Saturday, September 13, 2008

This Weekend in College Football: Week 3

No update on stats this weekend unless I feel like doing them later. Answer to last week's question was "Charlotte." No trivia this week.

Anyway, live from the ATL, here's this weekend's somewhat noteworthy games. As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • California @ Maryland (ESPN): Normally, I like to make fun of coaches that are going down faster than a sinking ship (see: DaCoachO and John L. Smith), but I have hard time doing so for Das Fridge. But, yes, UMD probably has the hottest seat in the country and various message board pundits are predicting he will be fired or quit at or by the end of the season. What does this mean to you? Cal by a couple of touchdowns, at least.
  • Florida Atlantic @ Michigan State (ESPN2): Normally, I wouldn't dignify this game with a response, but look below. See that? That's a bonfide rivalry game. This? This is bullshit. I shouldn't have to say it, but MSU by a few scores.
  • Iowa State @ Iowa (BTN): Sometime, I should look up why these two didn't play each other after the 1934 season for 42 years. Until then, the home team has won the last three, and I don't see any reason why that'll change here.
  • North Carolina State @ Clemson (Raycom/Gameplan): NC State lost to moribund South Carolina 34-0 in week 1, and then only beat William and Mary by 10. Clemson's had their own troubles this year, but shouldn't at home against the Wolfpack.
  • Nevada @ Missouri (FSN): Mizzou in a route.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Tennessee (Raycom/Gameplan): I don't really have anything different to say about this game. I mean, what can you say about UAB? Well, I guess it's easy money.
  • Michigan @ Notre Dame (NBC): Slapfight! If I had to set an over-under for this game, it'd be somewhere around 16. Michigan by a field goal.
  • Georgia @ South Carolina (CBS): Much like a cat playing with a mouse, UGA will bat South Carolina around for a bit before finally severing the spinal cord sometime in the middle of the 3rd quarter.
  • Georgia Tech @ Virginia Polytechnic (ABC/ESPN/Gameplan): Once again, it's difficult to make predictions about a GT game. A preview I read earlier this week from the VPI side pointed out nearly half of GT's offensive yards last game came off 3 plays, though this hardly surpirses me it does inspire a cause of concern. I break it down like this. Each of these defenses are good, or at any rate, will look good in this game. Special teams is a concern for each club, though I will go the traditional route and attribute greater special teams prowress to Virginia Tech. And so we come to the offense. Both teams have questions on offense. As noted above, GT has been getting yards on big plays more than the methodical drive of the option. VPI is trying to integrate Tyrod Taylor, the classic example of how the backup just has to be better than the starter, though to be fair Glennon has been terrible this season. I really have no idea who will come out on top here, and as usual I will not hazard a guess for this game.
  • Oregon @ Purdue (ESPN/ABC): Intersectional footbaal, woo! Purdue cruised to victory over a DI-AA scrub last week, meanwhile Oregon beat the tar out of Washington as well as annual "one of the worst teams in DI-A" contender Utah State. They've met once before, and only 20 points were scored as Purdue won 13-7. I would expect there will be many more points than that by the end of the day, with the scoreboard likely in Oregon's favor.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Syracuse (Gameplan/ABC): The 'Cuse already lost to Northwestern by 20 and Akron by 16. Meanwhile, Penn State may actually be good this year. I don't think I need to spell this out for you.
  • California-Los Angeles @ Brigham Young (Versus): BYU is a trendy pick, along with ECU, as a BCS buster this year. (And unlike ECU, they were ranked in the pre-season.) However, unlike the Pirates, the Stormin' Mormons barely espcated Seattle with a win over a pretty bad Washington squad. Like most folks, I agree this depends on which UCLA QB shows up. But nonetheless, I'll take the minor upset angle here and go with UCLA.
7:00: Auburn @ Mississippi State (ESPN2): I'd say there's about a 20% chance of Auburn getting Croom'd here. Maybe lower. Nonetheless, Tigers prevail.

7:45: Oklahoma @ Washington (ESPN): Washington is not very good again, or at any rate, not really good enough to beat OU. Big 12 goes to 2-0 in Seattle on the year.

8:00: Ohio State @ Southern California (ABC): Almost done, which is good because I'm tired. Many pixels have been dedicated to this game so I don't think there's much I can tell you. I didn't think OSU had much of a chance beforehand, and with the likely loss of their starting running back for this game I will surprise absolutely no on and pick USC in this national-title semifinal.

10:30: Wisconsin @ Fresno State (ESPN2): Wisconsin has to know this is a trap. Fresno is good, and has a chance to knock off some big boys this year. You can bet that they are ready. It is difficult to get a read on the Badgers becaues they have played absolutely no one. Fresno has had 12 days to rest and get ready for this game. It's probably not an upset, but I will go with Fresno here.

That's all for this week. Now for some sleep.

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