Tigers look to knock off the Tide from list of unbeatens

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

Oregon handed the University of Southern California its worst loss since 2001. They ran through and around USC’s defense for 391 rushing yards and 613 total yards in a 47-20 victory. The following weeks will either weed out some of the remaining undefeated teams or create a huge mess for the BCS to sort out at the end of the season. Florida, Texas, Alabama, Cincinnati, Boise State, TCU and Iowa are the remaining unbeaten teams that will either prosper or crumble.

LSU vs. Alabama

The Tide are the class of the Southeastern Conference West Division and rightfully so after big wins over Virginia Tech (34-24) and Tennessee (12-10 on a last second field goal block by 350-pound nose guard Terrence Cody), but the Tide face their toughest opponent of the season in LSU. LSU is 7-1 with its only loss coming to No. 1 Florida (13-3). The Tigers have a good defense of their own and a maturing quarterback in Jordan Jefferson. Jefferson threw for 163 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-0 win over Tulane on Oct. 31. Florida’s defense sacked Jefferson five times so he could be in for another rough night. Jefferson will need to find playmaking wide receiver Brandon LaFell (37 catches, 478 yards and eight touchdowns this season) early and often if the Tigers hope to win. LaFell was held to four catches for 44 yards in the loss to Florida.

Pick: Alabama’s defense is great. LSU’s defense is good. I want to think LSU will find a way to beat Alabama but the game is in Tuscaloosa and Alabama’s offense is slightly better. Alabama might have to block another field goal to win but they will win.

Ohio State vs. Penn State

OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor is heading to Happy Valley, Penn., to play against a team he shunned when he chose to go to school at Ohio State. Both teams have one loss in the Big Ten and sit behind 9-0 Iowa. Another loss for either team will dim their hopes of winning the Big Ten title. Ohio State has looked shaky this year, losing to USC in the waning seconds early in the year and letting a mediocre, although with a high-powered offense, Purdue team beat them 26-18. Penn State has only lost to Iowa (21-10) but blew out everyone else they’ve played.

Pick: Ohio State will come to play but Penn State is at home and has a slightly better team. The game will be close but Penn State will find a way to win by 10 points.

Surprise team: Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats lost starting quarterback Tony Pike when the plate he had placed in his left forearm was damaged in a win over South Florida on Oct. 15. Pike had the plate put in after he broke his left forearm last season. Zach Collaros has filled in well in Pike’s absence throwing seven touchdown passes in victories over Louisville and Syracuse. With games left against Connecticut, West Virginia, Illinois and Pittsburgh it wouldn’t be completely impossible for Cincinnati to finish undefeated.