Before The Week 9 Games
- Final Thoughts
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2011 Fearless Predictions
Final Thoughts, Week
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- Last week it was Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. There will be more. Oh yes, there will be more.
- Gut feeling; this is Clemson's week to get tagged. The Georgia Tech offense has been a bit too mediocre over the last few weeks and it's overdue to come up with one of its
patented, out-of-the-blue, "you couldn't simulate
this in one week of practices," performances. The Yellow Jacket secondary is playing well and the defense is doing a decent enough job to get by, but it'll take an unfocused Clemson to pull off the upset.
- With all of that said, it's time to start putting Tajh Boyd in the Heisman race. At the immediate moment he's playing as well as Andrew Luck, and he earns points from an MVP standpoint. Without Luck, Stanford would probably still be unbeaten against its soft schedule. Without Boyd, Clemson is probably 5-3.
- Gut feeling; I'm not ready to assume Kansas State goes bye-bye this week. Lost on the first half of the season is that Oklahoma faced exactly one high-octane offense, Texas Tech's, and it hasn't faced anyone who can run the ball like Kansas State. No one's as disciplined as this Wildcat bunch,
and there's a chance OU never finds its groove until
it's too late.
- The last time Oklahoma lost back-to-back games in the regular season was October of 1999.
- With all of that said, if Oklahoma wins out, it's going to end up playing the Alabama/LSU winner for the national title.
- And will lose.
- It would've been interesting to have seen Wisconsin get its shot against the LSU/Alabama winner. These aren't high-flying Tiger and Tide teams; they're tough, dirty, and brutish. Next week will come down to who's nastier in the trenches, and Wisconsin is the one team
with the make-up to stand up to the bullies.
- If the Badgers blow out a rested and angry Ohio State that had two weeks off to prepare, and in Columbus, I'm ready to dismiss the Michigan State game as a quirky fluke.
- Boise State, take note of what Mr. Nine Touchdown Case Keenum and Houston did to Rice. THAT'S what you do if you want people to ignore your lousy schedule.
- Here's the crazy part lost in Houston's 73-point explosion; it happened in a hiccup. The Cougar offense didn't score until the last play of the first quarter, and the final touchdown came less than five minutes into the fourth. Keenum gets all the focus and attention for his record-setting night, getting past Graham Harrell to become the NCAA's all-time
leader in touchdown passes, but it was Patrick Edwards who blew the game wide open with 318 yards and five scores on seven catches.
- There's not even a split-second worth of doubt in my mind that Houston in a BCS game would be 2007
Sugar Bowl Hawaii against Georgia.
- No, Keenum isn't much of a pro prospect. He
doesn't have the size and he doesn't have the
downfield arm, but he can hang around the league for
a long time as a smart, accurate No. 2 or a great
scout team No. 3.
- Don't knock it; it's one of the best jobs in the
history of the planet. You get paid gobs and gobs of
money to practice playing football.
- Think about it for a moment. Keenum, if he can maintain the most pedestrian of paces, and assuming he plays in a Conference USA title game and a bowl, will finish up his career with
around 160 touchdown passes and 19,000 yards. It took an extra year of eligibility, conference title games, and bowls to get there, but even so, assuming that some quarterback down the road plays in a high-octane passing offense and ends up starting all four years, stays healthy, and
works his way through conference title games and bowls to end up with 56 starts,
he'll have to average around 340 yards and three touchdown passes a game, every game, just to be close to the mark.
- I wrote roughly the same blurb a few years ago about Timmy Chang's stats at Hawaii.
- I'm more into the strategic aspect of football than the physical side, but watching Nelson Cruz wuss out on what would've been the World Series-winning catch made me proud to like football more.
- The 1986 and 1991 Game Sixes were better.
- As was the season premiere of Beavis and
Butt-head. The dogging of Jwoww and Jersey Shore
alone was worth the long, long wait.
- Seriously, you make the catch, you crash into the wall, you win the World Series,
and you spend the next five months healing up.
- If Matt Barkley, one of the good guys in the game, is saying you quit, you probably quit.
- Watch out for Notre Dame and Tommy Rees to light up Navy like a Christmas tree. If
East Carolina's Dominique Davis can complete 26 passes in a row against the Midshipman secondary, Rees,
if healthy, could be brilliant.
- Michael Floyd will catch at least 12 passes.
- There will never be a time when I don't write or
call him Malcom Floyd first, and there won't be a
time when I don't call him Michael Floyd and then
wonder if I just called him Malcom.
- Navy might be 2-5, and it'll be 2-6, but four of the losses have come by a grand total of eight points, losing to South Carolina by three, Air Force by one in OT, Rutgers by one, and East Carolina by three.
- And Southern Miss by 28.
- Part One of the Fun Statement of the Week That I'm Too Tired And Lazy To Do
The Research Needed To See If It's Actually True. Wake Forest has beaten Duke 12 times in a row. I'm going to go on a crazy limb and say in the history of Wake Forest football,
that doubles the longest win streak over anyone
- Wake Forest lost to Norfolk Blues, whatever that was, 31-0 in 1910, and it closed out its 1911 season with a 26-0 win over the U.S.S. Franklin.
- In 1915, Wake Forest beat Florence YMCA 80-0.
- - Part Two of the Fun Statement of the Week That I'm Too Tired And Lazy To Do The Research Needed To See If It's Actually True. I'll throw it out there that after New Mexico plays Air Force this week, no player in the history of college football will have made more tackles against one team than Lobo senior Carmen Messina. He made five tackles against the Falcons as a freshman, followed it up with 19 stops as a sophomore and 17 as a junior. It's not crazy to think he'll come up with 19 tackles to finish with 60 for his four-game career
in the series.
- Knock, Knock. Who's there? A real, live, decent game for Georgia.
- 'll be floored if Michigan State loses to Nebraska. This is a bad, bad, bad matchup for a Husker team that has to run the ball to win. The Spartan defensive line could put on a clinic.
- Demand 800 passing yards and 85 points in the Baylor-Oklahoma State showdown.
- Considering all the excitement surrounding Texas A&M going to the SEC, there couldn't be more apathetic boredom surrounding the idea of Missouri making the jump. West Virginia or Louisville going to the Big 12 is barely inducing a national yawn, and the idea of Boise State and Air Force going to the Big East is being used as a punchline.
- If you were my close, personal friend and you were going off to Vegas to legally "invest" what little money you might have left, I'd suggest taking a look-see at - and I'm going to keep chasing to try to salvage some semblance of pride - Mississippi State -10 over Kentucky, Iowa -15 over Minnesota, Michigan State +4 over Nebraska, West Virginia -6.5 over Rutgers, Bowling Green -3.5 over Kent State, Hawaii -7 over Idaho, Washington -4 over Arizona, Kansas State +13.5 over Oklahoma, Wisconsin -7 over Ohio State, and my Five-Star, Master Lock Pick Of The Millennium For This Week, St. Louis over Texas. No way, no how Carpenter isn't masterful.
- By the way, considering I'm sort of rocking this year in the Staff Picks, and I'm doing fine on the Cavalcade selections, there's some strange force of nature at work here.
For those of you who jumped off the go-the-opposite bandwagon, you should know better. To those professionals who know that it's a marathon and not a sprint, and for those doing
cartwheels after I went 2-8 last week, you're most certainly welcome. I've now gone 12-28 against the spread with these picks over the first eight weeks.
- There are plenty of very important, very interesting games this weekend, so please, there needs to be a 48-hour moratorium on any and all talk about LSU vs. Alabama. That's what all of next week is for.
- The early line is LSU -4.5.
NC State QB Mike Glennon may not be Russell Wilson, but he's quietly turning the corner in his starting debut, throwing 19 touchdowns to only six picks. A trip to Tallahassee affords the junior another opportunity to step further outside Wilson's shadow.
With a win in Lincoln, will Michigan State have completed its best October in school history? It'd be hard to argue with a four-game run of Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
The Huskers, largely forgotten since the Oct. 1 blowout loss in Madison, are eager to get reintroduced to the rest of the nation at the expense of the Spartans. QB Taylor Martinez and RB Rex Burkhead will struggle for daylight against DT Jerel Worthy and a nasty Michigan State front that'll know what's coming.
Michigan ought not to look past Purdue this weekend. The Boilermakers are playing better in October, nearly knocking off Penn State, and surprising Illinois.
Few teams have disappointed me more this year than Missouri. The Tigers have a rugged final stretch, beginning this week in College Station, which could keep them home for the postseason.
No individual has disappointed me more than Oregon CB Cliff Harris. Can some well-heeled booster just hire this loose cannon a driver?
It's been a rough past few weeks for the service academies. Over the last three weekends, Army, Air Force and Navy have combined to go 0-8, threatening the postseason fate of all three programs.
If you're Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, do you even bother to suit up RB LaMichael James this weekend versus Wazzu? The Ducks might as well wait another week, and have No. 21 as healthy as possible for the final kick against Washington, Stanford, USC and Oregon State.
One of the under-the-radar games of Week 9 has Wake Forest traveling to North Carolina. If the Demon Deacons can keep the Heels reeling, they'll go to Clemson on Nov. 12 with a chance to steal the Atlantic Division from the Tigers.
Without making a tackle or a block, Eric LeGrand is already the Player of the Week in college football. The paralyzed former Scarlet Knights defender will lead his former teammates out of the tunnel for their game with West Virginia, which has beaten Rutgers16 straight times.
At what point does everyone start taking Kansas State and its QB Collin Klein more seriously? Does beating Oklahoma in Manhattan this Saturday do the trick?
Shaun Lewis is to the Oklahoma State defense what WR Justin Blackmon and RB Joseph Randle are to the offense. The sophomore linebacker has a penchant for constantly making momentum-changing plays.
Terming anything the "biggest" is always a dangerous move. However, this year's Cocktail Party in Jacksonville is high on the list of pivotal games in the career of Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
Final Thoughts, Week