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College Football Week 5—Rivals, Champions, and Weird Mascots  Share

28 September 2010

This Saturday features three big games that have some compelling stories.  Here they are, in the order that they will be played on Saturday:

OU quarterback throws

3:30pm:  No. 21 Texas Longhorns at No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners.

 This game is always a heated contest as both teams are usually highly ranked, thus it is one of the biggest games of the year for both teams.  The game is referred to as the “Red River Rivalry,” so called because the Red River forms part of the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma.  Texas suffered a surprising loss at home last week to UCLA, getting a real whipping by the boys from Los Angeles 34 to 12.  Meanwhile, Oklahoma has lived a charmed life so far this year—they beat lowly Utah State by 7 points the opening game of the season and have also had close games against Air Force (3 points) and Cincinnati (2 points), teams that are not very good.  Texas has something to prove after their embarrassment last week, so don’t be surprised if Oklahoma’s charmed life finally runs out on Saturday.

Good one-liner:  “The Red River Rivalry doesn’t seem to be so important this year outside of Oklahoma and Texas” (quote references the fact that this game usually has national championship implications, but this year nobody expects either team to make it to the big game).

8:00pm:  No. 7 Florida Gators at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. 

Anytime two teams in the top 10 play each other, it’s a big game.  Although Florida is the No. 7 team in the country, don’t expect them to give Alabama much of a challenge this weekend.  Florida has not had a tough opponent yet this year while Alabama had a big come-from-behind win last Saturday against a good Arkansas team.  The difference in this game will be the fact that it will be played in Tuscaloosa.  The Gators have a junior quarterback that is in his first season as a starter, and this will be his first big road test.  These two teams met last year in the Southeastern Conference Championship game, with Alabama winning 34-7.  The Crimson Tide just have too many weapons for the Gators, so look for them to have another win on Saturday. 

Good one-liner:  “The Tide is going to roll on Saturday” (quote is a pun off of Alabama’s nickname, the Crimson Tide).

8:00pm:  No. 9 Stanford Cardinal at No. 4 Oregon Ducks.

 This game features the trees against the ducks.  Stanford’s team name is officially the Cardinal which refers to the vivid red color of their uniforms.  Students agreed that this name was pretty lame, so they unofficially changed the mascot to….a tree.  Yes, some crazy college student dresses up as a tree for their athletic contests to “inspire” their team to victory.  On the other side of the ball are the Oregon Ducks.  When you think about a tough animal that you want to use to rally your team, of course a duck is always at the top of the list.  I guess the Ligers were already taken by somebody, but I don’t know who. Anyway, the Cardinal/Trees have a really good quarterback in Junior Andrew Luck who has led the team in impressive victories over UCLA and Notre Dame.  Look for the Cardinal to tree the ducks.

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The Basics

College Football is absolutely American.  It is essentially a combination of rugby and soccer that was conceived by several universities in the 1870’s.  More...

BCS: Bowl Championship Series, the post season system developed to pit the #1 and #2 teams in the nation against each other in a national championship game.  It determines this through a ranking system that is a combination of two polls where individuals vote on the rankings and a third set of rankings comprised of a number of computer generated polls.  The BCS as a system for college football has been very controversial. 
FBS: Football Bowl Subdivision – a subset of Division I football where the largest football colleges are grouped.  These are the ones you traditionally see on TV.  It is named the Bowl Subdivision because the post season for these teams are the bowl games.
FCS: Football Championship Subdivision – the next level down from FBS where the teams play a play-off to determine their national champion

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