Expect the Halloween costumes to be out in full force at this weekend’s games.
Two weeks ago I killed it in my predictions but this past weekend I was awful. I have some ground to make up.
Thursday night games October 23rd:
Connecticut at #24 East Carolina. East Carolina Quarterback Shane Carden is worth watching and is on pace to throw for over 4,000 yards and 32 Touchdowns. Should be an easy win for the East Carolina Pirates as they improve to 6-1.
Miami at Virginia Tech. Both of these teams are sitting at 4-3 and the loser drops to 4-4 on the year which would be a huge disappointment for them. Miami true freshman Quarterback Brad Kaaya has thrown for 1,806 yards and 16 Touchdowns, but 9 interceptions. Duke Johnson at Running Back is dangerous and so is true freshman Joseph Yearby. Phillip Dorsett at Wide Receiver is a true deep threat. The Hurricanes are young up front and their defense isn’t going to remind of the old Cane defenses other than Middle Linebacker Denzel Perryman who is a beast.
Virginia Tech is a far cry from what they were a few years ago, but they are really young. I wanna pick the Hokies but I think the Canes will take them.
Friday night games October 24th: my brothers birthday
South Florida at Cincinnati. The South Florida Bulls have had a somewhat disappointing season so far at 3-4, but they have an impressive young true freshman Running Back Marlon Mack that has rushed for 727 yards and 8 Touchdowns.
This game is worth watching to see Marlon Mack and Cincinnati Quarterback Gunner Kiel. Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville says his Wide Receivers are the best he has ever coached and he was at Auburn and Texas Tech.
Unfortunately, Tuberville has done nothing for the Bearcat defense and I would probably have to pick South Florida.
Troy at South Alabama. I’m glad this game is on Friday and televised so that we can get another viewing of South Alabama Quarterback Brandon Bridge. Bridge is a work in progress that is running out of time at the college level. He does possess enormous potential.
South Alabama should cruise here.
BYU at Boise State. I won’t be watching any games played on blue turf. BYU was 4-0 with Taysom Hill in the lineup and 0-3 without him. BYU players won’t be able to see blue jersey wearing Boise State players against that blue turf and will be 0-4 without Taysom Hill after this game. I like Boise State coach Bryan Harsin just fine, but that detestable blue turf I just can’t get past.
#8 Oregon at California. The California Golden Bears are one of the most improved teams in the country, but it won’t be enough to beat the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks absolutely have to win out to have even a remote shot at making the new playoffs.
For the record, I am fine with the playoffs. I just don’t get why those people are the ones choosing the teams. Most of those people have personal agendas for and against. Anybody with school ties is going to be biased one way or another.
Saturday the 25th
#2 Ole Miss at #11 LSU. For those not located in the South, when these two schools meet on the football field the game is called the Magnolia Bowl. The winner takes home the Magnolia Bowl Trophy. LSU holds the all time lead in the series at 58-40-4, but I assure you that no Ole Miss team in the history of college football has been as good as this Ole Miss football team.
Tigers have home field advantage and have gotten stronger as the season has progressed, but the Ole Miss Rebels should win this one.
South Carolina at #5 Auburn. The Tigers are a tough, tough out and especially at home. South Carolina has been one of the country’s biggest disappointments this season. Auburn knows this is a must win situation for them if they want to stay in the running in the SEC West.
The Auburn Tigers should give the South Carolina Gamecocks a good beating.
#4 Alabama at Tennessee. Every third Saturday in October these guys are supposed to play and they do not like each other. To make matters worse, the Tide has Lane Kiffin on the sidelines. Kiffin was the Vols coach for one season and then left them holding the bag and took off for the glamour and glory of Hollywood. Vol fans are going to have a lot of fun with Kiffin, but then the Alabama Crimson Tide is going to roll over the Vols.
Tennessee is young and they are fighters, but they are a year or two away.
#1 Mississippi State at Kentucky. Poor Kentucky got steamrolled at Baton Rouge last weekend. Now, they have the super impressive Mississippi State Bulldogs coming to town. The Bulldogs won’t take it easy on the Wildcats, but I think the Wildcats will play better this week than they did against the LSU Tigers last weekend.
Miss State wins this game, but it might be closer than we think it should be.
Syracuse at #16 Clemson. I am very impressed with Syracuse this season. They played against Notre Dame and Florida State and they did very well. If this game was in Syracuse, New York, then I might pick them in an upset over Clemson. Clemson really needs true freshman Quarterback Deshaun Watson back on the field, but they are still generally hard to beat at home. So, I am going with the Clemson Tigers.
North Carolina at Virginia. Everyone but me had the Carolina Tar Heels ranked at the beginning of the year other than me. I did figure they would be improved, but they are a season away at least. Larry Fedora is one of my favorite coaches. Virginia head coach Mike London has done a spectacular job this season and the Cavaliers are one of the more improved teams around the country this season. UNC is 3-4 on the year and Virginia is 4-3. I am picking the Virginia Cavaliers at home. However, the Tar Hills are starting to come on and beat a good Georgia Tech last week. They still don’t have much of a defense, which makes me lean towards Virginia.
In the Big 10, there are a couple of great games this week.
Michigan at #8 Michigan State. Rivals Michigan and Michigan State headline the games in the Midwest. The talk at Michigan has centered around replacing the AD and the head coach. The Spartans are more centered on football and winning the conference. The next step for the Spartans in defending the conference championship happens Saturday as they beat the Wolverines. In Michigan’s defense, they really do have a good defense ranked 10th in the country. Unfortunately for the
Wolverines, the Michigan State Spartans are one spot ahead of them at 9th.
Spartans should dominate, but this could be a good game. Brady Hoke and his Wolverines are fighting for their survival.
Maryland at #21 Wisconsin. Melvin Gordon may have already been, but with the suspension of Todd Gurley, Gordon unofficially becomes the recognized top Running Back in the country. One should always watch the top Running Back in the nation get to play if one is able. Gordon usually does not disappoint. Wisconsin is 4-2 on the season and after 6 games Gordon has rushed for 1,046 yards and 13 Touchdowns. At this point, I believe that Dak Prescott is the clear frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, but Gordon should be in the discussion as well.
Wisconsin, sadly, has had inconsistent play from the rest of it’s team and has dropped a couple of games.
Maryland has been solid since joining the Big 10 and sits at 5-2. Maryland is led by Quarterback CJ Brown who leads the team in both passing and rushing. For me, Brown reminds of former Washington Husky and current Tennessee Titan Quarterback Jake Locker. So much talent, but so little production. Jake Locker has the cooler name.
The Wisconsin Badgers should beat the Maryland Terrapins at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.
Rutgers at #22 Nebraska. After looking like a start up football program earlier in the year against McNeese State, the Cornhuskers have turned it around other than a loss to Michigan State. Rutgers is 5-2 on the year but got a solid beating at the hands of Ohio State in their last outing.
Nebraska Running Back Ameer Abdullah is one of the best in the country grinding out 1,024 yards after 7 games.
Nebraska should win this one in Lincoln pretty easily.
#10 Ohio State at Penn State. The Buckeyes would be undefeated and in the middle of the conversation about a playoff spot if not for losing Braxton Miller early on. Since that loss, back up Quarterback JT Barrett has really improved. So much so, that there might even be a Quarterback controversy when Miller comes back next season.
I am a huge fan of Penn State’s James Franklin. But, the Nittany Lions lack the depth and the talent to compete with the Buckeyes at this time. The Lions have spunk and a great coach, but the Buckeyes win big even in State College, Pennsylvania.
Minnesota at Illinois. The Gophers are 6-1 on the season and have been a bit of a surprise. David Cobb is a 5-11, 230 Running Back from Killeen, Texas and has been impressive piling up 1,013 yards on the season.
Illinois has been pretty average and has a record of 3-4 right now to back that up.
Look for the fighting Illini to be 3-5 after the Gophers are finished with them.
West Virginia at Oklahoma State. West Virginia dealt Baylor it’s first loss last week. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, was being smashed by the TCU Horny Toads in Fort Worth. Both programs are 5-2 on the season. West Virginia lost to Alabama in their first game and Oklahoma State lost to Florida State.
The Cowboys haven’t really looked good lately, or even at all. The Cowboys lost a lot of talent from last year’s team and then they lost their starting Quarterback in the second game.
To me, this game is a toss up. West Virginia is much tougher at home and not so much on the road. I feel like the Cowboys will rebound, but then I think that West Virginia might just win this game.
Texas Tech at #13 TCU. Texas Tech hired Kliff Kingsbury last year and then went out and won their first 7 games. Since that time, other than a bowl win over Arizona State, the Red Raiders have been a disappointment. They are 3-4 this season.
The TCU Frogs were a disappointment last season, but have bounced back. They are 5-1 on the season with some impressive wins.
TCU takes this one pretty easily and these two teams do not care for one another.
Texas at #15 Kansas State. Texas has never done well in Manhattan, Kansas even when they were good. This Texas edition is just not very good.
Kansas State is coming off of a big win over OU which many think they did not deserve. If that is true, then the Wildcats did not deserve to lose to Auburn, either.
Kansas State wins big here. Wildcats improve to 6-1 and the lead in the Big 12 and the Longhorns drop to 3-5. Texas, with it’s vast resources, should never be 3-5 in football under any circumstances. Mack Brown left this program in a shambles. He quit after the Alabama loss in the Rose Bowl but kept collecting a 5 million a year paycheck. How classy.
#14 USC at Utah. Many polls have ranked Utah at about 20 and the Utes do have many things going for them. The Trojans have been up and down this season but they only have 50 scholarship players so that is understandable. The Trojans are young, but when running on all cylinders they are pretty good.
I want to pick the Trojans here, but have a feeling I might be making a mistake. Utah is sneaky, but I am going with USC.
Oregon State at Stanford. This season has been a bit of a disappointment for both of these teams. Both have senior Quarterbacks and much was expected. Oregon State is 4-2, but both losses are in the conference. Stanford is 4-3 and 2-2 in the conference. Stanford’s streak of big bowl games just might come to an end this season. The defense is still good and near the top of the nation. They just don’t have the big, powerful Running Back like Tyler Gaffney this season and head coach David Shaw doesn’t seem to like a guy like Barry Sanders Jr. Stanford has an awesome Offensive Line and one of the nation’s best Wide Receivers.
It’s at Stanford and the Cardinal should win this one.
#20 Arizona at Washington State. These are two of the best offenses in the nation and this game could be wild. Arizona at 5-1 has the slightly better defense but anything can happen when playing Mike Leach and Washington State.
I have to go with the Arizona Wildcats here but would not be shocked if Washington State pulled the upset.
#18 Arizona State at Washington. Who knows about this game of college football. Arizona State got destroyed by UCLA and then beat USC and Stanford. The Sun Devils are really good at times. Washington got a bad beating at the hands of Oregon last week, but they are competitive.
Like the game between Arizona and Washington State, this game should go to the desert visitors. But, it’s not going to surprise me a bit if the Huskies rise up and upset the Sun Devils, but I have to go with Arizona State.