Last week I was 13-7 with a total for the season thus far at 145-93. Pretty decent week. The cream has risen to the top and it is less likely (although not out of the question), that there will be any earth shattering upsets. One surprise in the MAC is the Temple meltdown that leaves Ohio in the driver seat for the chance to be the representative from the MAC East in the championship game against Northern Illinois. For Miami of Ohio to get into it, Ohio must lose to Kent State. An unlikely proposition to be sure. That being said, on to the predictions.
1. Ohio vs Kent State: For the Bobcats to miss out on the MAC Championship game they would have to lose this one. That is unlikely. Go with the Bobcats.
2. Texas vs TAMU: Texas is down and TAMU is an unusually good ball club this year. This is one of those game that one can throw the records out of the window, but with the Longhorns so far in the hole it is hard to see how they will win this one. Win this they will though. Mack will have his team fired up. This is their "bowl game" this year and they will surprise the Aggies. Go with Texas.
3. SMU vs ECU: SMU needs this game. ECU needs to regain some confidence and self respect. They were embarrassed by Rice last week. Both are pretty good teams for CUSA and it should be a tight one. I will go with the Pony's to take it. They have more to lose overall with a loss. Go with SMU.
4. West Virginia vs Pitt: Both of these teams have two conference games left and both still are in the hunt for the Big East title. WVU may be the better team but it is hard to tell. The game is at home for the Panthers and this helps. I will go with WVU in this toss up game.
5. Colorado vs Nebraska: What a difference a coaching change makes. Colorado is 2-0 since canning Hawkins. It is funny how a team often shows an immediate improvement when a "dead wood" coach is let go during mid season. That being said they are likely no match for the Huskers in Lincoln. Pelini and co were taken down last week in College Station which was a bit of a surprise and they will be ready to take out their frustration on a below par squad. Pelini was called out by the powers that be in the admin office at the university for his fiery temperament onfield. I have a question for those silly clowns. Do you want to win? If so then leave Bo alone. Nebraska is stupidly leaving an excellent conference for a "good" conference. True the Big Ten is better than normal this year but it is not the football power that it once was. Of course Ohio State is exempt as they usually are a power team year in and year out. That being said it would be well for Husker admin to leave Pelini to run his program as he sees fit. If that means an occasional game day flip out then so be it. Whew! Enough of that. I pick Nebraska to win in a blow out. I wish them no success in the Big Ten but they will of course soon dominate. I wish Colorado no success either in the Pac 10 where they just might be competitive once in a while.
6. Auburn vs Bama: The bloom is off the Rose at the flagship university but they are going to beat the Tigers this week. That would throw the BCS in a tizz and that is good. It is funny how one has to root for a team that they dislike just to keep the BCS system in disarray. Such is the state of the game. I will go with the Tide here.
7. Tulsa vs USM: Both teams need this game. Tulsa has more to lose here and will likely be able to take the Golden Eagles down in Hattiesburg. Tulsa is the better team and should prevail. Go with the Golden Hurricane.
Addendum: The game is being played in Tulsa.
8. Arizona vs Oregon: Oregon may be tested here but probably not. I will go with the Ducks to win this one and be poised for the "civil war" against their cross state rival next week. The Ducks may well be in the BCS "Championship" Game when all is said and done. It is very likely. Go with Oregon.
9. Boise State vs Nevada: The Broncs may be tested, but like the above game, probably not. Boise State will be in a BCS bowl for certain (barring a loss here) but likely will again not get a chance to play for all the marbles. It would be interesting. On a good day they could beat any team in the nation and do so handily. Go with Boise State.
10. TCU vs New Mexico: TCU will likely have little problem agains the lowly Lobos. Boise will likely surpass them in the standings when all is said and done. TCU should also get a BCS game but will not play in the "Big" game. It would be a travesty to put Boise State and TCU in another bowl game but that is what the BCS will likely try. That is if they can not keep one of them out of the picture altogether. The BCS folk are certainly hoping for TCU or Boise to stumble this week. That would make it easy for them. The BCS is actually ruining the game. Go with the Frogs to roll here with ease. It will be little more than a scrimmage for them most likely.
11. San Diego State vs UNLV: The Aztecs have been a pleasant surprise this year. They are well coached and a team to reckon with in the MWC. They should have no trouble here. Go with SDSU.
12. Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma: Guess who will have two losses after this one. It will be the Cowboys. They are probably the better team but I think that the Sooners will prevail in this evenly matched game. It is a toss up but I would put my money on the Sooners.
13. ULM vs Louisiana (ULL): ULM is actually having a pretty good (for them) season this year and the Cajuns are just dismal. I think that the Warhawks are the better team and will put the final nail in the Cajun coffin. Hope not. I am a huge Cajun fan but once in a while one must at least try to be realistic. Go with ULM.
14. Idaho vs Fresno State: Idaho really needs this game and Fresno State is already going "bowling." Idaho has more to lose but may not have the talent to beat the Bulldogs this year. Both teams were recently utterly blown out by the Broncos but that was to be somewhat expected. Both of these squads are well coached with Enderle (Idaho) being hands down the better QB in this game. It is the Idaho D that will likely not be able to contain a pretty good Fresno State running game. Go with the Valley Dogs.
15. UAB vs Rice: For the first time this season Rice has shown that they can actually play this game. Their win over ECU must have been a huge boost to their confidence. UAB can actually play this game, despite their record. They are a better team than is indicated by the won/loss ratio. I will go with the Blazers to win this one. It may be close.
16. Troy vs WKU: Troy is not near as good as they normally are but still are a better team than WKU. Both teams are well coached but WKU does not have the talent to compete here. Go with the Trojans.
17. Florida vs FSU: This is a big rivalry game that can often mean a whole lot nationally. Not so much this year but still it should be a good game. I think that Florida may be the better team marginally and will go with the Gators here.
18. LSU vs Arkansas: This is a big one for both teams. More so for the Tigers. Both of these squads are very good with LSU being the better team. LSU is not totally out of the hunt in the national picture and the Hogs will get a very good bowl game. I am no fan of LSU as my Louisiana team is the Cajuns. Funny I know. I lived in Louisiana for years but just never became a "Tiger" I also lived in Arkansas for a good while and have always been a fan. I think that LSU will prevail here but it will be very very close. Go with LSU.
19. Grambling vs Southern: The Bayou Classic is the IAA game of the week. This is the game that can fill the Super Dome and gets more national attention than a great number of games that really matter. Grambling is the much better team this year and will win this one hands down.
20. Michigan State vs. Penn State: This is the potential shocker of the week. PSU is a pretty good football team as is Michigan State. I do believe that the Spartans have had a very good run of luck this year and are not quite the team that their record indicates. That being said, one can't argue with their record. PSU dose have the talent to win here but we will soon see if they can do so. I go with PSU. Not sure if it would be a real shocker but it would be an upset to be sure.
Have a good week and enjoy the games.