Monthly Archives: November 2009

Bowl Predictions: Week 7

Well, this is the final week before the conference title games. I expect some bids to be announced this week, especially for bowls that more than likely know they’re going to need at-large teams.

With that said, let’s hit the last round of purely speculative predictions. You can find them in the usual place.

  • I could probably write a whole article on rivalry game upsets and my disappointment therein, but outside of our own blown chance the biggest loser from last weekend has to be Oklahoma State. Providing the best chance of the Big 12 getting two BCS bids this year (outside of a truly shocking upset Saturday), the Stillwater Cowboys fell flat on their face, losing 27-0 to the Sooners. With that upset, I had to relent and finally put Boise State into a BCS game, and I have a feeling the BCS may have to do the same.
  • Outside of that, the BCS selections are pretty standard. Alabama/Florida vs. Texas, the loser for the former going to the Sugar. The only really viable major at-large teams at this point are probably Iowa and Penn State, and though it pains me that either one will make it in, I have to go with the Team JoePa. I think the Fiesta will take one of those, the Orange will take Cincy, the Fieta picks up Boise and TCU is forced into the Sugar’s hands.
  • Thanks to Miss State’s upset of Ole Miss, I’ve put LSU back up at the Capital One slot. After that I really have no clue how the SEC shakes out, so what you see are reasonable guesses, I think.
  • The MAC will have two 7-5 teams, which will get slotted. MTSU is 9-3 and will have to grab an at-large spot as well. Notre Dame and UCLA are 6-6, so they will get whatver’s left, most likely.
  • I wonder if the Car Care bowl is cool with having the same matchup as last year? I don’t think any of the alternative are that palatable (i.e., FSU or BC from the ACC side or Rutgers instead of WVU).
  • Game I’d Rather See on the Hardwood: Connecticut versus Kentucky (papajohns.com Bowl).
  • Somewhat Non-Obvious Matchup of the Week: Well, there’s the UCF-USF game, but I also like USC-Oklahoma State. I’m not sure either are all that non-obvious, though.

THWG Thought of the Day: 11/28

Men, Georgie’s a fine football team, a very fine football team. Georgie’s bigger and faster than we are. Probably a little tougher, too.

That’s okay, because we’re smarter than they are.

Now, let me tell you what’s going to happen. That Georgie team’s going to come running out of the tunnel screaming and foaming at the mouth and smashing one another upside the head just to get warmed up.

We won’t do any of that. While they waste their energy, we’ll conserve ours. I’ve told you that they’re bigger, faster, and tougher than you. That’s true. But we do have that one big advantage.

We … are … smarter.

Think about what I teach you. Play field position. Play great defense. Make no mistakes on offense. Be great in the kicking game. Do that and we’ll keep it close.

As the game goes on, they’ll start to get tired because they wasted so much energy in the beginning. Because we’re smart, we’ll have plenty of energy left, and at some point in the fourth quarter they’ll make a mistake.

When they do make that mistake, we’ll get the football. And when that happens, I’ll think of something and we’ll win!

Coach Bobby Dodd, as told by Bill Curry

This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Clemson @ South Carolina (ESPN): Much was made over the past month of Clemson’s propensity of blowing late-season divisional leads, but they avoided any disappointment and clinched a trip to Tampa. South Carolina, meanwhile, has continued their own streak of November swoons, having not won since Oct. 24 against Vandy. Clemson, meanwhile, has won six straight and has found their offense while South Carolina hasn’t shown anything resembling one all season. Tigers win.
  • North Carolina @ North Carolina State (ESPN2): This NC State team is just awful. Nothing embodies this more than the fortunes of QB Russell Wilson, who went into the season with a nearly year-long streak of interception-free games. After this and his other qualities were beginning to be noticed nationally, he’s been, well, less good‚ÄĒsince Oct. 3, he’s thrown 11 picks. UNC has really rallied to get to 8-3 over the past couple of months, and I think they’ll go to 9-3.
  • Mississippi @ Mississippi State (SEC/Gameplan): Ole Miss behind Dexter McCluster has put themselves firmly in control of 2nd place in the SEC West, and I don’t see this changing barring a huge upset by Miss State.
  • Wake Forest @ Duke (Raycom/Gameplan): This is a tough game to pick. Neither of these teams have athletes that are necessarily superior to the other. Both are relatively close, losing consecutive games to mostly superior competition. I still like Duke’s offense overall, but Wake should be smarter defensively and Riley Skinner is probably the superior QB. I’ll take the Deacs.
  • South Carolina State @ Appalachian State (ESPNU): Yes that’s right folks, we’re going to talk about the Division I-AA playoffs. Appy State has one of the most prolific offenses in all of I-AA, averaging 6.75 yards per play, against SC State’s highly ranked defense. No pick on this since I don’t really know enough, but I think these I-AA can be worth watching.

12:30: Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (FSN): It’s bedlam! Though for the first time since I can remember, OSU will be favored. It feels a little bizarre, but it’s hard to dispute, especially after Oklahoma’s flop against Texas Tech.

1:30: Southern Mississippi @ East Carolina (CBSCS): This is for all the C-USA East marbles right here, and the winner will most likely face Houston next week in the C-USA title game. I think at this point ECU’s the slightly better team, though USM can probably put up the points to keep it interesting.

3:30:

  • Florida State @ Florida (CBS): Florida.
  • Arizona @ Arizona State (Gameplan/ABC): Last I checked, Arizona state’s straight-from-10th-grade freshman QBs are still terrible. So I’ll go with Arizona here.
  • Missouri vs. Kansas (@Kansas City, MO; Gameplan/ABC): There is just no way Kansas wins this game, with the blowout last week and all the chaos surrounding the program. No way.
  • University of Miami @ South Florida (ABC/ESPN/Gameplan): I think USF may be able hang in there, but overall Miami should take care of business.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (ESPN/ABC): Well, I’m 0-1 in my “so fired” pool, with Dan Hawkins inexplicably coming back next year. So what able Al Groh? UVA has to get rid of him notwithstanding the result of this game (where UVA is going to lose), right? Right?
  • Boston College @ Maryland (ESPNU): Will the Fridge get fired? My 8-ball says “reply hazy, try again” so I’m not sure. I don’t need a magic 8-ball to tell me that Boston College should win this game, though.

5:00: Utah @ Brigham Young (CBSCS): It’s the MWC Runner-Up game! I like Utah here, personally.

6:00: Texas Tech vs. Baylor (@Arlington, TX; FSN): Well, Baylor gave it a good effort this year, but they still have at least another year or two of Robert Griffin. Texas Tech should take care of business over in Jerry Jone’s Intergalactic Space Palace.

7:00:

  • Arkansas @ Louisiana State (ESPN): It’s the battle for the boot! I still think LSU is the better team, just not necessarily the better coach. They should win, but it may be interesting.
  • Tennessee @ Kentucky (ESPNU): Hey, this Kentucky team is (very quietly) not terrible! Kiffin gets to bowl eligibility in his first year, but probably not much more.

8:00:

  • Notre Dame @ Stanford (ESPN2/ABC): Completing the possible “so fired” trifecta is a one Charlie Weis. I feel pretty confident that he’s going to get canned, but perhaps the Domers should consider this is the best they can do? At any rate, Stanford should be able to blow them off the ball and control this game.
  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech (ABC/ESPN2): To Hell With Georgia.

10:00: California-Los Angeles @ Southern California (FSN): UCLA got on a nice little 3-game win streak to get to bowl eligibility against the three worst teams in the conference. Despite USC’s recent efforts, they’re still better than the Wazzou’s and U-Dub’s of the world.

10:30: Navy @ Hawaii (ESPNU): Hawaii’s trying to make a late season push to be invited to their own bowl game, but I don’t like their odds. Especially since they should probably lose to Navy here.