Scoreboard watching: K-State vulnerable without Klein?
November 9, 2012, 1:47 pm
BOSTON -- All Notre Dame can do at this point is win and hope. A 12-0 record for the Irish would only be good enough for a national title berth if two of Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State lose in the final weeks of the season.
After Saturday's game, Notre Dame players said they weren't interested in going home and closely watching Alabama, Oregon and K-State's matchups. They may not be paying attention to any of that, but since everyone else is, here's what those three teams ahead of the Irish in the BCS are facing this weekend:
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 15 Texas A&M (Alabama -13.5)
Johnny Manziel has taken the SEC by storm -- A&M is actually scoring more in the SEC this year than they did with Ryan Tannehill last year in the Big 12 -- but good enough to pull off an upset over Alabama? The Tide's secondary was exposed a little bit last week by LSU's Zac Mettenberger, who threw for 298 yards and a touchdown. Johnny Football's a better quarterback than Mettenberger, but against two top SEC defenses in Florida and LSU Manziel hasn't been great. Alabama's defense represents another stiff challenge for the redshirt freshman, and since this game is in Tuscaloosa, chances are the Tide will roll.
No. 2 Kansas State @ TCU (K-State -7.5)
If Notre Dame is hoping for an upset, this game might be the best bet -- that is, if K-State's Collin Klein isn't able to play. The leading Heisman Trophy candidate was pulled from K-State's win over Oklahoma State last week with concussion-like symptoms, and while venerable coach Bill Snyder thinks his quarterback will be okay, we won't know until Saturday. It's worth noting, though, that K-State's defense may be good enough to limit a TCU offense that's coming off a miraculous 39-38 win over West Virginia last week.
But any team that goes on the road without its best player is vulnerable, so keep a close eye on Saturday's proceedings in Fort Worth.
No. 3 Oregon @ California (Oregon -28.5)
Jeff Tedford's had a good run at Cal, but he's very much on the hot seat in Berkeley. A win over a heavily-favored Oregon would be a nice parting gift, but barring the eight misfortunes that befell Mr. Burns' softball team
the Ducks should be able to manage yet another blowout.
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, kansas state