[Photo: Gregory Shamus/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images]
Last week reminded us why we love the sport of college football so dearly. Michigan gambled and went for the two point conversion following a late touchdown to try and beat Ohio State in regulation but came up short. Auburn won the Iron Bowl in possibly one of the greatest finishes the sport of college football has ever seen. Duke, the punching bag of the ACC for the last decade, reached 10 wins for the first time in school history.
What a difference a year can make. Last season, we saw both of these teams at the bottom of their respective SEC divisions. Now, they will play for the conference title. Auburn has one of the nation’s best rushing attacks and an up-tempo scheme that gives defense players fits. Missouri, on the other hand, is built through strength on the defensive side of the ball. Last week, they kept one of the nation’s best offenses in Texas A&M and kept John Football in check, allowing them to secure the SEC West title.
The Cardinal will pay a visit to Tempe this weekend for this year’s Pac 12 Championship game. Stanford is built like an old-school football team that tries to win the game in the trenches. They might very well have been headed to the BCS Championship had it not been for a couple close losses that came down to the final minutes. Arizona State is led by QB Taylor Kelly who can hurt defenses with his arms and his legs. The Junior QB is a big reason why the Sun Devils will be playing for a ticket to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and will need to show up Saturday night for them to have any chance of winning.
Duke is riding high and is led by Coach of the Year candidate, David Cutcliffe. If his name sounds familiar, it is because he also works with Peyton Manning in the off-season. As good as Duke has been this year, they might only stand a puncher’s chance against the #1 team in the land, Florida State. The Seminoles have been juggernauts on the offensive side of the ball, being dominant in nearly every game they have played. Duke has one goal: get the game to the 4th quarter close. If they can achieve that, they might just pull off one of the season’s biggest upsets.
Sparty will have one goal on Saturday: spoil the fun of Ohio State and keep them from a spot in the BCS Championship game. Ohio State has found success through QB Braxton Miller and the rest of the Buckeye offense. If they want to win Saturday and keep the dream season going, they will have to be able to move the ball against one of the nation’s top defenses. Michigan State will play inspired football. Don’t be surprised if they steal one late from the Buckeyes.