All eyes are on the state of Florida in Week Three. Six universities who have won a national title in the BCS era will be taking the field in Florida this week with Ohio State at Miami, Tennessee at Florida and Oklahoma at Florida State. The blog continued on its hot streak last week going 3-0 straight up in national games (7-0 for the season), 8-2 in SEC games (16-3 for the season) and 2-0 against the spread in If I Were a Bettin’ Man (4-0 for the season).
Thursday: 7:00: #3 LSU @ #25 Mississippi State (ESPN) – See “If I were a bettin man…” below.
Friday: 7:00: Man, I love that there are Friday night games every week now. This week we have two at the same time.
#4 Boise State @ Toledo (ESPN) – Watch out Boise – it’s hard to come out of the Glass Bowl alive. Toledo is riding high after their moral victory against Ohio State last week. Boise still pulls it out. The Guys With the Blue Field 34-23.
Iowa State @ Connecticut (ESPN2) – The Cyclones upset Iowa last week in its annual rivalry game. UConn has to be very upset they lost to Vandy last week. I know I would be.
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): Only 4 Big Ten kickoffs at this time this week. I can see the idea of a night game getting all the Big Ten teams excited after last week’s Michigan game. We are going to switch it up this week on the 11:00 games. Instead of spending 7 minutes each on three games, I think the 11:00 hour is worthy of breaking out the laptop or other TV so you can watch…
#18 West Virginia @ Maryland (ESPNU) – Classic letdown game hear for West Virginia. The Mountaineers are on the road, playing LSU at home next week, and Maryland has had almost two weeks to prepare after their Labor Day night win versus Miami. Should be a good matchup of QBs: Danny O’Brien and Geno Smith. I’m still not sold on the Mountaineers or any team in the Big East for that matter. The Terps start out 2-0 with another big home win. Terps 24-20.
#21 Auburn @ Clemson (ABC) – How in the world does Auburn keep winning? How in the world is Dabo Swinney still coaching at Clemson? This is a tough one. Who do you go with here - a young Auburn team with a bad defense on the road for the first time or a young QB and a team that struggled with Wofford at home last week with a reputation of underachieving? Remember that Clemson gave Auburn all they wanted on the plains last year before blowing the game and losing in overtime. The teams are a lot a like – I’ll go with the team that has been trying to lose but can’t seem to do it. The Tigers of the Auburn variety 23-21.
11:21: Mississippi @ Vanderbilt (ABC – SEC Network) – Remember when Houston Nutt publicly said he was ready for Vandy to roll on the schedule when he was at Arkansas and then lost to them at home the year they came on the schedule and then almost lost to them in Nashville the next year? Now that was funny! What a goober. Well at Ole Miss he gets to face them every year, and this may be his only shot to pick up an SEC win this year. I think both of these teams are really bad, so I will go with the home team. Commodores 17-14 in the worst SEC game of the year.
12:30: Colorado vs. Colorado State in Denver (Fox Sports Net) – A very underrated rivalry game.
2:30: Six ranked teams get going at this time.
#15 Michigan State @ Notre Dame (NBC) – See “If I were a bettin man…” below.
Tennessee @ #16 Florida (CBS) – This rivalry game kicks off the CBS SEC season once again. If you don’t know me, you may not know that I despise the Gators. Being a Vol fan, they have caused a lot of heartache for me through the years. There is a reason I drink Powerade instead of Gatorade. There is a reason I enjoy watching Tebow roll third string on the Broncos right now. There is a reason my hate for Spurrier continued when he took the South Carolina job. Most of my hate for the Gators is due to the Vols inability to win in the Swamp. The Vols are 2-8 in the Swamp since 1991. They have lost every way imaginable. That brings us to 2011. Florida has a new coaching staff led by Will Muschamp and Charlie “Ate the Chocolate Factory” Weis. They have outscored their overmatched opponents 80-3 so far this year. The Vols scorched a respectable opponent last week (Cincinnati) with Tyler Bray, Da’Rick Rogers, and Justin Hunter breaking records on a weekly basis so far this year. The Vols haven’t faced a defensive line like the one the Gators will bring Saturday though although the secondary is young and many Gator fans are concerned about that versus the aforementioned Vol trio. Weis is doing what he can with Brantley, Demps, Rainey, etc. on offense. Surprisingly, they have become a running team so far this year. They ran the ball 55 out of 75 offensive plays last week versus UAB. The team that rushes for the most yards has won this game 8 straight years and 20 out of 21. I think the Vols will hang around and scare the Gators, but in the end, the Gators bust a long run or two with Rainey. I expect the Gators d-line to get some pressure on Bray too. The Gators will do just enough to beat the Vols in the Swamp (as usual). It should be a high scoring affair. Gators 30-27.
#23 Texas @ UCLA (ABC or ESPN) – Is this a future conference opponent for the Longhorns? The Longhorns now have a QB controversy, but UCLA has had no QB since Neuheisel got to UCLA. Horns 6 field goals, UCLA 5 field goals.
3:00: Arkansas State @ #13 Virginia Tech (espn3.com) – I gotta give the Red Wolves some love after the 47-3 beatdown of Memphis last week. The Red Wolves may have a better offense than Virginia Tech…BUT it’s at Blacksburg and it’s the Hokies.
5:00 Navy @ #10 South Carolina (ESPN2) – See “If I were a bettin man…” below.
6:00 Louisville @ Kentucky (ESPNU) – Don’t waste your time watching this one. Get something done around the house before you watch this trainwreck. Wildcats 8-3.
6:30: #17 Ohio State @ Miami (FL) (ESPN) – The Probation Bowl. I really cannot keep up with who is eligible to play in this game (and that goes for both teams). I’m going with Ohio State because their defense is still strong, and I think Miami has already given up on their season. Buckeyes 21-20.
7:00: #1 Oklahoma @ #5 Florida State (ABC) – The showdown of the week has arrived. Are the Noles ready for primetime or are they just a good ACC team wishing to be a national contender? The Noles have outscored their two bad opponents 96-10 the first two games of the season. Oklahoma dominated an overrated Tulsa team in Norman the first week of the year and then took a week off to get ready for this game. Doak will be rocking for this one as the Noles try to avenge the 47-17 beatdown in Norman last year. We all know about the Oklahoma offense led by Landry Jones. Will EJ Manuel and the Florida State offense be able to keep up? I like the Noles defense a little bit more than the Sooners, but I like the Sooners offense more. I think when it comes down to it, the Sooners have played in these games and will be ready for this one. The Noles aren’t quite there…yet. It won’t be long though. You definitely want to watch this one though. It will be full of speed, athleticism, big plays, and hard hits. This will be a classic. Boomer Sooner pulls away late 38-27.
If you need another game on during this one, try these…
8:15: Utah @ BYU (ESPN2) – The Holy War. What a great rivalry between a bunch of crazy Mormons. I wonder if they serve caffeinated beverages at the game, especially since it is a night game. Should be a good game though. The home team has won the last four. Give me the Cougars 31-28.
9:00: #8 Oklahoma State @ Tulsa (Fox Sports Net) – A decent rivalry game that could get interesting because it is a late game in Tulsa with Okie State looking forward to Texas A&M next week. The Cowboys pull it off though.
9:45: #6 Stanford @ Arizona (ESPN) – Stanford’s first decent challenge of the year. Crazy things happen at night games in Tucson. The Cardinal better come ready to play. Andrew Luck will be too much for a defense that gave up almost 400 yards passing to Brandon Weeden and Okie State last week. Stanford 35-24.
In other SEC games not mentioned above, Arkansas and Alabama win in preparation for their showdown next weekend, and Georgia wins their first game of the year.
If I Were a Bettin’ Man… - I’m getting a little cocky now since this segment is 4-0 the first two weeks. I’m going three games this week. I’m sure this will be the kiss of death.
LSU (-3.5) @ Mississippi State – I finally gave Mississippi State some love last week and picked them to beat Auburn after I have blew them off saying they were a pretender for over a year now. I’ve learned my lesson. I was right in the first place. Do you know what Dan Mullen’s record is against the SEC West during his 2+ years in Stark-vegas? 2-9. Do you know who the 2 wins are against? You guessed it – OLE MISS. He hasn’t defeated another team from the West. I think LSU’s defense shuts down that powerful run game and makes Chris Relf beat them with his arm, which is not gonna happen with the all-world defensive backfield that the Tigers field. The Cowbells will keep it close for most of the game, but the Tigers take care of business in the end. Tigers 26-16.
Michigan State (+5) @ Notre Dame – I won’t keep you long on this one. Michigan State is at least a touchdown better than South Florida and Michigan – the two teams to beat the Irish this year. This line makes no sense at all. Vegas has to be playing the law of averages here thinking the Irish will pull one of these games out sooner or later. I don’t think it happens this week because Sparty is tough. Sparty 35-31.
Navy (+17) @ South Carolina – I describe South Carolina with one word this year – sloppy. The second word I would use would be lucky. They have turned the ball over 7 times in two games this year but also have 7 takeaways. They have scored 14 touchdowns in two games this year, including 1 by fake punt, 1 interception return, 2 fumble returns, and 1 punt return. This doesn’t include another fumble return that resulted in a five yard scoring drive. The Gamecocks have only had 5 TD drives of over 50 yards, which is not a lot when you consider they have scored 101 points this year. In total the Gamecocks have been outgained in their two games this year. So the defense hasn’t been as dominate as they thought they would be up to this point. Now we move to this game. Navy is a team with a bunch of underachieving, less athletic players who use the triple option as the ultimate equalizer against the superior teams, such as South Carolina. The Gamecocks will have no respect for these guys partly because they are still patting themselves on the back from the Georgia win. The Gamecocks have shown how undisciplined they can be with the stats I have presented above. On top of that, they have a week to prepare for an option that they will not need to game plan for again this season. Did I mention that Navy has ran for an average of 400 yards a game this year? This, my friends, is why 17 points is too much. Gamecocks 38-34.
Enjoy the weekend!