This Saturday has a number of interesting matchups. I always like the late season, because each weekend brings a sorting out. Unless it doesn't, as when Maryland's loss to Virginia Tech mixed up the ACC picture more than it clarified it.
1. Georgia Tech at North Carolina. At #20 and #19 respectively, it's a good bet that one of these teams will be unranked come Sunday, which means the ACC will have exactly 2 ranked teams in the Top 25, both sitting somewhere in the high teens. Neither of those teams will be UNC.
2. The other ranked ACC team, #22 Florida State, hosts Clemson, a team that peaked at #9 BEFORE THEY'D PLAYED ANY GAMES. Although Clemson's given FSU trouble in the past, I don't think FSU will have trouble with this year's Tiger model. FSU by 14.
3. #1 Alabama at #16 LSU. Before LSU's less than exciting offense and less than feared defense were exposed, I'm sure many people were salivating over this matchup. I haven't been impressed with Alabama's wins EXCEPT for Georgia. And even though LSU lost to Georgia while 'Bama crushed them, I call LSU over Alabama.
4. #3 Penn State at Iowa. Easily Penn State's most difficult remaining game aside from their bowl game, wherever that will be (please NCG, please...fingers are crossed). However, Iowa will play tough for about a quarter, then the floodgates will open. PSU by a whole lot. At least 24.
5. #9 Oklahoma State at #2 Texas Tech. I don't see Tech losing to OK State. I don't think any team in the Big 12 is a safe bet, though, because of the porousness of the defenses. A hihg scoring affair for both teams and a Texas Tech victory.
6. #21 Cal at #7 USC. Everyone waits for USC to trip up, but they've already done it this year. I think USC will be merciless in this game.
7. Notre Dame at Boston College. Neither team is ranked and neither team is good, but BC looks at this game as a rivalry, presumably because they're both Catholic schools. I don't think too many Notre Dame fans think it's much of a rivalry. I'm not even going to make a call on this game. I want to see ND lose (it goes all the way back to scumbag Charlie Weis's decision to fake punt on Penn State when he was up about 24 points in the 3rd quarter of their 2006 game...and to reinforce his asshole-ishness, Weis did it again to hapless Washington just to be a jackass), but I don't feel comfortable trying to predict games that rely more on which team is less shitty than on which team is more skillful.