Friday, November 11, 2005

Weekend Preview - 11/11/2005

Yes, it's a big weekend for the SEC as one and possibly both divisions of the SEC could be decided this weekend. But never fear, Big XII fans, there's still plenty of intrigue in the Big XII as 3 teams have a chance to become bowl eligible this weekend. Oh, and both Big XII divisions could be wrapped up this week also.

Colleges

Big 12/Texas Game of the week
Texas A&M at Oklahoma
11:00 AM ABC

Overview
This matchup isn't the Big XII South-shaping game that many people thought when they looked at the schedule in preseason. However, to these two teams, it's no less important. The winner of this game is assured of going to a bowl game. The loser has some tough games left to to try and become eligible. If Texas A&M loses, it must try to beat Texas to be bowl eligible. If OU loses, it has a game against 7-1 Texas Tech in Lubbock and The Bedlam Game left.

Key Matchup
Rhett Bomar vs A&M Secondary
I would look for Bomar to have a breakout game here. OU may not have it's act together, but they still have the horses to run the passing game, and A&M can't stop the pass.

Key player for Texas A&M
Reggie McNeal
As he goes, so does A&M, and they need a great game from him if they want to clinch that bowl berth

Key player for Oklahoma
Adrian Peterson
With run stuffer Jaxon Appel possibly out for the game, and limited even if he does play. Peterson may just show the form that made him a Heisman candidate a year ago.

Tale of the Tape


CategoryEdgeNotes
Oklahoma offense vs. Texas A&M defenseOklahoma

With a bad seconary and A&M's best run stuffer hurt, expect Oklahoma's offense to look very good in this game.

Texas A&M offense vs. Oklahoma defensePushIt's really hard to tell how this matchup is going to go because neither unit has been very consistent this year.
Special TeamsTexas A&MI give A&M the edge based on Todd Pegram. If it comes down to a game winner, I'd rather have Pegram than a lot of other kickers in the league.
CoachingOklahomaThis is not really a knock against Dennis Franchione, because I think he's still a good coach despite what's happened to the Aggies this season. However, as far as a gameday coach, I would take Bob Stoops over most coaches.
IntangiblesOklahomaBoth teams know they need this game, but home field is on the side of OU, and that makes a huge difference.



Big XII Games

Colorado at Iowa State
6:00 PM FSN Southwest/Midwest/Rocky Mtn
Colorado can wrap up a Big XII North title with a win in this game. Iowa State is already bowl eligible, but I'm sure they'd like something better than Fort Worth.

Kansas at Texas
2:30 PM ABC
A win in this game would sew up the Big XII South title for Texas, as they could still lose the A&M game and win the tie breaker with Texas Tech. A win for Kansas would be sweet redemption for Mad Mark Mangino who still believes he was screwed last year by the officials.

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State
1:00 PM
The Cotton Bowl is taking a serious look at Texas Tech this weekend, so they better bring it against Oklahoma State.

Baylor at Missouri
1:00 PM
As bad a season as Missouri has suffered, they can still be bowl eligible with a win against Baylor. Baylor, on the other hand, is 4-5 and can be eliminated from bowl contention with a loss.

Kansas State at Nebraska
1:00 PM
Similar scenario here. 5-4 Nebraska can clinch with a win, 4-5 K-State needs to win to hang on to it's slim bowl hopes.

Our Adopted Team

Tulane at Rice
1:00 PM
Our adopted Tulane Green Wave travel to Houston to take on the Rice Owls. Finally, an easy game for the Wave. Not saying they should take it lightly, but this will be considerably easier than, say Navy. Plus, they've already played against the triple option once this year and should be used to it.

Other Texas Teams

UNLV at TCU
6:00 PM
TCU has the Mountain West wrapped up. Now it needs to avoid an SMU-style letdown.

Texas Southern at UTEP
8:05 PM
Look, I respect historically African-American colleges because they've re-invented themselves as education-focused institutions in this age of integration. The problem is, they aren't the athletic powerhouses that they used to be. (Had they been allowed to compete withe the SEC pre-integration, they probably would have destroyed most SEC teams). This would be like UTEP playing Columbia.

I mean, could we please get Texas Southern alumnus Michael Strahan to put some of his Right Guard endorsement money into the TSU Football program? Please?

Southern Miss at Houston
Sunday 4:00 PM
This is a makeup for a Hurricane Rita. Unfortunately for Southern Miss, it's also their second game this week as they survived against the Marshall Thundering Herd on Tuesday.

National Games of Note

Obviously, like everyone else, we're going to be keeping an eye on the SEC race since the myriad number of scenarios from South Carolina-Florida, LSU-Alabama, and Auburn-Georgia make it intriguing, even if it has little bearing on the national scene.

South Carolina at Florida
11:30 AM, PPV
If Florida wants to have any chance at a SEC East title, they must take care of buisness against South Carolina. Without this win, they are completely out of the running and the Auburn-Georgia game later means nothing to them or the Bulldogs.

LSU at Alabama
2:30 PM CBS
Alabama is one of the last 3 undefeateds despite not scoring an offensive touchdown in it's last 2 games. LSU is probably the best one-loss team in the nation and feels like it has something to prove after the flack they took for the final quarter against Tennessee.

Auburn at Georgia
6:45 PM ESPN
Auburn, who got off to a shaky start earlier this year, has rebounded and still has an outside shot at winning the SEC West, but they face a tough Georgia team.

NFL

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday 12:00 PM CBS

Overview
The worst team in the league travels to Indy to play the best team. Think Houston has what it takes to pull the upset?

Ha ha. We didn't think so either.

Key Matchup
Houston offensive line vs Indy defensive line
Yeah, I know it's a mismatch, but the Texans' line has to play the game of it's life to hold off Indy and that may not be enough

Key players for Houston
Vernand Morency and Jonathan Wells
Whoemever starts at running back needs to have a great day to keep the Colts offense off the field.

Key player for Indianapolis
Robert Mathis
Never heard of him? The Indy defensive end is the NFL's current leader in sacks and should pick up a lot more in this game.

Tale of the Tape

CategoryEdgeNotes
Texans offense vs. Colts defenseIndianapolisAny analyst who thinks the Texans' line can hold here needs to have their head checked.
Colts offense vs. Texans defenseIndianapolisPeyton Manning will absolutely shred this defense.
Special TeamsIndianapolisTexans special teams: Bad kicking game. Bad punting game. Bad return game.
CoachingIndianapolisThis isn't a game where Dom Capers is hamstrung by his talent, Tony Dungy is also a better coach.
IntangiblesIndianapolisIndianapolis feels like it's over the Patriot hump and is unstoppable. Houston feels like they are already on the clock for the first pick



Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Monday, 8:00 PM ABC

Overview
OK, Terrell Owens' suspension has left a huge hole, but Philly still has a defense that will scare you if you don't prepare for them, and D-McNabb is still a great player who made deep playoff runs without Owens. However, in week 5, when T.O. was still around, the Cowboys offense shredded the Philly defense and the Dallas defense held Philly out of the end zone. Which does not bode well for Philly's chances in their first full week to prepare for a game without Terrell Owens.

Key Matchup
Brian Westbrook & Eagles O-Line vs Dallas Front Seven
At some point, the Eagles have to prove they can run the football. Since T.O.'s suspended, they might as well try it this week, although that Dallas front is very good.

Key player for Dallas
Julius Jones
Whomever the starting running back is needs to have a great day because this offense is keyed around the running game and the Eagles defense will be fired up to shut the running game down.
Key player for Philadelphia
L.J. Smith
Philly will look to him to pick up the recieving slack in the absence of T.O.

Tale of the Tape
CategoryEdgeNotes
Cowboys offense vs. Eagles defenseDallasLast time, the Cowboys put up 456 yards and 33 points on the Eagles' vaunted defense...
Eagles offense vs. Cowboys defenseDallas... and the Cowboys defense held the Eagles offense to 3 points, 6 first downs and 129 yards.
Special TeamsPhiladelphiaShaun Suisham has been OK, but not great. David Akers is listed as "probable" and will most likely start
CoachingDallasAndy Reid is good. Bill Parcells is great.
IntangiblesDallasYeah, it's in Philly, and yeah, the Eagles want to prove that they are more than TO, but you gotta figure the Cowboys are tired of Philly getting all the press this week.


Bye Week: New Orleans
And they will definitely take it with the season they are having.

Monday:Weekend Wrap-Up
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