls will look to get back on the winning track in a game that should be a good one. According to Bleacher Brothers, the coach of Charlotte was not feeling very confident about his team’s chances against the Owls. And he is right. The Owls should get this victory and increase their chances of playing in the conference championship game and possibly a bowl game.

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