Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cram Session

Week 5 of the college football season brings us three games matching ranked teams against each other. Before I get into those I would like to introduce a feature called:

Games That Matter to Me That May Not Matter to You

I like two college football teams. Notre Dame is my favorite (grew up watching them) and Nebraska is my second favorite (born in Lincoln, NE; Dad is a graduate). Both programs used to be very relevant in college football. However, over the last few years, to the delight of many, both have fallen on hard times. It is my hope that sometime this year I won't need this section anymore, that I will just be able to include them in my Top 25 preview, but this is how it has to be for now.

Purdue (2-1) at Notre Dame (2-1)

Expectedly, Notre Dame went to Michigan State and lost. The Notre Dame haters have been out in full force this week, calling head coach Charlie Weis fat, crippled, and incompetent. Two out of three may be correct but bless my heart I still believe in Charlie. I saw how much this team improved when he took over for the most overrated coach in college football history, Tyrone Willingham. I see the potential in WRs Golden Tate and Michael Floyd, and QB Jimmy Clausen and I believe an 8-4 season is entirely possible this year. I may have sealed Notre Dame's fate in this one by betting $10 that they will win this game (I almost never win any bets I make) but the home field advantage will be enough and the Golden Domers will be the victors.

Prediction: Notre Dame 21, Purdue 17

Virginia Tech (3-1) at Nebraska (3-0)

This game is the Cornhuskers chance at a coming out party. I would not be surprised to see them in the Top 25 next week if they can earn an impressive victory against Tech. Despite being 3-1 this is a down year for Tech. Their defense is as good as ever, but on the other side of the ball, the offense is as bad as ever. The Nebraska defense still has a ton of questions to answer, but the offense is for real. Nebraska will score enough in this game to offset any possible problems the defense might have.

Prediction: Nebraska 30, Virginia Tech 17

Top 25

#1 USC (2-0, 1-0) at Oregon State (1-2, 0-1)

This game is tonight on ESPN. Oregon State defeated USC at Corvallis in 2006 but that won't be happening this year. Oregon State will keep it close for a quarter, then USC runs away with the game.

Prediction: USC 41, Oregon State 10

#24 TCU (4-0) at #2 Oklahoma (3-0)

TCU shocked Oklahoma in their home opener in 2005 and will look to recapture that magic here. The Moutain West conference is starting to get a lot of hype and TCU is one of those reasons. Oklahoma has looked very impressive through three games with QB Sam Bradford putting up video game like numbers. TCU hangs for a half, then the Sooners pull away.

Prediction: Oklahoma 37, TCU 20

#8 Alabama (4-0, 1-0) at #3 Georgia (4-0, 1-0)

Alabama announced their presence on the national stage with an opening weekend thumping of Clemson and have continued to impress the last 3 weeks. Georgia is busting ouy their black uniforms for this one, which were last seen when they destroyed Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. Part of me wants to pick the upset here but the home field advantage will carry Georgia.

Prediction: Georgia 17, Alabama 14

Mississippi (2-2, 0-1) at #4 Florida (3-0, 1-0)

I am already excited thinking about Florida's matchups later in the year with LSU and Georgia. This one not so much.

Prediction: Florida 38, Mississippi 6

Mississippi State (1-3, 0-1) at #5 LSU (3-0, 1-0)

Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom seemed to have the Bulldogs going in the right direction after last year but an opening game loss to Tulane has proven to be prophetic. LSU earned a hard fought victory at Auburn last Saturday. They will show the effects for a half, then cruise to victory.

Prediction: LSU 35, Mississippi State 14

Arkansas (2-1) at #7 Texas (3-0)

Hurricane Ike delayed this old Southwestern Conference rivalry game, but now it's here and Arksansas is going to get destroyed.

Prediction: Texas 45, Arkansas 10

#9 Wisconsin (3-0, 0-0) at Michigan (1-2, 0-0)

Michigan is really bad, Wisconsin is really good. The Big House is the quietest gathering of over 100,000 people you will ever hear.

Prediction: Wisconsin 20, Michigan 7

#22 Illinois (2-1) at #12 Penn State (4-0)

Penn State has beaten a bunch of cupcakes, while Illinois' defense was steamrolled by the one tough team they have played, the Missouri Tigers. This game will give fans a slight hint as to how good Penn State actually is, at Wisconsin in two weeks will be the true test.

Prediction: Penn State 42, Illinois 24

#13 South Florida (4-0) at NC State (2-2)

NC State knocked off potential BCS buster East Carolina at home last weekend, now they get their shot at South Florida. That win prevented any potential overlooking South Florida might have done.

Prediction: South Florida 21, NC State 14

Minnesota (4-0) at #14 Ohio State (3-1)

Don't let the Golden Gophers 4-0 record fool you, they have beaten nobody. Ohio State RB Beanie Wells should play in this one, and QB Tyrelle Pryor should see most of the snaps.

Prediction: Ohio State 37, Minnesota 13

Tennessee (1-2, 0-1) at #15 Auburn (3-1, 1-1)

Tennessee is terrible, losing to a UCLA team that has since then been outscored by BYU and Arizona by a combined score of 90-10. Auburn lost a heartbreaker at home last week to LSU, Tennessee will bear the brunt of that frustration.

Prediction: Auburn 28, Tennessee 10

Navy (2-2) at #16 Wake Forest (3-0)

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe has done an amazing job and I will be shocked if he hasn't moved on to a higher profile job next year (Tennessee maybe?). The only college football stadium I have been to is Navy's. That makes me sad.

Prediction: Wake Forest 38, Navy 24

Weber State (3-1) at #17 Utah (4-0)

I know Weber State beat North Carolina in the NCAA basketball tournament when I was in high school. I know San Francisco 49ers QB and huge bust Alex Smith went to Utah, beyond that I have nothing.

Prediction: Utah 42, Weber State 3

Maryland (3-1, 0-0) at #20 Clemson (3-1, 1-0)

Not every favorite can win this week so here is my upset special. Ralph Friedgen will outcoach Tommy Bowden, it's science.

Prediction: Maryland 27, Clemson 24

Houston (1-3, 0-0) at #23 East Carolina (3-1, 1-0)

East Carolina's BCS chances ended with last week's loss but hey they can still win Conference USA!

Prediction: East Carolina 31, Houston 13

#25 Fresno State (2-1) at UCLA (1-2)

After UCLA QB Kevin Craft led the Bruins to an upset of Tennessee a certain ABC announcer labeled Craft a star, despite the fact he threw 4 INTs that game. Sounded stupid then, it's sounding even dumber now.

Prediction: Fresno State 21, UCLA 7


Mark said...

how the hell will tennessee score 10 points? you're delusional...

/love the preview, man. good work.

Mark said...

hmmmm...your blog likes to post my real name. how do I change that before everyone finds out who I really am?


Agent Johnson said...

Wake/Navy score is too high. Bama fears no Georgia home field adv. Tenn won't score. I would love to see MD roll Clemson, but we'll see.

Sparty and Friends said...

what this is missing is a whole lot of Javon Ringer.

Cousins of Ron Mexico said...

"Chris Hirsch" Where the hell did you come up with that nonsensical name?

Spencer096 said...

minnesota scoring 13 points on the buckeyes? YOU MUST BE MAD, SON, MAAAAADDDDD!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the picks man. I have a strange feeling that the Skins may pull the upset in Big D

Eileen said...

"[Tech's] defense is as good as ever" is a very inaccurate statement--VT's defense only has 4 returning starters. I would argue that the defense was at its best 2 or 3 seasons ago, though I have a soft spot for the 2004 season. But on whole the VT team is young all around, thus making it a "rebuilding" season if one can have one at the collegiate level. Just a little FYI.

KCD said...

Go Hokies