Ohio State To Fall To TCU; LSU In Key Matchup On The Plains
While some teams are trying to reason with the hurricane season, others are trying to ride out a stormy first two weeks.
Arizona is learning that Kevin Sumlin can’t coach without Johnny Manziel, USC is realizing that Clay Helton can’t coach without Sam Darnold and the top-tier Florida teams are not exactly bringing sunshine to fans in the Sunshine State.
There’s also a stormy situation in Blacksburg where a bunch of Hokies are basically calling East Carolina chickens for canceling their game so early in the week. West Virginia at N.C. State, Furman at South Carolina and UCF at North Carolina have also been canceled while Ohio at Virginia has been relocated to Vanderbilt’s stadium in Nashville due to Hurricane Florence.
Week 3 has a lot of stretch-the-arms-and-yawn games before the conference grind begins but there are also just enough key matchups to keep us glued to the TV with the remote in easy reach, especially for the night action.
All times Pacific because The Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Florida State at Syracuse (9 a.m., ESPN)
Taggert! The Blazing Saddles coach has his team looking as confused as Hedley Lamarr. The Spears got speared by Virginia Tech and had to rally to beat Samford. That’s Samford, as in Birmingham not Stanford as in Palo Alto. What in the Wide World Of Sports is going on here!? Unless they put a No. 6 on the Saltine Warriors – “a Number 6?” “Yes, that’s when we that’s where we go a-ridin’ into town, a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves within an inch of its life” – then Taggert will be standing in quicksand. Winner: Syracuse
Vanderbilt at Notre Dame (11:30 a.m, NBC)
The Commodores look to tie up to Notre Dame Stadium, put the Anchor Down and send the Irish’s potential College Football Playoff hopes to the bottom of Iron Bottom Sound. But while a convincing win over Nevada last weekend seems to indicate Captain Derek Mason has righted the Vandy ship, there’s no port of call in South Bend. They may get in a salvo or two but they don’t have the firepower to do enough damage to raise the victory flag. Winner: Notre Dame
LSU at Auburn (12:30 p.m, CBS)
The Bengal Tigers are on the the prowl on the Plains and have a cat-quick defense that can chase down and beat down their fellow felines. The Eagles, who are always hoping to soar high, are pretty grounded when it comes to their attack, relying on a dominant DL while the Gus Bus offense sputters to get off the ground after the first two possessions. The fur will be flying on defense on both sides in a game that could come down to the kickers. This is a critical game for the hosts; they always ride the wave of early-season emotions and they could be either be riding high or come crashing down to the ground. This will be a close one and is an early test for the magical powers of the Plains. Winner: Auburn
Alabama at Ole Miss (4 p.m., ESPN)
There’s a little Saturday evening gathering in the Grove and there’s plenty of party time to get primed for this traditional SEC tilt. It may not take long for the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium scoreboard to get as lit up as the fans, for this game has the potential to produce an offensive classic that will bring back memories of the great Archie Manning-Scott Hunter duel in ’69. The Hottie Toddies will be mixing up all kinds of concoctions to get the visitors punch drunk but the Pachyderms pack a punch too, and in the end it will be too much Tua. Winner: Alabama
Ohio State at TCU (5 p.m., ABC)
All during the Meyer Mess, the media was looking at this game as an automatic “W” for the Chestnuts, but the Toads are lurking in Jerry World’s pond and are ready to leap into action, as well as the national spotlight. Unrespected and unnoticed, that’s just the type of situation Gary Patterson likes to plan his ambushes. The game isn’t on campus, which is a mistake on the part of the Horned Pattersons but they will stand pat against the boys from Ohio. Winner: TCU
USC at Texas (5 p.m., FOX)
The eyes of Texas are upon the Longhorns and Tom Herman, and the eyes of USC are on the Trojans and Helton. The leader of Troy hasn’t exactly been a king of conquest and if he loses this one, his seat will start to get as hot as a September day in Texas. Herman’s team’s lack of enthusiasm – as well as lack of a defense and a quarterback – has Texas fans scratching their horns as to what the heck is wrong with the Bevos. USC is about to get hooked, not on Helton as a head coach but by the Horns. Winner: Texas
Fresno State at UCLA (7:30 p.m., FS1)
The Trampolines did indeed bounce back against Oklahoma – by taking a 7-0 lead. Then they fell flat on the mat by giving up 42 consecutive points. They did, tho, leave with a bit of spring in their steps because they have appeared to find a quarterback. Still, if the offensive line doesn’t block any better and if the Baby Bears can’t run the ball, they could get bit in their gold britches by the Bulldogs. Winner: UCLA