Monthly Archives: November 2014

THWG Thought of the Day: 11/29

Men, Georgie’s a fine football team, a very fine football team. Georgie’s bigger and faster than we are. Probably a little tougher, too.

That’s okay, because we’re smarter than they are.

Now, let me tell you what’s going to happen. That Georgie team’s going to come running out of the tunnel screaming and foaming at the mouth and smashing one another upside the head just to get warmed up.

We won’t do any of that. While they waste their energy, we’ll conserve ours. I’ve told you that they’re bigger, faster, and tougher than you. That’s true. But we do have that one big advantage.

We … are … smarter.

Think about what I teach you. Play field position. Play great defense. Make no mistakes on offense. Be great in the kicking game. Do that and we’ll keep it close.

As the game goes on, they’ll start to get tired because they wasted so much energy in the beginning. Because we’re smart, we’ll have plenty of energy left, and at some point in the fourth quarter they’ll make a mistake.

When they do make that mistake, we’ll get the football. And when that happens, I’ll think of something and we’ll win!

Coach Bobby Dodd, as told by Bill Curry

This Weekend in College Football: Week 14

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Michigan @ Ohio State (ABC): It’s hard to see Michigan really doing anything to win this game. Their offense is simply too bad, and Ohio State is firing on all cylinders right now.
  • South Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN): This pick is basically conditional on Deshaun Watson’s status. If he plays, and preferably, starts, then I think Clemson can snap their losing streak. Otherwise, the Gamecocks should prevail.
  • Kentucky @ Louisville (ESPN2): Louisville’s had a good run so far this season. Up in Lexington, the good times were rolling, including two SEC wins and a narrow overtime loss to Florida, up until they got dismantled 41-3 by LSU back in mid-October. They’ve lost five straight since then, and none of them where close. Louisville will probably make it six.
  • West Virginia @ Iowa State (FS1): Really the only surprising result for the Fightin’ Holgos in their current three game losing streak was the semi-bizarre loss to Texas. Other than that, they gave TCU and K-State way more than either wanted. They should get off the schnide against Iowa State.
  • Illinois @ Northwestern (ESPNU): In a battle for bowl eligibility, there can only be one winner. And that winner will probably not be Illinois.
  • Cincinnati @ Temple (ESPNEWS): Temple’s surprised me before, but it’s hard to see how they stack up against Cincy.
  • North Texas @ Texas-San Antonio (FSN): Absolutely no clue. I was going to go North Texas but F+ says UTSA has a 76% chance of winning, so…
  • Rice @ Louisiana Tech (CBSS): This is the vastly more interesting C-USA West fight than the one above, as the winner gets the right to face Marshall. That winner seems much more likely to be LaTech.
  • Georgia Tech @ Georgia (SEC): To Hell With Georgia.
  • Purdue @ Indiana (BTN): With two in-state teams with identical 3-8 records and 5+ game losing streaks, this is basically a tossup to me. Purdue, I guess?


  • North Carolina State @ North Carolina (ACC): UNC’s offense figures to just be too much for NC State.
  • Syracuse @ Boston College (ACC/RSN): I think BC is a pretty solid team, and they figure to handle the ‘Cuse pretty easily.

1:00: Utah @ Colorado (Pac12): The Pac-12’s newest members face off, but as I’ve mentioned before, their trajectories since joining the conference are vastly different. This Colorado team, despite being 0-8, isn’t as awful as it’s been, but they’re still pretty bad. The Utes should win easily.


  • Notre Dame @ Southern California (FOX): Notre Dame has been exposed a bit in their current three-game losing streak. While Southern Cal isn’t great or anything, they do have the talent to compete and I don’t think Notre Dame is good enough at this point to punish them for their lack of depth. I have the Trojans as a slight favorite.
  • Mississippi State @ Mississippi (CBS): Speaking of collapses, what happened to Ole Miss last weekend? Well, for starters, they managed to turn the ball over six times, which is a pretty good way to ensure that you’ll lose 30-0. Miss State still only has the one blemish on their record, while the Rebels are playing only for pride now with three losses. This Egg Bowl doesn’t look as appetizing as did two weeks ago, that’s for sure. At any rate, I have the Bulldogs in this one.
  • Michigan State @ Pennsylvania State (ABC/ESPN2): One team not suffering a post-big-loss hangover is Michigan State. Since losing to Ohio State, they’ve pounded Maryland and Rutgers into a fine dust. They figure to do the same against Penn State.
  • Baylor vs. Texas Tech (@Arlington, TX; ABC/ESPN2): I’d say it’s getting weird at Texas Tech vis-a-vis the situation with their former defensive coordinator, but weird stuff happens there a lot, so let’s say it’s getting downright ugly. Baylor should win easily.
  • Florida @ Florida State (ESPN): It’s tempting to say that Florida will get up for this rivalry game the same way they did against Georgia, but let’s face it: that one game is the only time all year Florida has displayed any sort of offensive competence. (Well, and against Eastern Kentucky last week, but that doesn’t count.) Florida’s defense is good enough to keep it close, but FSU will probably keep doing what they’ve been doing.
  • Rutgers @ Maryland (ESPNU): Maryland, probably.
  • San Jose State @ San Diego State (CBSS): I don’t have any good reason to pick San Jose State here, so I won’t. I do bet that Boise wishes any of the teams on this side of the MWC table were better going into next week’s title game, though.
  • Minnesota @ Wisconsin (BTN): It’s hard to see how Minnesota is going to be able to stand up to Wisconsin’s brutal rushing attack.


  • Kansas @ Kansas State (FS1): It’s hard to see how Kansas will put up a fight against K-State at all.
  • Connecticut @ Memphis (ESPNEWS): Given that they’re favored to lose to Memphis, that Fiesta Bowl must seem like a distant memory to Husky fans.
  • Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (SEC): I continue to lack an explanation for how awful Vandy is this year, so I’ll just stick to picking against them.

4:30: Brigham Young @ California (Pac12): I’ve been calling for Cal to win this one in the bowl predictions, mostly because that makes things slightly easier. In reality, this one projects to be pretty close. I’ll stick my guns and lean toward Cal.


  • Pittsburgh @ Miami (ESPN2): Dear Miami: what the hell happened against Virginia last weekend? Obviously you’re still favorites and still my pick in this one, but seriously.
  • Wake Forest @ Duke (ESPNU): At least what happened to Duke last week is somewhat explainable, and trust me, I’m quite happy it happened. Duke’s been sliding a bit, but a game against Wake Forest is a decent way to right the ship, as it were.

7:45: Auburn @ Alabama (ESPN): Barring another crazy special teams play, as hilarious as it was, it’s difficult to see Auburn getting a win here. Auburn’s defense just isn’t good enough to provide the resistance to Alabama’s offense that they need to have a chance.

8:00: Oregon @ Oregon State (ABC): Weird things can always happen in this Civil War, but believe me that doesn’t really project to be the case this year.

10:15: Utah State @ Boise State (ESPN2): Boise has improved as the season’s gone on. Utah State has been putting on a pretty brave show for most the season in light of what happened to their all-everything quaterback, but the dream figures to end on the blue turf.


  • Washington @ Washington State (FS1): It’s been a rough second year for Mike Leach out in Spokane, and UDub doesn’t figure to make it any less so.
  • Nevada @ Nevada-Las Vegas (ESPNU): It’s not often you can say a 6-5 team is obviously better than another, but when your opponent is 2-10, this is one of those times. Nevada.

This Week in College Football: Week 14

It’s a special Turkey Week edition! As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

7:00: Ohio @ Miami (ESPN2): The Bobcats need this one to get to bowl eligibility. I think they’ll get it.


  • Louisiana State @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (ESPN): If this were last year’s TAMU team, then I’d probably have them in this one. Of course, LSU’s offensive woes came to a head last week when they lost 17-0 to Arkansas. Oh, the Tigers’ defense did the job, as they held the bruising Arkansas rushing game to under 100 yards, but the offense just did nothing the entire game, only producing one trip to the red zone. (The result was a missed field goal.) TAMU, meanwhile, followed their potentially season-saving win over Auburn with a loss to Mizzou. With their offensive inconsistency, it seems entirely possible that they will be shut down by LSU’s still pretty good defense entirely.
  • Texas Christian @ Texas (FS1): Texas is certainly playing a lot better in the back half of this season, but good enough to beat a regrouped TCU? Probably not.

11:00: Northern Illinois @ Western Michigan (ESPNU): Friday morning MACtion! A potentially good one too. NIU wins the MAC East outright if they win, due to having a tiebreaker over Toledo. WMU would need some help, as they have a head-to-head loss against the Rockets. Make that a lot of help because Toledo plays relatively hapless Eastern Michigan, so it’s unlikely they’ll lose. I like the Huskies just slightly here.


  • Nebraska @ Iowa (ABC): The heat is on Bo Pellini after last week’s loss to Minnesota, but another 9-win season looks rip for taking against the Hawkeyes.
  • Central Florida @ South Florida (ESPN2): UCF’s offense isn’t great, but USF’s is even worse. Should be an easy win for the Knights.
  • Western Kentucky @ Marshall (FS1): Marshall definitely had took close of a call against UAB last weekend, but they should have less trouble here. They’ll face Rice or Louisiana Tech next weekend to see if they can reach 13-0.
  • Houston @ Southern Methodist (CBSS): SMU still possesses the worst scoring offense in major college football. How bad is it? They’re averaging less than 10 points per game. That’s pretty bad. Houston should have no trouble with their cross-town rival.

2:30: Arkansas @ Missouri (CBS): Arkansas did it again last weekend, and they did it in style with a 30-0 demolition of Ole Miss. And you know what? I think they’ll do it again against Mizzou.


  • Arizona State @ Arizona (FOX): I’ve actually had the Sun Devils all the way since I started doing bowl predictions, so no reason to back off now I suppose. Otherwise, this one projects to be very close.
  • Stanford @ California-Los Angeles (ABC): Cal was bad enough and Stanford’s defense good enough for the Cardinal to prevail, but UCLA is good enough that I don’t think that’s going to work again.
  • Colorado State @ Air Force (CBSS): While Air Force always presents a challenge, I think Colorado State is legitimately good team at this point.

8:00: Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ESPN): Honestly, I think this game is around a coin flip, except for last week’s 0-0 debacle against Wake Forest by VPI. (Wake won 6-3. In double overtime.) Based on that, I pretty much have to take the Cavaliers, don’t I?

8:30: East Carolina @ Tulsa (ESPNU): The season started with such promise for the Pirates, but alas. They should still be able to handle Tulsa though.