There was some good football last week. For the first time since I started following the game seriously no team from Florida is ranked in the top 25. What is happening down there? Just a bad year I suppose. I think we will see FSU, Miami, or the Gators back in before the dust settles. USF? Perhaps. FIU? Won't happen. That being said, on to the predictions for week 7.
1. SDSU vs Air Force: This one looks to be a very even game. Both lost to a decent TCU squad and both have beaten who they should have and lost to those that were predicted to beat them. The possible exception would be the Falcon victory over the Naval Academy. I think most would have picked Navy to win that one. That being said, I will go ahead and pick SDSU. The reason? I like their uniforms. This one is a complete toss up.
2. Hawaii vs SJSU: Hawaii should be 4-1 (and perhaps 5-0) at this point. There is no explaining the loss to UNLV. No excuse for that one. Washington? The Warriors had their chances there. Hawaii may (or may not) be the best team in the WAC. Fresno State and/or Utah State may have something to say about that. SJSU has actually stayed competitive in most of their games. A few turns of luck and their record would be somewhat different. That being said, it is doubtful that the Spartans have the talent to keep up with Hawaii in this one. Go with the Warriors.
3. Michigan vs Michigan State: The old saying is that in a rivalry game the records can be thrown out the window. There is often (but not always) some truth to that. This game qualifies. Both are good teams but Michigan likely has more talent. I will go out on a limb though and pick these Spartans to pull off a minor upset.
4. Toledo vs Bowling Green: The Rockets are a good MAC team and the Falcons are about average. I will go with Toledo here.
5. Wisconsin vs Indiana: A victory over Indiana does not really help the Badgers get the respect they deserve. The game has to be played though. Go with the Badgers with ease.
6. Baylor vs Texas Agriculture: The Aggies have more talent overall. Both schools QB's are good and Griffin III may be one of the best in the country. The Aggies should prevail and I will pick them to win. It may be close and being wrong here would not hurt my feelings.
7. Miami (Fl) vs North Carolina: Can they right the ship in Miami before it is too late? Perhaps. This week will show if the Hurricanes are salvageable or can just write off the entire season. I go with Miami to pull this one out of the hat.
8. Buffalo vs Temple: Temple wins here. Should not be much of a game. The Bulls did have a nice victory last week over the Bobcats and may have gained some confidence but it will not be enough to upend the Owls. Go with Temple.
9. LSU vs Tennessee: The Tigers should watch out. This one may be harder than it looks on paper. Knoxville can be a hard place to play and the Tigers are hated there. I think the talent will prevail though and I pick a LSU victory. May be close.
10. Ball State vs Ohio: The best of the rest in the MAC square off. It should be about even and I pick Solich's squad to prevail. Go with the Bobcats.
11. Ohio State vs Illinois: This is a real test for Ron Zook's squad. Ohio State is likely better than their record. Illinois? The jury is still out somewhat. They have had close wins over three decent teams but for the most part their schedule has been a little light. The game is at home for the Illini and that helps. I will go against my gut feeling here and pick Illinois to edge the Buckeyes.
12. Oklahoma State vs Texas: A good game? We will see. Texas has some problems behind center that may be insurmountable this year. Oklahoma State may (or may not) be one of the best teams in the country. I think that an upset is brewing here though and pick the Longhorns to (somehow) prevail.
13. Virginia Tech vs Wake Forest: I have not paid attention to the Deacons this year at all. Perhaps I should. They have a pretty good record. Virginia Tech was exposed the other week and pulled one out of the hat against a decent, but not real good, Miami squad Saturday. Probably the Hokies have what it takes to win here and I will pick them to do so. If Wake Forest prevails, then we should begin to take notice.
14. Idaho vs NMSU: Neither team is likely to make any noise in the WAC. Both would have to run the table and hope for others to implode. I think that the Vandals are probably a little better and I will pick them to win.
15. Utah State vs Fresno State: This is a pivotal game in the WAC race. The winner here may end up being crowned champion. Utah State is a better team than their record and the jury is certainly out on the Bulldogs. I will go with the Aggies in a close one.
16. Stanford vs Washington State: Stanford wins here. With ease. Not much to discuss really.
17. KSU vs Texas Tech: OK this one will show us whether the Wildcats are to be really taken seriously. For KSU to win they must control the ball and keep it out of the hands of the Tech offense. Tech will score points, but if KSU can just control the clock then they should be able to wear out the Red Raider defense. Tech has, as usual, an explosive offense and a porous defense. That is par for the course though. Go with KSU.
18. North Texas vs ULL: The Cajuns appear now to be the team to beat in the Sun Belt. Does anyone care? Probably not. I think it is a pretty interesting league myself. North Texas is improving under McCarney and they may be a factor next year. It may be a close game but I pick the Cajuns to prevail.
19. Oklahoma vs Kansas: Another no brainer. TG probably wishes he had stayed in Buffalo. He was building a program there. This will be a blowout if Stoops allows the dogs off the leash. Go with the Sooners.
20. Sam Houston State vs Nicholls: There just are not a whole lot of "stellar" match ups in D1 this week so I decided to try my hand at a IAA game. This Southland Conference match up could be interesting. I almost went to see SHSU play SFA at Reliant last weekend but opted to go see the Rice/Memphis match up instead. Sam Houston State is a good team apparently but probably not quite on par with the better East Coast IAA squads. That is typically the case with Southland football. I think that the SHSU will prevail in this game and improve to 6-0. The IAA playoffs are a foregone conclusion for the boys from Huntsville.
Have a good week.