Thursday Weekend Primer, Week 10

After another great weekend, week 10 has lofty standards to live up to. Fortunately November brings to us hope of another repeat of last year as many of the top teams still have yet to play each other. If November of 2008 is to mirror November of 2007, keep an eye on these five games or you’ll surely miss out.

West Virginia @ #25 UConn, 12:00 ET, ESPN Gameplan

West Virginia, after a rocky start to the season, suddenly finds themselves alone atop the Big East at 2-0. Coming off of an emotional Thursday night primetime victory over Auburn the Mountaineers take on Connecticut who is only a game behind them. The winner of this game will still have to play Pittsburgh, but will likely have the inside track toward winning the Big East and earning the accompanying BCS berth. UConn meanwhile is one of the big surprises of 2008 as they will once again go bowling. Individual players to watch in this game include Pat White and Noel Devine for West Virginia and Heisman number five Donald Brown. If nothing else you should tune in to this game to get a glimpse of the best runner in the country on one of the upstarts of 08.

Wisconsin @ #21 Michigan State, 12:00 ET, ESPN

Wisconsin hopes to salvage their season with a win this weekend against Michigan State

Wisconsin hopes to salvage their season with a win this weekend against Michigan State

I normally wouldn’t recommend that anybody watch this year’s incarnation of the Wisconsin Badgers, seeing as how their season has officially come off the rails after their just-ended four game losing streak. Despite that losing streak, Wisconsin can still fight their way into a bowl, and will likely make a bowl with a win in East Lansing this Saturday. Michigan State has emerged as the biggest roadblock between Penn State and a Big 10 title and undefeated season, but they just might be overlooking the downtrodden Badgers. Look for points to be at a premium as both squads are averaging, combined, less than 27 points a game – so the first team to 20 will probably win this one. If you don’t catch Donald Brown running for UConn, at least watch Javon Ringer tote the rock 40 times for Michigan State.

#8 Florida v.s. #6 Georgia, 3:30 PM ET, CBS

I know this game isn’t called The World’s Largest Cocktail Party anymore, but I’m not one to follow stupid name changes (Football Bowl Subdivision?). This year’s WLCP will certainly feature high emotions for several reasons, not the least among them is that the winner will have essentially a two game lead on the loser in the SEC East. Of course lurking in the background is last year’s touchdown “celebration” by the Bulldogs which involved just about every scholarship player running to the goal line. The winner is likely to vault into the top 5 as this is the kind of game that makes a season for somebody. Keep an eye on Knowshon Moreno as he seems to be really finding his groove in the past couple of weeks, Georgia will need him running full speed to take down the Gators in this rivalry game.

#24 Oregon @ California, 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Oregon, despite their loss to USC last month, is in a good position to take the backdoor route to a Pac 10 championship. The Trojans, known for midseason hiccups in the past, could slip up at any time and Oregon would be right there to slip ahead. That is, if they get past a trip to the Rose Bowl to take on a feisty California team. A lot of people knock the Pac 10, but Oregon will feature an offense just about as good as anybody out there and California will counter with Jahvid Best, one of the best running backs in the Pac 10. This game will help to relieve the logjam of one loss teams in the Pac 10 and reduce by one the number of teams waiting to cash in on the next USC letdown.

A win this weekend would be a program changer for Graham Harrell and the Red Raiders

A win this weekend would be a program changer for Graham Harrell and the Red Raiders

#1 Texas @ #7 Texas Tech, 8:00 PM ET, ABC

Texas traveling to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech, with all due respect to the WLCP, is the biggest game of the weekend by far. The Big 12 South features a group of teams unlike any other conference in the country and this game is just another in the gauntlet to determine who will be traveling north to Kansas City for the Big 12 championship. For Texas this game signals the end of their Schedule From Hell featuring nothing but top-10 teams for a solid month. They’ll need to be on their game yet again as Tech is no slouch and is more than capable of springing the upset. For Texas Tech, this is the second leg of their own personal 4 game tough stretch as they have both Oklahoma schools coming up in the next two weeks. Look for this game to be a high scoring affair featuring two of the best quarterbacks in the country and dynamic playmakers all over the field on both sides of the ball. If you’re able to watch this one, I would do everything I could to try and catch it.

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