Monthly Archives: October 2010

This Weekend in College Football: Week 9

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Miami @ Virginia (ESPN): With Florida State losing at NC State this past Thursday there is, once again, the lack of a clear favorite to win the ACC. While most people don’t care about this sort of thing, as a fan of an ACC school I sort of have to. Sitting at 3-1 and in second in the Coastal, now is as good of a time as any for Miami to step up and show that they can take the reigns of the division. For the purposes of tomorrow, though, they should roll.
  • Purdue @ Illinois (ESPN2): Both of these teams have two Big Ten wins in 3 or 4 games. Now, before you get too excited, the collective group these wins are over is Northwestern, Minnesota, Indiana, and Penn State. In terms of this game, though, I guess I’ll go with Illinois? I think it’s a tossup, though Illinois has beaten slightly stronger competition. And with the Zooker it’s hard to know which version of Illinois will show up at any given time anyway.
  • Oklahoma State @ Kansas State (FSN): Provided Oklahoma State isn’t too upset about having their undefeated record spoiled by Nebraska last week they should be able to beat K-State.
  • Syracuse @ Cincinnati (ESPNU): This isn’t last year’s version of either of these teams. I’ll take the Orange.
  • Northwestern @ Indiana (BTN): I’ve got a hunch there’ll be a lot of points scored in this game. If I remembered that I get the Big Ten network I would probably even watch a little of it. Alas. Oh, and I’ll take Northwestern here.
  • Tennessee @ South Carolina (SEC): South Carolina definitely took it easy in Nashville last weekend. Back in Columbia and with their human freight train Marcus Lattimore back, well, this should be an easy one for the Visor and Co.
  • Clemson @ Boston College (ACC): I swear if Clemson loses this game…. ugh. They should win easily against a team that hasn’t scored more than 21 points in any game this year.

2:30: Tulsa @ Notre Dame (NBC): All I have to say about this is that ND will probably win.


  • Florida vs. Georgia (@Jacksonville, FL; CBS): The Cocktail Party returns, and both fanbases seem to be too busy talking about how the other is going to get blown out to really put any sort of analysis of this thing. Yes, UGA is on a three game winning streak. Those three games are wins over Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky – the latter of which Florida beat earlier in the year 48-14. (Yeah yeah, transitive property doesn’t apply, I know.) Despite all their issues or whatever, I’m still picking the Gators.
  • Michigan State @ Iowa (ABC/ESPN): The next two games feature undefeated teams that are underdogs. The conventional wisdom for this Michigan State team is that they haven’t beaten anyone on the road yet, but Iowa hasn’t really beaten anyone anywhere as they’ve lost to the best two teams they’ve played (Arizona and Wisconsin, the latter of which was at home). I like the Spartans here.
  • Missouri @ Nebraska (ABC/ESPN): So Nebraska goes out and beats a defense-optional Oklahoma State team and all of a sudden they’re Big 12 North favorites again? Did I miss something? Did I miss the fact that the last time the Huskers faced a competent defense it was in the form of an extremely moribund Texas squad that had every reason to lose in Lincoln and then didn’t? Oh, and also that Missouri has a defense that’s been as good as Texas’s this year, if not better? Jeez, what do you have to do to get some respect? I like the Tigers.
  • Arizona @ California-Los Angeles (FSN): UCLA has lost their last two games (vs. Cal and @Oregon) by a combined total of 95-20. Arizona is not quite that explosive but it would be very difficult to take UCLA here.
  • Wake Forest @ Maryland (ESPNU): Maryland should get bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 here.
  • Duke @ Navy (CBSCS): Navy.

6:00: Auburn @ Mississippi (ESPN2): While not projecting an aura of crazy that’s as strong as Les Miles, weird things do tend to happen around Houston Nutt. Such are the challenges Auburn will face in its quest to hang on for the perfect season that, unlike 2004, will payoff this time. Provided Auburn clears this hurdle, and they should, their remaining schedule is UTC, UGA, and @Bama. While UGA is a rivalry game, they shouldn’t be troubled again until they make the drive over to Tuscaloosa.


  • Baylor @ Texas (FSN): Running out of time here, but Texas has lost its last two home games. To UCLA and Iowa State. That is not exactly a murder’s row of teams there. I think Baylor can pull this off.
  • Stanford @ Washington (Versus): Stanford.
  • Kentucky @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): This is an intriguing match, and we could see a lot of points here. I like the cowbells.

7:30: Utah @ Air Force (CBSCS): Air Force is probably the most interesting team Utah has played this season (other than now-Big East favorites Pittsburgh to start the year). I like the Utes to pull away in the second half here.


  • Ohio State @ Minnesota (ABC): Yes, that’s right America, no reverse mirror for this game. So if you’re in the Midwest you’re still with the impending beatdown Ohio State is about to lay on Minnesota. The Oregon-USC game will be on at least.
  • Oregon @ Southern California (ABC): The rest of the country will see this game. I mean, this should be a beatdown as well, but at least it’s got the potential to be interesting.
  • Michigan @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN): Instead, many eyes may be here (well, or on Utah-Air Force, or Baylor-Texas… you get the idea) to see which of these Big Ten teams get out of their recent conference funk (though Penn St. did notch a win against the hapless Beavers last week). While the Wolverines haven’t shown any ability to play defense this year, that shouldn’t be a problem against a Penn State team trying to find an answer at quarterback. The only major problem may be the location factor – Happy Valley at night on Halloween may be a little less happy – but I still like Michigan here.

9:15: Colorado @ Oklahoma (ESPN2): Cody “Son of Coach” Hawkins will start for the Buffs in Norman. He’s going to need all the help he can get, but the main objective for Colorado here is probably avoiding the blowout so Dan Hawkins can at least have the dignified “end of season” firing instead of the midseason variety. Sooners should roll.

10:30: Utah State @ Nevada (ESPNU): Since beating in-state rival BYU, the Aggies (that’s Utah State) have scored 13 points combined against Louisiana Tech and Hawaii. While allowing 69. Nevada’s crept back up into the rankings since their 6-point loss to the Hawaiians two weeks ago, and they will probably stay there for at least another week.

11:00: Texas Christian @ Nevada-Las Vegas (CBSCS): I just went to look at UNLV’s schedule on and a highlight video started autoplaying featuring the headline “TCU Blanks UNLV 41-0”. From last year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see history repeat itself here. Horned Frogs roll.

With each passing week, it gets just a little easier to do the bowl predictions. Expect a fairly quick turnaound after this weekend. Will we see a new #1? Probably not. But if Vegas is right, we’ll have some shakeups around the 5th and 6th ranked teams. So settle in and enjoy, this weekend (especially the 3:30 games) promises to be a fun ride once again here in the return of Bizarro Year.

Bowl Predictions 2010: Week 2

Well, it’s week two of bowl prediction season and I still have no solid idea of what’s going on here. I’ll try to do some analysis, though. Let’s try some bullet points, but first here’s a link to the predictions:

  • Auburn and Oregon are the only two teams that control their BCS destiny at this point. If they both win out, they’re in. I feel pretty good about this one. If either of them loses, it’ll be chaos.
  • And even then, it’s not entirely clear what will happen behind Auburn and Oregon. I have no earthly idea who is going to win the Big 12. Right now I would say it will be Oklahoma, Nebraska, or Missouri. Mizzou plays Nebraska this weekend so that will at least let me figure out the likely divisional winners. Even then, I’m not sure Mizzou could beat OU twice. Right now, however, I am projecting the Tigers as the Big 12 champs.
  • As a reminder, the BCS bowls pick in this order: the bowls that lost teams to the championship game get to pick replacements first, followed by the rest of the bowls in reverse order (so this year, the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, and then Rose). Also, a mid-major team will almost certainly end up in the Rose. I think the TCU/Utah winner will jump Boise State in the BCS eventually, so that’s why I put them there.
  • The rest I feel okay about. This week I actually have extra teams, as each week of conference play also makes it easier to evaluate the non-BCS conferences. Still, though, I’m nervous about having Southern Miss and Troy in the New Orleans Bowl again, but at this point it’s too early to get concrete news on which way the bowls are leaning. Though I did read somewhere Notre Dame might not even get invited to the Champs Sports Bowl (in place of the Big East runner-up), but we’ll see.
  • Oh, speaking of the Big East, I’m projecting a three-way tie thanks to Syracuse upsetting West Virginia last weekend. It seemed like the most rational prediction at this point.
  • As much as I hate to admit this, I’d actually like to see Georgia and Clemson play each other. That’s a pretty longstanding rivalry that should be played every year but isn’t.

Anyway, this weekend holds even more intriguing matchups that will probably change everything again. So, until next time…

This Weekend in College Football: Week 8

No time this week, so let’s get this going. As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Notre Dame vs. Navy (@East Rutherford, NJ; CBS): For only the 2nd time since 1964, Navy has a chance to win consecutive games against Notre Dame. Will they do it? Probably not.
  • Michigan State @ Northwestern (ESPN): This is a game that would be easy for the Spartans to overlook, but should otherwise be one where they should take care of business.
  • Syracuse @ West Virginia (ESPN2): West Virginia is probably the best team in the Big East this year. Which, unfortunately for them, isn’t really saying much. But they should be able to beat Syracuse, even this rejuvenated edition. Key word there: “should”.
  • Iowa State @ Texas (FSN): Iowa State has lost its last games (Utah and Oklahoma) by a combined 93 points. I don’t think it’s going to get any better against the Longhorns.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Minnesota (ESPNU): Minnesota finally fired Tim Brewster, who definitely came into this season as, well, the most likely coach to get fired before the season ended. Note this was after the bizarre extension he got last winter. At any rate, even this astonishingly mediocre edition of Penn State should be able to beat them.
  • Purdue @ Ohio State (BTN): Purdue is surprisingly 4-2 and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Well, surprising until you see that their 2-0 conference record is against the two worst teams in the conference. I think it’ll go to 2-1 in this game, unless Ohio State pulls a, well, “last year against Purdue” type game out of their hat after getting mauled by Wisconsin last weekend.
  • Mississippi @ Arkansas (SEC): I’m going to guess that Houston Nutt probably checked into his hotel in Fayetteville under an assumed name. That aside, Arkansas should continue in its quest to stay relevant in the SEC West race with a win here.
  • Duke @ Virginia Tech (ACC): Well, it looks like the Hokies are peaking just in time… to pound Duke in a pulp.


  • Louisiana State @ Auburn (CBS): The first of a trio of huge 3:30 games, none of which I’ll probably watch due to our game being at the same time. But no matter! Folks other than me are starting to notice this similarities of this year to 2007, and, well, you know who got into the title game and won it that year? LSU-led Les Miles. The crazy continues in Auburn this weekend, where by rights Auburn should win. But that this point, I can’t pick against LSU until this lose. Yes, I know Auburn scored 65 points last week. LSU actually kind of does play defense, so they probably won’t do that again. But if they don’t bury the Lovecraftian horror that is LSU’s offense early, it will come back to haunt them.
  • Wisconsin @ Iowa (ABC/ESPN): Game number 2! Sure, both these Big Ten hopefuls have a loss but they’re still two of the best four teams in the conference. If Iowa wins, they control their own destiny in the conference as they play both Michigan State and Ohio State. Wisconsin also puts itself at the likely top of the 1-loss heap, but they don’t play Michigan State so that would start to get interesting at the end of the year. At any rate, the Wisconsin offense is pretty good (they’re probably the textbook definition of a team that “runs downhill”) but Iowa probably has a better and more experienced defensive line than Ohio State. I’ll take the Hawkeyes at hom.
  • Nebraska @ Oklahoma State (ABC): Here’s the third game. Nebraska suffered a huge let down against Texas last weekend, to the say the last. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State hopes to keep pace with the conference frontrunners by staying undefeated. Can Nebraska make another team suffer the same grief they just went through? Earlier this week I was high on the Cowboys but now I’m not so sure, as they’ve definitely given up a lot of points this year. This may be the kind of team Nebraska can regroup and get the offense back on track for. I’ll change my mind here at the last minute and take the Huskers.
  • Georgia Tech @ Clemson (ABC/ESPN): I quote this stat every year for this game, but here goes again. Starting in 2004, Tech is 6-1 against Clemson. That “1” was a 31-7 blowout that I still remember – I was at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Chattanooga and Clemson was wearing those awful all-purple unis. The other 6 have all been Tech wins, yes, but but an average of 4.5 points. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1989 to find the last time Tech beat Clemson by more than a single score. It’s rumored Clemson will be clad in purple once again, so let’s hope we don’t get a 2006-ish effort.
    We played Clemson twice last year, so it’s tempting to compare this year to those efforts, especially the most epic conference championship no one watched. If I had to compare this year’s team to last year, it’s that a) we’re not scoring as much and b) we turn the ball over more. I think our turnovers are a direct result of poorer blocking along the line this year. While the offensive line doesn’t usually turn the ball over, if they’re not getting their blocks then you have a flood of defenders in your backfield too quickly to let anything develop. This leads to things like bad snaps (anxiety of the C to get his block) and missed pitches (timing is thrown off because the pitch man has to go around a defender). These are both mistakes we will have to continue to limit in order to be successful in this crucial stretch that starts up in up-state South Carolina.
  • Arizona State @ California (FSN): Cal? Yeah. I have no clue what to think of them. Trying to figure this out would surely drive me mad, so I’ll take the easy way out and the Sun Devils.
  • Connecticut @ Louisville (ESPNU): These are probably the two worst teams in the Big East. Louisville has somewhat better losses so I’ll pick them.
  • Houston @ Southern Methodist (CBSCS): Houston just lost to Rice. Yeah. I’ll take the Mustangs.


  • Alabama @ Tennessee (ESPN): Well, this October has 5 Saturdays so the 3rd Saturday in October… isn’t. Nonetheless, the Tide should, er, roll easily through Knoxville.
  • Texas Agricultural and Mechanical @ Kansas (FSN): Don’t even get me started on Kansas. Ugh. TAMU rolls.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): In days of yore, I probably would’ve been tempted to take UAB here but, well, Miss State is actually kind of good now. So not so much.

7:30: North Carolina @ Miami (ESPN2): Among other things, two teams have bedeviled Miami since their entry into the ACC: Georgia Tech and UNC. UNC has actually one three straight over the Canes, but even with their depleted defense back I think good Jacory makes a cameo and Miami wins.


  • Oklahoma @ Missouri (ABC): While there’s a trio of good 3:30 games, with apologies to AF-TCU, this is the game of prime time right here. We’ll find out in a matter of hours which of these teams is “for real” and which isn’t. Despite the less impressive resume, I picked Missouri in my bowl predictions and, well , it’s too late to turn back now. (Well, as demonstrated above, it actually isn’t, but I needed a reason to pick the Tigers so there you go.)
  • Air Force @ Texas Christian (CBSCS): I think this has a chance to be an interesting game, by which I mean there’s a chance TCU will win by less than 4 touchdowns. I’ll take the Horned Frogs here.

10:15: Washington @ Arizona (ESPN): Here’s your Pac-10 Nightcap. While last week’s Washington-Oregon State tilt wasn’t all that thrilling regulation, overtime was great until the Beavers decided to go for two in the second overtime for reasons I haven’t quite figured out. (The way I figure, if you’re going to go for two early, do it in the first overtime. In the second why not just get back out there on defense for the 3rd OT where everyone has to go for two anyway?) Anyway, I’ll thumb my nose at the transitive property once again (Oregon State is responsible for Arizona’s single loss) and take Arizona.

Look for bowl predictions once again late Sunday. Hopefully things will make even just slightly more sense this weekend. (Though if this season has proven anything, it’ll probably be the opposite.)

Bowl Predictions 2010: Week 1

Ordinarily, I use the first post of the year to go through my process and my thoughts on the individual bowls.

I won’t do that here, though, for two reasons.
1. I am really busy right now.
2. I have no idea what is going on.

Hopefully I’ll have something more substantive for week 2. In the meantime, enjoy. Oh, and yes, I am short a team. That could well happen this year!

This Weekend in College Football: Week 7

Expect the first round of bowl predictions after the BCS is released on Sunday.
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • Boston College @ Florida State (ESPN): The only thing FSU has to worry about in this game is themselves. BC is still an offensive non-entity, which was certainly not a problem for FSU last weekend.
  • Minnesota @ Purdue (ESPN2): My reaction upon seeing this: what the hell? These are the two worst teams in the Big Ten and they’re on national television? Meanwhile, the team people might actually want to see, Michigan State, is on the Big Ten network? How the heck did this happen? That said, you could well see Tim Brewster get fired live in national television, so it may be worth it for that. Purdue should win.
  • Missouri @ Texas Agricultural & Mechanical (FSN): TAMU put up a good fight against Arkansas, but I don’t think they really have it in them to beat Mizzou. Then again, Missouri’s best win so far is either Illinois or Colorado, which isn’t really saying much.
  • Arkansas State @ Indiana (ESPNU): Indiana.
  • North Carolina State @ East Carolina (CBSCS): ECU is 3-0 against C-USA, but 0-2 against VPI and UNC and neither of those games was really close. Russell Wilson and Co. should roll.
  • Illinois @ Michigan State (BTN): Illinois beating Penn State last weekend says a lot more about the latter than the former. Sparty rolls.
  • Vanderbilt @ Georgia (SEC): Sure, they beat Tennessee (pretty handily, too) but there’s not a whole lot of satisfaction in Athens. Vandy is cagey, but UGA should win this one.
  • Maryland @ Clemson (ACC): Since the overtime loss to Auburn, Clemson’s season has been spiraling downhill, with consecutive losses to Miami and a depleted UNC. Meanwhile, Maryland sits at 5-1, but the “1” comes to easily the best team they’ve played so far. I’m going to take Clemson here, but I don’t feel good about it at all.

2:30: Western Michigan @ Notre Dame (NBC): Not a good sign when, while writing this, I had to remember that yes, in fact, all the directional Michigans are DI-A and in the MAC. Notre Dame rolls.

  • Arkansas @ Auburn (CBS): This may well be the most wide open game in the history of the SEC. Arkansas also desperately needs it to keep their slim SEC West chances alive. Arkansas actually seems to play some semblance of defense, though, so I’ll take them. But if I were betting on this (note that we endorse that sort of thing) I’d take the over.
  • Iowa @ Michigan (ABC/ESPN/Gameplan): Speaking of defense – Iowa’s got one, and Michigan emphatically does not. Will we witness another Michigan implosion after a 5-0 start? I kind of doubt it – I’ll take the Wolverines.
  • Texas @ Nebraska (ABC/ESPN/Gameplan): I just cannot see any way this year’s Texas team beats this year’s Nebraska team. One of the storylines I always found intriguing when it was rumored, and then announced, that Nebraska was bolting for the Big Ten after this season is sort of the idea that this whole Big 12 thing didn’t really go the way the ‘Huskers wanted it. In the old Big 8, Nebraska was king – and at the time, it was naturally assumed that this would continue to be the case. And sure, the old Big 8 schools held their own at first, with Nebraska and Kansas State vying for dominance and racking up the BCS appearances. But then a funny thing happened, and next thing they knew Oklahoma and Nebraska wasn’t a big rivalry anymore and Texas was getting all the headlines. Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that while Nebraska fans have had this one marked literally on the calendar since it was announced, they’ve probably been looking forward to it figuratively for a long time.
  • California @ Southern California (FSN): I have no idea what to make of Cal this year. None. USC though doesn’t have much of a defense. I’ll take the Bears.
  • Wake Forest @ Virginia Tech (ESPNU): Wake is… well, they’re just not very good this year. VPI rolls.
  • Southern Methodist @ Navy (CBSCS): Other than the expected beatdown from TCU, SMU has been holding their own this year. Navy, though, just barely beat a terrible Wake Forest team and, well, with losses to Maryland and Air Force I don’t think this year is going quite as they (or at least I) expected. I’ll take the Mustangs.
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Georgia Tech ( It’s easy to point at Dwight Dasher’s first game back last Tuesday against Troy and say that he was horrible. Because he was. But that doesn’t really relate to anything that might happen in Atlanta. I don’t want to say this is a (sigh) trap game, but after showing decent progress last week we need to not regress going into the most important stretch on our schedule.

4:00: Brigham Young @ Texas Christian (Versus): At the beginning of the year, I probably saw this game somewhere and I probably said something like, “aw yeah, this is going to be a great one!” Yeah, not so much. TCU should roll
6:00: South Carolina @ Kentucky (ESPN2): The best part about South Carolina winning is, for me, the fact is gives Steve Spurrier ammo to start making fun of other coaches again – for instance, this week he made a remark about his team “at least being able to count to 11” or some such. At any rate, Kentucky gave Auburn all they wanted and more, but they’ve still lost three straight. I suspect that will go to four.

  • Ohio State @ Wisconsin (ESPN): Okay, so far Ohio State has done everything right. They thoroughly beat the one decent team they played and they’ve blown out everyone else (except Illinois). So now they go into Camp Randall Stadium the obvious favorites. Folks are giving Wisconsin a lot of credit, but really they’ve played one really good team (Michigan State) and lost, and been an okay Arizona State team. So we don’t really know much about them either. Personally, I’m taking the chalk and honestly I don’t think it’ll be that close.
  • Iowa State @ Oklahoma (FSN): I think the only way Iowa State has a chance here is if Oklahoma turns the ball over 9 times a la Nebraska last year. Sooners should roll.
  • Mississippi State @ Florida (ESPNU): Okay, Florida fans, your offense actually does suck. Fine, I believe you. There’s still no way you should lose to Miss State.

7:30: Arizona @ Washington State (Versus): Arizona.
8:00: Air Force @ San Diego State (CBSCS): San Diego State’s good start was probably just an illusion. As long as Air Force isn’t too high on having the inside track for the Commadner in Chief’s trophy for the first in forever they should be able to take care of business.
9:15: Mississippi @ Alabama (ESPN2): South Carolina is a very good football team that played the game of their lives last weekend. Ole Miss is not very good. In fact, they’re probably not even good. This one might get ugly.
10:15: Oregon State @ Washington (ESPN): I still like Oregon State a whole bunch, so I’ll take them to beat U-Dub here.
10:30: New Mexico State @ Fresno State (ESPNU): And here’s the nightcap! Fresno may be having a down here, but New Mexico State just got its first win of the year last week, and only because they played also winless New Mexico. Fresno should have this one.
All right, that was a little short, but the night schedule is relatively spaced out this week with no 8:00 ABC game. Anyway, like I said, bowl predictions sometime Sunday night or Monday!