Week seven of the college football season marks the unofficial halfway point in the college football season, and so far it has been a very good season marked with upsets, surprising teams and some real disappointments. As we dive into week seven, we can expect much more to happen and with that, here is what to watch for, along with the top five games for the weekend.
Upset alert: This has become a common trend as upsets have become a commonality in this college season. Here’s the list of teams to look at for upset alerts: #19 Mississippi State vs. Tennessee, #11USC at Washington, #5 West Virginia at Texas Tech, #10 Oregon State at BYU, #20 Rutgers vs. Syracuse, and #6 Kansas State at Iowa State.
Duke Football: Like my last week review, it’s a shock that Duke is 5-1 but this weekend they could have their first non-losing season since 1994, which was also the last year they had a winning season and went to a bowl game. This weekend for the Blue Devils is a very inconsistent Virginia Tech team, who at 3-3 has to kick start their season to win the Coastal division.
Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs may have their most important game in school history this Saturday when they take on Texas A&M in Shreveport, LA. The Bulldogs are 5-0 while the Aggies are 4-1 with the only loss coming to Florida. The two teams are nationally ranked, as Texas A&M is 22 and Louisiana Tech is 23. I’ll have more on the game later.
Slow Starting teams: There have been many disappointments so far this year, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. So here is a list of slow starters this year and who they face this weekend: 3-3 Virginia Tech vs. Duke, 2-4 Arkansas vs. Kentucky, 2-4 Virginia vs. Maryland, 2-3 Houston vs. UAB, 2-3 Syracuse at Rutgers, and 2-3 Navy at Central Michigan all look to turn their second halves around this weekends.
Top five games this weekend:
5. Oregon State at BYU: The Beavers have risen to new heights already in this season, and are ranked tenth with a 4-0 record. The Beavers have already amassed more wins this year than they have all of last year and with the high ranking are already going to be looked at heavily by other teams. Cody Vaz will get the start as Sean Mannion was injured last week and Vaz has sat behind Mannion and past quarterbacks, so this may not be such a startling experience for him. At 4-2, the Cougars have started well and are 4-0 at home. The Cougars will welcome back their quarterback Riley Nelson against a very good Beavers defense. This will be a fun game to watch as many different storylines are going to unfold.
4. Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas: This is the Red River Shootout, so it automatically makes the list whether or not both teams are ranked or not. Not only is this arguably the biggest rivalry in college football, it may be the most highly spotlighted game this year as both teams have top 15 ranks but the rest of the nation does not think much of either team. This is a big game in the sense of it is early in the day so the national spotlight can shine on both teams to impress to change people’s minds.
3. Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech in Shreveport: This is by far the biggest game in Louisiana Tech football history as the Bulldogs are looking for a win against the SEC member Aggies. Not only is Louisiana Tech ranked 23 and A&M 22, but the Aggies only loss has come to top-10 ranked Florida by three points. Louisiana Tech has not had this much success since the last years of the previous millennium.
2. Stanford at Notre Dame: If there have been two surprising teams thus far in the season, it’s been Stanford for succeeding so well after their high amount of talented seniors graduated last year and Notre Dame who has shutdown opponents this year on defense. The polls love Notre Dame too, and its deserved, as they have given up a total of 39 points in five games, averaging just under eight points per game. The last time the Cardinal faced a physical defense was against Washington, losing 17-13 in Seattle. This game will have College GameDay at it and will be a great festival for a long-time rivalry.
1. South Carolina at LSU: This game has many storylines for our #1 game of the week. First and foremost, this may have lost some luster with LSU’s loss to Florida a week ago but it can prove an essential game to LSU’s national title hopes which are still very much there as they are ninth ranked. South Carolina has dominated with the exception of the season opening game against Vanderbilt. The defense has been very good this year and Jadeveon Clowney has led the defense to one of the best in the nation. LSU has struggled offensively this year and the Zach Mettenberger led offense may have a switch at Quarterback before very long this year, especially when LSU is expected to contend for national titles every year. This could be the first to 13 to win on Saturday but this will be a very good defensive game on Saturday.