When the Schedule Gives You Lemons,
Forget Lemonade, It’s Upset Week!
If you were to glance at the rankings this week and then see who ranked teams are playing, you would think that College Football has resorted to an NFL Preseason Schedule in the middle of the season. The great thing about College Football is, the best players will play in every game (at least until the score is 35-0). Without a single clash between two Top 25 programs this week, where will the excitement come from? Your guess is as good as mine but since I am writing the article, just pay attention!
Friday Night Lights
Whoever thought playing College Football on Friday Night was a good idea, should be shot! There is a reason the NFL has one game during the week. One. Not two or three or ten. Just one. More often than not, those games are terrible. Speaking of which, did anyone actually watch South Alabama at Troy last night? My wife and I were watching a movie and when it ended, the television was on whatever station the game came on. I paused the game (DVR is AWESOME) when the showed the crowd (that was a huge mistake). I think I counted 6 people in the stands. That was a Wednesday game, I guess people were at church.
Tonight, the Miami Hurricanes host Paul Johnson and the incredible Offensive Line Tumblers from Georgia Tech. When the Jackets snap the ball, the linemen do a series of ballet moves. They spin and twirl and fall. This is all very exciting to watch over and over again. If I had the choice between this game and watching reruns of the Golden Girls with my wife, I’m grabbing the popcorn and watching some old hags nags at each other.
How embarrassing is it when the defending National Champs are playing on a Friday Night? The NHL and NBA have started (or finishing preseason) and the Tigers must go to Syracuse, New York and play in the Carrier Dome where tens and tens of fans will show up. This is a disgrace to College Football and something must be done. If the problem is that you can’t fit everyone into your television schedule, stop putting games on tv like UTSA @ FIU. I don’t even have a clue who their mascots are.
Chris Petersen thinks Washington should be able to play earlier than the 7:00PM time slot on Saturdays…Give it to him. Schedule him a much earlier game. How about 10:30PM EST on Fridays or even Thursdays? That’s several hours earlier. Shut up, you big cry baby.
Games that Might Matter
#24 TTU @ WVU
Some noodle-head wrote this week, that the Big12 might be doomed by its own success. For that to be true, the author of that article would mean that the Big12 is so good that the 30.5-point spread between ISU and Oklahoma would have been a grave misrepresentation of the Cyclones abilities and talents. They would further need to say the Big12 beating up on itself, would consist of powerhouses like Texas Tech and West Virginia taking down the big dogs.
Well, they are playing each other and someone in this colossal matchup must lose. I bet it will be the one who scores the fewest points and has the worst defense. In the Big12, that is what it boils down to. Who has the worst defense in the league. If OU was playing in this one, the answer would easily be the Sooners. But they aren’t.
WVU played Virginia Tech very well to open the season and last week lost a close one to TCU. The mighty Red Raiders beat Houston and gave the Cowboys all they could handle as well. These two teams aren’t part of the elite equation in the coming Big 12 debacle but they are fun to watch.
Both teams boast high powered offense (seems to be a theme in this conference) and both have mediocre defenses. The first one to 60 will win as its doubtful the clock will expire before someone hits 50. WVU has played a tougher schedule thus far and the homefield advantage gives them a slight edge overall. Couch Burning Sister Wives 52 – Not the Oakland Raiders 43
Auburn @ LSU
The battle of the Tigers. One of them is hopeless while the other is hopeful. Unless you’re Gus Malzahn, who stated this week that he can’t get over the loss to another group of Tigers. If old Gus doesn’t get his head on straight, he might be figuring out how he lost to the lifeless Tigers who are probably firing their coach at seasons end.
The good news is that the Auburn Tigers are playing really well on both offense and defense. Since their loss to Clemson, Auburn has outscored their opponents 168-57. Stidham is finally moving the offense up and down the field at will. Auburn is currently #5 overall in Completion Percentage and boasts a Top40 ranking in Total Offense.
Likewise, LSU got good news last week. The fans (despite LSU’s victory over Florida) started a gofundme account to pay for Orgeron’s buyout. This means the University won’t have to come out of pocket for all the money. LSU is 4-2 and has a victory over a Top 25 program. The problem is, as the #12 team in the country, LSU lost to Mississippi State (who we thought was good and realized when they played someone they weren’t). That loss wasn’t so bad but then LSU got whipped at home (despite the score) by a team from Alabama that wasn’t Auburn or Alabama. They lost to the Troy Trojans. In case you missed it, Troy lost to South Alabama 18-9.
This game shouldn’t be close but I have a feeling that it will be for some very strange reason. The stadium sits about 600 feet below sea level and the seagulls fly lower than the upper deck cheap seats. I’ve still got Auburn winning this one but in closer fashion than their previous contests. Auburn 30 – LSU 17.
#12 Oklahoma @ Texas
Rivalry games are always fun. The Red River Rivalry is one of those that always excites about 150 people a year. In all seriousness, had the Longhorns not been so bad over the last 5 years and not seen three different head coaches, this one might have been interesting recently. After an embarrassing loss to Maryland (who is playing a LB at QB now), Texas began to turn things around.
While Texas was looking mediocre, Oklahoma started to wow us. Baker Mayfield proved he could win big games when the underdog Sooners went to Columbus and beat the most over ranked #2 team in the country. Don’t worry, the Sooners let you down in epic fashion last week by losing to ISU.
It’s all okay though because the dominant Big 12 teams will beat up on each other later (really, that sportswriter should be demoted to janitor duty for a week). I like Texas in this game. The Longhorns are playing better defense than anyone in the Big 12 besides TCU. Texas would be 4-1 if it weren’t for a miraculous comeback by USC. The Longhorns held ISU to 7 points (ISU scored 38 on Oklahoma) and have scored an average of 35.6 points per game. The Sooners are giving up an average of 21.8 but in their last two contests, they’ve given up 79 points (Baylor and ISU). This game is being played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and the Texas faithful will travel well. Give me the Longhorns in this one. #12 Oklahoma 31 – Texas 35
Utah @ #13 USC
This game to me has upset written all over it. The Utes are coming off a backbreaking loss to Stanford after a strong start. USC rebounded from their loss to WSU by beating up on one of the worst teams in the country. Oregon State is ranked 102nd in the FPI by ESPN out of 129 teams. There are only two teams from Power 5 Conferences ranked lower than the Beavers (Illinois and Kansas).
Utah is very balanced on offense but not very potent. Despite not breaking 1,000 yards in either passing or rushing, the Utes rank 50th in Total Offense. However, Utah ranks 21st in Total Defense and the last time USC faced a Top25 Defense, they lost. Against FBS opponents, the Utes are averaging 30.5 points per game and allowing only 19.
For USC, the game plan is simple. Stop turning the ball over. Darnold has 9 interceptions so far this season. The Trojans lost the turnover battle to WSU and it cost them the game. Through 6 games, USC has a +2 TO Margin but Utah has a +4 rating. If Darnold continues to giftwrap the pigskin for opponents, the Trojans can count themselves out of the playoff picture.
I think Utah shows up with the better defense and will display more intensity and heart. The Utes may not win this game but it will be very close. Utah 20 – #13 USC 24
#2 Clemson @ Syracuse
This could be a trap game with the Bye Week in sight. I don’t believe the Tigers have anything to worry about. The offense may not be as good as last season but the defense is better. Clemson beat the Orange 56-0 a year ago and while Syracuse may score, it won’t be often. I have the Tigers in this one 41-13.
Arkansas @ #1 Alabama
When you get slaughtered by a team who may end up at 7-5 (South Carolina), you don’t stand much of a chance against the Crimson Tide. If media members don’t try and poison the players with their words, Nick Saban and Alabama should steamroll the Arkansissy Piggy Backs. Alabama breaks the scoreboard on one side and leaves the other at zero.
Missouri @ #4 Georgia
This game will be miserable for one side, that is for sure. Missouri will be seeking a mascot change like Ole Miss after this one. Ole Miss felt that being the Rebels was too strong of a name for the kind of football they were playing and have now adopted the name of one the worst beers I have ever tasted. They are now the Land Sharks. Missouri might need to think about a much softer name. Something that fits their defense and coaching style. Maybe something like the Pixie Dust or the Lilly Pads. Georgia will chew the Tigers up and spit them out like rotten meat. This one is about as close as we are in the south to getting snow tomorrow. UGA 48- Lilly Pads 6
ECU @ #22 UCF
I was there when the Knights opened their stadium in Orlando against the Longhorns. Honestly, I sat there and thought, this is going to be one of those teams that will find its way back to the FCS. Several years later, I find myself writing about them blowing out a team who was once relevant and beat Power 5 teams. The Knights have looked great this season on offense and defense. The Pirates have been the exact opposite. The only time ECU managed to score points was in the first half against VT and the first half against USF. It should be noted that the Hokies ran off 57 straight points against ECU to close out the game and USF outscored the Pirates 30-7 in the final two quarters. ECU is bad. I mean they are really bad. They might finish third in the SEC East or West but they are bad. UCF wins this one with their backups getting valuable time 47- 17.
Best Games to Watch in Each Conference (Unranked)
ACC – BC @ Louisville: This game will be fun. Lamar Jackson vs one of the worst defenses (especially run defenses) in the country.
American- Tulane @ FIU: Lane Kiffin and FIU take on Tulane in the battle of mediocrity. Both teams rank in the middle of the pack in Total Offense and Defense.
Big 12 – Baylor @ Kansas: This one wins by default. These two teams are the only ones playing this week that aren’t ranked. Karma will take a bye week and Baylor will finally get a win.
Big Ten – Northwestern @ Maryland: The Wildcats have struggled this season (they were my dark horse out of the west) and Maryland is using their 51st QB this season (he plays LB). Should be entertaining.
C-USA – UTEP @ Southern Miss: This won’t be a good game and should be in my blowout section. UTEP ranks last in Total Offense and 113th in Total Defense. USM ranks 30th in Total Defense and 41st in Total Offense.
MAC – EMU @ Army – It’s Army. Why shouldn’t you watch them? Besides, it’s also the MAC, why should you watch any other game?
MW – Wyoming @ Utah State – This game features a QB that you have never heard about unless you watch ESPN because he is so underrated. It’s not like ESPN has been drooling over Josh Allen for the last 6 months or so. As bad as he has played though, he still looks better than fellow former Heisman Contender Sam Darnold.
Pac-12 – There’s no game you should watch. I have already mentioned one Pac-12 game and if you’re on the East Coast, Chris Petersen is going to cry because you don’t want to watch them.
SEC – South Carolina @ Tennessee: This game features a team that can play defense and beat up on bad teams from the SEC West. It also features a team with a Coach named Butch who recently put his house up for sale. The Volunteers will gladly help him move.
Sunbelt – Coastal Carolina @ Arkansas State: Coastal joined the FBS this after winning a National Championship. What they forgot was that they won it in baseball and unfortunately, football has a lot tougher competition. Arkansas State isn’t very good but they are still better than the Chanticleers.
As Always, thanks for reading. Tweet any questions or comments to @NCAAF_Writer or email at email@example.com.
Guide Through The Chaos (College Football)
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