This is it. The big one. After a year of talking smack with that annoying Hawkeye fan friend, this is the week to put up or shut up. This weekend is for all the marbles.
It could also be the worst college football game in recent memory.
Iowa State has shown flashes of good play,
but those flashes are few and far between. In regulation of their two games, the
Cyclones have scored just 39 points. That's not good at all with all the weapons
Here's the real problem with the
ISU offense – no Todd Blythe. In Iowa State's first two games, Blythe has
exactly three catches in regulation. In eight quarters, Blythe has just three
receptions!!!!! That's atrocious. Touchdown Todd was thrown to just twice in
ISU's 16-10 win over UNLV. Unacceptable. Blythe needs at minimum 8-10 balls
thrown in his direction each game. Anything less is a failed Cyclone gameplan.
Blythe is the best athlete on the field and need the ball more then anyone.
Iowa State should be able to pick on a week Iowa secondary that had many problems with what up to that
point had been an inept Syracuse offense. If a horrendous team like the
Orangemen can stick it to the Hawks, imagine what the Cyclones should be able to
Iowa is struggling. Their defense
(especially their defensive secondary) is suspect at best. And what if Drew Tate
can't play? That would end Iowa's chances right there. Jason Manson is an
awful quarterback and for some reason, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz won't try supposed
stud Jake Christenson under center. If Manson is in the game, Iowa's pass attack is
sunk. Same with their run game. Manson at quarterback would mean all ISU needs
to do is crowd the box, stopping Albert Young in his tracks.
In the end, this game might not be
close. Iowa State has too many weapons and there are too many
questions on both sides of the ball for Iowa to come away with a victory.
THE PICK: Iowa State
Before we get started, let me make
something known. After two weeks I've missed only two games. That's right, the
World of Wall is 22-2 early in the season. So if you need any help in Vegas or
picking Lotto numbers, let me know.
And now to the
Nebraska at USC
This is the first test for a
that wants to get back to their former place as a national power. We all know
that USC is good and Trojan coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week that new
quarterback John David Booty (the best name in football) might be better at this
point then Matt Leinart was when he took over as USC quarterback. That's a scary
thought for the rest of the nation.
On the other hand, things aren't
looking good for the USC dynasty. The whole Reggie Bush-money from agents thing
has to weigh on Carroll's mind. The fiasco could mean the loss of one of his
national championships, something that the coach has to be VERY concerned about.
That said, USC is still leaps and bounds better then Nebraska, especially at
Texas at Rice
I was as surprised as anyone by
the world-class whuppin Ohio State put on the Longhorns last week. I
would win the game, and it really shocked me that they didn't even really hang
around. Maybe Vince Young really WAS that good.
Fortunately Rice is no Ohio State and the Longhorns will
THE PICK: Texas
Oklahoma at Oregon
Once again this game will show the
overall weekness of the Pac-10. Oregon has
impressive wins over Stanford and Fresno State,
but they aren't anywhere near the level of Oklahoma. Take a good but not great Big 12
team and match them up against a good but not great Pac-10 team and the Big 12
will win every time.
THE PICK: Oklahoma
Texas Tech at
This could be a really good game.
Both teams have high powered offenses, but in the end Tech should be just a
little too much for their in-state opponent. Still, watch this one, it's my
upset special of the week.
THE PICK: Texas
Missouri at New
Maybe Missouri is for real.
Their two wins were complete domination and first year quarterback Chase Daniel
is here to stay (remember what he did to ISU last year? Yeah that still hurts.).
If their non-conference play rolls over to their Big 12 schedule, watch out for
the Tigers near the top of the North standings. And this helps too, New Mexico is
THE PICK: Missouri
Baylor at Washington State
Washington State is bad. Very bad. Same rules
apply in this game at the Oklahoma-Oregon contest. Take a bad Big 12 team over a
bad Pac-10 team. Always.
Arizona State at Colorado
Ouch. Ouch….other then that I
don't know what to say. The Buffalos have to turn it around fast. Unfortunately
in this week of Big 12-Pac-10 matchups, this is the one that goes the other way.
the season 0-3. Last time they did that? 2000 and that time they started 0-4.
This season they have eight games before their first legitimate chance to win.
THE PICK: Arizona State
Army at Texas
Texas A&M will win this game
solely because they have a running back named Jovorskie. That's a great name. In
fact, maybe someday I'll name one of my children Jovorskie. Jovorskie Wall. It
has a nice ring to it. (As all women reading this column run screaming in the
opposite direction of me.) Seriously, analysis of this?
THE PICK: Texas A&M
Kansas at Toledo
This game gives new meaning to the
phrase ‘running uphill' as the field will be slanted sharply toward the
sideline. Seriously though, Toledo isn't a bad team at all (as ISU fans
know all to well). Sorry Jayhawks, there goes your undefeated season. Another
year without a national championship on the gridiron of Lawrence.
THE PICK: Toledo
Marshall at Kansas State
The Thundering Heard rumbles into
off a victory over national powerhouse Hofstra. If you have to schedule Hofstra
to get a win, things are bad. This is one more win for the Wildcats before they
are slaughtered by the runaway train that is Louisville.
THE PICK: Kansas State
Florida Atlantic at Oklahoma State
If there is a team in the Big 12
that could lose to Florida Atlantic, it is Oklahoma State. To bad it won't quite
THE PICK: Oklahoma State