Game of the Week: Oregon battles LSU in rare top-five showdown
The ugly excesses of college football will be on full display in the highest-profile game of Week 1. Top-five teams LSU and Oregon will take the field far from home in a billion-dollar stadium, and it's such a hot ticket that
College football fans, however, have little trouble separating off-field incidents from on-field brilliance, which is what we should see in Arlington on Saturday night. Inside the lines, Heisman Trophy and national championship storylines will begin to be written after being forced aside during a tumultuous offseason.
Oregon enters the game as a three-point favorite. Oregon is 3-7 in its last 10 games against the spread away from home, including two neutral-site bowl game losses. LSU is 8-4 against the spread versus nonconference BCS opponents under Les Miles and 23-0 straight up under Miles in nonconference regular-season games.
Oregon had 25 scoring drives that took less than one minute in 2010.
It appears the Ducks are in prime position to run away with this game. Quarterback Darron Thomas and James are two of the most explosive players in the nation, and LSU appears to be in turmoil after the bar fight that got Jefferson and others in trouble. The biggest issue, however, is whether the Ducks' offensive line can handle LSU's defensive line. Auburn won the battle up front in January and slowed Oregon; if LSU can do the same, it will be a close game. Still, Oregon's offense should break through too many times for Lee and LSU to keep up.