Ohio State-Penn State & Stanford-Notre Dame Picks & Predictions
There’s a whiteout happening in Happy Valley, a blacked-out in Blacksburg, a Frost-out in Lincoln land, a bit of a thawing out in Austin and a crimson hot Hawaiian volcano exploding in Tuscaloosa.
As college football heads into Week 5, Penn State and Ohio State are headed into an Urban showdown in a rural setting, Virginia Tech’s season has suddenly been gobbled up by the Monarchs (isn’t that a harmless endangered butterfly?) Scott Frost may be sitting on a suddenly hot seat at Nebraska while Tom Herman may be off of it in Texas, and there’s simply no stopping the hot hand from Hawaii at Alabama.
This week offers a pair of potential championship-deciding games, tho both are on at the same time for reasons The Prognosticator cannot explain.
All times PT because The Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Friday, Sept. 28
UCLA at Colorado (6 p.m., FS1)
The Baby Bears go on the road this weekend after a week of gathering in the den to discuss their 0-3 start and will immediately run into a herd of charging Buffalo. Based on how the Bruins have played to start the year – they’ve been stampeded by Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Fresno State – Colorado’s toughest challenge may be keeping Ralphie the Buffalo under control when he runs onto the field before the start of the game. Winner: Colorado
Saturday, Sept. 29
Louisiana-Lafayette at Alabama (9 a.m., SEC Network)
Every now and then, a Southerner has to feast on a variety of foods in this rich land of treats and this week the Pachyderms will trade in their Dreamland ribs for some gumbo and jambalaya from the bayou. The Ragin Cajuns will be serving it all up on a platter for the Crimson Tide – and in particular Tua Tagovailoa – to enjoy this early day in T-town. Winner: Alabama
Tennessee at Georgia (12;30 p.m., CBS)
Things are so rocky on Rocky Top these days that Vols fans are hiding under the rocks. Now, with a first-year head coach, the Volunteers unwillingly head into the doghouse where they are about to get their britches bitten and their hides chewed into bits. For the Dawgs, this will be akin to playing Austin Peay or UMass, a name-your-score rout that will have UGA napping most of the game. Winner: Georgia
Virginia Tech at Duke (4 p.m., ESPN2)
Ahh, the Hokies, playing hooky again. I talked to a Virginia Tech alumn after the embarrassing loss to Old Dominion and he unloaded on his team: “same old Hokies. They win one big game (Florida State in this case) and think they are great. Then they don’t do the fundamentals and lose to teams we should never lose to; happens every year. It’s so frustrating being a Virginia Tech fan.” It’s going to get even more frustrating this week when they play the Dukies who, by the way, are 4-0. Winner: Duke
Stanford at Notre Dame (4:30 p.m., NBC)
The Cardinal nearly turned green last week until the host Ducks slipped and fell in the Duck Pond. They are now headed to the why-did-they-ever-put-in-artificial-turf-here historic Notre Dame Stadium to take on the are-they-good-or-are-they-average Fighting Irish. The Domers should have lost here to Vanderbilt but are also waking up some echoes of the past. Both of these teams seem to rise up just when you think it’s time to deliver last rites and in the end the Golden Domers will be seeing red. Winner: Stanford
Ohio State at Penn State (5 p.m., ABC)
After surviving a scare to open the season it’s the Nittany Lions who are now the scary ones. The nut cases from Ohio come to town and while the Acorns haven’t falling yet from the Meyer Mess, it’s only a matter of time before they crack. It’s a whiteout in Happy Valley and the Buckeyes will get wiped out in an offensive shootout. Winner: Penn State
USC at Arizona (7:30 p.m., ESPN2)
The Trojans are not exactly riding into the desert on their high horse, having barely escaped the clutches of some Cougars last week. The Cats they are facing here are not nearly as ferocious as the felines that nearly scratched Troy’s eyes out last week. In fact, the Soft Sumlins have been declawed offensively by their supposedly offensive-minded head coach. This Troy team can take nothing for granted but it will find this opponent is more like a house cat that wants to be petted rather than a wild animal on the prowl. Winner: USC