This next weekend will be one of the lighter schedules of the season. Nobody wants to play any heavyweights outside of their own conference any more.
But, there are a few decent games coming on.
Thursday night gets us started off with Arizona State entertaining UCLA. I don’t expect the hosts to be all that friendly to their guests because both teams are 3-0. The Bruins should have their star Quarterback, Brett Hundley, returning to the lineup but Taylor Kelly of Arizona State will miss this game. Kelly will be replaced by little used Mike Bercovici. Bercovici doesn’t run as well as Kelly but is supposed to have the better arm.
UCLA is ranked 12th and the Sun Devils at 17th. This game might fall a little short with the loss of Kelly, but both teams will still be fighting for their conference standing lives. Arizona State, with Kelly has looked as good as advertised. But, UCLA, while still unbeaten, has not looked that impressive.
With Arizona State Quarterback Taylor Kelly out of the line up, I am thinking the Bruins win this one. But, UCLA had better start living up to the hype pretty soon or they are going to start losing some games.
Also on Thursday night, the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the 18th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
This is a battle for Big 12 conference standings and should be entertaining to say the least. Texas Tech doesn’t field much of a defense but they usually throw the ball around quite a bit.
Oklahoma State lost their Quarterback, too. Daxx Garman has replaced starting Quarterback JW Walsh and has looked extremely good so far. J.W. Walsh was injured against Missouri State and might have a hard time getting his job back. Former Cowboy Quarterback and 1st round draft pick Brandon Weeden raved about Daxx Garman’s abilities after watching him practice. Garman is a transfer from Arizona that hasn’t played football since his junior year of high school in 2009. He moved to Southlake, Texas and was not allowed to play. Then, signed with the Wildcats of Arizona and transferred and had to sit out a year and was a back up last season.
He is finally getting his shot and it may be hard to get him off the field.
Everybody expected the Cowboys to get blown out in the season opener against the mighty Florida State Seminoles and it didn’t happen. The Cowboys have been a pretty good team since Head Coach and former Cowboy Quarterback Mike Gundy has taken over and I look for the Cowboys to win this one going away. However, when you count out Texas Tech is when they become really dangerous.
On Saturday, Arkansas takes their running game to College Station, Texas to take on the Texas A%M Aggies and their high flying passing game. Can the Razorbacks run the ball on them and can the Hog Defense slow down the Aggies passing attack at all?
The Razorbacks have a great running game but I don’t see them slowing down the Aggies at all. This game could be interesting because of the Arkansas offensive style and it’s clash with the Aggie style, but I see the Aggies winning big here.
The 2-1 Tennessee Volunteers travel to Athens, Georgia to take on the 2-1 Georgia Bulldogs in a must win for both teams. Bulldogs lose and they are out of the running, and that would be a first conference loss for the Volunteers. Plus, these guys probably don’t like each other all that much.
Todd Gurley needs a huge game to unofficially take the lead in the Heisman race. The Volunteers counter with a lot of youth.
The Vols have too much youth and the Bulldogs should win this one going away.
3-1 Missouri is coming off a stunning loss to Indiana. They are traveling to the other Columbia in South Carolina to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks are 3-1 as well but their loss is a conference loss and they can’t afford another. Missouri may have been a bit overrated, but this could be a tough battle.
After getting embarrassed in front of the entire nation, or those that had the brand new SEC Network, the South Carolina Gamecocks have seemingly gotten their act together. But, let’s be honest here. The SEC West is brutal, but the East is just the opposite.
I see the Gamecocks beating the Tigers pretty easily, but my predictions have been almost as embarrassing as South Carolina’s first loss this season.
Florida State goes to North Carolina State to take on the last team to beat them in the ACC. Should be the return of Jameis Winston unless he does yet something else that is stupid. The Wolf Pack of NC State are 4-0. They are 4-0 but they have not played anybody, and they will find the Seminoles to be a little tougher of an opponent than Presbyterian.
Florida State should win big in this one. The Seminole schedule is fairly weak from this point on rather than a game against an old nemesis, Notre Dame, on October 18th. If the Florida State Seminoles lose even one game they may have a hard time making the playoffs and mostly because of Jameis Winston’s shenanigans. He needs to get his act together right away or he is going to cost himself a trophy and a championship for his team.
North Carolina is 2-1 and licking their wounds from a 70-41 beat down administered to them by the East Carolina Pirates and will be looking for redemption at Clemson. Clemson is sitting at 1-2 on the season so far, and was a highly ranked team at the start of the season but is also smarting from an Overtime loss to Jameis Winston less Florida State last Saturday night. This is a must win for both teams.
Deshaun Watson has been named the starter at Quarterback for the Clemson Tigers as I predicted before the season began. Look for the Tigers to rebound from last week and whip the Tar Heels. I love the Tar Heel coach, Larry Fedora, but he has his work cut out for him.
Out in the West, 3-0 Oregon State is visiting 2-1 USC. Which USC Trojan team will show up is the question here. The one that beat Stanford is really good. The one that lost to Boston College is not so very good. Really young teams tend to be Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and that’s what we have seen in the last few weeks out of the USC Trojans.
Oregon State’s offense is really hard to stop, but the Trojans had a week off to prepare. I am picking the Trojans in this one, but would not be surprised at all to see the Beavers upset the Men of Troy. The Men of Troy are so young that they could be the Boys of Troy this season.
The 2-1 Stanford Cardinal will be making their way up to one of the most scenic stadiums in all of the land in Seattle, Washington. The Washington Huskies are 4-0, but they’ve been a little unpredictable so far in 2014. New coach and a lot of young players, but they are still coming into this game unbeaten. Last week, Georgia State had the Huskies down 14-0 at halftime before Washington finally woke up and won it 45-14.
This is not going to be the best weekend for college football of the season. The following week will be much, much better as the SEC, the Pac 12, and everyone else starts playing a conference schedule and things might get really interesting.