College Football: Top 25 preview
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2011
The Top 25 preview …
STILLWATER, Okla. ó Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy had enough trouble convincing All-American receiver Justin Blackmon he wasn’t going to get to play again after taking a shot to the head.
He’s hoping he won’t have the same problem a week later.
Gundy says he believes Blackmon will be able to play today when the third-ranked Cowboys host Baylor (4-2, 1-2 Big 12). He was held out of the second half of last week’s victory at Missouri. Oklahoma State (7-0, 4-0) stopped short of saying whether Blackmon had a concussion.
No. 4 Stanford (7-0, 5-0) at No. 20 USC (6-1, 3-1)
Stanford has obliterated every opponent this season in its march toward a BCS bowl with a 15-game winning streak, but the postseason-banned Trojans should be their biggest test to date.
No. 7 Oregon (6-1, 4-0 ) vs. Washington St. (3-4, 1-3)
Oregon has a 20-game winning streak at home and has won 16 consecutive conference games
No. 8 Arkansas (6-1, 2-1) vs. Vanderbilt (4-3, 1-3)
Arkansas is off to its best start under coach Bobby Petrino, and this is just the Razorbacks’ third 6-1 start since joining the SEC before the 1992 season.
No. 9 Michigan State (6-1, 3-0) at No. 13 Nebraska (6-1, 2-1)
Michigan State has won 17 of its past 20 games for its best stretch since 1965-66. … The Spartans are trying to beat a ranked opponent in three consecutive games for the first time.
No. 10 Kansas State (7-0, 4-0) vs. No. 11 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1)
The Wildcats are trying to build on their best start since the 1999 season, when they won their first nine games. … Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was an assistant to Kansas State coach Bill Snyder in the 1990s.
No. 12 Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1) vs. Ohio State (4-3, 1-2)
The ‘Shoe, so to speak, was on the other foot a year ago. Ohio State was unbeaten and ranked No. 1 when it went to Madison, Wis., only to have the Badgers pile up a 21-0 first-half lead on the way to a 31-18 victory. That was the Buckeyes’ only loss in a season later vacated due to NCAA violations. … The teams have split the last 10 meetings, dating to 1999.
No. 16 Texas A&M (5-2, 3-1) vs. Missouri (3-4, 1-3)
Texas A&M K Randy Bullock made a career-high four FGs in last week’s win over Iowa State. .
No. 17 Michigan (6-1, 2-1) vs. Purdue (4-3, 2-1)
In Purdue’s last trip to Ann Arbor two years ago, Joey Elliott became the first Purdue quarterback to win there since Bob Griese in 1966.
No. 19 Texas Tech (5-2, 2-2) vs. Iowa State (3-4, 0-4)
A win would make Texas Tech bowl eligible for a 19th straight season. …
Illinois (6-2, 2-2) vs. No. 21 Penn State (7-1, 4-0)
Joe Paterno needs one victory to get to 409 in his Hall of Fame career, breaking a tie with Grambling State’s Eddie Robinson for most among Division I coaches. With six wins, Illinois is bowl-eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time since a five-year stretch from 1988-92.
No. 22 Georgia (5-2, 4-1) vs. Florida (4-3, 2-3)
First-year Florida coach Will Muschamp played at Georgia (1991-94) and will be facing his alma mater for the first time as a head coach. The Gators are playing their fourth consecutive ranked opponent
No. 23 Arizona State (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) at Colorado (1-7, 0-3)
Three of Colorado’s last five opponents were coming off bye weeks. … Osweiler has nine straight 200-yard games dating to last season. Colorado has lost six straight games to ranked opponents.
No. 25 West Virginia (5-2, 1-1) at Rutgers (5-2, 2-1)
The Scarlet Knights are 8-62-1 all-time against ranked opponents, including 4-17 under coach Greg Schiano. … The Mountaineers’ season has mirrored the 2010 campaign, with losses to LSU and Syracuse offsetting five earlier wins. WVU lost to Connecticut in the eighth game a year ago.