National Spotlight

October 12, 2012 

  • Top 25 Schedule No. 1 Alabama at Missouri, 3:30 p.m. No. 3 South Carolina at No. 9 LSU, 8 p.m. No. 4 Florida at Vanderbilt, 6 p.m. No. 5 West Virginia at Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m. No. 6 Kansas State at Iowa State, Noon No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 17 Stanford, 3:30 p.m. No. 8 Ohio State at Indiana, 8 p.m. No. 10 Oregon State at BYU, 3:30 p.m. No. 11 Southern Cal at Washington, 7 p.m. No. 12 Florida State vs. Boston College, 5:30 p.m. No. 13 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Texas, Noon No. 18 Louisville at Pittsburgh, Noon No. 19 Mississippi State vs. Tennessee, 9 p.m. No. 20 Rutgers vs. Syracuse, Noon No. 21 Cincinnati vs. Fordham, 7 p.m. No. 22 Texas A&M at No. 23 Louisiana Tech, 9:15 p.m. No. 24 Boise St. vs. Fresno State, 3:30 p.m. No. 25 Michigan vs. Illinois, 3:30 p.m.

Three to watch

1) No. 13 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 Texas, noon (ABC)

This game used to annually decide the Big 12 champion but with already one conference loss each, the winner here merely keeps its remote title hopes alive.

2) No. 17 Stanford at No. 7 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC)

Notre Dame (5-0) needs one win out of three games against Stanford, USC and Oklahoma to get to a BCS bowl. Win all three and the Irish would have the necessary computer strength to jump into the national title game.

3) No. 3 South Carolina at No. 9 LSU, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

LSU’s offense has been so bad, even playing at home and at night might not be enough to save Les Miles’ team. Then again, South Carolina – coming off of a whipping of Georgia – might not be able to reload the musket.

Inside the BCS

• The Big East has to feel good about having three unbeaten teams (Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati) in the top 25 this week. That’s one more than the ACC has in the poll and two more than the Big Ten.

• Louisville (5-0), the presumed best of the bunch, needs to be careful Saturday, though. The Cards go to Pittsburgh for an 11 a.m. kickoff. The Panthers (2-3) already ruined Virginia Tech’s season; they’d love to do the same to Louisville.

• No pressure on No. 23 Louisiana Tech (5-0) Saturday night against Texas A&M. The Bulldogs aren’t guaranteed a spot in the BCS, even with an unbeaten season, but they can’t get there without a win over the 22nd-ranked Aggies.

Sonny Dykes’ team has hit the 50-point mark in four of its five wins and went for 44 in a road win at Virginia on Sept. 29. The Aggies have scored 48, 70 and 58 in three of their four wins, so expect lots of points.

Number to know

76 LSU’s national rank in total offense, 73 spots behind its defense. The Tigers’ offense has scored one touchdown in two SEC games.

Heisman watch

1) Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Smith keeps racking up big games and berserk numbers, like his 24 to zero touchdown-to-interception ratio and 81.4 completion percentage. A road test with Texas Tech is next for the Mountaineers’ prolific passer.

2) Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: Miller has and will continue to post gigantic numbers in Urban Meyer’s offense; the question is will voters give him consideration while Ohio State’s in the NCAA doghouse? Indiana’s defense will offer little resistance to Miller’s ridiculous rushing numbers (127.2 yards per game, and he’s a quarterback).

3) Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: In the Year of the Exploding Scoreboard, maybe the best defensive player in the country deserves consideration for the Heisman? Clowney made a case against Georgia last week, but he’ll have to follow it up with another superb effort against LSU.

Upset alert

No. 5 West Virginia at Texas Tech

The term “trap” game is often misused, but this is the definition of one – on the road, against a capable opponent, a week after a huge win and a week before a matchup with a top-10 opponent.

There’s also the matter of there being no easy way to get from Morgantown to Lubbock, but this is what West Virginia signed up for when it joined the Big 12.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service