Head-to-Head: Alabama vs LSU, Baylor vs Oklahoma State, TCU vs Utah, Air Force vs Army
There’s still activity at the top of the Bowl Championship Series standings, and Saturday features a pair of key matchups worth a closer look, one in the Southeastern Conference and one in the Big 12.
In the SEC, the resurgent Crimson Tide of Alabama travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU, where head coach Les Miles has been either living on the edge or playing with fire. Miles and his Tigers finally dropped one, to top-ranked Auburn, and will be looking to bounce back big at home. The Tide have continued their march through the SEC with a pair of solid wins over Mississippi and Tennessee, leaving them well placed behind Auburn leading up to the regular season finale against the Tigers.
Since the ascendancy of Auburn and their multi-talented quarterback, Cam Newton, the Tide's defending Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram, has been doing his thing rather quietly. He's rushed for 544 yards, second on the team, averaging 6.4 yards per carry while leading the Tide with eight touchdowns scored. Tide QB Greg McElroy is having a nice season as well, having tossed 11 touchdown passes. LSU's main offensive thrust is through running back Stevan Ridley, who has rushed for 723 yards and six scores. Tiger QB Jordan Jefferson has five touchdowns on the ground for the Tigers as well as a pair through the air.
The other key matchup this week is a true surprise: Baylor at Oklahoma State, for an inside track in the Big 12 South Division. No one who forecast the Big 12 this season could have seen this one coming. The Bears could arguably be the second best team in Texas at the moment, after Texas Christian (whom the Bears lost to by a score of 45-10 earlier in the season). After last week's 30-22 defeat of the Texas Longhorns, the Bears must now be a force to be reckoned with this season. Both the Bears and Okie State have one conference loss; Baylor fell to Texas Tech, while the Cowboys stumbled at home against Nebraska.
Two other important games of note this weekend: Texas Christian travels to Salt Lake City to take on Utah in a Mountain West Conference contest that will have national implications for both currently undefeated schools, and Air Force travels cross-country to visit Army at West Point. The annual Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, given to the top service academy, will be on the line for the Falcons, because they defeated Navy earlier in the season at Colorado Springs.
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