Every Friday, we bring you the Rant Sports College Football Upset Alert, tipping you off to a few games on the Saturday slate that could shake up the landscape.
Here are this week’s upset alert picks:
James Gomez likes the California Bears to knock off the USC Trojans, giving them their second-straight loss and making things awfully crispy under Lane Kiffin’s backside. James notes the Cal running game behind Brendan Bigelow and Isi Sofele has some serious speed and could do damage against a USC front that has had its issues. Beyond that, Matt Barkley may, or may not, get the protection he needs from a wishy-washy offensive line and could be vulnerable to the Bears’ pass rush. Every game could be Jeff Tedford’s last, and he’ll definitely have the Bears ready to roll.
Riley Schmitt and Will Wilson both believe the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have what it takes to knock of the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday evening in Champaign. The high-powered Bulldogs offense will certainly be a challenge for an Illinois defense that gave up 45 points two weeks ago against the Arizona State Sun Devils, and has yet to see an offense of Louisiana Tech’s caliber. This one definitely has the makings of a shootout that would be fun to watch as both teams leave something to be desired defensively.
Chris Lionetti believes the Missouri Tigers have a chance to knock off our No. 9 team, the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. It’s likely it will be a battle of backups as both James Franklin and Connor Shaw will be game-time decisions, and if so, any advantage the Gamecocks had with home field goes right out the window, opening the possibility for a Mizzou upset.
Mike Amato sides with Chris, noting that South Carolina escaped the Vanderbilt Commodores two weekends ago, and Missouri has the ability to spread out the South Carolina defense and make them more vulnerable than any other opponent they have faced so far this season.
A game we’ll all be watching closely– and live-blogging on– Tyler Brett thinks the Kansas State Wildcats have what it takes to knock off the Oklahoma Sooners tomorrow evening in Norman. Although Bob Stoops has never lost to a ranked team at home, Tyler thinks K-State could be the culprit given how close they played them in Norman in 2001 (a 38-37 loss) and the strong K-State offense spearheaded by Heisman Trophy candidate Collin Klein that could control clock and keep the vaunted Sooners offense off the field.
Justine Hendricks agrees with this pick, but also sees the Arizona Wildcats knocking off the Oregon Ducks at Autzen– an upset of massive proportions. Given Oregon’s weak early schedule, and the fact the Wildcats look as strong as they have in years under Rich Rodriguez, this game is a lot more even than it seems. The Arizona offense, led by dual-threat signal caller Matt Scott, could give the Oregon defense fits and keep things just interesting enough we could have a wacky finish in the Land of the Ducks.
Chris Hengst likes the Oregon State Badgers to hand the upstart UCLA Bruins their first loss of the 2012 season Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl. Oregon State has the second-ranked rush defense in the country, and manhandled a Wisconsin Badgers team last week thought to initially be Top 15 caliber. UCLA true freshman hotshot QB Brett Hundley has yet to have his “freshman moment” and Chris thinks this is the week it happens, to the Bruins’ demise.
Enjoy the games tomorrow and always make sure to check back every Friday for the Rant Sports College Football Weekly Upset Alert!