We are now ready for the most anticipated games since Auburn won on a fluke tackle (that's right I said it, and that is what happened), Boise State v. Georgia and Oregon v. LSU.
The outcomes: Boise wins big, Oregon barely pulls it out.
Boise State returns 14 starters including QB Kellen Moore. Moore may not be throwing to Austin Pettis or Titus Young, but as the second best passer in the NCAA (behind Andrew Luck of Stanford) he'll still have plenty of opportunities to shred Georgia's defense. And Moore isn't just the only threat, the Broncos return two running backs, Doug Martin and DJ Harper who gained 1260 and 925 yards respectively, last season. Keep in mind those numbers were on a team that passed first, then ran.
Boise State's defense lost 3 of their top tacklers from last year but still return 7 starters to a unit that only gave up 12.8 points per game (and that number was skewed upwards by one guy, Colin Kapernik).
Georgia returns all its secondary and 2 strong defensive lineman. It's quarterback Aaron Murray is good, but he's not in Moore's class. Isaiah Crowell looks to be a star running back for Georgia but so far he hasn't played a down of college football. The guys he's facing are a far cry from your average 5-10, 190 lb. high school defenseman.
Perhaps a slight advantage on defense goes to Georgia. But here's the difference in the game: Boise State throws for 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns. The Broncos run the ball in for at least one score. Georgia runs the ball for 2 TD's and settles for a field goal. Final score: Boise State 31, Georgia 17.
Now LSU-Oregon. Forget everything else about offenses, defenses, and coaches. The game comes down to off the field issues. Two players, one of them the starting QB have been arrested and won't play in the Oregon game. The arrests stem from a bar fight and witnesses have said they saw additional LSU players involved. at least two of them are listed as "persons of interest" which in legal parlance means "we'll arrest you if we come up with any more evidence against you." Those players thoughts aren't on football, they are thinking what they should do if they're arrested or implicated. I originally thought LSU's defense would be enough to stop LaMichael James (the centerpiece of Oregon's offense) but without their heads in the game (and that goes for Les Miles to a lesser extent) LSU falls down on the job. Final score: Oregon 20, LSU 17.