For fans hoping to witness an upset among the ranked teams, week three proved to be a major disappointment. The top 14 remained intact and only a few teams were culled from the current polls.
The marquee matchup in week five will take place when the Louisiana State Tigers meet the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges. The game has huge national title implications. Both teams are loaded with talent and have already proved themselves after beating ranked opponents. The outcome could spell disaster for the conference’s hopes of featuring a national title contender. The loser could likely go on to win the SEC championship, therefore causing the SEC to self implode.
Both the Tigers and the Bulldogs are ranked in the top ten and the winner could jump as high as number four in the nation. Georgia’s defense is adequate at best, leaving the offense as the only hope for the Dawgs. LSU has been quietly inching up the ladder of national rankings. Aside from Alabama, the Tigers are the most balanced team in the SEC. LSU features a trio of punishing tailbacks that will give the Georgia front all it can handle. The game will also be a bitter homecoming for Tiger quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who was booted from the UGA roster in 2010 for behavior issues.
Stanford silenced critics after it handled Arizona State with relative ease. The Sun Devils are only one of the many hurdles the Cardinals must clear in order to gain the attention of BCS voters. Oregon remains in the driver’s seat of the PAC-12 North and has many college football analysts, including the legendary Lou Holtz, arguing that the Ducks deserve to be ranked ahead of Alabama.
There is no question that Oregon has appeared to be one of the most dominant teams in college football. Their strength lies in the Ducks’ ability to wear down the opposing defense. Catching Oregon tailback De’Anthony Thomas before he reaches the outside edge is tough, but can it be done for four quarters? Maybe.
The only antidote to the blistering speed of Oregon’s offense is old fashioned, smashmouth football. The top teams in the SEC are famous for brutally hard-hitting defenses and analysts would love to see the Ducks face the team that emerges from the SEC gauntlet.