This weekend is put-up-or-shut-up time for a few teams. It will attempt to separate the elite teams from the middle-of-the-road squads with tests for Nebraska, Florida and BYU.
No. 19 Nebraska vs. No. 13 Virginia TechThe Nebraska Cornhuskers have feasted on two lower tier programs and boosted their season stats. If they can beat Virginia Tech this weekend at Lane Stadium, then they can officially say that Husker football is back. At Lane Stadium, Va. Tech is 180-66-6 in 44 years of play. Nebraska last weekend defeated Arkansas State 38-9 behind quarterback Zac Lee’s four touchdown passes. Va. Tech will be more of a challenge than either Arkansas State or Florida Atlantic.Pick: Virginia Tech wins a closer-than-expected game over Nebraska.Tennessee vs. No. 1 FloridaOver the summer, Tennesee head coach Lane Kiffin said untrue things in the media about Florida having recruiting violations. On Saturday, the Gators will have a chance to punish Kiffin for running his mouth. Tennessee lost to a less-than-stellar UCLA team last weekend 19-15. I think it’s safe to say Florida’s defense is probably faster than UCLA’s, so that doesn’t fare well for Tennessee.Pick: Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton threw three interceptions and fumbled once in the loss to UCLA. If he has no turnovers, they still lose big to Florida.
No. 9 BYU vs. Florida StateThe Cougars destroyed Tulane 54-3 a week after they sent the Oklahoma Sooners’ national title hopes crashing down. Florida State barely escaped with a win over FCS opponent Jacksonville State, scoring two touchdowns in the final 35 seconds to rally from a 9-7 deficit to win 19-9.Pick: The game depends on which Florida State team shows up and if the Seminoles defense can stop quarterback Max Hall and the high-powered BYU offense. My guess is FSU keeps it close but fails to win the close one. The Cougars’ hopes of crashing the BCS are still intact.