Before The Nov. 6 Games
- Final Thoughts
25 | Oct. 2 | Oct. 9
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- It’s the biggest game of the weekend, and considering the national title might be involved, it’s the biggest game of the season so far. So here’s the key fun stat, whether it means anything or not, in the TCU-Utah game. In 46 career games played, TCU QB Andy Dalton has thrown two picks or more in six games. Over the previous three seasons, TCU went 27-4 when Dalton threw fewer than two picks and 0-4 when he threw two or more. This season, TCU beat Oregon State and SMU by a combined score of 71-45 when he threw two interceptions against each team. In the other seven games, Dalton has thrown a total of one interception and TCU won those games by a combined score of 296-33.
- There’s no truth to the rumor that the higher-ups in the Mountain West offices have their TCU visors on. If Utah wins and ends up playing in the national championship, the Pac 10 will do the chirping.
- Oregon State, Tennessee Tech, Baylor, at SMU, at Colorado State, Wyoming, BYU, Air Force, at UNLV, at Utah, San Diego State, at New Mexico, BCS Championship? Uh, okay.
- Pitt, UNLV, at New Mexico, San Jose State, at Iowa State, at Wyoming, Colorado State, at Air Force, TCU, at Notre Dame, at San Diego State, BYU, BCS Championship? Uh, okay.
- Take this for what it’s worth. At the moment, Utah has played the 97th toughest schedule, Oregon the 84th, TCU the 59th, and Auburn the 5th.
- Let’s just save us all the time and effort and just assume that Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase has 100 rushing yards already against the miserable Michigan defense, and set the over/under on Mikel Leshoure yards at 187.
- NC State, prove the Florida State win was more than just Christian Ponder fumbling it away and beat Clemson.
- You don’t care, but a case could be made that the second most interesting race in college football is at the top of the MAC East where Ohio, Temple, Miami University, and Kent State are involved in a battle royale, and they’ll all get their shot to take control in what’ll be a wild and crazy final few weeks.
- You really, and I mean REALLY don’t care, but the most interesting race in college football is the Sun Belt. All nine teams, including 1-7 Western Kentucky, are still alive, and after Troy’s loss to ULM last weekend, there’s no one who stands out.
- I promise. No more MAC or Sun Belt talk for the rest of the day.
- I’m not sure what this means and I’m not sure why it might matter, but the winner of the South Carolina – Florida game on November 13th will get a full three weeks of no SEC action until the conference championship, while the Auburn-Alabama game is November 26th.
- As an e-mailer pointed out to me, if Auburn beats Chattanooga and Georgia, Gene Chizik will be 19-5 as the school’s head coach. He was 5-19 at Iowa State.
- From all indications, Penn State players really, really, REALLY wants to give Joe Paterno his 400th win at home over Northwestern. It would also make the Nittany Lions bowl eligible.
- Northwestern, technically, has the nation’s 35th best run defense, along just 127 yards per game. That will change in a big hurry over the next month with Penn State, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin on the slate.
- There’s something wrong with Georgia playing Idaho State, Kentucky playing Charleston Southern, and Auburn playing Chattanooga on November 6th. I get it on September 11th when you’re still trying to tune up and you need the live work, but at this point of the year there’s no reason for the free space.
- I’m not rooting against Oklahoma State or anything, but it would be fascinating to see Baylor get its cut at Oklahoma at home on November 20th, the Bears’ final regular season game of the year, with the Big 12 South at stake.
- I’m stumped why Robert Griffin isn’t getting any play in the Heisman discussion. If Baylor wins the South, he’s the MVP of the college football season.
- Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz leads the nation in total offense. Yes, Boise State haters, the Broncos really will get a test this week.
- If I had slipped one past the goalie back in college and had a son currently of the right age and the right talent to be looking at FCS football programs, I’d let him take a long meeting with Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian. He has an NFL quarterback in Jake Locker going into the Oregon showdown, and he’s not letting him play with a painful rib injury because “this is the right thing to do.”
- Now watch Locker’s draft stock take a hit as Keith Price leads the Huskies to the upset over the Ducks.
- No, I’m not saying U-Dub is going to beat Oregon.
- California is 0-4 on the road in miserable blowout losses, and it’s 4-0 at home. It would be the craziest trend ever if the Bears lose on the road at Washington State this week and beat Oregon in Berkley on the 13th.
- Nebraska -93 vs. Iowa State, Kansas, Texas A&M, Colorado.
- Is LSU in the national title hunt if it beats Alabama? What happens if Auburn goes 12-0 and gacks the SEC title game and LSU finishes 11-1? Which one gets to play for the national title?
- Alabama fans have a very legitimate beef that their team plays six teams with two weeks off to prepare for the showdowns with the defending national champions. However, this is the one game that there’s no real complaint getting two weeks to get ready for the Tigers.
- If you were my close, personal friend and you were going off to Vegas to legally “invest” the second mortgage on the double-wide (after you just refinanced, of course, considering the ridiculous rates being thrown out there) along with the nine dollars left in Suzie’s 529, I’d suggest taking a look-see at Illinois -3 over Michigan, Virginia -1.5 over Duke, Oklahoma -3.5 over Texas A&M, Missouri -4.5 over Texas Tech, and I’m thinking of hopping on a plane myself just to put a hard-earned dollar on Boston College -3 over Wake Forest. Of course, there’s a reason why the Vegas casinos and hotels are so massive.
- By the way, I’m 7-3-1 ATS on these picks over the last two weeks. If I was actually in Vegas, I’d be 3-7-1 and pulling a Hasselhoff eating a burger off the floor.
- Air Force is after its first Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy since 2002. Army is a win away from bowl eligibility for the first time since 1996. Should be a wild scene on the Hudson this weekend.
- If true freshman QB Stephen Morris plays well against Maryland, Jacory Harris could be in trouble at Miami. The ‘Canes will also be without RB Damien Berry in a pivotal game for the program.
- If Illinois keeps playing well, how about Ron Zook’s Illini vs. Urban Meyer’s Gators in a postseason showdown?
- The only thing worse than an SEC-FCS match up is when it occurs in early November. Kentucky, Georgia, and Auburn play Charleston Southern, Idaho State, and Chattanooga, respectively. Uggh.
- Actually, in retrospect, a visit from the Mocs couldn’t come at a better time for Auburn. Nice scheduling.
- Has there ever been a better weekend for the non-AQs? TCU and Utah play for the Mountain West lead, while Boise State and Hawaii square off for WAC supremacy. All but the Warriors are still in the national title chase.
- There are a lot of Penn State people that would be thrilled if JoePa could hand the baton to Pat Fitzgerald following this week’s game. He fits the Nittany Lions’ profile for a coach to a tee.
- With all of the attention ‘Bama has been getting as a “the best one-loss team”, I get the feeling that it’s going down in Baton Rouge this Saturday. Just a hunch, but a strong one.
- Cal has either won or lost the last four games by four touchdowns, making the Bears the poster-child for inconsistency.
- Even if no one can stop Oregon in the Pac-10, the primetime game between Arizona and Stanford will go a long way toward determining whether the conference gets a rare at-large BCS berth.
By Matt Zemek
- Chattanooga-Auburn: No reason for Cam Newton to play. Kodi Burns can win this game. Show some good faith in your team, Auburn, and send the NCAA the message that you’re big on sobriety, not hubris.
- Florida-Vanderbilt: When Urban Meyer snitches on Vandy in the not-too-distant future, then you’ll really have a story that will get SEC fans riled up.
- Arkansas-South Carolina. Well, if the loss to Auburn didn’t count for South Carolina, does that mean the Gamecocks can clinch the SEC East after all this Saturday? Geez, this Newton situation will be such a bear to resolve. The SEC Championship Game could exist in a state of suspended animation if there’s no ruling by the morning of Thanksgiving Friday, when teams’ SEC finales begin in week 13 of the season.
- Central Florida-Houston: Quite possibly, this is the Conference USA game of the year. Interestingly enough, it has better and more accessible (and cheaper) TV coverage than the Mountain West game of the year between TCU and Utah.
- North Carolina State-Clemson. If you have no emotional investment in this game, you’ll laugh all the way through. If you do have an emotional attachment to one of these two teams, your stomach will churn and your belief in God will take a huge hit.
- Illinois-Michigan: If the Illini win this game, the words “December phone call” and “Jim Harbaugh” will emerge in Ann Arbor and Detroit news outlets.
- Air Force-Army: Air Force can finally be chiefly in command of the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy with a win here. Not since 2002 has Air Force (or any team other than Navy) claimed the prestigious piece of hardware.
- Baylor-Oklahoma State: Another game affected by the Cam Newton domino development. Robert Griffin III begins his November push for the Heisman.
- Washington-Oregon: NewtonGate also makes this game important for LaMichael James’s Heisman prospects. Thank goodness there’s one reason to watch this game, given Jake Locker’s absence from it.
- TCU-Utah: Andy Dalton. Andy Dalton. Andy Dalton. Andy Dalton. Andy Dalton. Oh, and another thing: Andy Dalton. Any questions about the key to this game?
- Hawaii-Boise State: As usual, each touchdown Boise gives up will be damning proof that the Broncos just aren’t worthy of a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. Each Boise score will only make observers lament Boise’s schedule even more.
- Nebraska-Iowa State: My word. If ISU beats Nebraska 9-7 again – on the basis of a truckload of turnovers from the Huskers – what will Western Civilization be able to do in response?
- Northwestern-Penn State: If the Wildcats keep committing penalties, Pat Fitzgerald will be Joe Paterno’s age in no time.
- Arizona-Stanford: Jim Harbaugh’s push for the Michigan job begins in earnest if his alma mater loses to Illinois earlier in the day. And by the way: No Happy Meals can be eaten in the stands, Bay Area residents!