MACtion and important games special!
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Ohio @ Buffalo (ESPN2): This game features the top two teams in the MAC East and will likely decide that division. Statistically, the Bobcats are the superior team, but they already have a MAC loss to Central Michigan. Iâ€™ll stick with them anyway, mostly due to familiarity and consistent success, I suppose.
- Bowling Green @ Miami (ESPNU): Bowling Green is okay, by MAC standards. Miami is awful by any standard. Iâ€™d suggest the other game.
8:00: Central Michigan @ Ball State (ESPN2): Central Michigan is sitting at 3-5 and trying to stay in the MAC bowl picture. A win here would help tremendously. Unfortunately for them, Ball State is pretty good â€“ Iâ€™d even go as far to say that their 24-27 loss to North Texas in September was a fluke, considering the Cardinals have since beaten Virginia, Toledo, and all their other MAC foes so far.
- Oklahoma @ Baylor (FS1): This the game of the week, other than the other games of the week. But hey, itâ€™s first, and doesnâ€™t that count for something? (Answer: not really.) Anyway, the thing that has struck me about Baylorâ€™s schedule so far this season is that they have played absolutely nobody. Look it up. Their best win is probably West Virginia or Kansas State. I also still think the Sooners are the top team in the Big 12 and that the loss to Texas was a bit of a fluke. Hey, itâ€™s entirely possible the Bears are legit â€“ I bet the offense would be able to put points up against anyone. But they will lose either to these Sooners or to Oklahoma State, I am pretty sure. At the very least I am expecting they face adversity for the first time this season. For the purposes of my bowl predictions, I have pretty much put this down as a win for Oklahoma so far, so thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m going with. However, I think everyone would agree that Baylor continuing to roll is a much better story.
- Troy @ Louisiana-Lafayette (ESPNU): The Cajuns have been raging through Sun Belt play so far, and I expect more of the same from Thursday nightâ€™s undercard.
9:00: Oregon @ Stanford (ESPN): Explosive Offense Runs Into Team That Actually Plays Defense (part 2). I donâ€™t really expect a repeat of last yearâ€™s gritty 17-14 contest that saw the Ducks go to overtime, though. For starters, I donâ€™t think this Stanford defense is as good, and Iâ€™m not sure their offense will be able to make enough plays to win. Right now I have this one going Oregonâ€™s way. If it doesnâ€™t, woo boy, the bowl predictions are going to get fun.
8:30: Louisville @ Connecticut (ESPN2): I like that since their standings page uses winning percentage, UConn is not actually dead least in the AAC standings because theyâ€™ve only played 3 conference games so far. Anyway, theyâ€™re awful, Louisville rolls.
9:00: Air Force @ New Mexico (ESPNU): This is a matchup of two really bad defenses. Unfortunately, Air Forceâ€™s offense is spectacularly inept this year, so itâ€™s doubtful theyâ€™ll be able to stop the Lobos from getting their 3rd win on the year.