The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions match up in a contest that features arguably the two best teams in the Big Ten (although Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska are as well). Braxton Miller is expected to started in this one although it will be interesting how well he looks maneuvering in traffic like he does every weekend. He is the best duel-threat quarterback in terms of running down field and this offense would be lost without him. Penn State’s offense has done a remarkable job thanks to Bill O’Brien and the consistency from Matt McGloin is quietly the best story in the Big Ten. Outside of their defense playing better than Ohio State’s, look for upset as the Nittany Lions are simply going to control the clock and run the ball down the throats of a brutal Buckeye run defense.
Danny V’s Pick: Penn State 24, Ohio State 22
5. No. 22 Michigan (5-2) at Nebraska (5-2), 8 p.m. eastern (ESPN 2)
I suspect this game will decide who ends up playing in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, so you better prepare yourself for arguably the most electric, entertaining Big Ten games all season. The winner of the Big Ten and the Legends Division will be the winner of this matchup. Denard Robinson against Taylor Martinez is must watch TV despite a few other contest on simultaneously (BAMA-MST, ND-OU). Both defenses have had their issues overall, but they have been playing much better the last few weeks. Nebraska gave up points due to several critical special team gaffes and I am banking on a game-winning type of special teams by the Huskers in what will be a classic.
Danny V’s Pick: Nebraska 34, Michigan 31 (Overtime)
4. No. 14 Texas Tech (6-1) at No. 3 Kansas State (7-0), 3:30 p.m. eastern (FOX)
Collin Klein has now become a mortal lock for the Heisman barring he pulls a Geno Smith or Braxton Miller in at least one game. This would be the game for him to struggle since the Wildcats fell short to a high octane offense against Oklahoma State last year, but this one is in Manhattan. The offense is as balanced as any on the planet, and the Wildcats defense looks like they should be able to slow down Seth Doege. However, Doege is every bit as hot as any player in the country including Klein and the Red Raiders have owned the Wildcats on the road (won last two). As great as K-State is, they will not run the table and I stand by that.
Danny V’s Pick: Texas Tech 35, Kansas State 31
3. No. 11 Mississippi State (7-0) at No. 1 Alabama (7-0), 8:30 p.m. eastern (ESPN)
Is there any team outside of the Atlanta Falcons or the Chicago Bears that can dethrone the Crimson Tide? Alabama looks unbeatable and the experts in Vegas just proved of how dominant they have been. They are hosting the No. 11 ranked team in the country (BCS Standings) and yet they are favored by 24.5 points against a team that is flawless on the season. In fact, outside of LSU there has not been another team in the country that has been within 16 points of the Tide. They have throttled everybody on the slate and although the Bulldogs possess the best corner in the country (Johnthan Banks), they seem like no match for one of the most balanced teams in the BCS era at this moment in time.
Danny V’s Pick: Alabama 34, Mississippi State 16
2. No. 2 Florida (7-0) vs. No. 10 Georgia (6-1), 3:30 p.m. eastern (CBS)
Why Watch: This could be the most physical regular season game you witness all year since these two teams despise one another. Mark Richt may not have a better opportunity to make the haters eat crow whereas Will Muschamp has a chance to take the nation by surprise. While the Gators have the best resume in the nation, they also have arguably the best defense as well. Still, they have faced elite competition for the last few weeks and this could easily be their toughest test until facing the Seminoles and potentially Alabama in the SEC title.
Danny V’s Pick: Florida 23, Georgia 21
1. No. 5 Notre Dame (7-0) at No. 8 Oklahoma (5-1), 8:07 p.m. eastern (ABC)
Why Watch: This game has more than just BCS at-large bid implications, potential Heisman and more importantly BCS title stakes are on the line. Are the Irish for real or will the scorching Sooners light their still unproven secondary alive? Notre Dame has not come through in a nationally televised game in seemingly forever, and this is their time prove all the naysayers wrong. Plus, is OU really as good as they have been playing over the last few weeks or is their competition that bad? Everybody is convinced the Irish have played nobody although they potentially may played the eventual Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 champions (Michigan, USC, Oklahoma). The front 7 on both sides are relentless but the Golden Domers have had their most swagger and magic since arguably their last National Championship (1988).
Danny V’s Pick: Oklahoma 31, Notre Dame 17