This Weekend in College Football: Week 6

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Oklahoma vs. Texas (@Dallas, TX; ABC): Well, things are looking really, really bad for Texas at this point, but I guess if it’s some consolation it’s not unknown for this game to feature wacky shenanigans. The thing about that, though, is that you can’t exactly bet on that.
  • Indiana @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN): Though part of the reason that Indiana almost pulled off a stunning upset of the Buckeyes last weekend has to due with Ohio State’s issues on offense, they still appear to be a more solid team than Penn State.
  • Baylor @ Kansas (FS1): Kansas lost to Memphis 55-23. Uh-oh.
  • Illinois @ Iowa (ESPN2): Illinois fired their coach a week before the season started. Iowa has been stagnant under Kirk Ferentz’s unassailable contract for the past several seasons. Naturally, these teams are a combined 9-1. That said, Illinois still got blown out by UNC and they squeaked by Nebraska last weekend, which gives me more confidence in Iowa.
  • Tulane @ Temple (ESNPU): It feels odd to predict Temple dominating, nay, blowing someone out, but here we are.
  • New Mexico State @ Mississippi (SEC): Dear Aggies: Get money, get paid, y’all.
  • Duke @ Army (CBSS): This one doesn’t look good for the Black Knights.
  • Maryland @ Ohio State (BTN): So as it turns out, maybe having two quarterbacks is worse than having none? Ohio State is currently one of the least efficient offenses in the country, a fact which definitely contributed to their near-upset at Indiana. That said, the Terps offer a wonderful chance for them to get things back on track.

12:30: Virginia @ Pittsburgh (ACC): UVA was last seem getting beaten 56-14 by Boise State two weeks ago, so I’m going to go with Pitt.

3:00: Wake Forest @ Boston College (ACC/RSN): BC put up some good numbers early in the season, but against anyone with a pulse on defense they have completely faltered. I’m going with Wake here.

3:30:

  • Georgia @ Tennessee (CBS): Tennessee can’t keep finding excruciating ways to lose, can they? And not to get too Bill Simmons on you, but UGA had a stomach-punch game of their own last weekend, mostly in the sense that soon after the second half started they were pretty much out of it, and wrecking their shot a national title. I think Georgia’s going to win, but I’m sure 38-10 sounds relative pleasurable to Vols fans right now.
  • Navy @ Notre Dame (NBC): While this looks good a good edition of Navy, it’s hard to see Notre Dame losing here.
  • Georgia Tech @ Clemson (ABC/ESPN2): So, yeah, as it turns out, having to replace all your skill position players (other than the QB) is kind of a problem? (In fairness, injuries have not helped at all.) As I said going into the season, I was generally weary of all the preseason hype and expectations, and this weariness has been borne out in the worst possible way. The rest of the schedule is brutal, starting here. It’ll be… interesting to see how this team responds to the now significantly lower expectations.
  • Wisconsin @ Nebraska (ESPN2/ABC): Most of the Internet college football types were somewhat, I wouldn’t say surprised by the Pellini firing, but I’d say it wasn’t exactly a lauded move. This was especially true after Nebraska poached Mike Reilly, who isn’t a bad coach or anything, but it just seemed like a lateral move, except that Reilly probably swears a lot less. While Wisconsin is having a bit of a crisis of their own (realize that these are the two teams that just lose to Iowa and Illinois), the Badgers still figure to have the upper hand here.
  • Louisiana State @ South Carolina (@Baton Rouge, LA; ESPN): I applaud LSU’s classiness and general level of support of South Carolina due to the floods in South Carolina, given that a truly neutral venue was unable to be found in time. I’d still expect LSU to win here, though.
  • Minnesota @ Purdue (ESPNU): The Gophers are solid, but their offense is “somewhat” lacking. But, hey, if there’s a team they can score some points against…
  • Syracuse @ South Florida (CBSS): USF is pretty awful, so the ‘Cuse should figure to take this one.
  • Northwestern @ Michigan (BTN): I’m sure the Big Ten is somewhat regretting a few things involving their TV rights at the moment, or at least I am because I don’t get the Big Ten Network in HD. That said, both these teams feature solid offenses and really stingy defenses. I’m not well versed in Big Ten lore, but I would hazard a guess that this is the biggest Northwestern-Michigan game ever. I’m giving a slight edge to Michigan, but on my pick ’em I have Northwestern covering the 7.5.

3:45: Connecticut @ Central Florida (ESPNEWS): UCF is really, really, incredibly bad. I don’t know if I’d be shocked if they won this game, but I’d be at least vaguely surprised.

4:00:

  • Oregon State @ Arizona (FS1): One of these two loss teams is slightly better than the other, and it’s a fair guess that team (Arizona, by the way) will be trying very, very hard to get a win after losing 111-47 to UCLA and Stanford.
  • Troy @ Mississippi State (SEC): Troy is vaguely better than New Mexico State, so I guess there’s some slight increase in dignity for the Bulldogs compared to their rivals?

6:00: Washington State @ Oregon (Pac12): Like I said last week, Oregon isn’t terrible or anything, they’re just not great anymore. What would really be a shock, though, is if they bungle things against Wazzou.

7:00:

  • Arkansas @ Alabama (ESPN): Okay, Razorbacks, you finally got a win, but you got one against the most self-destructive team in the country. If there’s anything even this slightly diminished edition of Alabama doesn’t do, though, it’s beat themselves.
  • Oklahoma State @ West Virginia (ESPN2): Oklahoma State gets a chance to prove they’re actually kind of a decent. It’s a late game in Morgantown, so we know how that can go, but for now, I’m sticking with the Cowboys.
  • Boise State @ Colorado State (CBSS): Boise looks like they’re back, y’all.

7:30:

  • Texas Christian @ Kansas State (FOX): So one of my cousins is playing for K-State, maybe they’ll let him play quarterback? Otherwise, if there’s anyone who has the wizardy to win with offensive linemen lining up behind the offensive line, it’s Bill Synder, but… yeah, things look kind of grim here.
  • East Carolina @ Brigham Young (ESPNU): This would be easier if either of these teams was more like what I initially thought before looking them up, but alas. It looks like both these teams are solid with some tough losses. With it being in Utah, though, I’m giving the edge to BYU.
  • Florida @ Missouri (SEC): Is Florida back? It’s not like they were gone for very long, though. That said, while this 5-0 vs. 4-1, that 4-1 is somewhat deceiving, considering whom Mizzou has beat and their eight point loss to Kentucky. I’m going with the Gators here. (By the way, while we’re here, this past Tuesday was the 25th anniversary of the Fifth Down game.)

8:00:

  • Miami @ Florida State (ABC): I guess there’s some unrest vis-a-vis Al Golden down in Miami? I don’t think he’s doing that bad, but they’re probably going to lose this game, which will almost certainly be very bad for his continued job security.
  • Michigan State @ Rutgers (BTN): I’m currently operating under the assumption that Sparty’s narrow, three point win over Purdue was a bit of a fluke and they’ll have a much easier time with the Scarlet Knights.

10:00:

  • California @ Utah (ESPN): As it turns out, this is the Utes’s first game since their 62-20 drubbing of Oregon two weeks ago. Cal, in the meantime, eked out some narrow wins over Washington and Wazzou, which while exciting do not inspire confidence against the Utes. This is the game of the day, though, and I’d recommend finding a way to watch it, provided you’re not watching USA-Mexico like I’m going to be.
  • Colorado @ Arizona State (Pac12): Getting blown out by USC and then soundly beating UCLA isn’t exactly a recommended way to be a contender, but hey, whatever works. The Sun Devils shouldn’t have much trouble with the Buffs, either way.

10:15: Wyoming @ Air Force (ESPN2): The Falcons aren’t good, but fortunately for them, Wyoming is very, very bad.

10:30: Utah State @ Fresno State (CBSS): Through four games, Utah State has managed to score only 76 points. Through five games, Fresno State has scored 109 points. So that’s pretty similar. The difference? Utah State has only given up 82 points. Fresno, 201 points. Yeah, uh, giving up 40 points a game is… not good. Yes, they did give up 73 to Ole Miss, but they also gave up 45 and 49 to Utah and San Jose State. I’m pretty okay with say Fresno State isn’t very good at defense. So I’m go with the Aggies.

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