Not a great week of college football coming up, but at least it’s football right? The “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” portion of the blog went 1-1 last week against the spread for a 9-3 record for the season. The blog bounced back last week going 5-2 on straight up winners in national games (24-13 for the season) and 5-1 in SEC games (39-9 for the season). Now let’s go to the games…
Thursday: 8:00: USC @ California (ESPN) – Cal is stuck in the Thursday night slot again this week. They were blown out last week at Oregon after a respectable first half. For USC, this is the last game before a week off and back-to-back games at Notre Dame and Stanford at home. So in other words, this is probably USC’s last chance at winning a game in October. Trojans care just enough to win 28-24.
Friday: 8:00: Hawaii @ San Jose State (ESPN) – Sorry that’s all I got. Go watch some high school football somewhere.
11:00 AM: #11 Michigan @ #23 Michigan State (ESPN) – Meechigan keeps beating unranked teams and climbing the polls. Obviously these two teams hate each other. Who do you think has the #1 total defense in the nation? Alabama? LSU? Penn St.? Boise? Nope, it is Michigan State giving up only 173 yards per game. Granted they have only played Notre Dame and Ohio State for the most part this year, but it is still impressive. I think the East Lansing crowd and the Sparty D win this one for the home team. Sparty 24-20.
#20 Baylor @ #21 Texas A&M (FX) – Another “The Scoreboard May Blow Up” game. The #4 and #18 scoring offenses in the nation square off at Kyle Field. The fewest points Baylor has scored this year is 35. The fewest A&M has scored is 29. You need to watch this game. Give me the home field team. Aggies 38-35.
11:21 AM: #15 South Carolina @ Mississippi State (SEC Network – ABC) – Oh what a great job Dan Mullen is doing…oh wait…nevermind. Am I the only one that thinks Mullen may get the heck out of Starkpatch after this year while the gettin’ is still good? Spurrier decided to kick Garcia off the team after his quadruple secret probation ran out. Oh and does it have anything to do with the fact that the Gamecocks put up 50 on Kentucky last week with Connor Shaw at QB? But the media will turn the other way because it is Spurrier of course. Gamecocks 24-21.
2:30: Five ranked teams get going at this time.
#1 LSU @ Tennessee (CBS) – I have learned to expect the worst being a Vol fan the last 4 years. The Vols are due about 3 season’s worth of good luck. Who knows if it will get worse before it gets better though. The latest causality is QB Tyler Bray who is likely out for the next six weeks. Don’t worry Vol fans – it’s just #1 LSU coming to town this week and at #2 Alabama next week. Piece of cake. This LSU-Tennessee series has been very strange since 2000. All but 1 of the 7 games has been decided by 8 points or less. Also, in 4 straight games before last season’s, a backup QB has started for one of the teams, which is the case again this year. The backup QB’s team is 3-1 in those games. I am not suggesting anything more than that in this one though. LSU’s defense is too good and DC John Chavis will be a little extra amped coming back to his alma mater and where he coached for a decade. Geaux Tigers 28-13.
Ohio State @ #16 Illinois (ABC or ESPN) – Ohio State is quickly becoming irrelevant, and they have to be disgusted blowing a 21 point lead at Nebraska last week. Illinois is still undefeated, but I think they are overrated at this point. Have the Buckeyes already given up on the season? I say yes although I wouldn’t be surprised if they do pull off the upset here. Illini 21-18.
#6 Oklahoma State @ #22 Texas (ABC or ESPN) – This could be the best game of the week, and only because it is in Austin. If it were in Stillwater, the Pokes would run away with it. The Horns are coming off a beatdown from the Sooners. Surely the Pokes do not want to be outdone, so they will bring their A game to this one. The young QBs scare me for the Longhorns, and the Okie State passing attack will be too much. Cowboys 37-31.
Central Florida @ SMU (Fox Sports Net) – A great under-the-radar game here. It is a rematch of last year’s CUSA Championship game. Another shocker here – UCF has the #2 defense in the country and SMU’s is #14. I am not making this up! UCF has been very inconsistent this year, and the Mustangs are at home. I’ll take them. SMU 24-21.
5:00: #2 Alabama @ Mississippi (ESPN2) – Houston Dale Nutt’s SEC Farewell Tour continues. Tide 42-14.
6:00: #8 Clemson @ Maryland (ESPNU) – What is going on with Clemson? They are still undefeated. I keep waiting on them to lose 4 games in one week – you know, just to get back to the Clemson I know. They’re a young team playing with a lot of confidence though. They better be up for this game or else. Tigers 24-23.
Florida @ #24 Auburn (ESPN) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
Georgia @ Vanderbilt (Fox Sports/espn3.com) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
9:15: #18 Arizona State @ #9 Oregon (ESPN) – If the Okie State/Texas game is not the best game of the weekend, it will probably be because this one overtakes it. This could be a preview of the PAC 12 Title Game, but Andrew Luck will have something to say about that before it is all said and done. I think Oregon is far from as dominant as they were last year, especially without LaMichael James this week. You all know I’ve been a big Sun Devil fan all year. Oregon has won six straight in the series. The Autzen Stadium crowd is tough, and it is very difficult to win there. Arizona State has the defensive personnel to contain the Oregon offense. BUT, if you have watched the Sun Devils defense at all this year, you have probably noticed how undisciplined they are with lining up, tackling, etc. This is a recipe for disaster against the fast Oregon offense that can quickly take advantage of a defensive slip up. Oregon 34-23.
If I Were a Bettin’ Man… - I’m feeling two SEC games this week.
Florida @ Auburn (+2) – Call me a sucker here, but Auburn being underdogs at home in this one is crazy. Yes, I saw Auburn get burned by the Hogs last week. But I have also seen Florida go nowhere on offense the last two weeks with backup QBs in, and yes I am aware it was against Alabama and LSU. A little history here too – I have seen some very talented Florida teams go into Auburn and lose (’01 and ’06 come to mind); Auburn has won 3 out of 4 in the series. The Gators don’t know who their QB is, Demps has been banged up, and their talented defense has been whipped like a dog the last two weeks and lacks confidence. At least Auburn has a run game, and Trotter won’t play near as bad at home. The Auburn defense is not good, but the weapons on Florida’s offense are seriously limited. The home field will be a huge difference in this one. Auburn 27-21.
Georgia (-11) @ Vanderbilt – Regardless of the new coach, Vanderbilt is the same ole crappy team. They have scored a combined 3 points against South Carolina and Georgia the last two games. While Georgia’s defense is not Alabama caliber, I believe they are better than the underachieving bunch at South Carolina. That being said, I don’t see Vandy scoring more than 10 points if they’re lucky, so UGA can surely put up 21 right? Bulldogs 27-10.
Have fun watching the games!-Ernie