One week after Alabama and Wisconsin demonstrated themselves to be the clubhouse
leaders in their respective conference, our selection committee members will hit
the road to see a handful of games in the SEC and Big Ten. Just before the
halfway mark of the season, a conference win could mean the difference between
challenging for a championship or looking ahead to 2012.
In the SEC, Florida jumps out of the frying pan and into the fire as the follow
up last week’s thumping by Alabama with a road trip to Death Valley to meet LSU.
The Gators are without starting quarterback John Brantley. Elsewhere, Auburn and
Arkansas meet in our Game of the Week as each seeks to keep up in a crowded SEC
West division. Following South Carolina’s loss last weekend and the Gators’
questionable QB situation, the SEC East could be up for grabs and the showdown
between Georgia and Tennessee in Knoxville could put the winner in control of
their own destiny.
In the Big Ten, we’ll get our first look at Michigan on the roadwhen they travel
to Northwestern in primetime (a timeslot where UM has, uh, seen some success).
Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa returns for the contest after being knocked
out of the Wildcats’ near-upset of Illinois last week and could test the
Michigan secondary. Due west of Evanston, Nebraska returns home after its
disappointing Big Ten debut against Wisconsin. The conference race doesn’t get
any easier for the Cornhuskers, who host Ohio State in Lincoln.
In addition to all of the games above, our representatives will be at Vanderbilt
at Alabama and Kentucky at South Carolina this weekend.