Coach Saban may want to just DVR his beloved Grey's Anatomy this Thursday night, because a couple of monster games will go along way toward determining who will get to go to the BCS Championship Game. All times listed are Central.
(10) Oklahoma @ (6) Baylor: Fox Sports 1, 6:30 p.m.
Baylor has been begging for someone, anyone to give the Bears the respect they deserve this season and a convincing win over a decent Oklahoma team would undoubtedly leave all naysayers silent. Baylor is chewing up yards and lighting up scoreboards at an historic pace. Bears quarterback Bryce Petty has been otherworldly throughout the 2013 campaign, already amassing close to 2,500 yards passing and 18 touchdowns against ONE(!) interception. Keep in mind, he hasn't had to play in many second halves this year. Trying to ruin his season is Bob Stoops' Sooners squad. The same squad that went to a "neutral" location and lost to the worst Texas team in decades by 16 points. The same Sooners whose quarterback often resembles a mismanaged linebacker. Oklahoma really has only one hope to win this game -- it must use its talented running backs to control the clock and keep the Baylor offense off the field. We'll likely see just how tall an order that is.
(3) Oregon @ (5) Stanford: ESPN, 8 p.m.
Oregon may have the dreaded "(3)" beside its team name for now, but take a look at Florida State's remaining schedule. Seriously, look at it. The Seminoles won't face another ranked team until an assumed ACC Championship Game. Why am I mentioning this in the Oregon preview? Because if Oregon wins this game, it will easily jump the Seminoles in the BCS and never look back. Obviously Stanford would like to get in the way of the Ducks' BCS hopes. The Cardinal went on the road and shocked Oregon in this game last season, allowing only 14 points to the vaunted Oregon offense. Stanford is a great football team, but this may be the best Oregon squad we've seen yet. De'Anthony Thomas has proclaimed his desire for 40 point in this game, and we shouldn't be at all surprised if he gets his wish.
Virginia Tech @ (11) Miami: ESPN, 6 p.m.
A couple of weeks ago, Virginia Tech was a ranked team with a good chance to make some noise in the ACC. A couple of embarrassing losses to Duke and Boston College later, and the Hokies are just trying to salvage some sort of positive feelings about this season. A win on the road against a good Miami team would go a long way toward accomplishing just that. The Hurricanes are coming off of a brutal loss at the hands of college football wunderkid Jameis Winston. They will have to rebound against the Hokie defense, which is among the best in the country. Throw in the devastating loss of Canes running back Duke Johnson, and you may just have a possible upset in Coral Gables this weekend.
Don't forget to check back on Friday for our SEC preview.
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