As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Northwestern @ Iowa (ESPN): Can Northwestern end our long, national nightmare championship game scenario? Probably not! Iowa wins 15-11.
- Central Florida @ Texas (FSN): This is the Priceline of football games. Congratulations Colt McCoy, you can name your own score!
- Syracuse @ Pittsburgh (ESPNU): Should I even bother waking up at 9 for these games? I mean, I usually sleep through the first half anyway, but this is ridiculous.
- Purdue @ Michigan (BTN): I’m willing to chalk up the loss UIUC as a fluke. If Michigan loses to Purdue they’ve got problems.
- Virginia @ University of Miami (Raycom/Gameplan): You know, I almost want UVA to win this game, because it would make it that much more difficult to fire Al Groh. (Now that GT has the UVA monkey off it’s back, I can go back to treating UVA as the terrible team they are.)
- South Carolina @ Arkansas (SEC/Gameplan): I bet the Visor is playing lots of golf these days. Hitting drives, chipping on to greens, making putts. Trying to figure out exactly what he did to deserve this. Sure, South Carolina is 6-3, but they have no offense. How does a man, know for such a thing, deal with that? Whatever the case, they can still beat Arkansas.
12:30: Kansas @ Kansas State (Versus): Both of these teams are so bad, but I’ll go with the team that managed to beat Colorado.
2:30: Navy @ Notre Dame (NBC): Notre Dame isn’t great, but has begun an unfortunate rise in the polls. Hopefully Navy keeps it close.
- Louisiana State @ Alabama (CBS): I’m actually willing to accept that Alabama is a good football team at this point. In fact, they’re damn good, and I’m willing to downgrade my hatred to “loathing” to set up a match against Florida in the Georgia Dome next month. Okay, I still hat them, but I want to see that game.
- Ohio State @ Pennsylvania State (ABC/ESPN2):I’ve already heard several times this week that this game will “decide the Big Ten”. That should tell you how much everyone hates Iowa. At any rate, if Ohio State calls this game like they did their other big game this season (against USC) they will lose. Of course, we still don’t really know anything about Penn State. I still like them to win, though.
- Oklahoma State @ Iowa State (ABC/Gameplan): Somehow, I don’t see Iowa State holding OSU to 14 points.
- Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech (ESPN2/ABC/Gameplan): Having expectations placed on your team is weird.
At any rate, last week we did exactly what I said we couldn’t do (allow Vandy to stay in the game) but then Vandy started to play like, well, Vandy and we pulled away to a 56-31 win. Wake, however, will not rollover so easily. While Vandy isn’t incompetent, Wake probably does have slightly better players and are led by 50th year senior Riley Skinner. (Despite suffering a concussion last week against Miami, he will be starting.) Wake is always a tough assignment for Tech – our last meeting was in the 2006 ACC title game, which Wake won 9-6. (Though it did get Patrick Nix fired and then hired (for some reason) by Miami, which worked out great for us over the next two years.) And with the way the defense is playing, no doubt older Tech fans (and by “older”, I mean “a few years older than me”) are having PTSD-flashbacks to 1999, where the offense scored 38 points a game and still lost 4 time. The 3rd loss was to Wake Forest, dropping Tech to 7-3 and likely ruining any chances Joe Hamilton had of winning the Heisman.
So, suffice it to say, Tech will need to do all it can to avoid a repeat of history.
By the way, the other three losses that year? @FSU, @UVA, and to Miami in the Gator Bowl.
- Oregon @ Stanford (FSN): Well, Stanford, you’ve had a good year so far. 5-3 overall, 4-2 in the Pac-10. Not bad, especially by Stanford standards. The problem with this rosy outlook? This game, @USC, vs. Cal, vs. Notre Dame. That 6th win may prove to be elusive, and they probably won’t find it here.
- Duke @ North Carolina (ESPNU): Fun fact: even if Duke loses, they can still beat Tech next week and have a shot at the ACC title. That’s said, there’s little about this UNC team on defense or offense that has particularly impresses me. They still allowed nearly 400 yards passing to FSU. If Duke puts up similar numbers – and they should – they have a pretty good shot to win here.
- Army @ Air Force (CBSCS): The battle for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy continues in Colorado. Unfortunately, it’s hard to pick an Army team that was outscored 56-23 by Temple and Rutgers to win here.
- Washington State @ Arizona (FCS Central): Why did I list this? I have no idea. Arizona.
- Washington @ California-Los Angeles (FCS Pacific): (see above) U-dub.
4:00: Texas Christian @ San Diego State (Versus): SDSU is on a roll, by their standards, but TCU should still be able to take care of business here.
- Oregon State @ California (FSN): Cal’s rolled off 3 straight against the worst of the Pac-10, while Oregon State has pretty much lost when they were supposed to and win when they were supposed. That said, Cal is still having issues getting the ball to its best player and needed a last minute FG to get past Arizona State. I actually kind of like the Beavers here.
- Memphis @ Tennessee (ESPNU): Mmm, delicious cupcakes.
7:15: Vanderbilt @ Florida (ESPN2): Too detailed prediction: Vandy hangs tough through the first quarter to make everyone go, “Hey, Florida’s only leading Vandy by 3 points” but the Tebow gets on track and is out of the game by the end of the 3rd quarter.
- Houston @ Tulsa (CBSCS): This game was supposed to be for the C-USA West title, but Tulsa’s sort of fallen off the wagon and has lost 3 straight, including losses to completely schizophrenic UTEP and also to SMU. Since their inexplicable loss to UTEP, Houston has won 4 straight mostly via a way we’d entirely expect: offense. I expect a lot of points in this game (akin to Houston’s shootout last weekend with Southern Miss) but the Cougars to prevail in the end.
- Northern Arizona @ Mississippi (SEC/Gameplan): Ole Miss. Next.
7:45: Florida State @ Clemson (ESPN): It’s the Bowden— oh, right. At any rate, FSU really needs this to make itself relevant in the ACC Atlantic race again, while Clemson controls its own destiny, and in terms of that destiny FSU represents the last major hurdle (Clemson’s remaining ACC games are @NCSU and at home against UVA). We could see a reenactment of the Clemson-Miami game (if it’s half as exciting as that game was, well, this will be a pretty exciting game), but I don’t see a different outcome.
- Southern California @ Arizona State (ABC/Gameplan): Okay, so our illusions have been shattered, USC is mortal, blah blah. But let’s face it, USC should still be favored to win all their remaining bids and get themselves to a BCS game, and that process starts here.
- Connecticut @ Cincinnati (Gameplan/ABC):Although this will almost certainly doom them, I really do think Cincy is “that good”, at least against their Big East compatriots. And this is the home stretch for the Bearcats, a win here and next week against WVU sets up the de-facto Big East championship game December 5th at Pittsburgh.
- Oklahoma @ Nebraska (Gameplan/ABC): I’m not sure why, but the Big 12 doesn’t have a fix-opponent system for its divisions, and it really hurts here. (Of course, this is probably the only major intra-divisional rivalry in the Big 12, so that’s probably why.) At any rate, while Oklahoma probably won’t put up 68 (that’s not an exaggeration) like they did in last year’s beatdown, they’ll probably still win handily.
10:30: Fresno State @ Idaho (ESPNU): Ah, the late WAC game. You know you love it. At any rate, Idaho is bowl eligible for the first time since 1999 (as well as guaranteed their first winning season since 1999) versus usual suspect Fresno State, which sits at 5-3. This is at least worth watching for a bit because it’s in THE KIBBIE DOME. That said, I like Fresno to win.
8:30: Nevada @ San Jose State (ESPN): I wonder how cheap I could get tickets to what will most likely be the Colin Kaepernik show? Nevada should win easily.