As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
11:30: Air Force @ Navy (CBS): This reminds me that I need to call and see if I can still do my Global Entry interview on Tuesday. Oh, and yeah, Navy looks like a much more solid squad this year.
- Maryland @ Florida State (ESPN): Maryland? Competent? I’ve having trouble dealing with the subject. I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that reality will hit them pretty hard in this one.
- Michigan State @ Iowa (ESPN2): This could well be a 5-3 final score. The scary thing is that both coaches might be okay with that. I’ll take Sparty to get the 5.
- Texas Tech @ Kansas (FS1): Two weeks ago Kansas notched their first victory of a FBS school since 2011. Will the Jayhawks be able to win their first Big 12 contest since defeating Colorado 52-45 on Novebemer 6, 2010? Probably not.
- Rutgers @ Southern Methodist (ESPNEWS): Not seeing a lot of hope for SMU in this one.
- Illinois @ Nebraska (ESPNU): Two sets of typical October 3-1 teams here: three wins over inferior competition and one beatdown by the best team they’ve played. So I’ll fall back to pre-season convention wisdom, which held that Nebraska was okay but kind of unpredictable and that Illinois would be terrible.
- Pennsylvania State @ Indiana (BTN): Boy howdy Indiana still isn’t very good, but this is a win they need if they’re going to get 6-6. So they probably won’t.
- Ball State @ Virginia (ACC/FSN): I really wanted to pick 4-1 Ball State here, but I looked at the schedule and they lost to North Texas. Then again, UVA is pretty bad. So don’t count the Cardinals out. But for the sake of doing the thing where I pick someone I’m going with UVA.
12:30: North Carolina @ Virginia Tech (ACC): Well, VPI still can’t really score any points, but so far this season it’s not apparent Carolina can either. Combine that with VPI’s defense and this could be the most lopsided 17-3 game in history.
- Georgia @ Tennessee (CBS): Managing to beat South Alabama by only a touchdown does not engender a great deal of confidence in the Voluneers’ ability to win this game. Not a great deal at all.
- Clemson @ Syracuse (ABC/ESPN2): Well, unless they’re confused by having to play in a dome, I don’t think the Tigers are going to have a lot of issues here.
- Minnesota @ Michigan (ABC/ESPN2): Losing to Iowa 23-7 is a pretty go way to earn the “worst 4-1 team in the country label”. The Gophers are probably looking to the Indiana, Penn State, and Michigan State games as their best shot to get those other two wins. That said, it turns out that this Michigan team maybe isn’t very good?
- Kansas State @ Oklahoma State (ABC): The fact of the matter that so far this season Oklahoma State’s high-flying act has only really been on display against vastly inferior opponents. Against Mississippi State and West Virginia, they averaged 25.5 points, while against UTSA and Lamar they averaged 57.5. That said, it’s not apparently how K-State is going to be able to work enough magic to score 26.
- Georgia Tech @ Miami (ESPNU): The sound the Georgia Tech offense made last week against VPI was something akin to a “thud”. I figure that was a 50/50 game: the loss was 50% our offense continually shooting itself in the foot and 50% VPI’s excellent defensive line. After all, “physical superiority cancels all theories”. The team other than the Hokies that has been adept the past few years at proving that point has been Miami, which a defense chock-full of prospects and blue-chippers. It still almost feels like karma for the beatdown Tech laid on Miami back in 2008, where we piled up 472 yards of rushing en route to a 41-23 win. We haven’t won since, the closest being last year’s overtime loss where in we frittered away a 4th quarter lead and turned it into a loss.
The hopes against Miami come down to the usual things. Hoping that we can get any sort of rush on the passer and that the secondary will be good enough to cover their physical receivers. Hoping that their defense, full of those self-same blue-chip athletes, ignores their coaches and try to fly around to the ball, getting out-schemed by the offense. Hope that the line can do their job well enough for the option to work (which was the most glaring probably against VPI).
- East Carolina @ Middle Tennessee State (FSN): The main thing ECU probably needs to worry about is not being hyped off coming off their 55-31 beatdown of UNC last week.
- Rice @ Tulsa (CBSS): I guess I’m going to have to go with Rice here?
- North Carolina State @ Wake Forest (ACC/FSN): I wonder how many times this year I will say something akin to “there are occasionally good Wake Forest teams, but this isn’t one of them”? Count this as one.
4:00: Washington State @ California (FS1): Considering the coaches involved, I suspect what many are hoping for a 55-50 explosion of offense. That said, there’s a couple factors here. First, it’s almost impossible to know how bad or good Cal actually is since all three of their losses have been to ranked teams (Northwestern, Ohio State, and Oregon). I’m tentatively going with Wazzou here.
6:00: Oregon @ Colorado (PAC12): Oregon.
- Louisiana State @ Mississippi State (ESPN): LSU.
- Arkansas @ Florida (ESPN2): I’m sure if he had his way, Will Muschamp would win games by having the other team score negative points, so he could win like 0 to –21. Either way, Florida will probably be good for somewhere around 20 points and the Razorbacks for less than that.
- Mississippi @ Auburn (ESPNU): I don’t know why Ole Miss is ranked, but they’ll probably beat Auburn.
- Texas Christian @ Oklahoma (FOX): I just don’t see how TCU is going to be able to score enough to keep up with the Sooners.
- Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (@Arlington, TX; NBC): At this point, the evidence seems to show that ND is kind of mediocre this year. I like the Sun Devils here quite a bit.
- Louisiana Tech @ Texas-El Paso (CBSS): Well, if you ever wanted to see a game between two teams with a combined 2-7 record, boy howdy does CBS Sports ever have the game for you! If LaTech had any semblance of last year’s offense they’d win easily, but they don’t and so they probably won’t.
- Kentucky @ South Carolina (SEC/FSN): Hard to see this ending well for the Wildcats.
- Ohio State @ Northwestern (ABC): May be the game of the day, but realistically, I’m sure that the Wildcats will put up a good fight but in the end come up short.
- West Virginia @ Baylor (FS1): Try to follow along here: WVU scores zero points against Maryland one week, and then busts out for 30 against Oklahoma State and wins. Then again, 30 isn’t going to be enough to beat Baylor. The only question for the Bears is the fact they haven’t played anyone yet, so maybe they’ll only score 50 instead of 70.
10:30: Washington @ Stanford (ESPN): This is probably really the game of the day, a West Coast matchup between two undefeated teams with solid resumes. That said, it’s hard to shake the feeling of dominance that Stanford usually imparts on their victims. Hard to see how U-Dub will be able to come out on top of this one.