Top Five States of Matter (Oct 16 - Oct 20)

October 16, 2014 by SbS Football Staff | with 0 comments

The weekly “Top Five States of Matter” is a preview of the upcoming football weekend that highlights the key games in five states (e.g. big national games, local rivalries, in-state matchups, etc.).

1. Indiana
The state of Indiana is our number one “State of Matter” this week as the Hoosiers host the best team in the Big Ten, the Fighting Irish play in the biggest FBS game of the weekend, and the Colts play in one of only three NFL games between teams with winning records.
It’s been an up and down year for the Indiana Hoosiers as they have alternated wins and losses each game through the first half of the year. The highlight so far was an upset win on the road over Missouri (ranked 18th at the time) in mid-September, but since then, the Hoosiers have suffered blow-out losses in both of their Big Ten games.
They will face a Michigan State team that has won four in a row and is 2-0 in the Big Ten, although both games were a little closer than the Spartans would have liked.
On Saturday night, 5th ranked Notre Dame will take on 2nd ranked Florida State in the premier college game of the weekend. The teams are two of only six remaining undefeated teams in all of the FBS, and the game will go a long way in deciding who makes the four team playoff at the end of the year.
The Fighting Irish are coming of a surprisingly close win over North Carolina at home, while the Seminoles have won easily the past two weeks after struggling to win in September.
One of the better NFL games of the week will feature two AFC divisional winners from last year, the Indianapolis Colts and the Cincinnati Bengals. 
The Colts come into the game as the hotter team as they have won four straight after dropping their first two of the season. Meanwhile, after starting the season 3-0, the Bengals have been blown-out by the Patriots and have tied the Panthers in the last two weeks.
Key Games
FBS: No. 8 Michigan State at Indiana (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, Line: Mich St by 15)
FBS: No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State (Saturday, 8:00 PM ET, Line: FSU by 12)
NFL: Bengals at Colts (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, Line: Colts by 3.5)
2. Oklahoma
The four teams from the Big 12 ranked between 11th and 15th in the nation, including the two Oklahoma teams, are involved in two games this weekend that are essentially College Football Playoff elimination games. All teams have one loss and will most likely be eliminated from playoff contention with another loss.
The early game on Saturday will be in Norman, Oklahoma as the 11th ranked Sooners welcome 14th ranked Kansas State to town.
After losing a close game to TCU a couple of weeks ago, the Sooners hung on to win a tighter than expected game against Texas last weekend in the Red River Rivalry. Meanwhile, Kansas State has won two straight after its disappointing loss to Auburn in mid-September.
After the Sooners game wraps up, football fans in the state of Oklahoma will turn their attention to the Oklahoma State game as the 15th ranked Cowboys will be on the road to face 12th ranked TCU.
Since losing to Florida State the opening weekend of the season, the Cowboys have rallied off five straight wins and are 3-0 in Big 12 play. However, their three conference wins were against teams that are all 0-3 in conference.
TCU is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Baylor and will be a good test to see how strong this Oklahoma State team is.

Key Games
FBS: No. 14 Kansas State at No. 11 Oklahoma (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, Line: OU by 8)
FBS: No. 15 Oklahoma State at No. 12 TCU (Saturday, 4:00 PM ET, Line TCU by 9)
3. Massachusetts
Whenever the Jets and Patriots play, especially on prime time, it’s a big football week in the New England area, and with Boston College also hosting its second game of the year against a ranked opponent, the state of Massachusetts comes in as our number three “State of Matter.”
The Jets travel to Foxborough to take on the Patriots on Thursday Night Football this week. The two teams have been heading in opposite directions lately as the Jets have lost five consecutive games after winning in week one, while New England has won two in a row and finally look the like a typical Patriots team.
On Saturday, the state of Massachusetts’s premier FBS team, Boston College, hosts number 24 Clemson in an ACC Atlantic Division game.
The Eagles are 4-2 and already have one upset win over a ranked team this year (USC), while Clemson has climbed back into the top 25 after three consecutive wins.
Key Games
NFL: Jets at Patriots (Thursday, 8:25 PM ET, Line: New England by 10)
FBS: No. 24 Clemson at Boston College (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, Line: Clemson by 5)
4. Oregon
It’s a big weekend of football in the state of Oregon as the Beavers host a ranked team on a nationally televised Thursday night game, and the Ducks host their biggest rival outside of the state.
Oregon State plays 20th ranked Utah on Thursday night in Corvalis in a cross-divisional Pac-12 contest. All of the five Beavers wins have come against teams who don’t currently have a winning record, with their one loss coming two weeks ago to USC.
Although Utah is 4-1 and has been one the biggest surprises in college football this season, the Beavers are always tough to beat at home, and it should be a very competitive game.
On Saturday night, the Oregon Ducks will be in Eugene to host the Washington Huskies in a big Pac-12 North showdown. Both teams have only one loss, and it’s the biggest rivalry game for the two schools outside of their in-state Pac-12 counterparts (Oregon State and Washington State).
After being upset at home two weeks ago by Arizona, the Ducks looked like themselves again with a blowout win over UCLA in Los Angeles last weekend. Meanwhile, Washington continues to improve each week under first year coach Chris Peterson.

Oregon has dominated the series of late as it hasn’t lost to the Huskies since 2003 (ten straight wins).

Key Games
FBS: No. 20 Utah at Oregon State (Thursday, 10:00 PM ET, Line: Utah by 2.5)
FBS: Washington at No. 9 Oregon (Saturday, 8:00 PM ET, Line: Oregon by 21)

5. Kansas
The two best teams in the state of Kansas (one FBS and one DII) are both on the road this weekend to face conference opponents who are national title contenders.
Kansas State travels to Oklahoma to face the 11th ranked Sooners, and as mentioned above, both teams have one loss and will most likely be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss on Saturday.
The last time these two teams played in Norman (2012), Kansas State pulled off the upset over a 6th ranked Oklahoma team.
When it comes to Division II football, there are few, if any, rivalries bigger than the Pittsburg State Gorillas (located in southeastern Kansas) versus the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats.  
The two schools, both located in small towns, have played their annual game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City recently (midway point between the schools), but this year the game will be back on campus. The Gorillas will travel 215 miles directly north to face the Bearcats in Maryville, Missouri.
The 6-0 Bearcats are the number one ranked team in Division II, and defending national champions, while the Gorillas are 5-1 and ranked 17th.
Key Games
FBS: No. 14 Kansas State at No. 11 Oklahoma (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, Line: OU by 8)
DII: No. 17 Pittsburg State at No. 1 NW Missouri State (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, Line: N/A)