What To Watch For: Week 10

Each week, our bloggers will take a closer look at the storylines you should be watching. What's on tap for Week 10?


Injured quarterbacks. Wake Forest's Riley Skinner is listed as day-to-day for the Georgia Tech game (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET) with a mild concussion, and FSU's Christian Ponder is expected to play through the pain of bruised ribs at Clemson. Whether or not Ponder's pain will be noticeable will have an effect on the outcome of the game, and Wake's chances of beating Georgia Tech increase significantly if Skinner is in the game. Their health, though, is the first priority, and right now neither is 100 percent.

Big 12

Kansas State's continuing turnover-producing binge. The Wildcats have been proficient turning the ball over in Big 12 games, providing one of the biggest reasons KSU is unexpectedly in first place in the North Division. The Wildcats have produced 13 turnovers with a plus-7 turnover margin and six interceptions in five Big 12 games. Their opportunism will test Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing, who has contributed seven turnovers in his past three games directly leading to five opposing touchdowns. If the Wildcats can keep up that pressure, they have a great chance of stealing an upset Saturday.

Big East

Focus. That's the key word this week, as the top three contenders in the Big East all are heavy favorites at home. Showdowns between Cincinnati, Pitt and West Virginia loom on the calendar ahead. But for those to matter, they need to take care of business this week against the heavy underdogs and not start thinking ahead to the stretch run.

Big Ten

Terrelle Pryor going country. Pryor wasn't a huge fan of Happy Valley during the recruiting process, and he probably won't warm up to it Saturday as No. 16 Ohio State visits No. 11 Penn State (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET). Penn State fans will be waiting for Pryor, and the Buckeyes quarterback expects a rough reception when he takes the field at Beaver Stadium. Pryor has performed better since the Purdue loss but needs to elevate his overall game against the nation's fifth-ranked defense. His return to his home state adds more flavor to an already intriguing matchup.


Will Oregon be flat at Stanford? Chip Kelly has done an outstanding job of keeping his team focused on its "national championship" games every Saturday. But the thorough whipping of USC last weekend will be hard to contain with the proverbial "24-hour rule." Moreover, the Ducks won't have the Autzen Stadium crowd there to fire them up. The Ducks won't have to be as sharp as they were against the Trojans, but if they are flat and can't get in sync, Stanford will have a more than remote shot to pull the upset.


How the West was won. For Alabama, it's as simple as winning Saturday against LSU. The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0) would clinch the Western Division title and their second straight trip to the SEC championship game with a win. They would own all tiebreakers based on their head-to-head victory over LSU regardless of what they do in their final two SEC games against Mississippi State and Auburn. The Tigers (7-1, 4-1) wouldn't clinch the West title with a win over the Crimson Tide, but would put themselves in a commanding position. LSU would still need to win over Ole Miss on the road and Arkansas at home to lock up a trip to Atlanta to play in the SEC championship game.


Staying focused, undefeated. Boise State and TCU don't have tough games this weekend, but they do have games to look forward to next weekend. The key will be playing with focus, as they have all season, and staying undefeated for a pivotal Week 11 matchup.

Notre Dame

Michael Floyd. Apart from a victory, the No. 1 topic for the Irish this week is the return of receiver Michael Floyd, who broke his collarbone in Week 3 against Michigan State. Floyd likely will be eased into things this week, but he'll be needed next week against Pittsburgh. How does he respond to his first hit, and how quickly can he shake any potential rust off?