Anytime you have two top 5 teams playing each other, it's a no brainer for the game of the week. TCU is looking for its first back-to-back Mountain West Conference (MWC) championships since joining the conference in 2005. A win over Utah virtually secures that feat. It also appears that a win would also assure TCU back-to-back BCS bowls, something no non-AQ team has ever done. Getting a win today will not be easy.
TCU will have to to something it has never done: win in Salt Lake City. TCU beat Utah 55-28 last year, so TCU will have do deal with the revenge factor this year. In that game a year ago, Utah used a true freshman who had only started three games. Utah has a lot of the intangible momentum on its side.
The Utes, however, have not been tested this year. Their best opponent is a toss up between Pittsburgh and Air Force. Utah has shown they have the fire power on offense to match TCU, but what about defense? Utah caught the nation's attention when they blitzed Iowa State 68-27. Impressive, except, a week later Oklahoma held the Cyclones scoreless. Utah had Air Force on the ropes last week, but they let Air Force put two TDs on the board, in less than a minute and a half, to make the game interesting. Utah led 24-13 with less than 8 minutes to play in their opener against Pitt, and they allowed the Panthers to score 11 points to send the game to overtime. If I was Kyle Whittingham, I would be worried that my defense didn't have the killer instinct necessary to make the required stops to put the game away.
TCU, on the other hand, does seem to have it. In the two games that their opponents have scored over 20 points, the TCU defense came up with the final points of the game to put the game out of reach. Six times this year, TCU has held their opponents to one score or less. Oh, and all this RG3 hype, TCU doesn't buy it.
Kickoff: 3:30 EDT
TV: CBS-College Sports