The college weekend kicks off with two huge games, both matching top ten conference opponents. In the NFL, the Redskins try to gain some momentum against a beleaguered Minnesota Vikings team that's trying to find some way to score enough points to win a football game.
(3) Oregon (8-0) 30 @ (5) Stanford (7-1) 24: Last year, Oregon strutted into this game and got beaten, ending their national championship hopes. This time around, perhaps they'll be better prepared for a very physical Stanford squad. The Ducks are averaging almost 56 points a game, overshadowing a defense that is holding opponents to less than 17 points a game. I think the best two teams in the country are Oregon and Florida State, mainly because they're both explosive offensively and fast on defense, making it difficult to stay with them for an entire game. Stanford has averaged about 22 points over their last three games, which despite last year's score, probably won't be enough to beat Oregon this time around. Will this be a blowout? Probably not. Does everything point to an Oregon victory? Well, maybe not everything, because the game is at Stanford, but a lot of the numbers would indicate it's a good probability.
(10) Oklahoma (7-1) 28 @ (6) Baylor (7-0) 31: Baylor's offense has just been ridiculous this season, but not against any top defenses. Oklahoma, other than getting routed by Texas, has been very strong defensively, and they better be tonight to slow down the Bears. Statistically, it's difficult to place total credibility on the Baylor offense, primarily because of their soft schedule to this point. Just like Texas Tech, the Bears have all of their games against top Big 12 teams remaining. They aren't alone, really, as Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor all play at least two of the teams in that group the rest of the way. I feel that while the Sooners will hold Baylor to its lowest output of the season, I'm not sure they can score enough to win. I'm going with the Bears to keep their undefeated season going.
Washington (3 - 5) 27 @ Minnesota (1 - 7) 19: The Josh Freeman experiment appears to be over in Minnesota, as the Vikings go back to QB Christian Ponder tonight. The Redskins, while probably getting a little lucky in beaing the Chargers last week, apparently have things headed in the right direction after winning two of their last three games. The Vikings have an advantage by being the home team on a Thursday night, but they're averaging just over 200 yards a game passing in a league that encourages big games through the air. Minnesota's rush defense is pretty good, giving up just a little over 100 yards a game. But that may be enough for the Redskins to control the ball, get an early lead and make the Vikings pass the ball to win. If that happens, look for the 'Skins to get out of Minnesota with a win to keep them alive in the woeful NFC East.