Friday, October 10, 2008

This Weekend in College Football: Week 7

Busy again, so let's get down to business.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • Texas vs. Oklahoma (@Dallas, TX; ABC): It's still the Red River Shootout to me. With more fans for each side than ever (the Cotton Bowl just finished renovations to expand capacity to 90,000) this will hopefully be a close game. Neither of these teams has been even remotely challenged this year, but I am going to go ahead and drink the Sooner Kool-Aid.
  • Minnesota @ Illinois (ESPN): How does Minnesota not suck this year? Granted, they've only played 2 opponents worth talking about (and went 1-1) but still. At any rate, Illinois is still better than Indiana and should have no problems with the Gophers.
  • Iowa @ Indiana (BTN): Now this was the kind of game the Big Ten Network was made for! Iowa has 3 straight losses to heavyweights like Pitt, Northwestern, and Michigan State. Indiana also has 3 straight losses, but to Ball State, Michigan State, and Minnesota. Hard to tell who will suck less here. My general policy is to avoid picking Iowa as much as possible, so I'll go with the Hoosiers. And yes, I know Ball State is 6-0, but their best win is a tossup between Indiana and Navy, so...
  • East Carolina @ Virginia (Raycom/Gameplan): Virginia scored 13 points (combined) against UConn and Duke. Then they hung a 31 spot on Maryland. The ECU bandwagon is officially sunk, so this sounds like a good time for UVA to start losing again. Yarr.
  • Colorado @ Kansas (ESPN2): It's your other entirely too early Big 12 game! CU is coming off two straight dismantlings admistered by FSU and Texas. (By the way, Monday was the 18-year anniverisary of the 5th down.) KU rolls.
  • South Carolina @ Kentucky (Raycom/Gameplan): If you've never had the opportunity to experience the, er, magic of the Daves, all these games are streamed online. Kentucky very quietly go to 4-0, but they didn't play anyone and couldn't quite top Alabama last week. The Visor has reeled off 3 striaght, but against Wofford, UAB, and Ole Miss. (At some point this season, it'll be nice to not have to say "they haven't played anyone yet.") Anyway, Kentucky looked fairly competent last week and it's at home, so why not? (That's some hard hitting analysis right there, folks.)
1:00: East Michigan @ Army (ESPN Classic): Not only did Army actually win last week, they beat a DI-A opponent, and pretty badly at that. (The victim was Tulane, and the score was 44-13.) Tulane may or may not be better than New Hampshire, but that's beside the point. Eastern Michigan lost 4 straight, getting drubbed by even the two MAC teams they played. However, a last minute touchdown put them past Bowling Green, so here we are. They're probably the better team, but this is enough of a toss-up (I hope), so I'll pick the sentimental favorite, Army.

3:00: Nebraska @ Texas Tech (FSN): Over/under on points scored by Texas Tech alone should be around 50 or so. I'd still take the over.

  • Arizona State @ Southern California (ABC/Gameplan): Gee, thanks, ABC for still showing football games in standard definition in 2008! This is one of the most messed up coverage maps I've ever seen, too. See that blue patch in southern Tennessee and northern Alabama? That's where I'd be if I were back at home. I can gauruntee that, no matter what, no one in the South gives a damn about Arizona State or Southern Cal, at least in terms of wanting to watch them as opposed to the two other games that are actually in HD. Oh, and USC wins by a few touchdowns. They're baaack!
  • Ohio State @ Purdue (ESPN/ABC): Purdue still doesn't really trust this "defense" thing. Ohio State should take care of business here.
  • Notre Dame @ North Carolina (Gameplan/ESPN/ABC): A-C-C! Well, maybe. I think UNC's schedule has actually been slightly tougher, but they're still lacking their starting QB. Then again, they seem to have found a new one. Both these teams have pretty sudden turnarounds from last year, both programs being labeled as sleeping giants, needing only the right coaching to spring forth. So they're both 4-1, and just to spite Lou Holtz, I will pick UNC.
  • Michigan State @ Northwestern (ESPN2): I think NU's luck runs out against the Spartans.
  • Texas Christian @ Colorado State (CBSCS): Against teams that aren't currently ranked #1 in the country, TCU has been putting up a lot of points, and I don't see that stopping here.
  • Gardner-Webb @ Georgia Tech (No TV): So Tech will probably start its 3rd string QB here. (Also, for the final time, this game was supposed to be up in West Point. Army backed out right before last year's game.) Those actually attending the game will be in for a treat - this game will not be on live TV anywhere, which means no fat dude in a red jacket stopping play after turnovers and punts. As for the QB thing, well, I'm not worried. Nesbitt's hamstring still hurts, but I suspect he will see some game action, even if for a drive or two. Clavin Booker will probably get the start, and he's certainly earned for being a team player if nothing else. (Rumor is Jaybo Shaw got a minor concussion last week against Duke.) As for Mr. Demaryius "BeBe" Thomas, he doesn't quite have Calvin's height (6'3" versus 6'5") but he still towers over many corners. Calvin also never had a 200 yard game at Tech, or an 88-yard reception. Is BeBe as good as Calvin? Of course not, but he's darn close which provides a huge asset in this offense. Most teams can't afford to leave him one-on-one, but because of the run game they will often have little choice.
  • Louisiana State @ Florida (CBS): A rare evening game with Uncle Verne, and I'm looking foward to it. (Of course, it's at 5:00 here, which is hardly the evening, but still.) Like many matchups of elite SEC teams, this should feature precious little offense. The problem for UF at the moment is that they are totally lost on offense and defense. (Yes, I am aware that they beat Arkansas 38-7. Arkansas is that bad this year.) That said, LSU hasn't looked bad all year, even though they almost lost to now OC-less Auburn. Will the SEC eat its own children this year, or will LSU go on to the Game of Destiny against Alabama? I say the latter will probably occur, just so Alabama can beat them to spite me.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Wisconsin (ESPN): My opinion on this game is this. Wisconsin is not as good as everyone thought they were before they lost 2 straight. Penn State is 6-0. I'll take the safe pick.
  • Oklahoma State @ Missouri (ESPN2): I don't know what the over/under on this game is, but take the over. And also take Mizzou, though I have a gut feeling it might come down to who gets the ball last.
  • Boise State @ Southern Mississippi (CBSCS): Unless they are jetlagged, Boise State should come out on top here. USM might keep it close, so if you can take your eyes off LSU-Florida or OSU-Mizzou for a second (though I would be afraid of blinking during the latter game), give this a shot....
10:15: California-Los Angeles @ Oregon (FSN): ...because it'll probably be better than this game, at any rate. Both these teams found some mojo against hapless Washington State (enroll now, try out for QB tomorrow!) but Oregon then went and had the unfortunate chance of playing a USC that actually showed up for the game. I'll still take the Ducks here, though.

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