Thursday, October 22, 2009
College Football Weekend Preview: Mid-Major Powers Collide in Provo
It's the clash of Mountain West powers that we've all waited for.
Well, until the winner faces Utah.
TCU travels to Provo, Utah, Saturday night to tussle with BYU. The winner is in the driver's seat for the Mountain West title.
The Horned Frogs are in the BCS discussion. They're 6-0, they've beaten two ACC teams on the road, and they have a top defense. BYU, meanwhile, has a damaging loss to Florida State, and they're not nearly as good on defense as the Frogs.
It's kind of the opposite scenario from last year. When the teams met in Fort Worth, TCU had the chance to bust BYU's BCS dream, and they blew out the Cougars on national television.
There are some differences. BYU is still strong on offense, TCU on defense. And this game won't be an ESPN Thursday night special. Instead, it is on Versus, meaning a good chunk of college football fans won't have access, thanks to the network's teenager-esque feud with DirecTV.
Anyway, I expect Max Hall and friends to do a number on TCU. Yes, Andy Dalton and Joseph Turner can carve some holes in the Cougar defense, but not enough to hold off an inspired BYU team that is playing at home. That's just too much to ask.
I'd love to discuss things to watch for on Saturday's Versus broadcast, but since I won't be able to see it, that's kind of pointless.
The pick: BYU
Other games (Home team in CAPS)
OHIO STATE over Minnesota
Georgia Tech over VIRGINIA
PITTSBURGH over South Florida
WEST VIRGINIA over Connecticut
ALABAMA over Tennessee
MICHIGAN over Penn State
Boston College over NOTRE DAME
UTAH over Air Force
Iowa over MICHIGAN STATE
Texas over MISSOURI
Last week: 7-5