College Football: Top 25 previews
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 4, 2011
The Top 25 preview …
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó The LSU and Alabama showdown promises to be a throwback of old-school football.
Both the top-ranked and barely tested Tigers and No. 2 and mostly unchallenged Alabama are built on power runs and run-stuffing defenses in a time when spread offenses are en vogue and huddles are optional.
“If you want to see 1970s smashmouth,,” Alabama tight end Michael Williams said, “then this is what you want to see right here.”
Yes, tonight’s game will have a retro feel to it.
The vintage philosophies make this one reminiscent of an old Oklahoma-Nebraska or Alabama-Penn State clash. And like those teams, this year’s edition of the Tide and Tigers ó both 8-0 with five Southeastern Conference wins ó have racked up double-digit victories
But neither Alabama’s Nick Saban nor LSU’s Les Miles is bringing the wishbone back in fashion.
Hitting, and hitting hard, well, that is certainly allowed. Even mandatory.
“It’s a type of game that … you don’t necessarily see too often nowadays,” LSU offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert said. “It is a little more old-school, so I think that’ll be something fun to watch for the fans.”
No. 3 Oklahoma State (8-0, 5-0 vs. No. 17 Kansas State
Oklahoma State has only started a season 9-0 once. A ninth straight win would also mark the second-longest streak for the program.
No. 4 Stanford (8-0, 6-0 ) at Oregon State (2-6, 2-3)
The Cardinal have the nation’s longest winning streak at 16 games.
No. 5 Boise State (7-0, 2-0 ) at UNLV (2-5, 1-1)
Another win makes Kellen Moore the winningest quarterback in college football history. Moore is tied with former Texas standout Colt McCoy with 45 wins by a quarterback all-time.
No. 6 Oregon (7-1, 5-0 at Washington (6-2, 4-1)
WHAT’S AT STAKE
If Oregon wants to stay on the fringe of the national championship conversation, it can’t afford to see its seven-game win streak against the Huskies come to an end with next week’s showdown at No. 4 Stanford looming.
No. 7 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 ) vs. Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2)
Oklahoma is out for revenge after losing last season.
No. 9 Nebraska (7-1, 3-1) vs. Northwestern (3-5, 1-4)
Big Ten Legends Division co-leader Nebraska can’t afford to slip after its big win over Michigan State.
No. 13 Michigan (7-1, 3-1 ) vs. Iowa (5-3, 2-2)
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is 4-4 against Michigan.
No. 14 Houston (8-0, 4-0) at UAB (1-7, 1-4)
Houston QB Case Keenum, the nation’s leader in passing yards and touchdowns, needs 267 yards to break the NCAA’s career mark held by Timmy Chang of Hawaii.
No. 15 Michigan State (6-2, 3-1) vs. Minnesota (2-6, 1-3)
Michigan State beat Minnesota 31-8 last season.
New Mexico State (3-5, 1-2) at No. 18 Georgia (6-2, 5-1).
Georgia’s six-game winning streak could be threatened by a sudden shortage of tailbacks. Leading rusher Isaiah Crowell and two other tailbacks were suspended for one game this week.
Purdue (4-4, 2-2) at No. 19 Wisconsin (6-2, 2-2)
Wisconsin and Boise State are the only two teams in the nation to rank among the top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense.
No. 20 Arizona State (6-2, 4-1) at UCLA (4-4, 3-2)
Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson is 6-3 against UCLA in his career.
No. 23 Cincinnati (6-1, 2-0 ) at Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-1)
The surprising Bearcats have won five straight and are looking to take another step toward a Big East title.
Louisville (4-4, 2-1) at No. 24 West Virginia (6-2, 2-1)
Louisville is last in the Big East in scoring offense at 17.6 points per game.