Week Five Preview
Thursday Night Football
I suffered through about 10 minutes of Thursday night football last night as Southern Cal staged a comeback against Utah. Frankly two things bothered me:
- How sickly and un-scary David Pollack looks.
- How much praise USC was getting for coming back against a Utah team that was 2-2 heading into the game with losses to Arizona State and Utah State. I’m happy for Southern Cal and their seemingly-miraculous comeback (as far as Jesse “The Hair” Palmer), but should a really good team ever trail Utah 14-0 three minutes into the game? The answer is no.
Thankfully there is some good football coming our way this weekend.
Auburn hosts Arkansas in a game of two equally domineering forces. I pick Arkansas every week and John L. Smith (aka “The Negative $40 Million Dollar Man) makes sure that my prediction is wrong. Similarly every week Auburn makes sure that their offense (and sometimes defense) is just plain wrong. Who will win out in this game? Auburn is favored by 10 points, which blows my mind because I don’t know that Auburn is 10 points better than any FBS team in the country. In the spirit of tradition I’m taking Arkansas, who I know will at least cover the spread. Right? Prove me wrong, John L. I Dare you.
Mississippi State travels to Kentucky in a game that is sure to be watched by hundreds of people around the country. I’d love to see the Wildcats upset the Bulldogs and dethrone the reigning, “Wait, They’re Ranked How High?” Champs. Here’s how it could happen. Mississippi State boasts the 13th best scoring defense in the country (13.3), but that figure is deceptive. That figure doesn’t show you that MSU’s opponents (Jackson State, Auburn, Troy, and South Alabama) have combined to play a total of just five other games against BCS Conference opponents and in those five games they’ve averaged only 7.2 points per game. So, MSU’s 13.3 is inflated by crappy opposition. Kentucky’s offense, on the other hand, is deflated by already squaring off against Florida and South Carolina (two of the top 10 scoring defenses in the nation at 10th and 6th respectively) and a respectable Louisville squad (30th in the nation in scoring defense). MSU is a 15.5 point favorite, and there is no evidence to support that claim. Furthermore if you’re looking for an SEC upset (especially one involving a loss by a ranked team from Mississippi), this might be the one. UPSET ALERT! ALERT! I AM UPSET!
Vanderbilt gets to make a little trip to the “harsh” environment that is Columbia, MO and take on the Missouri Tigers.
If you missed by Twitter-rific criticisms of Missouri’s Stadium during the UGA/Mizzou game here’s a quick recap:
I will continue to root against the presence of Missou in the SEC by taking Vanderbilt in this game. That being said, if Missouri does happen to lose to Vandy they will not become the “New Vandy.” Vanderbilt is the New Vandy. Missouri will simply be the “Dumb Vandy.”
Texas A&M will travel to the home of the Oxford Shirt and its convenient lack of need for ironing to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. Again, nobody will watch this game, but I promise somebody will vouch for the Aggies’ win when it’s all said and done.
Next to last, but certainly not next to least: Florida plays host to LSU in a battle for crappiest football-driven college town with the winner taking home a conference win. I wrote about this yesterday with some arithmetic, and was then asked who I thought would win. I am picking the Gators here for several reasons:
- LSU looks wildly inconsistent
- Florida has been tested more (road games at hostile environments)
- Florida’s biggest question-mark coming into the season, QB play, has been good so far, but at worst will coincide with LSU’s biggest question.
- Florida looks better to me.
- SEC EAST BAAAAABBBBYYYY!
And of course check back later for a full Georgia vs. South Carolina preview in which I predict a Georgia win, because that pattern has been workin’ 4 me as the kiddies say.
Nebraska travels to the world’s largest horseshoe that was purchased with tattoos to take on the Ohio State buckeyes in game pitting an annoying QB who likes to run against an annoying Coach who likes to run his mouth. I’m taking the annoying the Buckeyes by a buckeye – not sure if that implies close game or a blowout.
Washington fresh off an upset of undeniably untalented Stanford will lose its top-25 ranking this weekend against Oregon. That’s it.
And for the first time in his life West Virginia will see a defense that is not merely a sign featuring picket-work in the crowd as the Mountaineers take on Texas. Here are a few bold predictions for the game in Austin:
- Geno will not complete 83.4% of his passes
- Geno will not throw for his standard 432 yards
- Geno will not throw five TD passes
- Geno’s QB rating will be under 208.4
- Geno’s team will either lose or win the game and I won’t care either way
That’s all I got/