Before The Oct. 16 Games
- Final Thoughts
25 | Oct. 2 | Oct. 9
Fearless Predictions For Every
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- Crazy, wacky prediction time. Ohio State loses at Wisconsin this weekend. Oregon goes to No. 1 and rocks UCLA in an electric Autzen Stadium next Thursday night, and then loses at USC the week after. Through clinched teeth, voters put Boise State in one of the top two spots in the rankings with TCU No. 3.
- Don't make anything out of Boise State being No. 1 in the first go-round of the BCS rankings. Remember, the computers take the entire season from start to finish into account, and then
the Bronco schedule will end up having its say in this very, very soon.
- Alabama, you're still being talked about as a sure thing for the national championship if you win out. Okay,
so prove it. Go out and drill Ole Miss at home and give us a reason to believe you deserve to be back in the discussion.
- By the way, Mark Ingram is pretty good. It's okay to keep feeding him the ball.
- And then do it again.
- And then feel free to use Trent Richardson at least ten times.
- Greg McElroy had a great game against South Carolina and he's having a good year, but Alabama can't win a national title because of him. He has to be a part of the equation but not the main man.
- I've carried enough water for John Brantley over the last 12 months and I'm done saying he's a more talented NFL player than Tim Tebow. He has to start showing why he was such a highly touted prospect, and that starts with making the team his against Mississippi State. You're the starting quarterback at the University of Florida. Play like it.
- That goes for you, too, Garrett Gilbert. Enough. Start playing better, and I don't care that it's Nebraska
on the road in a lion's den game. You're the starting quarterback at the University of Texas. Play like it.
- Don't just assume that Texas gets its doors blown off. The defense is going to give Taylor Martinez a very, very bad day, but the
Longhorn offense won't do enough to pull off the win.
- Watch out for Arkansas State vs. Indiana. Now that IU RB Darius Willis is out for the year, there will be even more pressure on Ben Chappell and the passing game
to carry the team. Ryan Aplin and the Red Wolves have enough offense to pull off the upset.
- I don't believe in you, Illinois. I know you played well against Missouri and Ohio State, and I know you blew away a bad Penn State, but something just doesn't look quite right.
If you beat Michigan State, I'll come around.
- Kids, get ready to start embracing Michigan State. The Spartans don't play Ohio State, and after this week's game against Illinois they have a one game schedule going to Iowa on October 30th.
- No, the trip to Northwestern next week isn't anything to get into a twist over.
- After the win over Northwestern last week, Purdue needs to get past the free space against Minnesota to be 4-2. If the Boilermakers can get two other wins out of at Ohio State, at Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, at Michigan State and Indiana, considering all the injuries to the offense, Danny Hope deserves to be the coach of the year hands down.
- Nothing against Pitt, or anyone else in the Big East, but I'm sort of rooting for Syracuse to be good. That's a one-time great program that can be a lot of fun if it becomes solid. People forget just how amazing the Orange were when quarterbacks like Don McPherson and Donovan McNabb ruled the world.
- Nine of the bottom 21 teams in America in total offense play in the MAC.
- A little fun stat from last week. Ball State QB Keith Wenning completed one of eight passes for 15 yards with two interceptions against Western Michigan. Ladies and gentlemen, that's a -21.8 quarterback ranking according to the collegiate formula.
- In my constant barroom debate with my friends about things I could do in sports right now, I could complete one of eight passes for 15 yards with two interceptions against Western Michigan.
- But I'd also be getting rid of the ball as fast as humanly possible while shrieking like a seven-year-old girl.
- And then I'd whine for the next two weeks about my pulled groin.
- Now it's time to see if Auburn is for real with a nasty home date against Arkansas. The defense has been average and the pass defense has been a disaster. The Tigers can win, but they might have to sit back and groove on a Ryan Mallett 400-yard passing day.
- On the flip side, NFL scouts, here's your chance to see what Mallett can do in the face of a nasty pass rush. He's going to get hit and he's going to get hit a lot.
- A basket of mini-muffins to you if you can name any of the nation's top three leaders in sacks.
- If there aren't 800 yards of passing in the Oklahoma State – Texas Tech game, I'm going to be grouchy.
- BTW, Vinny Curry of Marshall, Logan Harrell of Fresno State, and Roosevelt Nix of Kent State
- I'm not sure what this says about the conference, or the level of non-conference play, or the talent at quarterback, but the SEC has seven teams ranked in the top 30 in passing efficiency. Auburn (2), Alabama (7), Arkansas (10), South Carolina (15), Ole Miss (20), Georgia (27), Kentucky (29).
- Not so fast, Florida. The Gators are 79th overall and 11th in the SEC ahead of only LSU.
- Somewhere at this very moment, for reasons he doesn't know why, Danny Wuerffel has to sit down for a moment.
- If Baylor wins at Colorado, it'll be 5-2 with a winnable game at home against Kansas State next week to become bowl eligible for the first time as a member of the Big 12.
- And then the Bears will get drilled by Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma to close.
- On the flip side, Colorado will be 4-2 if it can beat the Bears, and with Kansas, Iowa State, and Kansas State on the schedule, it'll go bowling and the Dan Hawkins era will take a big left turn.
- Three sneaky games to watch out for. A not-that-miserable Vanderbilt at Georgia, Buffalo (because of the dominant play from its defensive front) at Northern Illinois, and Middle Tennessee (because of Dwight Dasher's second game back) at Georgia Tech.
- TCU will get its third straight shutout in a stomping of BYU.
- By far … BY FAR … the best game of the weekend will be Nevada at Hawaii. The Wolf Pack will run for 400 yards and the Warriors will throw for 450.
- You don't care about San Diego State, but I want to see what it's going to do against Air Force. This is a good Aztec team that gacked against a bad BYU team last week, but at home, this is a game it needs to have for the Brady Hoke era to turn a corner.
- Ahh, just what embattled Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio needs, a visit from Mississippi State and Dan Mullen, his predecessor and a fan favorite in Gainesville. If the Bulldogs somehow win this game, Addazio might need a police escort to get out of the Swamp.
- Do we know much about Mizzou this season? A trip to College Station should start answering some of the tough questions this weekend.
- Very quietly, Charlie Strong has had an immediate impact on Louisville. If the Cards beat Cincinnati on national TV Friday night, they'll have a massive tailwind that could carry them to the postseason.
- The way Florida State is playing, would anyone be surprised if it finishes the regular season with one loss? Plus, that finale with Florida isn't nearly as daunting as it's been in recent years.
- Syracuse is about to play in its most important game in many years. If the Orange upset Pittsburgh, a week after stunning South Florida, Doug Marrone will have this perennial doormat two wins from a bowl game.
- With a visit from VMI up next, Army is basically an upset of Rutgers away from bowling for the first time since 1996.
- Unbeaten Ohio State and Michigan State don't face each other. In the last year it's possible, wouldn't it be ironic if the Big Ten had a split championship?
- Back in August, only a handful of people knew where Taylor Potts and Brandon Weeden played. When Texas Tech hosts Oklahoma State, the quarterbacks will begin the game with 35 combined touchdown passes.
- While an upset at Nebraska isn't likely, I have a sneaking suspicion that Texas will look like a totally different team than the one that lost two straight before the break.
- If the game's on the line Saturday evening, give me Auburn's Cam Newton over Arkansas' Ryan Mallett. The first half of the season said a lot about both quarterbacks' poise in the fourth quarter.
- I'd feel a lot better about Kentucky catching South Carolina napping the week after beating Alabama if RB Derrick Locke was available for the ‘Cats. Still, the Gamecocks better be on upset alert.
- Ole Miss DT Jerrell Powe went on the record, saying ‘Bama got "exposed" by South Carolina. By shooting off his mouth before the trip to Tuscaloosa, Powe "exposed" his lack of good judgment.
By Matt Zemek
- Illinois-Michigan State: This is the game Michigan State loses. Then again, Michigan State isn't acting like Michigan State this season. WINNER: No-longer-Michigan State will defeat Michigan State, which is a tougher and more formidable opponent for the Spartans than is Illinois. Got it?
- Missouri-Texas A&M: This game will answer the question: Who's better – a noticeably injured and physically limited Blaine Gabbert, or a healthy Jerrod Johnson?
- Pittsburgh-Syracuse: In a sane world, Dave Wannstedt would get fired if he dares to lose this game. (Kinda like Randy Shannon after his team put up little resistance to Florida State last weekend.)
- Maryland-Clemson: FACT: Clemson has not scored a second-half touchdown in three of the last four games between these two teams.
- Texas-Nebraska: The Longhorns have put the "loss" in DeLoss Dodds this year. Nebraska, on its way out of the Big 12, now gets its chance to use a one-finger gesture in response to the two-fingered "hook ‘em!" gesture. Don't wear Burnt Orange in Lincoln this weekend if you value serenity.
- Arkansas-Auburn: Bobby Petrino returns to the scene of his attempted coup against Tommy Tuberville. Gus Malzahn coaches against the school that – with Houston Nutt's help – launched his career as a major-college coordinator. It's just another soap opera in the SEC.
- Iowa-Michigan: This is the game in which Iowa's offense actually has to score. Can the good Ricky Stanzi show up instead of the one that traveled down to Tucson, Arizona, a month ago?
- California-USC: Wow, it didn't take long for this game to no longer matter in the Pac-10. Pete Carroll will miss out on his annual humiliation of Jeff Tedford.
- BYU-TCU: The Mountain West version of Texas-Nebraska. Actually, the Mountain West AND the WAC version of Texas-Nebraska. Yes, BYU left a conference on two separate occasions and made life quite inconvenient for the Horned Frogs. Good luck, Cougars … and pray for a prolonged lightning storm, something, to halt what's about to happen.
- South Carolina-Kentucky: Stephen Garcia will pitch the ball THROUGH the goal posts this week and earn three points for Kentucky, not two. As long as the Gamecocks outscore Kentucky by four points the in the other 59 minutes and 52 seconds, everything will be okay.
- North Carolina-Virginia: North Carolina hasn't won in Virginia since 1981. That means Al Groh never lost to the Tar Heels at home. Whoa.
- Ohio State-Wisconsin: Deep philosophical query: How will Ohio State fans react if this game plays out exactly like OSU's last visit to Camp Randall Stadium two years ago?
- Air Force-San Diego State: San Diego State held the ball for only 14 minutes and 59 seconds last week. And now, Air Force comes to town. The Elias Sports Bureau needs to tell us if there's ever been a game in which one team has controlled the ball for under 10 minutes.
- Ole Miss-Alabama: You wanted Oregon-Alabama? You'll have to settle for Masoli-Alabama.
- Nevada-Hawaii: This is a game made for an island paradise. Pure uninhibited pleasure in the middle of the night for America's Eastern and Central time zone viewers. If it's okay to use terms like "Federer porn" or "puppy porn" for tennis nuts and dog lovers, Wolf Pack-Warriors qualifies as football porn.