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As of May 26, 2012, this is now a college football blog by Ren Simon. All previous posts were written by the previous blog owners. Follow us on twitter: Diehard CFB Fans

CFB Week 12 Previews: USC-UCLA, TTU-Oklahoma State

November 15th 2012 16:24
Can you believe we're this close to the end of the regular season? There are some big games this weekend, particularly in the Pac-12 between rivals USC and UCLA. And Oklahoma State will try to gain some national attention with a win against Texas Tech while Texas Tech will try to move away from a bit of negative attention with a win.


The Big Question: Which team gets Oregon in the Pac-12 title game?

The Dish: This game is definitely about the Pac-12 title game, but itís also about the two teams involved and what each has a stake beyond that. UCLA just wants to beat USC, regardless. USC has owned the rivalry as long as Iíve been watching college football, and UCLA wants to prove that it can be as competitive in the state of California and even on the national landscape as USC has been. USC is in the rare position of needing to win this game not to stay in the national title race but just to win its division, which was all but handed to USC going into the season. But should USC win, it gets another crack at Oregon and possibly an[other] appearance in the Rose Bowl. Pete Carroll got sick of the Rose Bowl, but Lane Kiffin certainly will take it.

UCLA seems to be one of the teams this season that has overachieved while USC has underachieved. When you look at the rosters on O, you see a future NFL starter at QB in Matt Barkley and superior talent relative to UCLA at WR and RB, or so youíd think. Young QB Brett Hundley and RB Johnathan Franklin have been difference makers for UCLA. For USC, at times it has seemed like no matter how much talent the Trojans have on O, the offensive line and/or the defense cost them games. I donít think UCLA has the D to trouble USCís O-line and, consequently, Matt Barkley like, say, Stanford did. And USC is more talented on D than UCLA is. But if USCís D doesnít step up in this game, UCLA has the offense to hang with USC. And donít forget, the Bruins are at home.

Conclusion: Itís tough to pick this one, and I think a lot of people will go with USC just because itís USC. Iíve been going back and forth. Iíll go with UCLA. Look at USCís losses--two are on the road, and USC would have lost to Oregon anywhere. UCLA is better than Washington and Utah, USCís two road wins (and better than Syracuse, which was also a win away from home), and is more comparable to Arizona than to those two teams. I also think, being at home and it being USC, UCLA will really play up for the Trojans.

**Mama Says: She likes the more seasoned QB, Matt Barkley. USC goes on the road and wins.

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State

The Big Question: Is Texas Tech fraudulent, falling apart or what?

The Dish: Not to overshadow how well the Cowboys have done after losing Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, but youíve gotta take a closer look at Texas Tech. The BCS computers loved the Red Raiders at one point, ranking them #7 in the nation or some such nonsense. Now theyíre barely hanging in the top 25 and barely beat Kansas last weekend. There was also the incident on the sideline between Tommy Tuberville and a graduate assistant, with Tuberville ďslappingĒ or snatching the assistantís headset off while yelling at him. Losing to Oklahoma made all the sense in the world, as did getting popped by Kansas State. The loss to Texas, for me, was a little questionable, and the whole game against Kansas--including the incident--was questionable.

Oklahoma State is still, at this late point in the season, a very under-the-radar team and an unknown team for a lot of people. The Cowboys only have three losses. Every time I turn around, I promise you itís a different QB on the field. But theyíre still doing well and still putting up the points. Texas Tech is considered one of the best defenses in the Big 12, but that really isnít saying much. I think whoever the Cowboys put out there against the Red Raiders will move the offense down the field often along with Joseph Randle, and Texas Tech will find itself in another shootout. Home-field advantage also seems to be huge for Oklahoma State in this game--Texas Tech has struggled to beat the Cowboys on the road.

Conclusion: I wasnít sure about this pick either, but now I like Oklahoma State in this game. The season seems to be turning on the Red Raiders, but I also do think they were at least a little bit fraudulent. Their best wins are West Virginia and TCU, and I would classify both those teams as disappointing and maybe even fraudulent, as well. Texas Tech is considered one of the best pass defenses in the nation, but the Red Raiders are sure to face one of the best passers theyíve seen all season against the Cowboys--whoever it is. The Cowboys win a close one.

**Mama Says: Even though itís a home game for Oklahoma State, sheís picking Texas Tech. Sheís not confident, though, most likely because--as I mentioned--not many people know much about the Cowboys this season and she definitely doesnít.

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