Last week the blog went 4-4 straight up in national games (11-4 for the season), 7-2 in SEC games (23-5 for the season) and had the first loss of the year going 2-1 against the spread in If I Were a Bettin’ Man (6-1 for the season). Let’s get right to the games.
Thursday: 7:00: NC State @ Cincinnati (ESPN) – Sorry…it’s the only thing on. Bearcats do have an explosive offense that is fun to watch. Bearcats 42-24.
Friday: 7:00: Central Florida @ BYU (ESPN) – Both teams are coming off of tough losses last week to nonconference rivals. Two good QBs in this one with Jake Heaps at BYU and Jeff Godfrey at UCF. I still really like UCF’s athletes. I’ll take them in a slight upset. Golden Knights 28-27.
Saturday: See the previous week’s blog if you don’t remember the Saturday morning routine. After you repeat it a couple of times, you will get the hang of it.
11:00 AM (or Big Ten kickoff time as I like to call it): Four Big Ten kickoffs at this time this week. Not a lot of good ones early on this week.
Notre Dame @ Pitt (ABC – KARZ in LR) – Notre Dame woke up last week beating Sparty and Pitt blew a huge 4th quarter lead at Iowa. I just really don’t think Pitt is that good, and Notre Dame may be turning the corner a bit. Irish 31-17.
11:21: Georgia @ Mississippi (ABC – SEC Network) – Ole Miss may be playing in this time slot a lot this year after the terrible display of offense last week at Vanderbilt. We will call it the Hot Seat Bowl. This is the type of game Houston Nutt would typically pull out when his backs against the wall. But I think Richt needs it just as bad, and he has way better players on his side. UGA Hairy Dogs 24-13.
WARNING: After a less than stellar morning lineup, you need to setup as many TVs/computers as possible for the 2:30 games. They’re gonna be some good ones so the less flipping between channels on one TV the better.
2:30: Nine ranked teams get going at this time.
#14 Arkansas @ #3 Alabama (CBS) – The game both of these fanbases have been waiting on for a while. Both were not very impressive last week. The Hogs played a four quarter game with a good Sun Belt team. Alabama blew out a really bad Sun Belt team but was only ahead 20-0 at the half. I don’t think we learned too much from either of those games though. Alabama’s offense and Arkansas’ defense are the two unknowns to me in this one. I have yet to see Bama do much through the air on offense, and I haven’t seen the Hogs get a consistent pass rush or show they can defense passes in the secondary. This game will come down to running the ball. You gotta think Bama will get theirs on the ground with Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy who surprisingly only has 11 less rushing yards then Richardson at this point in the season. The Hogs’ offense, although stats have “looked” good, has not been able to consistently run against the weak defenses they have played. I can see this as a typical Saban game. Bama will do nothing on offense to impress but will be persistent and keep coming and wear the Hogs defense down eventually. This could be the beginning of the end for Willy Robinson as DC at Arkansas. I also didn’t like the pressure Troy was getting on Tyler Wilson, especially in the second half, last week. Opponents have sacked the Hogs 7 times in 3 games. I still think there is a learning curve for Wilson although he did well against Auburn last year, and everyone thought the Hogs wouldn’t miss a beat on offense this year. Roll Tide 27-17.
#11 Florida State @ #21 Clemson (ESPN) – Yabba Dabba Dabo had a “big” win last week against a terrible Auburn defense. Florida State lost a close one to Oklahoma. EJ Manuel is probably out for Florida State. Clemson will have a hangover though and blow their chance of getting a leg up in the division race. Noles 23-21.
#7 Oklahoma State @ #8 Texas A&M (ABC or ESPN) – First one to 40 wins…no seriously. What an entertaining game this should be. Two of the top 18 in total offense in the nation = scoreboard blowing up. These teams are very similar to me. I have to go with the home team. Aggies 44-41.
6:00: #15 Florida @ Kentucky (ESPN) – The Gators will Chris Rainey the Wildcats to death with a bunch of 3 yard passes like they did against Tennessee. Gators 23-14.
Vanderbilt @ #12 South Carolina (ESPN2) – So people are giving Vandy credit after a win against Ole Miss huh? Well, it will be short-lived. The Gamecocks have too much talent. Cocks 31-14.
7:00: #2 LSU @ #16 West Virginia (ABC – KARZ in LR) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
Central Arkansas @ Arkansas State (ABC local) – It is such a rare occasion that any Division I football opponents square off in this state that I have to include this game this week. Nathan Dick is hurt for UCA, which is too bad, because it would have really been fun to see both teams go at it full strength. Ryan Aplin and the ASU offense will be too much. Red Wolves/Indians 38-24.
Missouri @ #1 Oklahoma (FX) – Simply put – the Sooners are really, really good this year. Mizzou has some offense, but remember they gave up 30 to Arizona State’s mediocre offense in regulation. Sooners 41-24.
9:15: A couple of good PAC 12 games to get you ready for bed.
#10 Oregon @ Arizona (ESPN2) – Arizona’s defense is not good. Oregon will put up some serious points in this one. Quack Quack 42-28.
#23 USC @ Arizona State (ESPN) – I don’t read too much into the Sun Devils losing at Illinois last week. They had one eye looking forward to this week’s PAC12 South showdown. The winner likely wins the division. USC looked good last week, but I still think they fall asleep at the wheel a little too often. Sun Devils’ defense rises in the end for a victory. ASU 27-24.
In other SEC games not mentioned above, Mississippi State and Auburn win easily.
If I Were a Bettin’ Man… - I can’t find much this week, so I am only going with one game.
LSU (-5.5) @ West Virginia – Break out the Mountain Dew, whisky, gumbo and couches to burn. It is two of the most rabid fanbases in the nation getting together on a Saturday night in West Virginia for a nonconference matchup that West Virginia fans have been talking about for months thinking they have a chance to win. West Virginia fans will be pumped for this one until the LSU defense takes the field. LSU has given up 143 total rushing yards in 3 games to teams whose average combined rushing yards per game last year was 652 yards. They are stopping the run, the pass, and anything else an offense tries to do. West Virginia’s offense ran for 102 yards on Norfolk State (averaging 3 yards a carry) – yes that is not a misprint. They followed that up with 92 yards and another 3 yards a carry versus Maryland last week. Geno Smith threw the ball 49 times last week. Prediction: If Geno drops back to throw 49 times this week, he: a) may not survive the game because of the beating he will take and b) will get picked a few times with the magnificent defensive backs that LSU has. That unit is deep and far more talented than anything Geno has ever seen. Geaux Tigers 28-13.
Enjoy the weekend!