I have thought of little else other than college football this week (which is normally the case, but more than usual this week). True, most of my thoughts drift toward ESPN’s “Gameday” coming to Rice Eccles Stadium for the second time in 6 years. It seems that when Utah faces off against another big time non-AQ team, it draws attention (Utah/BYU ’04, TCU/Utah ’09, and Utah/TCU ’10).
Last week was very decent as far as picks go. I was wrong on quite a few games in the higher teens and 20’s but the top 10 picks were spot on.
Here are the good and not so much:
Tennessee at #20 South Carolina (3 points from perfection)
Colorado at #9 Oklahoma (3 points from perfection)
#2 Oregon at USC (7 points from perfection)
Not so much:
Florida State over NC State – oops
Texas over Baylor – oops
Kentucky over Mississippi State – oops
There are so many big games. It’ll be hard to keep up with all of them. Here are my predictions for the upcoming week.
#25 NC State at Clemson – Clemson is missing CJ Spiller in a bad way. While Spiller is making a splash with the Bills in the NFL, Clemson is making a splash in the ACC…cuz they’re drowning. NC State wins on the road 35-28.
North Carolina at #24 Florida State – Florida State really has not been bad this season, but they are completely off the radar. After the whooping they took at the hands of the Sooners in week 2, forget about it. Crazy thing is, if they had beaten NC State last week, they would be 5-0 in conference play and 7-1 overall. Florida State wins at home 31-21.
#23 Nevada at Idaho – Idaho always has the ability to catch fire and surprise a team up in Moscow, ID. Nevada is used to playing the Vandals, though, and I doubt they will be tripped up. Nevada rolls 42-31.
Georgia Tech at #22 Virginia Tech – Virginia Tech has been on a roll since their losses to Boise State and Div. 2A James Madison. They are 4-0 in conference play and looking in good form. They did give up a few big running plays against Boise State in game 1, though, and they can’t let that happen when Georgia Tech’s triple option comes to town. Virginia Tech wins 38-17.
#18 Arkansas at #19 South Carolina – This game intrigues me. With the way South Carolina played against Alabama, they will have to play a great game to be able to beat Arkansas. However, being at home and with the SEC East Division within their sights, Gamecock fans will be very loud and supportive. I think South Carolina will win 38-35 possibly in overtime.
#21 Baylor at #17 Oklahoma State – Oh man, I really don’t know what to do with this one. I really thought that Baylor would be exposed, or at least stopped, last week at Texas but the Longhorns couldn’t do it and added to their pitiful loss column. Oklahoma State, however, is a much more capable and unified team and I think they should have no issues with Baylor. Sorry Baylor, I’m not sippin’ your Kool-Aid quite yet. Win this one, and I’m a fan. OK State wins 38-35.
#16 Iowa at Indiana – I have a special place for Iowa in my heart right now. They removed one of Utah’s road blocks (Michigan State) last week. For that, and because Indiana is horrendous, I vote for Iowa to win 42-21.
Minnesota at #14 Michigan State – I really feel for Minnesota here. They just can’t catch a break. Got whooped by Ohio State 52-10 in their own house, and now they have to go on the road to face another disappointed team that let the national championship bid they were fighting for slip through their fingers. I don’t think this game will be too different from last week except maybe not so many points from Michigan State as Ohio State. Spartans win 35-14.
#15 Arizona at #13 Stanford – I don’t think this game will be as good as advertised. Stanford is too balanced on both sides of the ball for Arizona to hang. The Wildcats’ defense should be able to slow Andrew Luck a little bit, but Stanford’s defense, I think, will prove to be the difference. Stanford wins 42-24.
#12 Missouri at Texas Tech – Man, Texas Tech has been struggling. Even at home, they don’t stand a chance against a ticked Missouri team looking to prove they belong in the 1-loss elite conversation. Missouri wins 35-28.
#9 Wisconsin at Purdue – Wisconsin is looking to show who the real Big 10 champ is this year. They are the front runner for now and seem to be in the driver’s seat on the way to the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin wins here 35-17.
#8 Oklahoma at Texas A&M – Upset alert? It’s possible. Texas A&M brings a mean crowd and Oklahoma could find itself in a trap game. A&M is coming off a win over rival Texas Tech last week, and will be riding that momentum. I’m calling this one. Texas A&M 38-35.
#7 Nebraska at Iowa State – I gotta say, I am a huge Iowa State fan this week. A win from a team Utah dismantled over a #7 ranked Nebraska team would help us immensely. That being said, Nebraska is the best team in the Big 12 this year and shouldn’t have trouble beating Iowa State. Huskers win 45-17.
#6 Alabama at #10 LSU – LSU has some friends in high places to still be in the top 10. Here are some major stats for you guys to see where…LSU’s Average Tota Yards/game – 317.9 (101st nationally), Average Passing Yards/game – 152.5 (113th nationally), Avg Rushing Yards/game – 179.1 (35th nationally), and Total Average Points/game – 25.5 (78th nationally). Yeah, that sounds like a #10 team in the nation to me. I don’t care how good your defense is, you cannot be a top 10 team if you aren’t in the top 100 in 2 major statistical categories. I hate the SEC sometimes.
Hawaii at #4 Boise State – Possible shootout alert. I would say upset alert, if this game were being played in Hawaii. Instead, it will be played on camouflage field and because of that, I think Boise will win this one 49-31.
#3 TCU at #5 Utah – The biggest, most anticipated, most important game in all of college football is being played this Saturday, 3:30 PM EST. The ramifications of this game could potentially mean the first ever non-AQ team being eligible and selected to play in the national championship game. Utah was the closest team do accomplishing that task in ’09 when they defeated Alabama and ended the season as the only unbeaten team in the nation. I really hope that if Utah loses, the game is at least close. TCU has the ability to take momentum and run with it Because I have to stay positive here and I know just how big the “MUSS” factor is, Utah either holds on or steals one by the score of 28-27.
Chattanooga at #2 Auburn – Yeah…this one is the no brainer this week. Auburn wins decisively 56-7.
Washington at #1 Oregon – No one can stop Oregon. Stanford’s defense couldn’t do it. USC’s offense couldn’t do it. And when Jake Locker comes to town, because he wins/loses games on his own, will not be able to stop them. Oregon runs all over the Huskies 49-17.
Inactive teams this week: #11 Ohio State and #20 Mississippi State.
There you have it! Another exciting week of football ahead of us and we could very well look back at this week and remember it as the beginning of a revolution in college football should the winner of TCU/Utah eventually play for the title of champion of the nation. I think I speak for al fans of college football when I say that midseason games like these are what makes college football the greatest sport on earth.