This is an article from the Aug. 22, 2011 issue
OKLAHOMA AT FLORIDA STATE
The beating in Norman was so bad that it seemed unfair. Oklahoma, then ranked No. 10, barely let up on the No. 17 Seminoles last September, winning 47--17 and raising the questions: Were the Sooners that good? Or was Florida State that bad? Unfortunately for Mark Stoops—the Seminoles' defensive coordinator and the younger brother of Oklahoma's coach, Bob—the Sooners, who have both quarterback Landry Jones and wideout Ryan Broyles (right) back, will be even better this year. The good news: The extra-motivated Seminoles defense should be too.
LSU AT ALABAMA
When the clock struck zero, the scoreboard read No. 12 LSU 24, No. 5 Alabama 21. But far more memorable than the score was the image of victorious coach Les Miles gnawing on some hand-plucked Tiger Stadium grass. Miles's brilliant 23-yard, fourth-and-one reverse set up LSU's winning one-yard plunge—not to mention a highly anticipated rematch in Tuscaloosa against running back Trent Richardson (right) and the Tide. The Tigers will hope to avoid the need for fourth-quarter dramatics, but should they win, what would Miles's second course consist of at Bryant-Denny Stadium?
TEXAS A&M AT OKLAHOMA
When then No. 11 Oklahoma rolled into College Station last Nov. 6, few expected unranked Texas A&M to hold the high-octane Sooners to their lowest point total of the season. But the Aggies upset Oklahoma 33--19, scoring every which way—safety, field goal, 100-yard kickoff return, rushing TD and two TD passes. Now that A&M senior quarterback Ryan Tannehill has had time to build a rapport with receivers such as Ryan Swope (above), can the Aggies pull off another upset, this time in Norman? Against a Sooners team that's a serious contender for the BCS title, a W by any margin would be huge.
OREGON AT STANFORD
When the Cardinal and the Ducks squared off in Eugene last fall, it only seemed as if every player in a green Nike uniform got to hang out in the end zone. The final: No. 4 Oregon 52, No. 9 Stanford 31. Ducks tailback LaMichael James (right) rushed for a devastating 257 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Darron Thomas ran for one score and passed for three more. While James and Thomas are back, so too are Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck and running back Stepfan Taylor—and this year's showdown is on the Farm. Oregon-Stanford II has the makings of the real Pac-12 championship game.