In honor of week five here are five random (non-SEC) games that you should look forward to this weekend:
5. Stanford at Washington (Thursday, 9:00 PM): The Stanford Cardinal is/are the best college football team in America according to several computer polls that will factor into the BCS Poll beginning October 14th. There are two reasons for this: 1. Stanford’s proximity to Silicon Valley – a.k.a. the motherland for computers and the nerds that operate them, and 2. The fact that Stanford’s three opponents (San Jose State, Duke and USC) are 9-0 outside of their losses to the Cardinal. Now, you and I both know that San Jose State and Duke are garbage teams and that USC has been tried once and defeated once. But, computers don’t know that. You and I can see that Stanford is a good team and might be a very good team, but the Luck-less squad is not great and is a long way from the best. But, computers can’t see that. In the spirit of all that is right with college football (the SEC) we all need to start rooting for losses by 8th ranked (in real polls) Stanford, and that starts tonight against the Washington Huskies. Is a loss likely for the trees? No, probably not. But it seems like every year there is a cute little Thursday night upset in the Pac-12 (remember Jacquizz Rodgers and Oregon State over USC in 2008?). I’d like it to be tonight.
I love Stanford!!!
4. Ohio State at Michigan State (Saturday, 3:30 PM): Ohio State / Michigan State is the new Ohio State / Michigan. The Buckeyes have had a good time whooping up on their non-conference schedule (Miami OH, UCF, Cal and UAB) and now head into a stretch of eight straight Big 10 games. The Spartans meanwhile have already defeated a ranked Boise State squad and lost to a Notre Dame team that may or may not actually be good. These two teams are very much the class of the Big 10 and may square off again in the conference championship game. The winner starts paving the way to a BCS Bowl.
3. Texas at Oklahoma State (Saturday, 7:50 PM): This game may not actually have the legs I want it to, but here is why it intrigues me. Oklahoma State boasts the nation’s most explosive offense at over 62 points per game. And yet, the Cowboys have a blemished record thanks to a loss to Arizona. The Cowboys will square off against a Texas defense that is only allowing 16 points per game. And yet, the Longhorns gave up 31 to an Ole Miss team that scored fewer points against UTEP. The paper shows the Longhorns as the better team (ranked 14th in the nation), but this is a classic example of two teams who have played two very different schedules early on and are being evaluated on different levels. I’m not saying that Texas isn’t the 14th best team in the land or that Oklahoma State is better, I’m simply saying that from where I sit anything could happen in this game. And, with the season still developing a win by the Cowboys over the Cows could vault OK State into the top-25 and drop Texas out. There is a lot of volatility in this game.
2. Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech (Saturday, 12:00 PM): If you want to believe in some really crazy upset on Saturday, this might be your best bet. Georgia Tech has lost two heart-breaking overtime games to Virginia Tech and Miami already this season and thus all but eliminated themselves from ACC contention. Their dire circumstances and the emotional toll that put the Jackets in this position could very well vest itself in the form of a lackluster day for Paul Johnson’s squad. MTSU meanwhile comes in with a competent QB (156.7 QB rating) and a balanced rushing attack to take on a Tech defense that can only occasionally stop teams. The Blue Raiders will be severely outmatched on both the offensive and defensive lines, but they could prove more scrappy than the Yellow Jackets in this battle of colorful teams.
1. Oregon State at Arizona (Saturday, 10:00 PM): This is a must-watch game because I want to see if my readers can stay up later than I can on Saturday night. There’s no way I make it past midnight. The Oregon State bandwagon is filling up after back-to-back wins over ranked teams (Wisconsin and UCLA), but I have to wonder about the Beavers’ offense since it scored only 10 points against a Wisconsin defense that’s allowed over 20 points per game in three other games (Northern Iowa, Utah State, UTEP) and barely scored more against UCLA than the Bruins gave up (on average) to Rice, Nebraska and Houston. I’m impressed by Oregon State on defense, but there are a lot of questions on offense. Arizona, meanwhile, is still looking for an identity. Are they the team that beat 18th ranked Oklahoma State by 21 points and won 56-0 over South Carolina State? Or, are they the team that needed overtime to take down Toledo and lost 49-0 against Oregon. A win by the Wildcats makes their matchup with Stanford the following Saturday pretty darn interesting. A win by Oregon State sets the Beavers up as a top-15 team before a fortuitous run against Washington State, Utah and Washington and then dates with Arizona State and Stanford in early November.
There is good news for a number of SEC teams this weekend. Vanderbilt and Auburn get the week off to nurse their wounds after each team started the season 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The bad news is the fact that both teams have the distinct pleasure of being last in their respective division. The good news is neither team will lose this weekend!
Vanderbilt Football…undefeated since our last game!
Florida and Mississippi State also get a chance to rest, but these two teams actually have noteworthy accomplishments to their credit. Both teams are off to 4-0 starts and the Gators have the unique claim of being the only 3-0 team in SEC play – although South Carolina and Georgia may catch the Gators this weekend.
Arkansas gets to travel to familiar College Station (the Starkville of Texas, or so I’m told) and take on the Aggies from Texas A&M. The hometeam is favored by 13 points, but I’m going to root for the upset in an effort to end the madness that is the Arkansas tailspin and keep A&M out of the SEC’s win column. Keep in mind that somewhere, buried in a very deep and dark place, is a really talented Arkansas offense managed by a highly regarded pro prospect at QB and an explosive once-Heisman candidate at running back. Keep in mind that someday that team might show up (although my long-term bet is that it’s on November 23rd against LSU).
Missouri travels to Central Florida this weekend where the Knights are favored by as many as three points. And, in case you are confused and haven’t been following the Knights are Central Florida’s mascot, and Missouri just joined the SEC. So yeah, in the name of “expansion” and “progress” and other feel-goody stuff the Southeastern Conference has added a team that is now an underdog to Central Florida. Great move. I pick Missouri in the upset. SEC! SEC! SEC!
South Carolina gets to roll to Lexington and take on the Kentucky Wildcats. Connor Shaw will not complete 20 consecutive passes this week, because frankly I’m not sure that he’ll attempt 20 passes. Gamecocks win.
LSU plays host to the Tigers of Towson. Look for the upset here as the Towson Tigers build on their big victory against the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash and take down the Bayou Bengals. LSU wins.
The Ole Miss Rebels’ football season will come crashing down in a big way as they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama in the toe-jam of the south. Ole Miss is averaging just short of 260 rushing yards per game this season. Alabama’s defense is just allowing 62. I wouldn’t count on Ole Miss holding onto the football too much in this game. The Tide rolls.
Georgia will play host to Tennessee this weekend, but there will be much more on that tomorrow.
…And a little bit more right now. This week’s game could very much dictate Derek Dooley’s future in Knoxville. A win gives him a “signature” victory over a top-25 team. A loss drops the Vols to 0-2 in conference play with three more top-25 opponentes (Mississippi State, Alabama, South Carolina) looming in October. It could get ugly for old Derek.
Just don’t tell Derek’s mom that I said that.
That’s all I got/
We, we, we, we so excited about this weekend’s games! After a real barn-burner between Boise State and BYU last night (the Broncos dominated in true 7-6 fashion) that saw over 460 yards of offense between the two teams I think the nation is ready for some real football.
Here’s what is shaking in the SEC this weekend…
Kentucky travels to Florida in what would be a terrific basketball matchup but could very well be a blood bath in this sport. The Wildcats look like they might be bad even by Blue Grass State Football standards and Florida is (allegedly) the 14th best team in the nation. I’m not quite on the “Florida is back” campaign yet, but to start winning me over the Gators need to decimate Kentucky – and I think that will happen. Florida wins by a score comparable to that of the Alabama-Arkansas game last week (never forget!).
Ole Miss will be taking on Tulane in a battle of football programs that America has forgotten about. I can see why everyone forgets about Ole Miss: the Rebels are bottom-feeders in an attention-heavy conference and they pretty much win eve3ry game they should (very few) and lose every game they should. But I don’t understand how Tulane is overlooked. The Green Wave is in the bottom 20 of the nation in scoring offense and scoring defense. That is hard to do. Only eight teams in the country have managed that kind of consistency on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately that consistency is going to yield a loss for Tulane as Ole Miss moves to 3-1 before heading into conference play (or, an eight-game losing streak as I like to call it).
Alabama gets Georgia’s sloppy seconds as the Crimson Tide gets to take on Florida Atlantic this week. Not to worry college football fans this won’t be another massacre. FAU defensive end Cory Henry says Alabama can be beat. Now, if you’re wondering what credentials Cory Henry has besides two first names, fear not: he knows a thing or two about SEC football. You see, Cory Henry played in an SEC game against Georgia last week and he recorded one entire tackle – so he’s pretty well established in big-boy football. In fact one writer said recently that Cory Henry was a favorite for SEC Defensive Player of the Year for his single-tackle performance, but he’s just not eligible since he plays in another conference. In totality Cory Henry said the following:
They ain’t what people think. They’re good and everything, but they can (be) beat, too. They just execute well. The just execute and beat you.”
I’m confused as to how Alabama “ain’t” what people think. I’m a person and I think (as Cory Henry himself insists) that Alabama is “good and everything.” I talked to another person earlier today who said he agrees that “They just execute well.” Yet another character who could best be described as a person agreed that Alabama executes well and beats you. So what part of Cory Henry’s qualifying statements is contrary to “what people think?” And, what more could you want outside of the following:
1. A good team
2. A team that executes well
3. A team that beats other team
Can everyone please stop trying to talk trash about the SEC? Please. I’m tired of trolling. Oh yeah, and Alabama executes like a good team and wins this game.
Missouri gets to travel from Columbia to Columbia to take on South Carolina in what is probably the Tigers first visit to Hell’s Armpit. If Mizzou can survive they humidity…who am I kidding? Nobody survives Columbia’s humidity. I think South Carolina and their lack of an offense continues into the 432nd year but the Gamecocks win.
Arkansas gets a chance to show that things could be worse in Fayetteville as they take on Rutgers in a game that will send a resounding, “See, at least we aren’t in the Big East” across the state.
Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Tennessee will roll against South Carolina State, and South Alabama – in some order.
The LSU / Auburn game is shaping up to be a real cat fight at Jordan-Hare stadium The scrap will pit the Tigers from LSU against the raggedy feral cats of Auburn and when nature plays out LSU will have killed every last kitty.
Georgia vs. Vanderbilt
Last year Vanderbilt’s coach James “Benjamin” Franklin (he needs a nickname to set him apart from the Missouri quarterback) thought it in his best interest to show his hind parts whenever possible. This culminated in him acting like a jackass after Georgia pulled out a victory and then implying that Georgia defensive coordinator was acting like a jackass. I sincerely hope that tomfoolery was enough to make Georgia take this game seriously.
Much like the Missouri game earlier this season I will point out that there is a significant talent gap between Vandy and UGA. In fact, that gap is much wider than the schism presented by Missouri. I hope that Georgia comes out and plays with a tenacity that shuts James “Benjamin” Franklin up early and shuts him up hard. I want any messages he has for Georgia to be written on his head with a dry-erase marker because I don’t want to see his whining to the refs about “no calls” as the Commodores chop block and threaten the safety of Georgia’s defensive linemen.
I ride Georgia fans for lack of intensity often, but I hope that the fans all leave the stadium at the end of the third quarter having seen enough of Georgia’s domination.
Here are some tidbits:
Vandy has played three opponents this season: South Carolina, Northwestern and Presbyterian. Against FBS schools that are not Vanderbilt those three opponents have averaged 32.8 points per game. Against Vandy they averaged 13.33 points. Defensively speaking, those teams have surrendered 25.8 points per game against other FBS opponents. Against Vandy they gave up an average of 28 points. So what does this tell us? Well, for starters Vanderbilt’s offense and defense have outperformed what would be expected of their competition based on this season’s averages. But, the fact that Vanderbilts opponents are (on the same average) giving up more points than they are scoring says a lot about Vandy’s schedule thus far.
The same can be said thus far about Georgia as the Bulldogs’ opponents have scored an average of 18.33 points against UGA and 16 points aall other FBS opponents. And, defensively Georgia has scored an average 47.3 points against the teams’ outside average of 32.
A Vandy fan could easily point to the close loss to South Carolina as a sign of hope against UGA, but that was a miserable game by both teams hardly a loss to hang a hat on. Similarly though, I’m not sure that Vandy can be dismissed just for a loss to Northwestern as the purple Wildcats are actually 3-0 this season and have defeated three BCS Conference opponents.
So, if you’re looking for evidence as to why Georgia will win this game or as to how big the margin will be, I’m not sure what to tell you. I do think the Las Vegas line of 16 is about right, but gamblers are undoubtedly terrified of a line bigger than 15 or 16 for a traditionally underperforming Bulldogs team that is taking on an SEC opponent. That is telling. Truthfully I think both teams playing their A-game would result in a 21+ point W for Georgia. I hope we get Georgia’s A-game and Vanderbilt’s B or C-game. I hope “Benjamin” cries. I can’t wait for his excuses!
This is James Franklin after last year’s loss to Georgia. He tries to address the post-game scuttle-butt. Don’t watch it or it might make you believe in Vanderbilt football.
If you do watch it note the following:
· He stresses that Vandy will “Compete and Play with Class.” Note that he is unable to mention “Winning with Class.”
· He makes it clear that he has respect for Mark Richt, but not so much for other coaches.
· Starting at 1:15 Franklin stresses that he was upset about “things that were said” on the football field. Yes, this is a guy who coaches grown athletes upset about trash talk.
· At 1:40 he goes into his “We’re also going to fight…I want to make sure everyone understands that.” The rant culminates with him saying “we’re not going to take stuff from anyone…those days are long gone.” Two weeks later Arkansas “gave” Vandy a loss and Florida did so the following week. On November 19 Tennessee “gave” Vandy some stuff. Cincinnati also “gave” them stuff on December 31st in the Liberty Bowl.
· Starting at the 1:20 mark Franklin uses either “emotional” or “passionate” five times in sixty seconds to describe the game of football. Not sure if that was plagiarized from the back of a romance novel or what.
If you didn’t notice ESPN is pretty excited about the Florida State/Clemson game. College Gameday is there and as ESPN.com reads, “To emerge from the SEC’s shadow, theACC needs a title contender to call its own.”
There are so many things wrong with that notion that I am left with no choice but to expose them all.
First of all to “emerge from the SEC’s shadow” the ACC needs to be a damn good conference. The ACC needs to emerge from the shadow of the Pac-12 before emerging from the shadow of the Big 10 before emerging from the shadow of the Big XII before it can begin to consider emerging from the shadow of the SEC. Please don’t act like the ACC is just thiiiiiiiis close to being the best league in the country. Child, please..
Secondly, one title “contender” won’t do the conference any good. Last time I checked the ACC had a title contender. In fact, doesn’t the conference actually have two contenders that are playing each other? Isn’t that why this game matters? Don’t act like the media hasn’t been able to label a “contender” out of the ACC in recent past. Last November Clemson was that “contender” before getting beaten by the same Georgia Tech team that lost to Georgia and then losing to South Carolina. The notion that the conference needs a contender is ridiculous.
The conference needs depth. Only two teams in the ACC are undefeated through the first three weeks of the season. Three Big East teams are undefeated. Three Big Ten teams are undefeated. Four Pac-12 teams are undefeated. Six SEC teams are undefeated. Eight Big XII teams are undefeated. Obviously both teams can’t win in a conference match up, but ACC teams have lost games to the following out-of-conference opponents: Connecticut, Tennessee, Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Louisville and Northwestern. Within their respective conferences those teams combine for one conference win. The ACC needs depth to become relevant.
ESPN is just giddy over the ACC’s rare top-ten matchup. But, consider this:
· 5th ranked UGA takes on 7th Ranked South Carolina on October 6th.
· That same day 2nd ranked LSU squares off against a Florida team that is currently 14th and could move into the top 10.
· South Carolina and LSU then turn right around to play each other the next weekend.
· South Carolina plays Florida on October 20th and both could be top-10 teams.
· Georgia plays Florida on November 3rd when both teams could be in the top-10.
As many as five top-10 matchups will take place over the course of this season pitting at least one team from the SEC East against another conference opponent. The ACC’s annual matchup up of half-decent teams just can’t match that. And, I didn’t even mention the potential 1 vs. 2 in Alabama / LSU.
If you don’t want an ACC team in the national championship game rooting for Clemson is in your best interest. The Tigers tend to slip up late in the season and will have to play South Carolina late in the year. FSU hasn’t been great in several years, so I don’t know what to expect of them when expectations are high – but I know Clemson tends to falter. So root for Clemson.
That’s all I got/
Time flies when you’re having Dude, as they say. It’s hard to believe that we’re already three weeks into the season. It’s even harder to believe how crappy this week’s game slate is. But a long, long time ago I bestowed upon myself the responsibility of predicting games so that my readers (parents) would know what to expect so I plan on doing just that.
Auburn gets things rolling this week by playing host to Louisiana-Monroe with a 12:21 kickoff on Saturday. Two weeks ago no thought would have gone into this game and it would have been grouped into an “also playing” prediction sentence that I would nail and feel awesome about. But, now I have to think. Why you may ask? Because Auburn sucks and because Louisiana-Monroe just upset Arkansas (literally, Arkansas fans are very upset) . As odd as it may sound both teams have an equal amount on the line. This isn’t your standard “Little school has nothing to prove and nothing to lose” versus “Big school that can’t prove anything but can lose everything” matchup. Auburn must win this game to avoid an 0-3 start. I said yesterday that Auburn could lose as many as 8 games; if they lose this one I think that will happen. Louisiana-Monroe meanwhile is playing for a top-25 spot. Sounds crazy right? Well the Warhawks are 1-0 thanks to an upset of Arkansas. A win this week puts them 2-0 with both games against the SEC as they prepare to host Baylor next Friday. In the end though, I keep thinking there has to be a team that Auburn is better than and this may just be that team. The War Eagles of Auburn will defeat the Warhawks of LA-Mo in a battle of truly angry birds.
Vanderbilit will beat the Blue Hose of Presbyterian, Texas A&M will take down Craig James and mighty SMU, South Carolina will defeat UAB, Mississippi State will defeat Helen of Troy, LSU will beat Idaho and I will now have to start using my brain a bit.
The Alabama at Arkansas game was supposed to be the site of College Gameday on Saturday until Arkansas went ahead and came to the realization that they are not as good as Alabama (or Louisiana-Monroe for that matter). This game could get straight up ugly for the Razorbacks. If there’s one thing you don’t want to be when taking on Alabama it’s timid. The Razorbacks couldn’t protect their QB against the Warhawks; there’s no way he stays healthy against Alabama’s defense. If Vegas offered prop bets on what QBs might quit in the middle of a game, I’d take Tyler Wilson this week. If I could bet on the next QB to be physically buried alive by a defense, I’d take Wilson. Alabama wins.
Gameday instead decided to go up to Knoxville, Tennessee for what is nothing short of repulsive for Georgia fans. The only thing I hate more than seeing the media fondle Florida’s swamp is watching Corso and company grovel at the Vols simultaneously. This matchup carries importance in that it will largely settle the SEC East’s third-place perception. (Note to angry Vol fans: be aware that I didn’t assign you third place, I used the word “perception” on purpose. And no, “Perception” was not that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio that you didn’t quite understand. But in truth whoever wins this game will be perceived as the East’s third best team and barring unforeseen circumstances will remain there.) So it makes a lot of sense that Gameday is in Knoxville because frankly as fans an 18 vs. 23 matchup is the best we’ve got this week. I’m a bit torn on this game for a number of reasons. I’ve seen both teams play and here are some gut thoughts. Florida looks really bad, but they gritted out a 20-17 win on the road against A&M which is impressive. Tennessee handled NC State much easier than anybody thought they would, but they followed that up with a win against Georgia State and somehow that pushed them into the top-25. In the end I made a commitment to want Tennessee to be relevant and to root for Derek Dooley when he’s not taking on the Dawgs. So, I’m going with the Volunteers here but don’t think I’m doing so voluntarily.
In what very well may be the game of the century Kentucky will be taking on Western Kentucky to prove once and for all who is the second-best collegiate tackle football team in all of Kentucky. I know little about these teams other than this: Approximately 3% of all people residing in Kentucky care about football. And, I know a guy who just moved up to Hilltopper country and he’s really tall (TERRRRRYYYY). Otherwise knowing nothing I’ll be ignorant and take the SEC and thus Kentucky.
I’m rooting for Missouri to beat Arizona State this week in the same Southeastern Conference spirit. But don’t worry, I’ll also be rooting against the Tigers (even against division rival South Carolina next week) when they return to Conference play. Missouri wins.
Ole Miss will be looking to start 3-0 for the first time in the history of mankind (correct me if I’m wrong here) with a win over the Texas Longhorns. Ole Miss has everything going for them in this game: The game is being played played in Oxford, The Rebels have not lost to the Longhorns yet this season, Ole Miss is 1-0 against teams from Texas this season (suck it, UTEP), etc., etc., etc. But, all great 2-0 miracles must come to an end; Texas wins.
Also: Georgia is going to win and extend their regular season winning streak to 13.
Other Games of Interest
Let’s get a few things clear: Stanford is not a good football team. Not no way, not no how. But, the Cardinals could stay with USC because the Trojans are very flawed. Stanford has strength along the frontlines (where Southern Cal is weakest) and could make this the most boring game in Pac-12 history. Don’t be stunned to see a rare Pac-12 game in which fewer than 80 combined points are scored. Yes, I said it. For the first time in Left Coast history a team may not score every single possession. I think Southern Cal wins and Matt Barkley will get more credit for beating #21 Stanford than Tyler Bray will get for beating #18 Florida because that’s the world we live in.
Oregon really might score 100 points on Tennessee Tech this week. If they do I want a Wilt Chamberlain-style photo with a sign that reads. “100.”
Michigan State is a much, much better football club than Notre Dame. Michigan State will win, but I hope the score reflects the true discrepancy between the two teams.
BYU is taking on Utah and in an unprecedented move Presidential candidate and Super-Mormon Mitt Romney will be quarterbacking both teams. This could get interesting both on the field and off, but I’ve always wanted an All-Time-Quarterback for a POTUS. Cougars win.
I strongly wish that Wake Forest would upset Florida State for the second straight year. In the spirit of thinking positively, I’m going to go ahead and say this: Wake Forest wins! Then we could finally get an answer to the age old question: If an overrated Florida State team falls to Wake Forest does anyone at ESPN hear it?
Whatever you do don’t watch this pathetic Arkansas Tragedy video. And definitely don’t believe the rumor that is circling involving DudeYouCrazy’s alleged romantic past with one LIZHONEY2U of YouTube fame.
If I had to Bet:
Wake Forest (+24.5) at Florida State. Again, I think FSU is overrated. And, unlike the Seminoles the Deamon Deacons have at least taken on one respectable opponent (UNC) in the last 8.5 months. This may be wishful thinking, and I’m definitely regretting my earlier straight-up pick now that I’ve seen the spread but I’m doing it anyway!
Ohio State (-14.5) vs. California. I think the Golden Bears are really bad. There’s no way that a team full of Jack Nicklauses can really compete with an Urban Meyer squad.
Alabama (-15) vs. Arkansas. This one really might be a Gettysburg – a four score victory for the Crimson Tide.
Missouri (-6) vs. Arizona State. AZ State has been really good against the spread for the past year or so. I think that is starting to show on the lines. This seems like the spread should be closer to 10 to me. In any event I think Mizzou can cover with a TD.
UAB (+33.5) at South Carolina. There is no way South Carolina can cover a 33.5 point spread in a trap game before they travel to Missouri. This is a classic underperform game for the Cocks.
USC (-7.5) at Stanford and Michigan State (-3.5) vs. Notre Dame.
Texas (-9.5) at Ole Miss (because that spread is ludicrous), Utah (-1) becayse Romney favors Red over Blue and UCLA (-16.5) vs. Houston just because.
Texas, Alabama, UCLA.
I’ll be rolling over to Athens, Georgia to watch the Bulldogs take on the Florida Atlantic Owls. Maybe I’ll see some of you there. In the meantime I’ll be posting photos of the tailgate session, the game and most importantly the coronation of Uga IX on the Facebook page so check it out.
That’s all I got/
Last week I dropped some pure, unadulterated knowledge on you folks as I correctly prognosticated 16 games. This week that won’t be happening. Yes, I will give it a try – but don’t expect too much. Monday was a day off of work which meant a day away from reading up on this weekend’s game. I’m taking a day trip on Thursday for work which means having to push up several deadlines. And, I will be heading to Kentucky on Friday with one-time DudeYouCrazy contributor and all-time good guy Casey Carpenter for a tour of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in honor of his pending nuptials. So, with that in mind here is an equally exhaustive but much less prepared for Week Two Preview.
Auburn and Mississippi State kick off SEC action Saturday at noon as the Tigers and the Bulldogs try to replicate the 2008 game that saw a total of five points scored. Actually, I don’t think the game will be that ugly. I think Auburn wins this game and Mississippi State continues to lose against SEC West teams not also hailing from the state of Mississippi.
South Carolina will be taking on East Carolina, the nation’s 51st state. The Gamecocks will win this matchup despite a complete lack of a passing game. Speaking of which: who all heard ESPN raving about Steve Spurrier’s humility last Thursday night as he “went against his instinct to air it out and decided to stick with a running game.”? South Carolina hasn’t had a consistent passing attack in years. This wasn’t Spurrier showing wisdom this was Spurrier lacking options. Connor Shaw threw an interception on his first pass of the game. Were they going to keep airing it out to 5 foot 9 receivers? And for the record: Connor Shaw was ESPN’s new Tebow for a brief shining moment, and I did not like that at all.
Florida travels to Texas A&M for a matchup with the Aggies and things should get interesting given the Aggies new billboard in Gainesville that was “not sanctioned by the school.” I’m pretty torn on this game because I refuse to give the newbies any credit whatsoever, but Florida looked really bad last week. So, I’ll settle and take Texas A&M at home.
Alabama (against Western Kentucky), Tennessee (against Georgia State), Arkansas (against Louisiana-Monroe), LSU (against Washington) and Kentucky (against Kent State) will all win this week. The only question I have is this: Is “Kent” an abbreviation for Kentucky?
In what should never be a close game UTEP is taking on an SEC foe. But, alas Ole Miss will make it close. I want to believe in a 2-0 Ole Miss squad some I’m taking the Rebels!!!! I’m a believer!
Also of note for the intellectuals out there Vanderbilt will be taking on Northwestern who is fresh off a win against lowly Syracuse. If you like smart things you will love this game. But, if you like smart things you probably don’t like football and probably don’t read this blog. So, if you like good football you will hate this game. But Vandy has this one in the bag – even though an 0-2 start could stop the “Vandy is Back” train faster than Walter White.
And, of course Georgia will be taking on Missouri. I’m going to continue bleeding red (as I have my whole life) and black and take the Bulldogs, but there will be much, much more on this tomorrow AM.
Other Games of Interest:
I might be missing something here, but I’m not seeing any other ranked vs. ranked games on the slate this week. So, here’s one for you to dig into:
South Florida at Nevada. Why does this matter? You’ve got a bunch of guys from in or around Miami flying to somewhere near Las Vegas. This is going to be nuts. I bet Rob Gronkowski even shows up. Most importantly: the line is Nevada by 1.5 which means it’s any man’s guess and the game should be close.
In 2001 Eric Crouch scampered for a 95-yard run against Missouri. If Todd Gurley does the same this week he will also win the Heisman Trophy. Here’s the video and notice how Crouch appears to be running in slow motion by the end of the run, but also notice that he’s still faster than anyone on Mizzou’s team.
If I had to Bet:
I am very, very tempted to bet on Georgia to cover the three point spread, but as a rule I never bet for or against the Dawgs. Just know that if you don’t have similar convictions I legitimately recommend that action. That being said, I may be blinded and be aware that I’m not mocking that bet.
Oregon (-33.5) vs. Fresno State. Fresno State gave up 10 points to Weber State which equates to 2 million against Oregon. I don’t see Fresno scoring more than 1.5 million points this game so the Ducks can cover.
Vanderbilt (-3) at Northwestern. Betters are down on Vandy for (barely) losing at home to a (possibly) good South Carolina team and the media hyped the crap out of Northwestern’s 42-41 win over Syracuse because it was a fun game. Vanderbilt is much more talented than Northwestern, but they common knowledge of people not as intelligent as me.
Memphis (22.5) at Arkansas State. Why? Because Mom and DadYouCrazy went to Memphis.
Louisiana Tech (-3) at Houston. LA Tech hasn’t played yet “thanks” to the hurricane last week, but Houston lost to Texas State by 17 points. Surely LA Tech can match them.
Stanford (-14) vs. Duke. I was all over betting against Stanford last week and I was right. I think everybody saw that embarrassment and will overreact. I do think the Cardinal is better than the Blue Devils.
Two Gamer: Arizona State (+1) vs. Illinois and Idaho (B+12.5) vs. Bowling Green.
Three Gamer: NewMexico (+37) at Texas, Texas Tech (-16.5) at Texas State, Ole Miss (-7) vs. UTEP. I believe!!!
Recycled: Vandy, LA Tech and Bowling Green. Boom.
For the love of all things right and true tune in to the Florida/Texas A&M game and the Georgia/Mizzou game. Whether you like, love or hate the new guys you owe it to the SEC (or hell, whatever conference you root for) to check out the new guys. I joke about these squads a lot, and I still don’t like them coming over to the SEC, but I’m pretty darn intrigued to see how they do.
That’s all I got/
Oh my gosh! It’s here! It’s really, really here! I’m so excited! What should I expect?
No, I’m not talking about the Republican National Convention and whether or not Chris ate Christie to form New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I’m talking about the start of college football. So, what should you expect? I’m glad you asked. Let’s jump into it…
South Carolina travels to Vanderbilt tonight to kick off the season (well assuming UCF/Akron, Eastern Michigan/Ball State, SE Missouri State/Central Michigan or Towson/Kent State don’t transition from the coin toss to kickoff faster than the teams in Nashville). What am I feeling? In a brief and perverse-if-out-of-context response: I’m feeling the Cocks. If you’ve read my stuff from the offseason you know I’m “iffy” on both of these teams. But, here’s where the separation occurs:
- I’m wondering if Vanderbilt can win close games and take the next step forward to becoming a top-half SEC squad.
- On the other hand, I’m wondering if South Carolina can take the next step to a BCS Bowl.
That’s a pretty substantial difference – one that could see Vandy progress and S.Car digress and still yield a victory for the traveling team. I’m taking South Carolina.
Texas A&M was supposed to play at Louisiana Tech later tonight but the game has been postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. On a light note: I will not miss the pick on this game this week, I’ll have to wait until early October. On a serious note: say a prayer for those in the path of the storm.
Tomorrow night we’ll get to see Tennessee take on NC State in the Georgia Dome in the first of two SEC/ACC Chick-fil-A kickoff classic games in Atlanta. Tennessee opened as a 7 point favorite and with the help of Da’Rick Rogers’ dismissal that line has move to 3 or 3.5 depending on who you ask. From what I’ve heard on the radio (very official research) NC State has a pretty sick pass defense so Bray may struggle to throw the ball. But, at the end of the day Tennessee simply has to improve on last year’s campaign and needs this win to do so. I’m taking the Vols – not necessarily because they’re the better team (although they may be), but because they’re the more desperate team.
Georgia takes on Buffalo and I’m taking the Dawgs but tune in tomorrow for more on that.
The Florida Gators are playing host to the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday afternoon and I expect Florida’s super-awesome-never-works two-armed QB monster to cruise.
You can take this to the bank: LSU will beat North Texas, Arkansas will beat Jacksonville State, Mississippi State will be victorious over Jackson State and Missouri will take down Southeastern Louisiana.
Auburn is taking on the Clemson Tigers in the Georgia Dome. I’ve said several times that I think Auburn is down this year, but man I’d love to see them beat an ACC foe. That being said, I just don’t think it happens. Clemson takes this one.
Ole Miss is going to start the season with a perfect record after escaping Central Arkansas on Saturday. Can their perfect season last? Well, they haven’t lost a game since November 26, 2011.
Alabama is squaring off against the teen-wolfs of Michigan in a stadium that is pretty large out in Texas. I refuse to let Alabama lose this. SEC! SEC! SEC!
On Sunday Kentucky travels to Louisville to play football which is an interesting statement because Louisville is in Kentucky. That’s the equivalent of saying the restroom traveled to the urinal to take a leak. And, I do expect the Wildcats to pee all over themselves in a loss.
Other Games of Interest:
Boise State and Michigan State – the two teams who bookended Georgia’s 2011 season with losses – are squaring off in a sick and twisted grudge match to see who is the 2011 Dawgs’ Daddy. I hate Boise State but even without my anti-blue glasses I truly believe the Spartans are the better team here. Michigan State wins.
Top-ranked USC is hosting Hawaii on Saturday. That could get ugly for the once-Rainbowed Warriors.
Georgia Tech travels to Virginia Tech in a game that is made intriguing by VA Tech’s habitual early season screw-up game. The Hokies are the better team – or at least they will be at season’s end – but can they hold off the Yellow Jacket middle school option attack? This time, I think they can. VA Tech takes down GA Tech for the buzzkill.
Each week DudeYouCrazy presents one college football related YouTube video and urges you not to watch it.
This classic features a very sad Clemson fan after an early season loss to Georgia Tech. Can the Tigers avoid that fate on Saturday? Can you avoid watching the video? Only time and view counts will tell.
If I Had to Bet
Every week I’m going to look into a few theoretical bets. Each week I’ll take on the lines on the following:
· Five individual games
· One two-game parlay
· One three-game parlay
· One three-game “recycled” parlay featuring games I’ve already bet on
Here’s what I’m taking this week:
South Carolina (-6.5) at Vanderbilt: For all of the reasons discussed above I’d expect the Gamecocks to win by more than a TD.
Penn State (-6.5) vs. Ohio: This line opened at 10.5 and was tempting, but 6.5 seems like a steel. I have to believe that a program with as much pride (and simultaneously shame) will want to bounce back with a meaningful season and that starts at home week one.
Miami (-1) at Boston College: I like one-point spreads in conferences like the ACC where home-field is less advantageous than the SEC. This seems like a classic “stay-away” to some, but Miami is significantly more talented than BC and could pounce on them.
Southern Miss (+20) at Nebraska: Southern Miss had the nation’s 26th best scoring defense last season, returns 8 starters (3 on the line, 3 at LB and 2 in the secondary) and just brought in a defensive-minded head coach in Ellis Johnson. Nebraska returns only five offensive starters on a run-heavy offense that finished 50th in scoring in 2011. To cut to the chase: I don’t think Nebraska will score enough points to beat Southern Miss by 20 points.
UNLV (+8.5) vs. Minnesota: Why? You got me here. It’s too early for me to know much about either but in name alone Minnesota should be better – but I don’t trust a gopher!.
Two-Game Parlay: UCLA (-14) at Rice. San Jose State (+25.5) at Stanford.
Three-Game Parlay: California (-10.5) vs Nevada. Iowa (-10) at Northern Illinois. Iowa State (+1) vs Tulsa.
Three-Game Recycled Parlay: Southern Miss (+20), Penn State (-6.5), Miami (-1).
That’s all I got/