The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports Columns

October 26, 2013

Mike Lopresti: Let the BCS griping begin

Now that the BCS standings appear weekly, it’s prime time for teeth-gnashing. Just line up at the complaint window. We can assume Oregon doesn’t much like being behind Florida State, and Ohio State doesn’t much like being behind Oregon.

So each Saturday has become a campaign stop, wooing voters and computers and they’d probably even kiss babies if the facemasks didn’t get in the way. This week’s games with something to prove:

1. Tennessee at Alabama: Remember when the Tide were supposed to be struggling? Yeah, right. Alabama has won its last five games by a score of 201-16 and allowed one touchdown in the last 20 quarters and, all in all, looks very Nick Sabanish. Still, Tennessee just beat South Carolina and took Georgia to overtime. So the Vols might make it a little interesting.

2. North Carolina State at Florida State: Now that the Seminoles are all the rage with analysts and Famous Jameis Winston is the hottest redshirt freshman quarterback since Johnny Manziel — with his 71-percent completion rate and 20-3 touchdown-interception ratio — this is no time for a post-Clemson letdown. Besides that, it’s Bobby Bowden Day. With an average score of 53-12, Florida State is third in the nation in both scoring offense and scoring defense.

3. UCLA at Oregon: The Ducks have created their own monster. If they score under 40, everyone asks what went wrong. Also, Florida State cut in line ahead of them in the BCS poll. So the touchdowns need to keep falling like an ocean rain from quarterback Marcus Mariota, who fumbled twice last week. UCLA has the 18th-rated scoring defense in the land, and the Bruins might be impolite enough to get in the way.

4. Penn State at Ohio State: The Nittany Lions have made real pests of themselves as visitors to Columbus, winning two of their last three trips. The Buckeyes can’t afford any slippage now. Their 19-game winning streak and glitzy rush defense totals — they have not allowed a run of 20 yards or an opposing back to get 100 yards this season — have not translated into a prime BCS spot yet.

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