There are a lot of games on tap this week that will be important in the conference races. Things are starting to shape up a bit and the cream is rising to the top. Bama, Ohio State, TCU, Boise State, and Oregon come to mind. Still a bit early to tell who the top dog in the ACC, Big XII, or Big East is at this time. CUSA is also up in the air a bit with SMU and ECU or USM looking good. U of H losing two QB's likely knocked them out of contention. Time will tell. On to the predictions for the week.
1. TAMU vs Oklahoma State: Are the Aggies turning the corner, moving to "the next level" as it were? No. That is a ridiculous assumption. Both the Cowboys and Aggies are 3-0 at this point, but State has played a somewhat tougher schedule and dominated in two of three games. Both schools near lost to Sun Belt foes which says a good deal though. I will go with OK. State here. Pick the Cowboys.
2. Texas vs Oklahoma: The Red River Shootout has lost a bit of the lustre of recent past. The Longhorns are not very good and there are certainly doubts about the talent and toughness of the Sooners this year. All bets are off in a rivalry game but I will go with the Sooners to win.
3. Utah State vs BYU: Both are 1-3 and the bloom is off the Aggie rose somewhat. This game may be fairly close and I will pick the Cougars to win. BYU.
4. Ohio vs Eastern Michigan: It is time for Solich's squad to get healthy and start winning if they are going to challenge for the top spot in the MAC East. After watching Temple this year, that appears to be a doubtful proposition at best however. The Bobcats picked a good opponent to start a rebound though. Pick Ohio to win hands down.
5. Temple vs West Point: Speaking of Temple, the Owls meet with Army this weekend and should be victorious. West Point is coming off a nice win and Temple played PSU down to the wire. It is doubtful that Army will be able to hang with this team though. Pick Temple.
6. Miami vs Clemson: Here is an interesting match up. Which team is better? Hard to say at this point. This game is of huge importance to both teams. I would go with the Canes in a close one. Pick Miami.
7. Kansas vs Baylor: Someone has to win and I will go with the Bears. The talent level seems to be a step above the Jayhawks at least offensively. I will pick Baylor for the win.
8. Idaho vs Western Michigan: The Vandals should not have let the game last week get away from them. CSU is not an opponent anyone should fear. They need to right the ship against the Broncos this week if they are to continue what was started last year. May not be an easy proposition but I pick Idaho to win a close one.
9. Va Tech vs NC State: Another interesting and important game. Is Va. Tech on the way back after a horrible start? Is the Wolfpack really for real? This game will prove a lot and I think that NC State will prevail.
10. Boise State vs New Mexico State: Can I pad my stats a bit? Why not? Coaches at major programs do it all the time. This is my sure bet of the week. Go with the Broncos to win here with ease.
11. Florida vs Alabama: This is the game of the week I am sure. Has the Crimson Tide had their arrogant cockiness knocked down a peg? They should have lost against the Hogs last week. Has Florida gotten on track after starting slowly? These questions will be answered Saturday and I pick the Tide to roll. The talent level is tremendous. Go with Bama.
12. Cal Poly vs Fresno State: Cal Poly is a good IAA program and Fresno State was embarrassed last week in Oxford. This may be a pretty good game but I will pick the D1 team to win. It may be close though. Go with the Bulldogs.
13. Notre Dame vs Boston College: Neither team really has much it appears. Kelly may not be the second coming after all. Probably too early to tell though if one wants to be fair about it. BC has not been impressive to say the least. I will go with the Eagles to pull this one out of the hat at home.
14. Wyoming vs Toledo: These Cowboys do not seem to be a real tough opponent and Toledo is surprisingly good. I will go with the Rockets here. Pick Toledo. The Rockets may soon be looking at a top 25 ranking.
15. Nevada vs UNLV: An under the national radar rivalry game that can be quite good at times. Nevada has shown that they are a quality program and UNLV finally recorded a win last week. I would go with the Wolfpack here. Pick Nevada.
16. Arizona State vs Oregon State: Now that TCU and Boise State are behind them, Oregon State can make a run for the Pac 10 crown. They are a dark horse to be sure, but a quality team none the less. Arizona State may be somewhat improved it appears but should not be able to hang long with the team from Oregon. Pick Oregon State.
17. Illinois vs Ohio State: The Illini seem to be a pretty decent club but will not be able to hang long with the Buckeyes. Zook can probably be forgiven for losing this one. Go with Ohio State.
18. Tulane vs Rutgers: Rutgers appears to be somewhat down again but the Green Wave are perpetually down. Schiano is a good coach as is Bob Toledo and both places are hard to win but I will have to go with the Scarlett Knights to take this one fairly handily.
19 North Dakota State vs Western Illinois: This is the IAA game of the week. Both schools are 3-1 and both have played D1 BCS opponents. ND State took down the Jayhawks to start the year and that was quite interesting. Something is going on for sure in the Dakota's with their football programs. All are just up from D2 and are proving to be some tough opponents; even to the big boys in D1, much less IAA. Western Illinois appears to be a quality IAA program also. I will go with ND State to win in a close one.
Potential Shocker of the Week:
20. Louisville vs Arkansas State: Now this may not really be considered a shocker when you think about it. Louisville is certainly not a good team, but the Red Wolves appear to be dismal. I think that Arkansas State will pull this one out of the hat at home. I guess this should be called the "semi" shocker of the week.
Enjoy the games.