Nebraska-Texas: First off, I'm a huge fan of Nebraska, so this write-up will most likely be very biased. Texas is obviously the better team so Nebraska will need to follow the mold on how to upset a superior team. I believe the necessary ingredients for a upset go like this (I'm avoiding obvious keys such as turnovers, which is big in every game):
1. Get off to a fast start - An early deficit can be daunting for an inferior team to overcome. It's paramount to not be down by more than one score by first quarter's end, and scoring first would increase chances greatly.
2. Red Zone conversions - Taking full advantage of opportunities means holding the other team to field goals instead of touchdowns while doing the opposite yourself. The superior team will most likely have more opportunities, so the inferior must get more out of their's.
3. Rattle their quarterback - The superior team will most likely win if they play up to their standards, so you must find a way to force them out of their rhythm. The easiest way I know of doing that is to hit their quarterback early and often. Think New York Giants over the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Biggest hope for Nebraska: They will be able to run the ball. Their offense will fail miserably if they cannot run and setup the pass through playaction, the strategy used successfully over the 5 game winning streak. It will be tough against the Big XII's best run defense.
Biggest fear for Nebraska: Colt McCoy running the ball. If Nebraska is to run their stubborn defense play after play, McCoy will run all over them because of a lack of accountance for the quarterback scrambling.
Prediction: I mentioned Nebraska's stubborn defense - think Baltimore Ravens of 2000. They prefer to beat you with the same look on defense and dare you to beat it. They will have to mix things up and bring blitzes from all angles to try and confuse him. Look for a lot of blitzing from the corners. If Nebraska remains stubborn I think Colt will be able to pick them apart. I think Nebraska might need a score out of their defense or special teams to keep up with the scoring of the Longhorns in this one. Unfortunately, I think Texas has too much talent and too much focus (because of last year) for Nebraska to pull off the upset.
Texas 26, Nebraska 14
Florida-Alabama: All year i have believed Bama to be the better team, but have had doubts creep in due to their close games in the last third of the season. I have now become convinced that this will indeed help Alabama in this game. Florida has only had one really close game this year, against Arkansas, a mediocre team and at home. Alabama has had to scrap for victories against Virginia Tech (neutral), Tennessee, LSU (road), and Auburn (road). Therefore, I give the battletested edge to Bama. I expect Alabama's gameplan to revolve completely around physicality. I think they try to wear them down on offense by pounding the ball, and on defense by hitting anybody in site, including Jesus himself. This gives them their best shot. I expect Florida to continue its strategy of just picking up four yards every play, wooing the defense to sleep, and then hitting them with the big play. I think Bama is up for the challenge. I'm more confident in the unders (41) than either team winning.
Alabama 13, Florida 9
Go Big Red,