To steal an Elton John song, Thursday’s night’s alright for fightin’.

Because this Thursday night, I’m going for forgo my ‘But it’s not SEC football’ and concentrate on not one but TWO ranked battles going on elsewhere in the country between the fast cats of Baylor and Oklahoma and THAT GAME between Oregon and Stanford.

And you know what? There’s a few reasons why SEC fans should watch:

1) The winner of either game could be Alabama’s National Championship opponent. We forecast ‘Bama to make the SEC title game, win that, and go to the National Championship Game. Everyone’s talking about Florida State, Oregon or perhaps Baylor battling it out with the Crimson Tide in Pasadena. Well, both Baylor and Oregon play on Thursday night. We’ll get to see both spread offenses play, and think about how Alabama could play against ’em.

2) The players are pretty good All four sets of players are really good. Forget Oklahoma’s destruction by Texas- that loss is looking better and better with the form Texas is on, OU is still a good team.

3) Future SEC Coaching Talent¬†If Art Briles doesn’t go to Texas, rest assured that a big SEC school may come calling this year or next. His offenses are fast-moving, entertaining, and they score a ton of point. Baylor isn’t too bad defensively either. Can you see Mississippi State go and speak to Baylor? Or even Florida? Hmm….Not only this, but Kentucky fans will be cheering Mark Stoops’ brother Bob to get the job done against Baylor.

4) How good IS Oregon? People able to watch college football outside of the SEC should note that Oregon’s struggling twice already this year early on (Washington and UCLA), before hitting stride and taking the game away in the third and fourth quarter. DeAnthony Thomas, despite all of his talk, hasn’t played a lot this season, Marcus Mariota is a hell of a QB, and Byron Marshall, Mariota and Thomas Tyner can all run the ball. As Stewart Mandel said on the podcast relating to this game: ‘This offensive line is pretty good. This isn’t the Oregon offensive line that lost to Auburn’ (or words to that effect). Alabama fans will want to know if Oregon’s spread will ask them questions. Because if Oregon wins (and runs the table), they should be No.2 in the nation, because Florida State’s only got a beaten-up Florida left on its schedule.

5) Bowls, Bowls, Bowls: It’s interesting for us because not only do we see a potential BCS game, but we also see who might be Auburn/Texas A&M/LSU/Georgia/Missouri/South Carolina’s Cotton Bowl opponent – Oklahoma or Baylor. Because we love our wild games, we’re rooting for Baylor vs Texas A&M.

6) Do it for your dollar: Oregon’s a 10-1/2 point favorite (we think they’ll cover) and Baylor’s a ¬†14-1/2 point favorite (we think they’ll cover, too), and this game could mean some early money before you lose it all on Florida not covering the spread against Vanderbilt (the Gators are -10). Over/under in the Baylor game’s 73-1/2 (we’ll take the ‘under’), while Oregon’s 61-1/2 (we’ll take the ‘over’).

7) Do it because it’s football: You’ve just spent a ton of money on Hallowe’en costumes and Hallowe’en drinking. You’ve got Thanksgiving and Christmas to come, which is going to take in a lot of green. Sit at home with Jack ‘N’ Coke, and watch two great games. Make sure you start with Fox Sports 1 (OU/Baylor) and go to ESPN (Oregon/Stanford). Better, get a computer for the second half of OU/Baylor, and watch Oregon/Stanford live, depending on which commentary team you prefer. Oh, and David Pollack and Jesse Palmer both played in the SEC…so in SEC terms, go ESPN.

8) Watch ‘The Replacements’ for your SEC viewing:

A) The Gunslinger: Bryce Petty (Baylor)

B) Johnny Pac-Ball: Marcu Mariota (Oregon) – With less interceptions.

C) The Speedy Running Back: Lache Seastrunk. Forget a freight train, the kid moves like a Japanese bullet train.

D) The Odell Beckham (without the one-handed kick-off grab): Ty Montgomery (Stanford). The kid’s got wheels.

E) The Barry Brunetti: Blake Bell (Oklahoma), or as he’s known: The Belldozer.

F) The Alabama Defense: Stanford

G) The ‘We Don’t Know How Good They Are Until They Played Somebody, And Then We Realized They Were Quite Good – Like Missouri’ – Baylor

H) The ‘We Want Bama’ – Oregon

I) The ‘Hey, We’re Pretty ****ing bright. And good at sports’ – Stanford.


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