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November 12, 2010
Keep an eye on: What our guys are watching
Each week, Rivals.com's college football experts give fans things to keep an eye on over the course of the weekend. Here are some key things to watch this weekend.
TCU. Will TCU avoid an emotional letdown after its big win over Utah? The Horned Frogs appear to be cruising to an unbeaten season, a BCS bowl and perhaps even a shot at the national championship after last week's overwhelming victory over Utah. But the Frogs must be careful to avoid an emotional letdown against San Diego State on Saturday. The Aztecs are dangerous. They're 7-2, with the losses coming on a last-minute pass against Missouri and hometown officiating against BYU. San Diego State has a productive offense and is capable of pulling an upset if the Frogs aren't on their game. - OLIN BUCHANAN
Cameron Newton. Will he be distracted by the various allegations swirling about him? Newton must be dialed in against a Georgia defense that ranks No. 3 overall in the SEC (305.5 ypg), No. 2 vs. the run (106.4 ypg) and No. 4 in scoring (19.4 ppg). That defense continues to play better and better under new coordinator Todd Grantham and his 3-4 scheme. Auburn will need to score some points to win, as the Bulldogs figure to have success against a middling Tiger defense. That means Newton must be his usual stellar self if Auburn is to remain perfect and headed toward the BCS title game.
- TOM DIENHART
The quarterback situation at Miami. Randy Shannon really wants to avoid any kind of quarterback controversy at Miami and says Jacory Harris will remain the starter when he's cleared to play. But what if true freshman Stephen Morris gives him reason to rethink that statement? Morris started slow against Maryland last week but led the game-winning drive in the final minute. Now, Morris makes his second start -- and first on the road -- against Georgia Tech. If Miami wins, the Hurricanes remain in the hunt for the ACC championship game and have a home game next week against Virginia Tech. And if Morris plays well in Atlanta, Shannon will have a major decision on his hands.
- DAVID FOX
Oklahoma State. The Cowboys, through a number of surprising outcomes, now is the front-runner in the Big 12 South. They play at reeling Texas on Saturday. Oklahoma State's defense has some issues, but Texas' offense is so bad right now that it might not matter. And while Texas has good defensive stats, it has lost five times and Oklahoma State has the best offense the Longhorns will have seen. The Cowboys have everything to play for and Texas has nothing to lose. Can the Cowboys do what they're supposed to do -- i.e., win in Austin -- and stay atop the division?
- MIKE HUGUENIN
Can South Carolina finally win the SEC East? About a month ago, South Carolina looked like the clear front-runner in its bid for its first SEC East title. South Carolina had just knocked off defending national champion Alabama, and Florida was in the process of losing three consecutive games. Quite a bit has changed since. The Gamecocks have split their last four games and got trounced by Arkansas at home last week. Florida has won two in a row and its offense is finally showing signs of life. South Carolina still probably has the most talented team in the division, but Florida has the momentum heading into Saturday's showdown for the division title in Gainesville. It's reasonable to wonder whether the Gamecocks are amid their traditional late-season fade.
- STEVE MEGARGEE