Monthly Archives: October 2007

Week Ten

Oh man, I am so behind on college football analysis. I apologize profusely and hope this week’s column earns my way back into your hate list. I guess I’ll start by covering the more interesting scores of the last two weeks.

Rutgers 30, #2 South Florida 27: Cinderella’s spell wore off on October 18, unless you still count Rutgers as a Cinderella team from last season. Essentially, the Big East pulled an SEC and eliminated itself from a shot at the national championship. Bulls QB Grothe (which is probably pronounced like the name of German poet Goethe) was sacked seven times in the second half, and the Rutgers’ O-line stopped the nation’s leading sacker (George Selvie with 11.5) from reaching Scarlet Knight QB Teel. It didn’t help that the Bulls dug themselves a 4th-and-37 hole with a sack and a penalty on the final play of the game.

Connecticut 21, Louisville 17: I’m spending way too much time on the Big East, but Connecticut’s run is pretty impressive. They joined Division I-A in 2000 and the conference in 2004, and they are currently 7-1. That’s better than highly touted South Florida. Their records in 2000 and 2001? 3-8 and 2-9.

#23 Connecticut 22, #10 South Florida 15: (See the last two summaries.)

Temple W, Northern Illinois/Akron/Miami (OH) L: Temple is on a three-game win streak!? The last time Temple won more than four games was in 1990, when they went 7-4. The Owls probably have the worst historical record of any Division I-A program, so you have to feel good when they actually do something. You have to hand it to them; most people would give up after so many years of awful football.

And now, the guys who don’t lose all of their games any more!

Vanderbilt 17, #6 South Carolina 6: On to the SEC (finally). I’m really not sure how this happened, because I was driving to Baton Rouge during this game. It is interesting to note that this was Spurrier’s first loss to the Commodores. He notched two with Duke, ten with Florida, and two with South Carolina before the debacle on October 20. This threw the SEC East into total shambles, or so we thought untill…

Alabama 41, #21 Tennessee 14: The Tide opened with a successful onside kick and never looked back. Alabama put 510 yards on the Volunteer defense, 363 from the arm of John Parker Wilson. Thankfully, the boost in confidence resulting from this game will set up the Saban Nation for heartbreaking (or humorous) losses against the Two Tigers of the West.

Tennessee 27, #16 South Carolina 24: Both teams rebounded for a thriller in Knoxville. The Gamecocks Succop’ed a loss in the second overtime, much to the delight of the Volunteer faithful.

#4 LSU 30, #17 Auburn 24: In one of the worst officiating blunders in college football history, the scores of the two teams were reversed, robbing ol’ Tubs of a perfectly good road victory.

#15 Florida 45, #7 Kentucky 37: Two of the top tier teams in an SEC shootout. These are top tier teams, right? Well…

#18 Georgia 42, #11 Florida 30 and Mississippi State 31, #14 Kentucky 14: ….maybe not. Georgia and Tennessee are now on top of the SEC East, and Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina are on the bottom. This season hasn’t run out of surprises yet. Also, MSU coach Sylvester Croom has probably earned himself another season of employment.

#1 Ohio State 24, Michigan State 17: The Buckeyes slid by another conference opponent, and the voters keep them atop the polls. Incredible. To their credit, they did roll over Penn State. Penn State won the student section competition, though.

#13 Kansas 19, Colorado 14 and #9 Kansas 19, Texas A&M 11: The Jayhawks notched two wins over unranked Big 12 opponents and are 8-0 for the first time since…1909. Their last 7-0 runs were ended by Kansas State (1995) and Oklahoma (1968). They’ve already beaten the Wildcats, and they don’t play the Sooners this year. Historically, they are looking pretty good.

#5 Oregon 24, #12 USC 17: This is probably the sweetest score in recent history. I don’t know how the sports media could stand to publish the information. Finally, USC is out of the running for the Pac-10 championship. (Of course, they have the absence of John David Booty as an excuse.) The Ducks face Arizona State this Saturday to determine the conference. The Sun Devils will probably win, but for the sake of looking smart, I hope they don’t.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…
#2 Boston College 14, #8 Virginia Tech 10: Apparently fourth-quarter miracles are more impressive than sixty-minute pummelings. (LSU 48, Virginia Tech 7? Do any of the voters remember that?) To close out the season, BC hosts Florida State, travels to Maryland and Clemson, and returns for Miami. If the Eagles don’t fall somewhere during that period and play for the national championship as a result, I’m going to be upset.

If you are still reading at this point, here’s a list of the big games this Saturday along with some quick-fire analysis. I’m getting tired and hungry, or this would be longer. All times are Eastern.

#21 Wisconsin at #1 Ohio State (12): The Buckeyes have one last test before heading to Ann Arbor on November 17. They’ll pass.

Nebraska at #9 Kansas (12:30): It’s possible that Nebraska will right their ship, but I doubt it. Kansas improves to 9-0.

Vanderbilt at #20 Florida (12:30): The Gators should put an end to the Commodore nonsense in the East.

Navy at Notre Dame (2:30, NBC): Navy hasn’t beaten Notre Dame since 1963. They have come close to ending the streak only a handfull of times, and this year could very well be the one. The Midshipmen have no defense, as their 52-59 loss to Delaware demonstrated. However, they do have an offense, something the Fighting Irish lack. Weis’ squad hasn’t managed more than 19 in any of their games. Even luck cannot propel Notre Dame over Navy. I hope the entire Academy runs onto the field after the win.

#12 Michigan at Michigan State (3:30, ABC): The Spartans have come so close to an upset this season. Cut ’em a break, will ya Carr?

#3 LSU at #17 Alabama (5, CBS): Nick Saban gets walloped by his former employer. Boston College stays ranked above LSU even after the Tiger domination of the Tide.

“You guys played a good game. Have fun cleaning up after we trash ‘Bama.”

#4 Arizona State at #5 Oregon (6:40, ESPN): It’s the Pac-10, so no one cares.

Florida State at #2 Boston College (8, ABC): ABC is hosting a slew of day games and night games? That’s awesome.

Oregon State at #19 USC (8, ABC): Get this trash off of television, please.

That’s all I have for this week. Hopefully I can be more faithful to you guys from here onward. Oh, one other thing. I lost the challenge to Tim. My computer crashed a few weeks before the finish, but I was so far behind that I conceded. Therefore, I’ll be sporting a pink T to the Auburn-Tennessee Tech game. Don’t worry; there will be pictures.

Q: Is it worse to look like this guy or wear pink to a football game?

A: Wearing pink is still worse.

Bowl Predictions, Week 3

It’s that time again! Some thoughts:

  • Auburn and Michigan in the BCS? “This is madness!” you say. I say, “This is Sparta the 2007 college football season!” Michigan has been soaring up the polls and the BCS rankings, and if they lose only to Ohio State in the season finale they should still meet the golden criteria (top 14, 9 wins) to get picked as a replacement for Ohio State by the Rose. As for Auburn, they’re almost in the top 14 and will continue to rise as long as they win out. Alabama could find themselves here if they win out as well. They have the best chance to qualify since the SEC East is too busy beating itself up (see: Kentucky, Florida). Also, Hawaii is getting to a point where if they win out they might get an auto-bid, but they really need to beat someone that will get them ranked in the computers. For now, I have predicted Arizona State and Kansas to be 1-loss teams that get at-large spots, though that last spot in the Sugar is something of a tossup. (The Sugar is also where Hawaii would probably fall if they qualified, since they pick last this year.)
  • There are a few 6-6 teams that didn’t make it but I don’t remember who they are at the moment. The SEC may qualify both Miss State and Vanderbilt, though the latter is less likely. (Miss State should be favored to beat Ole Miss at this point, whereas Vandy will be an underdog in all its remaining games.)
  • I’ve seen some projects put GT into the Champs Sports, but I think it’s more likely we fall to the ACC 5/6/7 rigmarole. Also, if nothing else, I could at least go to Nashville for a bowl game if that were to happen. But if we lose 2 more we could find ourselves out west.
  • Though I think Miami will actually be lucky to qualify for a bowl at this point, they probably won’t make a return trip to Boise, so I’ve swapped them and FSU’s proper places.
  • For now, I’ve reverted the Gator and Sun back to their more natural conferences, as I really doubt the Sun Bowl wants UConn.
  • Intriguing projected match-ups: USC-Texas (Holiday), Michigan-Oregon (Rose; can the Wolverines not get blown out this time?). I guess that’s not that good of a list? Eh, that’s the issue with these early projections.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 9

Before we get into the FOOTBAW, a little baseball aside.

So to watch Braves games I bought a subscription to, baseball’s online service for out-of-market regional games. (This is where I give a hearty “f-you” to TBS for ending national Braves broadcasts; though I understand why it sucks that it happened when I moved to the west coast.) Though you can’t get live video of post-season broadcasts (a hearty “f-you” to Fox, just on general principle because I don’t like Fox – thanks for forcing a damn three day layoff between the end of the LCS and the World Series that may push the series into November) you can still get the live radio feeds. So I popped open the stream of the Red Sox home broadcasters about 10 minutes after game time to hear something to the effect of: “Beckett strikes out the side, we go to the bottom of the first.”

“Oh snap,” I thought, “if he’s on tonight the Rockies are pretty much screwed.” And he was on, but they didn’t lose then and there.

Bottom of the first, the Sox’s young leadoff hitter takes the 2nd pitch to straight-away center for a home run. Fenway erupts.

That’s the precise moment at which the Rockies lost.

The Sox scored a few more runs. I turned it off around the 3rd inning because I had to go home, but the outcome of the game wasn’t in doubt in my mind. So I wasn’t surprised to find later that the final was 13-1.

The Rockies pretty much need to win tomorrow. The problem for them is, they probably won’t and will head back to Denver down 2-0. I would be surprised if the series made it back to Boston at that point.

Anyway, now that I have a new idea for a post (how networks effect scheduling of games, or more accurately how they ruin them), let’s go onto football.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong. As a free bonus, we’re throwing Thursday’s and Friday’s tilts as well.

7:30: Boston College @ Virginia Tech (ESPN): This is one of the two big reasons to bother to watch football at all this weekend, other than that you should be watching it anyway. This the first of many of BC’s potential stumbling block away games, one of two of the conference’s toughest places to play. (They also make a visit to Clemson.) The big question is at quarterback. On the VPI side, the question is “Who will be the starter?” as their mobile freshman guy hurt his ankle last week versus Duke.
On the BC side, the question is “How will Matt Ryan fare against the VPI defense?” If their previous game against a “Tech” was any indication, he should do fairly well. The Hokies are actually ranked lower (40th, compared to 33rd) than the Jackets. Matt Ryan is definite NFL caliber QB who is not fazed by blitzing and can make pinpoint accurate throws into tight coverage. (His line: 17 TD, 6 INT, 63.2%.) The Hokies have the 17th ranked rushing defense, but it doesn’t really matter because BC will pass first (the Eagles pass on 56% of their plays).
Meanwhile, the Hokies will desperately try to retool their offense with Glennon back at the helm. Glennon was benched for a reason: against ECU he led the offense to 17 points, and only 7 in the debacle at LSU. He did play well last week, but that was against Duke. Boston College boasts a pretty stout defense, including the best rushing defense in the country, allowing a downright meager 46.53 yards per game. Their pass defense isn’t bad, either.
So, I guess in conclusion, I think the Hokies are going to have some real problems. If this game weren’t in Blacksburg, it might not even be close, but I’m going to call for BC to remain undefeated in a tight game.

9:00: Air Force @ New Mexico (Versus): This is a sort of cool down game, sort like how you’re supposed to “cool down” when you’re done exercising. This is actually a pretty big tilt in the MWC – though BYU is stomping everyone in the conference, neither of these teams are bad and it could have an impact on their bowl situations (though I have Air Force not going to San Diego to avoid a rematch with Navy). The Air Force should win, though.

9:00: Boise State @ Fresno State (ESPN): Don’t look, but the boys of The Valley (as opposed to those other valleys in California) are relevant in the WAC again after really brining the suck last year. 4-0 vs. Boise’s 3-0, but I think what most people care about is that one of them beats Hawaii. I’ll give Fresno the home edge.


  • West Virginia @ Rutgers (ABC/Gameplan): I don’t know why ABC is having these noon-eastern broadcasts this week, but whatever. At any rate, it’s safe to say that this game is far more important for West Virginia than it is for Rutgers. WVU needs to have only 1-loss to stay relevant nationally (and more importantly, preserve my prediction that they go to the Rose Bowl). And I think they will – I think Rutgers is a good football team, but WVU is better.
  • Colorado @ Texas Tech (Gameplan/ABC): See, I liked a few years ago when Colorado was terrible and bribing their recruits with strippers. Made it easy to “man, they are going to lose.” And they did. And by all rights, they should. But Texas Tech is coming off a huge let down against Missouri, who blew out the Raiders 41-10. Yes, that’s right, Texas Tech only scored 10 points. Neither of these schools is exactly on an uptick right now. I’m going to go ahead and pick TTU anyway, but be wary of an upset here.
  • Michigan State @ Iowa (ESPN2): Big Ten yawnfest of the day. Michigan State wins; let’s move on.
  • North Carolina @ Wake Forest (Raycom/Gameplan): Okay, this isn’t really much more exciting, but at least I nominally care about it. UNC will probably lose, though, adding yet another game to their series of close losses.

12:30: Mississippi State @ Kentucky (LF/Gameplan): Kentucky is coming off their loss to UF, but should find relief in the comfort of the arms of Mississippi State. Or I should say, that Miss. State will desperately be trying to get Andre Woodson and his receivers in their arms, because the whole tackling thing is essential in this sport. I guess what I’m trying to convey here is that it’s rather unlikely they’ll be able to do so and will lose pretty badly.

3:00: Southern California @ Oregon (FSN): I’m not entirely sure how this game escaped ABC’s clutches (the scheduling for this weekend is wacky) but at any rate this is probably for the Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth, or in Oregon’s case a chance to sneak their way back into the title game picture. (Provided neither team loses again, they could both make a BCS bowl, especially Oregon.) Anyway, I think Oregon is darn good football team, and more notably they did what they were supposed to do with Stanford (whipping them 55-31). This game is, to me, definitely in favor of the Ducks, but could be close.


  • Georgia vs. Florida (CBS): The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party kicks off once again in Jacksonville. I like to think of it as more as Georgia’s yearly whipping at the hands of the Gators. As you probably know, UF has won all but two contests since 1990, and I don’t see any reason why this season won’t be different.
  • Nebraska @ Texas (ABC/Gameplan): If sports message boards and more nerdy message boards intersected, they’d spawn memes like “lolnebraska” instead of “lolsony”. Nebraska has lost three straight and all but fired their head coach. The word “quit” has been used a lot in conjunction with the word “team.” In other words, Texas by at least 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, it looks like most of the country is going to be subjected to this crap and it won’t even be in HD. Either of the other two ABC contests will probably be more palatable.
  • Clemson @ Maryland (Gameplan/ABC): So let’s start with the ACC game. Clemson broke their two game losing streak to the ACC’s Techs with a drubbing of Central Michigan. Maryland, meanwhile, was on the wrong side of Virginia’s incredible lucky streak last weekend. That said, this matchup is important in the ACC’s other division (my name for the division GT isn’t in because I can never remember the stupid names) and for the ACC bowl pecking order. Clemson still has a lot of weapons, but they seem to forget what they are – in their loss to Virginia Tech, they got down 17-0 early and Cullen Harper threw 66 passes. Davis and Spiller had a combined 12 yards rushing, and whenever stuff like that occurs it’s usually bad, bad news for the Tigers (same thing happened to a lesser degree against Tech). Provided Clemson avoids an early let down and runs the damn ball, I think they win.
  • South Florida @ Connecticut (Gameplan/ABC): Since USF’s soft, vulnerable underbelly has been exposed. And that vulnerable spot is the blitz, as Groethe apparently had “no hot reads” against Rutgers’s rush. Meanwhile, UConn finds itself ranked and playing the most important game in its short football history. The still haven’t beat anyone, though, and I doubt they will here.
  • Minnesota @ Michigan (ESPN Classic): Michigan, by 3 touchdowns.

6:30: California-Los Angeles @ Washington State (FSN): UCLA can’t decide if it sucks or not, and I don’t think anyone would be surprised if they celebrated their victory over Cal by losing in Pullman. I mean, heck, the Cougars have more wins than Notre Dame does. That said, I’m taking UCLA here.

7:00: Kansas @ Texas Agricultural & Mechanical (ESPN2): I hate to say this, but I think KU is actually kind of legit. Look for them to prevail in College Station.

7:45: South Carolina @ Tennessee (ESPN): Whoops. So, uh, yeah. Vandy. And Alabama. Both these teams suffered terrible, terrible losses last week. While losing to Vandy is bad in and of itself for most SEC teams, getting basically blown out by one of your chief rivals (where does ‘Bama rank on the Tennessee rivalry scale, anyway?) is probably worse. The calls for the head of Fulmer reach high. Whil they be able to recover? It helps them that South Carolina has pretty much no offense, but Tennessee has no defense. I expect the Gamecocks to recover and prevail.

8:00: Ohio State @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): This is probably Ohio State’s chance to lose before playing Michigan, and I’m sure the biggest Penn State fans this weekend may actually be in Pasadena. Penn State is a decent team, but Ohio State is good. This year, the Buckeyes haven’t allowed more than 17 points on defense. This would mean more if they could beat a decent team, though. I think they will, for my previously stated reason that they need to be undefeated heading into the Michigan game for maximum season-ending chaos potential.

10:00: California @ Arizona State (FSN): And our last game of the day, Cal’s last gasp of relevancy following their terrible loss to UCLA. That said, the Sun Devils face their first true test and I honestly thing the run ends here or next week at Oregon. I’ll go ahead and take the Bears.

I had something to say here, but this post took forever, so I’m going to bed. Enjoy the weekend!

Bowl Predictions, Week 2

Week 2 of my horrendous guesses trying to put some order into this season that lacks any. Some notes:

  • I really have no idea what to make of the BCS situation. For starters, who will the Rose Bowl want if Ohio State runs the table? There is no way any other Big Ten team is going to qualify for the BCS. And even outside of that, who are going to be the at-large teams? Of my at-large qualifiers, only Kansas might have 1-loss. Madness.
  • The Big Ten is so mediocre this year that they will have 9 bowl eligible teams. This week I was able to fill all spots, so I gave Indiana and Northwestern the shaft. The SEC may also have another qualifier, so I gave Arkansas the shaft, especially if they end up firing Nutt.
  • I still have Tech in the Music City bowl, but more realistically they will end up on the West Coast if they lose more than 1 game the rest of the way.
  • These result more of what is going on right now than out-and-out predictions, which is why my stated prediction of Michigan beating Ohio State isn’t on here. Also, these try to somewhat more firmly rooted in reality.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 8

Before our predictions, let me misquote the best Tom Clancy-based movie, Hunt for Red October: “This season will get out of control. This season will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”

With USF losing Thursday night in New Jersey, things could open up for the 1-loss teams if there’s some shenanigans down in Baton Rouge tonight. By the way, I think that USF should stay in the top ten – USC didn’t fall that far after suffering a far, far worse loss. But I suspect the humans will put then in the 12-15 range. Whatever.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Pennsylvania State @ Indiana (ESPN): Surprising Indiana squad gets a home date with a somewhat disappointing Penn State team. (Note, however, that both are 5-2. Pre-season expectations for the win!) That said, Indiana got blown out last week by the green Spartans, meanwhile Penn State is coming off a huge victory over Wisconsin. Should be interesting, as far as Big Ten games go, tough to tell who’s going to come out on top in this one. I go against my usual instinct to pick the home team in this situation and go with Penn State.
  • Iowa @ Purdue (ESPN2): Don’t let their victory over Illinois fool you – Iowa is still terrible. While Purdue has wilted against actual teams, Iowa doesn’t really count. Look for the Boilermakers re-discover how to play offense.
  • Army @ Georgia Tech (Raycom/Gameplan): I wouldn’t usually list a game like this, but it’s Tech so it’s going here. This is homecoming for the Jackets, and it was hoped when this game was scheduled it’d be a homecoming for Bobby Ross, but he resigned earlier this year and got inducted into the GT Hall of Fame anyway. I hope we can get up early and practice passing a little, but Army made Boston College leave their starters well into the second half, and as the cliche goes the guys from the military academies usually don’t quit easily.


  • Oklahoma @ Iowa State (FSN): Why is this on TV? Really? OU rolls.
  • Texas @ Baylor (Versus): (see above, replace “OU” with “Texas”)
  • Tennessee @ Alabama (LF/Gameplan): Whoops. The Third Saturday in October rivalry is relegated to the dregs of the SEC TV deal. At the beginning of the year, I would’ve said this’d be on ESPN at the worst, but who knew that Florida-Kentucky would have not only SEC implications, but national ones? Both these teams have multi-game winning streaks, but only Tennessee’s victory over Georgia looks any good. Also, I hate ‘Bama, so I’ll wish I was on “old Rocky Top” and pick the Vols.
  • Vanderbilt @ South Carolina (Gameplan): What would upset the machinations of a SEC title game contender more than a loss to Vandy? Unfortunately for the Commodores, South Carolina seems to be winning the games it’s supposed to this year. So I’ll take the Gamecocks. (But go ‘Dores!)

1:00: Wake Forest @ Navy (CSTV): Over/under on pass attempts for this game should be around 30. While Navy is formidable, in the end Wake should win.


  • Southern California @ Notre Dame (NBC): Notre Dame seeks to go 2-0 against teams from Los Angeles. Will they succeed? Probably not. Then again, winning by a touchdown against Arizona isn’t really much of a triumph to come off of. But, still, I see little reason to pick ND here.
  • Florida @ Kentucky (CBS): CBS returns to Lexington for the second weekend in a row, again with national title implications on the line. Loser here is removed from the picture completely. I don’t even know where to begin to analyze this game. Both these teams are good, good, good. I feel UF brings a slightly better offense than LSU but also a worse defense. All I know is that this will probably make for good TV, considering how evenly matched these two teams were against LSU. Possibly in Florida’s favor is that they’re coming off a bye week, giving them time to re-focus off the LSU loss. If they knock off Kentucky, that puts them in the driver’s seat for the SEC East and a possible (probable) re-match against LSU. So, just to continue the bizarreness of this season, I’ll go with the Gators here.
  • Michigan State @ Ohio State (ESPN2/ABC): Of all the bizarre things that have happened this year, this is the most normal. OSU was not highly regarded going into the year but has so far run the table on what has turned out to be a really soft schedule. Much like USC, I don’t really see where they will stumble on their schedule, though, except for maybe their two remaining road tests: @Penn State and @Michigan. Honestly, for Bizarro Year to be truly complete they need to go into the Michigan game undefeated (and then losing, thus making the whole thing come full circle), so I’m going with the Buckeyes here.
  • California @ California-Los Angeles (ABC/Gameplan): While I didn’t see Cal’s dumb, dumb loss last week (seriously, what I read about the play at the end makes it sound downright Reggie-esque), I do know that UCLA has two bad losses at this point, including the sole Notre Dame victory. Cal gets back on their feet down in the Rose Bowl.
  • Miami @ Florida State (Gameplan/ABC/ESPN2): Ahahahahaha. Ahahahahahahahaha. Thank god this isn’t the special season-opener Monday night game anymore. But, yeah, gotta pick FSU to win here. For starters, we need Miami to pick up more conference losses. But also Miami is just terrible. If FSU can put up a few touchdowns early Miami will be unable to catch up – we caught several breaks last week where Kyle Wright’s “quarterbacking” bailed us out.
  • Texas Tech @ Missouri (Gameplan/ABC): Texas Tech – Missouri, now with Fiesta Bowl implications! Both teams need to avoid a second conference loss to stay in the race for their respective divisions. If Mizzou can stop the Texas Tech aerial assault, even a little, they may stand a chance. But I don’t like their chances.

5:45: Kansas @ Colorado (ESPN): I am still trying to comprehend the part of the season where Kansas is a serious contender. USF, I could believe, because I mean, it’s the Big East, Florida is a fertile recruiting ground, etc. Still, Colorado already ruined Oklahoma’s perfect season, can they strike twice? After losing to Kansas State last week, I’m going to say no.

7:30: Oregon @ Washington (FCS Pacific/FSN NW): So, uh, Washington was a little overrated to start the year. Meanwhile, Oregon is still scoring a lot of points, as they come off a 52-7 shellacking of Wazzou last week. I expect more of the same here, though maybe only 30-7 because it’s in Seattle.


  • Michigan @ Illinois (ABC): Ugh. I still have a hard time believing that Michigan is a decent football team at all, and Illinois just proved to us that Ron Zook is still, in fact, their coach after losing to probably the 2nd-worst team in the Big Ten last week, scoring only two field goals. The Juice will apparently be back at QB this week. Also, don’t look, but Michigan is 3-0 in conference play. 3-0. Yes, that’s right folks, a trip to the Rose Bowl could be on the line in Ann Arbor next month, the very place where all this craziness began. So, as rationalized above, I think this matchup will be preserved an I’ll take the Wolverines.
  • Virginia @ Maryland (ESPN2): Both of Tech’s terrible losses face off in College Park. I’m still not sold on UVA, while Maryland is actually kind-of decent. Also, we need UVA to lose. So go Terps.

9:00: Auburn @ Louisiana State (ESPN): Tigers win! (Sorry.) Anyway, Auburn played down to Arkansas’s level last week and eeked out a 9-7 victory. LSU is coming off a not-exactly debilitating loss last week. I think this will be a great game if Auburn shows up with any semblance of an offense. We know both coaches are willing to take risks, though (and perhaps Tito can correct me on this) it seems to me Tuberville has gotten more conservative in the past few years. (As much as people love to talk about LSU’s fake FG earlier this year, Auburn ran wonderful fakes and play-actions 4 years ago or so.) Meanwhile, Auburn is sitting at one conference loss and still in the SEC West race and could control their own destiny with a win. Will they win, though? I have my doubts. I think LSU is probably the better team here, and playing in Baton Rouge, at night, gives them an edge. (Hopefully Tito scored some tickets and can let us know first hand, also EDSBS’s account of their trip there indicates that it’s just as crazy as you’d think.) So I’m going to pick LSU.

That wraps it up for me, I need to get to bed so I can watch the early games. BCS comes out on Monday until the final week, so except the final version of the bowl predictions then. (Though I may post a sort-of “beta” version late Sunday, we’ll see.)