Fiutak Final Thoughts: SEC Schedules & More
Posted Sep 14, 2012

Final thoughts and musings before Week 3 kicks off.

Final Thoughts 

Before The Week 3 Games

- 2012 Fearless Predictions

Final Thoughts
- Pete Fiutak
- Richard Cirminiello
- Terry Johnson
- Phil Harrison
- Matt Zemek

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- After the fun and the craziness of last week, good luck, Week 3. The pressure is on.

- I'm one of the few people on the planet who hates upsets in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. There's nothing worse in sports than when a big seed clanks in the second round against Northern Eastern State to ensure a 101-66 final in the Sweet 16 matchup. No, I want to see the big games between the heavyweights with everything on the line. I want the top four seeds to advance to the Final Four after beating the No. 2 seeds.

It's apples and oranges considering the college football season isn't a tournament, but this week would've been more fun if Arkansas hadn't choked.

Of course Arkansas is better than Louisiana-Monroe. Kolton Browning might have gone nuts in a brilliant comeback effort, but the Hogs 1) seemed to let down after getting up big, 2) let down further after franchise quarterback Tyler Wilson was knocked out, 3) let down even further when corner Tevin Mitchel had to be carted off the field and 4) inexplicably forgot to hand the ball off to Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson. Give ULM credit for playing a full sixty minutes and overtime, but because of the loss and with Wilson apparently still day-to-day – aren't we all – there's no buzz whatsoever for the Alabama game. - The ULM game doesn't exist if Arkansas comes up with the win.

- No, Auburn isn't going to lose to ULM.

- No. Really. It's not.

- Auburn has to leave the state of Alabama just twice the rest of the way playing back-to-back mid-October games against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

- The SEC has to work harder on its schedules because they all seem sort of screwy.

- After this game against the Vols, Florida leaves Florida just one more time the rest of the regular season – at Vanderbilt on October 13th.

- The Gators have just one true road game from September 22nd until Thanksgiving. It's still going to take a lot of work to get by LSU and South Carolina at home and Georgia in Jacksonville, but if Florida beats the Vols, there's no excuse to not come up with a huge year.

- It's almost like people are surprised that Florida's defense has been terrific so far. It's Will Muschamp. That's what Will Muschamp does.

- Speaking of schedules, keep an eye out for Mississippi State. It has two big matzo balls hanging out there with road games at LSU and Alabama, but after beating Auburn, how is this for a run? At Troy, South Alabama, at Kentucky, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee. Hell might be coming to breakfast with at Alabama, Texas A&M, at LSU and Arkansas to follow, but if the defense keeps playing like it did last week against the Tigers, 7-0 going into the game against the Tide is on the table.

- I like the Ohio Bobcats. I like the MAC. I respect Frank Solich.

- I'm begging you, stop the Ohio BCS buster talk. Beating Penn State isn't going to be an exclusive club this year; that's hardly going to qualify as anything to build an at-large BCS résumé around.

The Bobcats miss EVERYONE who's any good in conference play including Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan. Yes, after this week against Marshall they're going to be double-digit favorites the rest of the way, but that's because the schedule is embarrassingly bad.

- Question. Where do the cupcakes go for cupcakes? After all the talk about Savannah State and the glut of FCS vs. FBS games over the first few weeks, it can be worse. Iowa State's opponent this week, Western Illinois, kicked off its season with a 27-17 win over Indianapolis. Meanwhile, Baylor has to watch out this week against Sam Houston State, who tuned up last week with a 54-7 win over something called Incarnate Word.

- What does a cupcake look for in a cupcake? It helps if the school was founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

- The Under The Radar Player Matchup of the Week: Louisiana-Lafayette kicker Brett Baer and Oklahoma State kicker Quinn Sharp might be the two best pro prospects in the game. At the very least, they're going to be in a battle for All-America honors if Sharp can get going.

- Wisconsin is dead last in the Big Ten in rushing averaging a pathetic 101.5 yards per game. As solid as Utah State might be, get ready for the steamroller. After running 23 times against Oregon State, be stunned if the Badgers throw the ball more than 15 times.

- I had been saving Utah State over Wisconsin as my Upset Special of the Millennium of the Week for about two months, and then came last week.

- Iowa running back Damon Bullock has rushed for 203 yards in the first two games of the season. The rest of the Hawkeyes have netted a grand total of four yards on the ground.

- I spent way too much time this offseason trying to sell people on the idea that Cal was going to be good and that it was going to give Ohio State a nightmare of a time. However, I quickly realized I can't make Cal better at playing football.

- If Ole Miss beats Texas, considering what Hugh Freeze did last year with Arkansas State, it might be okay to call him the greatest head coach since the beginning of time.

- That honor would belong to Nick Saban, but I don't feel like getting honked at.

- Be shocked if USC doesn't keep its foot on the gas for all four quarters against Stanford. After trying for about 20 minutes in each of the first two games, the Trojans are looking to make a statement.

- Not enough credit has been given to Michigan State for getting by Boise State. Now get ready for Boise State to be all Boise Statey again as it obliterates Miami University. The Broncos are better than you think they are.

- Arizona State vs. Missouri is a statement game whether it seems like it or not. No one is really talking about it this week, but on Monday it will be one of those games that everyone uses to form opinions about the Pac-12. If the Sun Devils beat an SEC team on the road, then the narrative will be that the Pac-12 South is for real. If they lose, then Georgia's rep goes up after last week's win over the Tigers.

- 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 Boise State -21 over Miami University, Texas A&M -13 over SMU; Virginia Tech -10.5 over Pitt; Alabama -20 over Arkansas; USC -8 over Stanford; and my Master Lock, Five-Star Pick of the Millennium of this Week, BYU -4 over Utah.

- I went 2-3 last week and am 3-7 overall.

- Robert Griffin III is obviously a phenomenal talent, and it was only one game, but Baylor quarterback Nick Florence leads the nation in passing efficiency.

- Here's Notre Dame's problem this week – what happens when the offense sputters? Michigan State's defense is the real deal and this isn't going to be a shootout, so when Everett Golson isn't moving the O in a tight battle, the spotlight will then go on Tommy Rees.

- If Minnesota beats Western Michigan, it might be time to think it's going to be in for a sneaky-good season.

- Not great. Sneaky-good.

- Alex Carder and Western Michigan will probably win.

- UConn vs. Maryland and Louisville vs. North Carolina. Unless the Big 12 swoops in and grabs the Cardinals, those two games will probably be part of the 2017 ACC conference schedule.

- If Northwestern is any good, it blows away Boston College with ease.

- It's Northwestern. It doesn't blow away anyone with ease.

- Come on, Michigan. You want to get the Denard for Heisman hype really rolling? Keep him in the bazillion point blowout of UMass long enough for the first ever 300/300 game.
Final Thoughts
- Pete Fiutak
- Richard Cirminiello
- Terry Johnson
- Phil Harrison
- Matt Zemek