With Air Force of the MWC and Bowling Green of the MAC hanging around with unblemished records, the slots for BCS bowls could see their first serious challenge for a mid-major participant. With undefeated Notre Dame visiting Fort Collins and the Air Force Academy tomorrow night, one more pretender will be eliminated, a lot of folks will stay up late to watch this one!
Back after a week of no access due to circumstances beyond any control, a few remarks about last week's action.
Florida and Auburn were both taken to the woodshed by LSU and Arkansas respectively, casting further doubt on the relative strength of the entire SEC throughout the Nation. The Dawgs methodically went about whipping the urnge for the 3rd year in a row in a game that seemed closer thanks to scores on the reserves in the fourth quarter. Tennessee isn't what they've been, injuries notwithstanding. And last night, the Terps blew away the insects in the second half raising some questions about the state of affairs at the Joke by Coke. New nats HC Gailey has got his hands full and will need to perform some swift repairs to the Yech team lest they fold up like a cub scout pup tent.
Second Half of the Season will see me begin anew with picks, so let's get started!
Vanderbilt @ Georgia (-26): The Dawgs welcome the Dores to their Homecoming Celebration as they celebrate a perfect run through the first half of the 2002 season. Vandy will welcome back their QB from suspension, a timely thing given that his stand in was injured last week....Dawgs blow the Dores off, UGA 48 VU 9
2pm. No TV
Kentucky @ Arkansas (-10): The Hogs went into Jordan-Hare and blew the Tigers off their own field, surprising me given their 6 OT loss the week prior, while the 'Cats couldn't overcome the chikins in a game they truely pointed to as a statement kind of game. A team with new vigor, at home, versus a team who failed to make the grade they wanted....don't like the spread in this one but will take the Hogs to win, say 38-31.
Colorado State @ Utah (-1): A key MWC battle for CSU as they try to stay close to Air Force. Injuries have altered the Utes, along with simply not making the plays as they've now lost 4 in a row, while the Rams rebounded from their narrow loss to Fresno State last week against the hapless Wyoming Cowboys. Nothing fancy about this game, a mano-a-mano fistfight it will be, and the Rams will win the fight, say 24-21.
3:30pm ABC, GP
Iowa State @ Oklahoma (-9): One of two key B12 conference matchups tomorrow as the surprising Cyclones descend upon Norman. The Sooners got their annual thumping of Tejas out of the way last week while the Clones spanked Texas Tech. Funny how schedules work out, for ISU faces Texas next week in Austin, how's that for two tough games in a row! Cinderella thinks she's in South Bend this year but she could just as well be in Ames if the Clones pull the upset....NOT! Sooners 30-21.
3:30pm, ABC, GP
Washington @ Southern Cal (-8): Possible elimination game in the PAC10 as both have a loss already. The Udub D has been a work in progress this year and simply hasn't shown an ability to stop anyone but the O has lots of get up and go. The Men of Troy have looked stout at times and lost at times, but at home it's very hard to pick against them. USC prevails by a 34-24 type score.
3:30pm, ABC, GP
Ohio State (-7) @ Wisconsin: The unbeaten Buckeyes go on the road to Camp Randall Stadium as the Homecoming guests of the Badgers, who are reeling from a road defeat at Indiana. As many predicted, this Wisky team was one that had the Offensive firepower but lacked the D to challenge for the Big10 crown, their close losses to PSU & Indy confirm it. If the Badgers fail to tackle perfectly tomorrow, they will absorb their 3rd Conference loss. tOSU covers, 35-17.
Ole Miss @ Alabama (-11): Key SECW battle as Eli leads the Rebels to Bryant-Denny to face the well rested Tide. This is a critical game for Ole Miss, for it marks the Bataan Death March portion of the schedule with 4 of the next six on the road (at Bama, at Arky, Auburn, at UGA, at LSU, MSU). Each Rebel win from here on will be increasingly more crucial as the race in the West is still wide open. As much as I think that the Rebs can step up like they did vs. the Gators, I believe that the Tide will regroup and out defense them. Bama wins 28-24, the spread is too much.
Auburn @ Florida (-8): Just couldn't resist this one, two teams I truely despise and who both suffered bloodied nose beatings last week. The Gators of Zook are reeling after two consecutive losses and the home crowd will not be patient should Auburn take the early advantage. Now Auburn simply forgets how to play run D for the second half and gets blown off their own field, go figure! Anybody doubt that Tubs and Zook occupy the hottest seats in the SEC next to Jackie? With revenge a slight motivator, I'm picking the Gators in a 35-24 type game.
UCLA (-3.5) @ California: Another elimination game out West, the Bruins with a late minute loss to Oregon have but one while the Golden Bears have lost to Wazoo & USC. Defense wins championships and the Bruins have demonstrated they can play it better than Cal. A wild shootout is what I see here, say UCLA 42 Cal 38.
Texas @ Kansas State (-2.5):Put up or shutup time for the Horns and on the road in Manhatten doesn't make for a simple cure for their second half ills. Bill Snyder's 'Cats can ill afford a loss either, for they battle the Clones and Buffs for the North crown. Should be a heck of a battle and I'm taking the Cats at home, 28-27.
South Carolina @ LSU (-8): Nick Saban's Tigers lost QB Matt Mauck late in the fourth quarter after they had the Gators defeated and as of this writing Mauck is out. The Gamecocks whipped UK on the road last week and a win in Red Stick could propel them over both UT & UF in the SECE race. The Bayou Bengals are tough but at night and in Death Valley, well, let's just say ole Lou will have to really conjure up some magic to steal the win. LSU 24 SC 21
GAME OF THE WEEK
10pm on ESPN
Notre Dame @ Air Force (-3): Late night for many of us as this could be one of the benchmark games of this Season! The Fighting Irish roll into the Rockies undefeated and with a tough Defense and an opportunistic style of play to face the prolific triple option of the Falcons, led by a QB from Warner Robbins! Mistakes and turnovers are often the key to games like this and surprisingly the two are tied in T/O% at #7 in the country. The Irish have made me look bad this season so I might as well pick against them again since I'm liking what the Falcons going undefeated does to the BCS. Air Force 28 ND 24.
Good luck to all this weekend and GO DAWGS!