Saturday, September 27, 2008

This Weekend in College Football: Week 5

Once again, no stat update. I'll do it as a separate post after this.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • Michigan State @ Indiana (ESPN): Get your day started right with...okay, I can't do this. I can't really think of any reason to watch this Big Ten snooze-fest. The Hoosiers are coming off a 22-point loss at home to Ball State and counting down the days to basketball season. Meanwhile, MSU is riding high off beating Notre Dame. State by a few scores.
  • North Carolina @ Miami (ESPN2): I don't think "da U" is a very good football team this year. Since the inexplicable hiring of Patrick Nix (thanks guys!), Miami's offense has just been terrible. But UNC's hopes for a decent season seem to have derailed by Tyler Yates going down for at least the next few weeks. Expect the usual tight, offense-less ACC battle, with something like a final score of Miami 12, UNC 9.
  • Northwestern @ Iowa (ESPN Classic): Fun fact: Northwestern is 4-0! Fun corollary: their BCS conference opponents so far have been Syracuse and Duke. Meanwhile, Iowa got beat by Pitt last week. What I'm saying here is that's there's still a terrible lack of data here, but I will say that I have my doubts there will be anything "classic" about this game. I'll pick NU just for the heck of it.
  • Minnesota @ Ohio State (BTN): Thanks, Comcast, for getting a national Big Ten Network feed but no ESPNU. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. Anyway, Minnesota's schedule so far is weaker than Northwestern's, but that said they're still better than they were last year. Improved enough to avoid getting shellacked by Ohio State? Probably not.
  • Maryland @ Clemson (Raycom/Gameplan): See, I figured Maryland was trying to get their coach fired after barely beating Delaware and losing to MTSU. Since then, they've beaten Cal and shellacked Eastern Michigan. Clemson, meanwhile, is presumably better than the team that showed up in Atlanta back in August, but they haven't played anyone since then. That said, on paper Clemson is a much better team than Maryland and it being at Clemson I have to give the purple-and-orange tigers the edge.
  • Army @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (Versus): Alas, poor Army. TAMU by at last four touchdowns.
  • Mississippi @ Florida (Raycom/Gameplan): Ole Miss already has two losses (to Wake and Vandy) headed into the Swamp. Uh, yeah. UF by a few scores.
  • Purdue @ Notre Dame (NBC): Purdue doesn't really believe in defense. Notre Dame scored 35 against Michigan and then 7 against Michigan State. In other words, I have no idea what will happen here, but I will pick Purdue because I want them to win.
  • Tennessee @ Auburn (CBS): Two SEC teams with some issues in offense. That said, looking at this subjectively, Tennessee got the tar beat out of them last week. Auburn hung tough with LSU and certainly had chances to win.
  • Fresno State @ California-Los Angeles (ABC/Gameplan): Dear ABC: screw you. I swear to God this weekend is going to make me breakdown and order Gameplan. The two games I actually want to see (Arkansas@Texas, CU@FSU) are not going to be on TV here except for Gameplan. Argh. Also, UCLA's combined score in their last two games: 90-10. UCLA is the "10". Fresno gets their BCS win for the year.
  • Arkansas @ Texas (Gameplan/ABC): An old SWC rivalry is renewed, well, at least for a year. Arkansas is 21-55 all-time against Texas and the two schools last met in 2003 and 2004. I personally like these old SWC games, though I don't think the Razorbacks stand much of a chance here.
  • Colorado vs. Florida State (@Jacksonville, FL; Gameplan/ESPN/ABC): This game would have been a heck of a lot more relevant in the mid-90's. Nonetheless, this is the Big 12's chance to get back at the ACC (along with Nebraska-VPI) after last week's pasting of TAMU by Miami. Colorado's signature victory so far is the win over WVU last week, though that doesn't look that great right now. Nonetheless, FSU lacks any major wins and sports a loss to Wake. I somehow doubt any of FSU's problems on offense (namely, the lack of a competent quarterback) will have fixed themselves over the past week, so I'll take the Buffaloes.
  • Wisconsin @ Michigan (ESPN/ABC): Michigan is probably one of, if not the worst, team in the Big Ten this year. Badgers by a few scores.
  • Houston @ East Colarina (CBSCS): Remember a few years ago, when Houston wasn't completely terrible? Remember a few weeks ago, when ECU was in the BCS for sure? How quickly things change. I'm still taking ECU here.
7:00: Texas Christian @ Oklahoma (FSN): Dear Comcast Sports Net Bay Area: screw you. Every other FSN/CSN affiliate is showing this national telecast except for you! And unlike the games under control of the Mouse, there's no alternate way to see this. At any rate, Oklahoma should win.

7:30: Mississippi State @ Louisiana State (ESPN2): I almost started this off with "I know the transitive property doesn't apply to college football, but". Then I decided against it. MSU is not very good offensively. They allowed 38 points to us. I don't know if LSU will score 38, but they will score more than enough to beat MSU.

7:45: Alabama @ Georgia (ESPN): I hate this game. I hate these teams. I, just, ugh. I will watch this game in a state of excited disgust. I have no idea who to root for. There are basically two schools of thought for this situation. Many Tech fans have a motto: "I root for GT and whoever is playing UGA this weekend." There is a certain kernel of truth. But there is also a school that says, "Yeah, that's great, but wouldn't it be fun to cause UGA's first loss?" Sure. It would be. But I'm not sure I have the patience for that. That said, I grew up an Auburn fan, and I still have no great amount of love for the University of Alabama. Unfortunately, there are no longer ties in college football. Though it pains me, I have to pick UGA to win here.

  • Virginia Tech @ Nebraska (Gameplan/ABC): Nebraska's played 3 games, none of which were against any opponent of note. In other words, this is their good OOC game. VPI has won 20-17 two weeks in a row over somewhat decent opposition. However, VPI dominated neither game, needing turnovers and penalties to win both. Nebraska also has the home field advantage here and should be looking to redeem themselves after being embarrassed by USC last year in primetime. Since VPI currently has the inside track for their division of the ACC, they're pretty much playing for rankings and conference pride (especially as the ACC continues to try to rehabilitate their image after a dreadful opening weekend). All that said, I have to go with the 'Huskers here. VPI is just way too inconsistent on offense with either QB (and Taylor got hurt last week at UNC) to pull this one off, I think.
  • Illinois @ Pennsylvania State (ABC/Gameplan): I really don't want to watch this game, but ABC somehow deemed a Big Ten tilt was worth of attention here on the West Coast. Oh well. What Illinois has done to continue to be ranked baffles me. With the game in Happy Valley at night PSU has a massive edge here, in my opinion.
  • Central Florida @ Texas-El Paso (CBSCS): Of all the C-USA games to put on TV, I'm not sure the one with two teams of a combined 1-5 record was really the right choice. There's been some controversy around UCF as of late (though I'm too lazy/tired to link it), but at least both of UCF's losses are to BCS teams so I'm going to pick them and go to bed.

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