I hate to depress everyone, but we are almost halfway through the season. But this week is going to be great along with the weather. The Texas State Fair hosts a big game this week along with some great SEC games. The “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” portion of the blog went 1-1 last week against the spread for an 8-2 record for the season. The blog had a tough week on straight up winners going 2-4 in national games (19-11 for the season) and 4-3 in SEC games (34-8 for the season). Let’s jump into the action and see what we have this week.
Thursday: 8:00: California @ #9 Oregon (ESPN) – Cal seemed like they were a program on the rise less than 5 years ago. What has happened? Meanwhile, the Ducks offense is as entertaining to watch as ever along with their uniform combinations.
Friday: 8:00: #5 Boise State @ Fresno State (ESPN) – Speaking of a program on the decline, Fresno State lost to lowly Ole Miss last week. Boise will dominate this one.
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: #3 Oklahoma vs. #11 Texas @ the Cotton Bowl (ABC/KARZ local in LR) – No need to even pretend that we care about another game going on at this time today. The Sooners have done what is expected of them so far this year – dominate all of their games with the exception of a tough road win in Tallahassee. Texas has exacted “revenge” on lowly teams like UCLA and Iowa State (very sorry about that prediction last week people – I owe you for that one), so the Horns are feeling really proud of themselves. Sorry, but I am still not impressed with the Horns. Sooners are better at just about every position. Watch this game all the way through and enjoy you a fried-something-or-another in honor of the Texas State Fair going on right next door from this game. Boomer Sooner 31-17.
11:21 AM Kentucky @ #18 South Carolina (SEC Network – ABC) – Spurrier is cracking that whip again on Dirty Garcia and benching him…until they fall behind to terrible Kentucky early in the game. I wouldn’t advise watching a second of this game. I’m for real y’all. Anyway, Cocks 21-10.
2:30: Six ranked teams get going at this time.
Air Force @ Notre Dame (NBC) – Does anyone else think Air Force’s style of play will allow them to hang around with Notre Dame for four quarters and definitely cover the 15 point spread? I’m just sayin – I’m not gonna make it an If I Were a Bettin’ Man pick though because I feel the Irish are coming around and have shown some consistency of late after I picked on them earlier in the year. Irish 31-21.
#22 Arizona State @ Utah (Fox Sports Net Affiliates) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
#17 Florida @ #1 LSU (CBS) – Poor Charlie Weis. His senior QB is out for this game after an injury during the Alabama beatdown. So now he looks to freshman Jeff Driskel who will likely be a talent at some point but not yet. I bet Weis has been in his Jazzy Scooter in the film room all week eating tubs of butter and raw cookie dough refusing to leave until he figures out a way to get Driskel in good situations in Death Valley to put up some points. GOOD LUCK CHARLIE! Geaux Tigers 28-10.
Missouri @ #20 Kansas State (ABC/espn3) – Kansas State is ranked again after an upset win over Robert Griffin and the Baylor Bears. There should be no doubt now that Bill Snyder is a genius. Kansas State is an underdog at home to an overrated Missouri Tigers team (in my opinion). Give me the Powercats 28-21.
6:00: #15 Auburn @ #10 Arkansas (ESPN) – The Hogs somehow escaped with a win last week, which was a huge win because it gives them a lot of confidence fighting through a lot of injuries. Also, their schedule is set up real nice to possibly be playing LSU once again with at least a BCS bowl bid on the line…maybe even more. Auburn magically pulls games out almost every week. Michael Dyer, the last year’s BCS National Championship Game Offensive Player of the Game, returns to his home state to take on the Hogs. He carried the ball 41 times last week against South Carolina. I would expect him to carry a lot more this week after watching the Aggies gash the Hogs for over 300 yards rushing last week. I have a feeling that the Hogs have a lot of angst built up after the way last year’s game played out on The Plains. They were in the game and questionable officiating hurt them bad some would say and rightly so. Tyler Wilson earned my respect last week as he continually picked himself up off the turf play after play to throw for over 500 yards and lead his team to a comeback victory. The Hogs have been waiting on this game for a long time. Hogs win big 45-24.
Georgia @ Tennessee (ESPN2) – Both teams and their fanbases are feeling very confident all of sudden for no reason at all going into this one. Georgia feels good because they beat Coastal Carolina and the Mississippi schools (in unimpressive fashion I might add) and the fact Florida and South Carolina both lost last week. So the Dawgs are tied for first on the loss side again with those teams. Tennessee has a lot of confidence because of what Tyler Bray is doing on the field although he hasn’t won a big game yet. Mark Richt’s two worse true road game losses at Georgia have come the last two times he has traveled to Neyland Stadium. Although Derek Dooley may not say it, this is a huge game for him. He needs this win to prove that he is making progress in bringing the program to national prominence again. Oh and the little thing about his dad being a legend at Georgia and Derek growing up in Athens. The Vols lead the nation in 3rd down conversions on offense and Georgia is 3rd in the nation on 3rd down defense so that will be interesting to see how that plays out. Georgia’s defense is highly ranked, but they built that ranking dominating the Mississippi schools and Coastal Carolina. Aaron Murray is inconsistent, so who knows what to expect with him, but for the experts anointing him as an All-SEC QB at the beginning of the year, he is only 9-9 as a starter. Georgia only scored in the mid-20s versus Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Also, Georgia’s tackle and sack leader LB Cornelius Washington is suspended for the game after kickin’ it a little too hard last weekend after the game. Tennessee WR Da’Rick Rogers has a lot of motivation this week as he decommitted from his home state team during recruiting to sign with the Vols, which is still a sore subject with UGA fans and players – so much so that Georgia players have been talking a little trash to him this week. Also, the Vols defense is setup to defend a pro-set offense better than the spread offenses they have been playing as of late, which will help out in this game. I think the Vols are gonna be a tough team to beat at home this year – on the road, not so much. If anything, the Vols will outscore UGA in this one. Vols 31-23.
Vanderbilt @ #2 Alabama (ESPNU) – I saw a headline yesterday that said Alabama was worried about Vandy’s secondary. Yeah that’s right…hahahaha. Crimson Tide 34-9.
#12 Michigan @ Northwestern (Big Ten Network) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
7:00: Ohio State @ #14 Nebraska (ABC) – After last week’s destruction at the hands of Wisconsin, is Nebraska still the 2nd best team in the Big Ten? If so, the Big Ten is not as mighty as they thought they were in the preseason. Part of the Big Ten’s downgrade has to do with Ohio State having a completely inept offense and player suspensions and new scandals occurring every week. Taylor Martinez scares me to death, but I’ll take the Huskers in their first Big Ten home game. Huskers 20-13.
9:30: Two underrated late night games here:
TCU @ San Diego State (CBS College) – Give me the Aztecs in a slight upset behind their powerful offense led by QB Ryan Lindley and RB Ronnie Hillman. Aztecs 38-34.
Washington State @ UCLA (Fox Sports Net Affiliates) – Washington State has won 5 games the last three years combined. They could get number four of this year tonight.
In another SEC game not mentioned above, Mississippi State gets back on the winning track.
If I Were a Bettin’ Man…
Arizona State (-4) @ Utah – As everyone knows, this is the Utes first year playing a grind of a schedule as they decided to step up from a non-BCS conference to the PAC 12 this year. How has that gone for them so far? Well try 0-2 in conference including a loss at home against Washington (who is not that great) last week where they managed 5 turnovers and 17 yards rushing. By the way, Washington’s defense is ranked #102 in the nation. Well in comes Arizona State who is undefeated in conference and playing with a lot of confidence. Vontaze Burfict and the defense are ranked #47 in the nation, which is dominate for a PAC 12 defense. The offense is also moving the ball on everyone led by 6’8” QB Brock Osweiler and RB Cameron Marshall. Jordan Wynn, Utah’s starting QB, is out with a shoulder injury too. Even if the Sun Devils do not force five turnovers this week, which surely won’t happen two weeks in a row, the Sun Devils’ will control this game on both sides of the ball. Sun Devils 31-20.
Michigan @ Northwestern (+7) – How in the world has Michigan gone from unranked in the preseason and now #12 in the nation after five wins over UNranked teams at home? Do they really deserve this lofty ranking at this point in the season? Well this is Brady Hoke and his young Michigan team’s first game away from the Big House. While Evanston is not necessarily the scariest road environment, it will be a challenge since Dan Persa is playing this weekend for the Wildcats. All he does is win when he is healthy. He came back for his first game of the season last Saturday at Illinois and the Wildcats led by double digits. Then he got banged up, had to leave the game, and Northwestern blew the lead. I think the Michigan defense will have some trouble this weekend. I’ll take Northwestern straight up in this one. Give me 7 points, and I’ll take it in a heartbeat. Northwestern 35-31.
Enjoy the weekend!