Another weekend that lacks a lot of great matchups, but the top teams are starting to feel the pressure so you never know which weekend will bring some upsets. It could be this one. The “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” portion of the blog went 1-1 last week against the spread for the third week in a row for a 10-4 record for the season. The blog heated up last week going 7-1 on straight up winners in national games (31-14 for the season) and 5-0 in SEC games (44-9 for the season). Now let’s go to the games…
Thursday: 8:00: UCLA @ Arizona (ESPN) – A team whose coach was just fired versus a team whose coach should be fired. Give me the team who still has their coach in a mild upset, but don’t waste your time watching this one. Bruins 24-21.
Friday: 7:00: #11 West Virginia @ Syracuse (ESPN) – I dreamt last night that West Virginia was ranked number 11 in the nation. What, it wasn’t a dream? You have to be freaking kidding me! They might as well rank every team that LSU beats by 26 or more in the top 15. As you probably know, I think the Mountaineers have been a joke for a couple of years now. They need to be careful in this one. While the Orange probably haven’t lived up to their expectations this year, it can all change on Friday night. Give me the Mountaineers as they continue to “dominate” the unranked Big East. West “By God” Virginia 28-20.
11:00 AM: #12 Kansas State @ Kansas (Fox Sports Affiliates) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
#6 Oklahoma State @ Missouri (FX) – Missouri is 3-0 at home playing a very easy schedule, and they are 0-3 on the road losing to 3 ranked teams. I think Mizzou is overrated this year. Oklahoma State has done everything that has been asked of them this year – beating ranked teams on the road and blowing a few teams out along the way. The Cowboys are a battle tested team. Mizzou is not the same team as last year. Give me the Pokes 38-27.
North Carolina @ #8 Clemson (ESPN) – If Dabo keeps it up, there is no way in hell he is going to lose 5 games this year.
11:21 AM: #10 Arkansas @ Mississippi (SEC Network – ABC) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
2:30: Wow the 2:30 games suck this week. Go buy some Halloween costumes and candy or something.
#19 Auburn @ #1 LSU (CBS) – As I said last week, I don’t think Auburn is as bad as a lot of people say or want them to be. They shut down Frontbutt Weis and the Gators offense just like Bama and LSU did. I keep waiting for LSU’s “off game” where they have several mistakes and have a close win. Well, this is their last chance before the Bama showdown. I think LSU screws around for a while in this one but pulls away. LSU 23-10.
#13 Nebraska @ Minnesota (ABC or ESPN2) – The Huskers brutal Big Ten schedule takes them to scary TCF Bank Stadium this weekend where the Golden Gophers are 6-11 in 2 plus years. North Dakota State was the last team to beat Minnesota here by 13 points four weeks ago. #sarcasm
3:00: Central Arkansas @ Lamar (espn3.com) – Yeah, it’s really that bad. Okay maybe not that bad.
6:00: Penn State @ Northwestern (Big Ten Network) – Penn State has been flying under the radar with an incredible defense. They also played Alabama closer than anyone else up to this point. While their offense is like watching paint dry, their defense simply does not give up big plays or points. Northwestern can put up some points but has really been struggling lately. Penn State’s two road games to this point in the season have been narrow victories at Temple and Indiana – not necessarily murderer’s row. Northwestern is better than both of them. I’ll take the Wildcats in the minor upset. Northwestern 17-16.
6:15: Tennessee @ #2 Alabama (ESPN2) – Ah, the Third Saturday in October although it is once again played on the 4th Saturday this year. The rivalry spans 92 games dating back to 1901 between the two all-time winningest teams in the SEC. This has been a series of streaks and oh boy are the Tide on the good side of the streak recently winning 4 in a row. Due to the Vols recent nosedive in the ranks of the SEC, this game has now resorted to a game that the Tide could actually be overlooking in preparation for the big one that everyone is talking about on November 5th versus LSU. Easy to see that the Vols are outmanned in this one. They should go in to this one with the goal of keeping the score closer than any other SEC team has against the Tide this year, which is 24 points. After last week, I’ve noticed the Vols seem to run the ball better with Simms at QB instead of Bray, so if they can do that to some degree, it will slow the game down. Richardson, Lacy and company will punish the Vols thin defense though. Rammer Jammer 38-10.
6:30: USC @ Notre Dame (NBC) – Here is where USC starts playing some decent teams and starts getting lit up. The master Monte Kiffin’s defense has given up over 40 points to both potent offenses they have faced this year so far. The Irish have hit their stride with Brian Kelly. A night game in South Bend will be a great setting for this one. Irish 41-31.
7:00: #22 Washington @ #7 Stanford (ABC) – Andrew Luck in primetime. Do yourself a favor and watch this guy play even if it means moving a 2nd or 3rd TV into the living room. Sorry Washington, I’m not buying the whole being ranked thing. You have beaten 3 of the worst teams in the PAC 12. Luck and the Cardinal roll in this one. Stanford 38-20.
#4 Wisconsin @ #15 Michigan State (ESPN) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
9:30: Oregon State @ Washington State (Fox Sports Affiliates) – Late night.
11:00: New Mexico State @ Hawaii (espn3.com) – Late, late night. God bless the Hawaii home game.
If I Were a Bettin’ Man… - Three games jumped out at me this week, and I’m tired of going 1-1 the last three weeks so I’m gonna try to make something happen this week.
Kansas State (-11) @ Kansas – This one is pretty simple. You know Kansas State is ranked and has even been tested with a couple of tough road games. You know Kansas is terrible giving up 42, 66, 45, 70 and 47 over the last 5 games. Kansas State beat Kansas last year 59-7 in this rivalry game. Like last year, the Wildcats will smack the Jayhawks in the mouth, and the Jayhawks will give up and start talking about basketball. The Wildcats have put up 36 on Baylor and 41 on Texas Tech this year; scoring will not be a problem. Bill Snyder coached teams don’t allow a slip-up here. This spread is off at 11 points. K-State 35-13.
Arkansas (-15) @ Mississippi – What all Hog fans have been waiting for – a Bobby P team with all of his recruits versus a Houston Nutt team with all of his recruits. Forget the Houston Nutt Factor here (winning one game a year he shouldn’t). Not gonna happen because his team is not very good. Hogs have had a week off and have nothing ahead to overlook this game. The Rebel fans will stay in the Grove, and the Hog fans will take over the tiny stadium the Rebels call home down there. Hogs big 42-17.
Wisconsin (-7.5) @ Michigan State – How about Sparty huh? Winning a big game over their biggest rival last week. Letdown anybody? They have the #2 defense in the land. They are on a roll. But let’s just hold on a minute. The Big Ten team that has been dominating everyone in its way is coming to town. Russell Wilson and the two-headed monster at running back is coming to play this weekend. Did I mention anything about the mauler offensive line of the Badgers? The Badgers lead in the nation in scoring offense. What is going to give? Michigan State’s defense has stepped up this year, but they have yet to face a balanced attack like Wisconsin’s. Wisky’s offense is comparable to Alabama’s. Do you remember the score of the Bama-Michigan State bowl game last year? 49-7 Crimson Tide. Even if Michigan State’s defense somewhat shuts down the Badger offense, Sparty will have problems scoring. The Spartan offense put up 10 points on Ohio State and 21 points on Michigan. And the game I can’t get out of my head and why I like this game the most – Notre Dame 31, Michigan State 13. Lay the points. Badgers 28-17.
Enjoy the games!