Three Games to Watch:

Steve O Speak

(18) Penn State at (1) Alabama: The Crimson Tide are without both their Heisman Trophy running back, Mark Ingram, and their top defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, but I still like their chances today against a much improved Penn State team. Running back Trent Richardson should be more than enough for the Nittany Lions to handle. And if that isn’t enough backups Demetrius Goode and Eddie Lacy added 177 yards in backup duty last week, to give the Tide an impressive ground game. If that wasn’t bad enough Alabama has one of the best receivers in the nation in Julio Jones, and he should give Penn State corners plenty of problems. While I like Penn State’s offense led by QB Robert Bolden and RB Evan Royster, but I think the Tide will be too much for them. Bolden is especially promising, but he is just a true freshman and in for a rude awakening today. Alabama wins this one 31-21.

(17) Florida State vs. (10) Oklahoma: While I see this being a close game I believe the Seminoles will knock off the home team Oklahoma Sooners. Florida State has a ton of speed and athleticism on both sides of the ball and I think they are more talented than Oklahoma. QB Christian Ponder is poised for a huge season. He has great awareness in the pocket and rarely makes a bad throw. If his offensive linemen give him some time, I think he will pick apart the Sooners’ secondary. Oklahoma will keep it close, but look for Florida State to win 27-24.

(12) Miami vs. (2) Ohio State: This is the game of the week and is a true matchup between two National Title contenders. Miami doesn’t have the hype yet, but they are a very good team. Led by QB Jacory Harris and WR Leonard Hankerson the Hurricanes have an impressive offense. And it will have to be today for them to survive their trip to Columbus. The Buckeyes offense is just about as good and led by QB Terrell Pryor, who is poised for a breakout season. Both teams are equally adapt on defense as well, with All-American talent at every position. And in fact that is where I think the Hurricanes could have an advantage. Miami has very talented defensive ends (Ohio State’s aren’t too shabby either), going up against a pair of fairly green offensive tackles. If the offensive tackles can’t handle their own then the Ohio State offense could sputter. And if those Miami ends get consistent pressure and containment on Pryor, then I don’t think Ohio State can win this football game. I think this will end up being a very close game with Miami outlasting Ohio State 21-20.

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