Here at the halfway point of the college football season, not much has changed at the top.
Urban Meyer still hasn’t lost a game at Ohio State.
Oregon, without Chip Kelly, is still putting up basketball scores.
Everyone is still chasing Alabama, and Nick Saban still isn’t smiling.
The first BCS standings will be out soon, and the bickering can begin. Oregon, Ohio State, Clemson or Oklahoma vs. the Tide? Imagine the shrieking if they all finish unbeaten.
The Saturdays begin to really matter now, and so we lead this week’s Tense 10 — 10 games where there is something to prove — with a key matchup in the Northwest:
1. Oregon at Washington: The Ducks stay in Alabama’s rearview mirror with a quarterback doing everything that anyone — including Heisman voters — could ask. Marcus Mariota has thrown 14 touchdowns without an interception and averages 12.1 yards per carry, rushing for seven touchdowns. Sounds like Johnny Manziel without the tweets. No wonder Oregon averages 59 points a game. But Washington is 11th in the nation in scoring defense and can be mean at home. The Huskies should put in a request for the standard Seattle rain. Oregon has Nike on its side, Washington could at least have nature.
2. Missouri at Georgia: The only unbeaten team in the SEC not named Alabama is ... Missouri? Yep. Hardly anyone has noticed the Tigers or their 46.6-point scoring average, but the team from the Show-Me State will show me, you and everyone else if it ends Georgia’s 15-game home winning streak. The Bulldogs —the Red Cross team of the week — have to prove they can carry on despite injuries to their top two rushers and top three receivers.
3. Oklahoma vs. Texas in Dallas: The Longhorns have lost three games in a row to the Sooners, the last two by a combined score of 108-38. Mack Brown needs this like Congress needs a happy pill.