It’s week 6! Doesn’t feel like it, does it?
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Indiana @ Ohio State (ESPN): Here’s the thing about Indiana. They’re Indiana. With Ohio State’s newfound penchant for beating up on less opponents, they should win easily.
- Illinois @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN2): The Zook Era is probably over at Illinois anyway. But this game probably isn’t going to help things.
- Texas Tech vs. Baylor (@Dallas, TX; FSN): Texas Tech was on the receiving end of an upset beatdown, while Baylor was on the giving end. College football blogger types have been waiting for Baylor QB Robert Griffin, who finally had his breakout game against Kansas, where Baylor rolled 55-7. Also fun is the fact that this game is being held at and during the Texas State fair, though unlike last week’s Red River Shootout I’m not aware of any good nickname for this game between two other Big 12 South rivals. At any rate, I’m going against all my college football instincts and picking Baylor to win.
- Central Michigan @ Virginia Tech (ESPNU): VPI, unless they confuse CMU for JMU or something.
- Minnesota @ Wisconsin (BTN): Wisconsin.
- Tennessee @ Georgia (SEC): UGA is not running good right now, as they ended being trampled (ha-ha!) by a late Buffalo comeback last week. Tennessee, of course, lost as only a team can lose to LSU: in the most chaotic and crazy way possible. Presumably, the Vols have learned their lesson and probably will have no more than 11 folks on the field at any given time to secure the win.
- Boston College @ North Carolina State (ACC): BC is always a decent team, but this year they seem to lack any decent quarterbacks. Russell Wilson should be able to get back on track in this one.
- Alabama @ South Carolina (CBS): I feel pretty good about saying this is Alabama’s last major challenge until Auburn. Yes, I know LSU and Auburn are both higher ranked than South Carolina, but the mere idea of a Nick Saban team losing to Les Miles is almost enough to make my head explode. While South Carolina is a legit threat, I suspect the Tide will dispose of them the same way they do all their threats. As EDSBS’s Orson Swindle put it last week, Alabama plays football like they hate it, as though they’re bored with it. That ruthless efficiency will allow them to win again in Columbia, most likely.
- Pittsburgh @ Notre Dame (NBC): The most recent image in my head for either of these teams is Pitt getting mercilessly pounded by Miami, so I’m going to take ND here.
- Michigan State @ Michigan (ABC/ESPN): Two undefeated teams will enter, but only one will leave! This is shaping up to be the best iteration of this rivalry in years, and is fully worth your support. As a Tech fan, it’s hard not to sympathize with Michigan State, which along with GT and teams like Texas A&M have an arch-nemesis who doesn’t really reciprocate. Both these teams appear good from the available data. Michigan has one of the most electric quarterbacks in the country, and Michigan State has a coach who is back only a few weeks after a heart attack. Of course, as Doc Saturday points out, this undefeated starts bears a resemblance to last year’s 4-0 start for Michigan, a streak which was broken by the Spartans. That said, being the home team and possessing the superior offense, I have to pick Michigan.
- Clemson @ North Carolina (ABC/ESPN/Gameplan): Clemson ended up losing by 9 to Miami last week, but there’s no real shame in that. UNC has rebounded from an 0-2 start to pull up to 2-2, with wins over moribund Rutgers and East Carolina. Against quality competition, I basically consider both these teams 0-2, and with all the drama surrounding Carolina right now I have to pick the Tigers.
- Arkansas vs. Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (@Arlington, TX; ABC/Gameplan): Dallas is basically the capital of the college football world for the day, with the early game up at the Cotton Bowl and this game down at Jerry Jones’s Intergalactic Space Palace. Do not be fooled by TAMU’s 3-1 record, for the “3” part of that comes against teams like Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech, and Florida International (whom they only beat by a touchdown). Arkansas has also had a bye week to recover from their last minute collapse against Alabama, and should be on the right track here to beat the Aggies.
- California-Los Angeles @ California (FSN): Hey, remember that time Cal lost by three touchdowns to Nevada as the Wolfpack ran all over them for 316 yards? Hey, remember that time UCLA beat Texas by three touchdowns while rushing for 264 yards? Now recall that UCLA installed Nevada’s offense and, well, I’ll be taking the Bruins over the Bears.
- Virginia @ Georgia Tech (ESPNU): It’s homecoming. I’m generally against scheduling homecoming against conference foes (especially we play MTSU at home next week), but I’m not in charge of these things. As for the football game? Well, we basically played like crap again until sometime around the 8-minute mark in the 4th quarter the offensive collectively woke up and realized, “hey wait, we’re losing to Wake Forest”. From there, GT went on a tear as it methodically came back. Dropped passes and missed blocks – two of GT’s main problems – are mostly issues of execution, not talent. This team has the talent to succeed if it plays four quarters of football. They just need to play like it if they want to beat UVA two years in a row for the first time since 1990 and 1991.
- Wyoming @ Texas Christian (CBSCS): This is an away game for the Cowboys, so definite no brown tops. Boise beat these guys 51-6, so I figure that’s about where the bar is for TCU.
- Colorado @ Missouri (FSN): We’ve talked plenty about 5th down. These Tigers are undefeated, but against, well, terrible teams. Fortunately for them, this edition of Colorado is pretty bad. I’ll take Mizzou.
- Oregon State @ Arizona (Versus): I think Oregon State’s got what it takes to take down Arizona. Arizona is 4-0, which is all well and good, but I just can’t figure out what they’ve done to deserved to be ranked 9th in the country. Which is a major part of why I’m taking the Beavers.
- Eastern Michigan @ Vanderbilt (ESPNU): I’m pretty sure Vandy can win this one against one of, if not the worst, Division I-A football team in the country.
- Louisiana State @ Florida (ESPN): Don’t let Florida fans fool you, they’re still pretty good and undefeated against teams that aren’t Alabama over the past two seasons. I think they’ll beat LSU.
- Auburn @ Kentucky (ESPN2): The Cam Newton Experience is back in action in Lexington, where Auburn should be able to beat Kentucky pretty thoroughly.
- Purdue @ Northwestern (BTN): Purdue just lost to Toledo by 11. Toledo. I’ll take Northwestern to run it to a not really that improbable 6-0, considering the schedule they’ve played.
- Southern California @ Stanford (ABC/Gameplan): If you’d told me even two years ago that Stanford would ever be a double-digit favorite over USC I’d have thought you were crazy. And yet, here we are. Andrew Luck and Co. should be ready to exploit USC’s entirely too forgiving defense while avenging their loss to Oregon.
- Florida State @ Miami (ABC/Gameplan): FSU and Miami are ranked again! It’s everything the ACC ever wanted! Well, except that each of these teams lost to superior teams from other conferences already, so not so much. Also, FSU’s pass defense still seems to be somewhat terribly, giving nice, soft and juicy coverages for Jacory Harris to exploit mercilessly. Miami should win pretty easily, unless Harris has one of his “bad days”.
- Mississippi State @ Houston (CBSCS): With their all-everything QB, Houston would have a very good chance to win this game, but since he isn’t have to take Miss State.
10:30: San Jose State @ Nevada (ESPNU): Last year’s edition of this game is what led to one of the quotes down at the bottom of this page. Oh, and last weekend SJSU let DI-AA UC-Davis score two unanswered touchdowns to rally and win 14-13. (I was eating dinner with some friends when I overheard someone else in the restaurant ask someone how SJSU did. They just said, “well, we lost” and left out the part about losing to Davis.) I would expect something similar to last year’s 62-7 route, but hey there’s nothing else on this late and watching Nevada run their offense can be pretty entertaining.
That’s all for now. Bowl predictions are almost here! They’ll debut after the BCS comes out next week (as in, after Week 7).