[image-1](10) OSU at Michigan (Saturday, 12:00 pm - ABC - OSU minus 12)
Lets face it. A Rose Bowl berth doesnt mean anything to Ohio State if they dont beat theyre arch rival. Losses in this series get coaches fired. Just ask John Cooper. (I probably just lost three Buckeyes readers for merely mentioning Coopers name.) Speaking from personal experience, the only thing more enjoyable than watching college footballs most storied rivalry with a drunken Buckeye fan is hearing him or her explain in excruciating detail how this is college footballs most storied rivalry. So they have that going for them
which is nice. Whoops, just lost three more Buckeye readers. Michigan is 1-6 in the Big Ten this year and Jimmy T has never lost to Michigan, so the Buckeyes have nothing to worry about this year, right?
[image-2](11) Oregon at Arizona (Saturday, 8:00 pm - ABC - ORE minus 6)
Imagine a Rose Bowl without USC. Well, were about to see it. All Oregon has to do is win on the road this weekend and theyll make it to their first Rose Bowl in fourteen years. Simple enough, right? Theyre opponent this week also has Rose Bowl aspirations, albeit much slimmer. The Arizona Wildcats can still get to Pasadena by winning their final three games, but they must first find a way to stop the nations sixth best rushing offense. Freshman running back LaMichael James, the best running back youve never heard of, continues to prove Oregons ground game is safe for years to come. Hes amassed 1200 yards on 7 yards a carry this season and is averaging over 150 rushing yards per game in his last five.
[image-3]Colts (9-0) at Ravens (5-4) (Sunday, 1:00 CBS IND minus 1.5)
The undefeated Colts are probably still scratching their heads over Bill Belichicks controversial, fourth-and-two decision that gave them the ball back with two minutes to play and twenty-nine yards to pay dirt. This week, theyre a small road favorite against Baltimore, who had been struggling until beating the Cleveland Browns, who you can always count to get any team out of a slump. Amazingly enough, the Ravens opened up as two point favorites in this game. Odds makers must have moved the line to Indy minus one when they realized Bill Belichick doesnt coach Baltimore. With Cincinnati starting to pull away in the AFC North, the Ravens are likely looking at a wild card spot, meaning every win counts. This week theyll have to do it against Robocop. Peyton Manning has been unconscious lately. He now leads the league in passing yardage, completion percentage and touchdown passes. Kind of explains why Indianapolis is still undefeated.
[image-4]Atlanta (5-4) at Giants (5-4) (Sunday, 1:00 pm - FOX NYG minus 6.5)
One of these teams is in big trouble. In fact, they both might be. With both Atlanta and New York resting uncomfortably at 5-4, the winner of this game will hold a crucial tie break in the NFC Wild Card race. Although the Giants arent out of contention in the NFC East, their four game losing streak is disturbing. Theyre allowing a very un-Giant-like 33 points per game over that stretch. The Falcons havent fared much better lately losing three of their last four. This game comes at a good time for both teams, or at least for one of them. Losing might not mean elimination but its a big step in that direction.
[image-5]Chargers (6-3) Denver (6-3) (Sunday, 4:15 pm CBS no line yet)
What a difference a month makes. Four weeks ago, Denver was the surprise team of the league at 6-0 and the Chargers were labeled as underachievers at 2-3. After a reversal of fortune, the two teams square off on Sunday with the same record and the AFC West at stake. San Diego lost earlier this year to Denver despite Philip Rivers throwing for 274 yards in the game. But this appears to be a different Mr. Rivers who has thrown for 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions since that loss. Meanwhile, Kyle Ortons status for this game is still uncertain.