Games to Watch

Draike De La Garza

No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 2 Alabama

The lights will be turned on at JerryWorld this weekend in Arlington. Dallas Cowboys Stadium will host to an exciting matchup between two Top 10 teams, Alabama being last year’s national champion and Michigan, who went to the Sugar Bowl last year. Last season ‘Bama had the best defense in the nation, with an equally salty running attack. Now that Trent Richardson is gone it will be interesting to see if the Alabama offense changes too much with Eddie Lacy receiving the bulk of the carries. The Wolverines’ defense was also tough, ranked 6th overall in the nation. Heisman hopeful Denard Robinson, perhaps the fastest quarterback in the nation, will again be a major weapon. The neutral site of this game makes it one you won’t want to miss.

No. 14 Clemson vs. Auburn

Always an exciting game between the two teams to start the season, Clemson and Auburn clash once again in a season opener. This game is a solid Top 25 matchup, with Clemson ranked 14th and the Auburn Tigers No. 25 in the coaches poll. Clemson returns quarterback Tajh Boyd and looks to rebound from a painful 33-70 loss at the hands of West Virginia at the conclusion of the 2011 season in the Orange Bowl. Auburn’s offensive numbers last season weren’t too great, and the Tigers move from a spread to a pro-style offense that should be fun to watch.

Hawaii at No. 1 USC

The pressure in on the Trojans this year. This is the first time in three years that USC will be eligible for postseason play after missing the last two years in accordance to sanctions handed out by the NCAA. Not only is USC number one, Matt Barkley is taking snaps under center once again. He is already a favorite pick as this year’s Heisman Trophy winner. Barkley threw for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns and could even improve on those impressive statistics. Hawaii is equipped with its usual spread-happy offense so don’t be surprised if there are several touchdowns scored by both sides in this game.

North Texas at. No. 3 LSU

Last season LSU made it to the National Championship against Alabama, where they were promptly blanked. The defense of LSU was 2nd in the nation in points against and its defense should still be strong even with the departure of cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. On the other side of the ball for LSU, it lost both its quarterbacks from last season, but is excited about Zach Mettenberger. Second team All-SEC running back Spencer Ware should be fun to watch as he will be playing against a North Texas defense that was 88th last season in point against. No upset alert here, but keep an eye on how the Tigers respond to offseason issues that could have caused distractions.