College Football: Top 25 roundup
The national roundup …
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó When they last met, Alabama vs. LSU was all about Nick Saban coaching against his former team.
This year, there’s more pressing business: keeping in the mix to play for the national title.
Two Top 10 Southeastern Conference teams meet Saturday, with a pair formidable defenses and one Heisman Trophy candidate in a game that might be low on points if not drama.
The first such rendezvous this season resulted in one touchdown and a 13-3 victory by Tim Tebow and No. 1 Florida over then-No. 4 LSU.
Saturday’s matchup between ninth-ranked LSU and No. 3 Alabama has all the makings of a similarly defensive clash. And the stakes are at least as high.
It’s enough to make swashbuckling LSU coach Les Miles embrace a kick.
“If you punt it and go play defense, that’s a good choice,” Miles said. “There is nothing wrong with that.”
Warm up those legs, P.J. Fitzgerald and Derek Helton. The way these defenses are playing, it could be a busy day for the punters.
Alabama (8-0, 5-0) allows the fifth-fewest points a game in the nation and has given up just one touchdown in the last three games. Only Texas is stingier against the run.
LSU (7-1, 4-1) sports the No. 7 scoring defense, has given up 36 points in its last four games and is coming off a shutout of Tulane.
The game could determine who plays Florida in the SEC championship game. It will definitely be Alabama if the Tide wins. If the Tigers win, they clinch the rematch with wins against Mississippi and Arkansas.
No. 1 Florida (8-0, 6-0 SEC) vs Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-5)
Florida LB Brandon Spikes was suspended for the game after he apparently gouged at the eyes of Georgia RB Washaun Ealey in last Saturday’s 41-17 victory in Jacksonville.
No. 2 Texas (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) vs C. Florida (5-3, 3-2)Texas QB Colt McCoy is 40-7 as a starter, and 21-3 at home.
No. 4 Cincinnati (8-0, 4-0 Big East) vs UConn (4-4, 1-3)
The 24-point loss at UConn last season was Cincinnati’s only defeat in the Big East. It also was the second-worst loss during Brian Kelly’s three seasons as head coach.
No. 7 Oregon (7-1, 5-0 Pac-10) at Stanford (5-3, 4-2)Oregon is 5-0 in Pac-10 play for only the second time in 52 seasons.
No. 8 Iowa (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) vs Northwestern (5-4, 2-3)
Northwestern is the only team that’s won more than once at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa’s last 51 games there.
No. 11 Penn State (8-1, 4-1 vs No. 15 Ohio State (7-2, 4-1)
A loss could threaten Ohio State’s streak of at least a share of four straight Big Ten titles.
No. 12 USC (6-2, 3-2 Pac-10) at Arizona St. (4-4, 2-3)USC has won 27 straight games in November.
No. 13 Pittsburgh (7-1, 4-0 Big East) vs Syracuse (3-5, 0-3)Pitt can start 5-0 in the Big East for the first time since 2002.
No. 18 Oklahoma State (6-2, 3-1) vs Iowa State (5-4, 2-3)Oklahoma State is 16-6 in its last 22 games, and five of those losses came against teams ranked in the top 15.
No. 19 Notre Dame (6-2) vs Navy (6-3)
Notre Dame is 41-1 when it is ranked and the Midshipmen are unranked.
No. 20 Oklahoma (5-3, 3-1 Big 12) at Nebraska (5-3, 2-2)
Oklahoma QB Landry Jones completed his last 14 passes against Kansas State last week and finished with 294 yards and four TDs.