This is breather week in college football. So much so that ESPN’s GameDay is not in Ann Arbor or Baton Rouge or Eugene but in Bozeman. Before you start searching your phones, that’s in Montana and the game is the cross-state rivalry between Montana and Montana State. The Grizzles vs. the Wildcats.
Elsewhere, overrated UCLA fell back to earth, Oregon’s coach panicked and the Ducks dropped a game against a team other than Georgia, LSU (barely) survived the Bama factor, the Tide proved there’s still some force in its Crimson Tide, Oregon Ohio State and Michigan still haven’t played anybody, TCU is questionable due to its schedule, and “Sleeveless” Jimbo lost again. He probably has made up a reason for it although he’s running out of excuses with fans and alumni.
Frankly, A&M is getting what it deserves for hiring college football’s most overrated coach to begin with and then giving him an undeserved $90 million guaranteed contract.
Now onto the games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Illinois at Michigan (9 a.m., ABC)
This is the best the Big Ten West can throw at the Big Blues, a team that has lost its last two games and is 4-3 in the league? Ahh, such is life in the Big 2. Alabama fans can only dream of such luxury. Well, Georgia possibly awaits again and that will send some chills down the spines of the Mustelidaes. No need to worry about it this week, tho. Winner: Michigan
TCU at Baylor (9 a.m.)
Who is TCU and whatever happened to Baylor? The Lizards were 5-7 last year and are suddenly 10-0 and in the playoff committee’s top 4. They haven’t won a game by more than 10 points since Texas A&M was ranked and took two overtimes to overcome Oklahoma State. They are likely the product of a good team playing so-so teams at best. The once-respected Bears are unranked, unregarded and only a game above .500 after having lost by four touchdowns and scoring just three points against K-State. The Prognosticator doesn’t believe in either team but believes the luck is running out for the Lucky Frogs, no matter how much they rub theie on-campus statue. Winner: Baylor
Montana at Montana State (11 a.m., ESPN+)
If this game is good enough for GameDay, it’s good enough for the Pigskin Prognosticator. The 121st Brawl of the Wild has the host Bobcats bobbing for the big prize of the Big Sky title. They are 7-0 in the Sky (9-1 overall) and 5-0 at home while the Grizzlies are a grizzly 4-3 (7-3 overall) and just 2-2 on the road. In similar circumstances last year the Bears took the brawl. The fired-up GameDay crowd won’t let that happen this year. Winner: Montana State
Georgia at Kentucky (12:30 p.m., CBS)
The once highly-regarded Stoops Troops – “second best team in the SEC!,” many pundits predicted – just lost to Vanderbilt. That’s like dropping a game to Cal Poly in SEC circles. Unless this “basketball school” suddenly starts acting like a “football school,” then Kirby’s Canines will tear through the Cats like they are steak on the grill. Winner: Georgia
Ohio State at Maryland (12:30 p.m., ABC)
To some, this may seem like another handy handout from the Big 10 to its beast team, a calm Saturday walk in the (College) Park. Another breather before next week’s battle with Big Blue. At times, tho, the docile Terps can turn into snapping turtles. But they don’t have enough force to crack the Nuts. Winner: Ohio State
USC at UCLA (5 p.m., TBD)
It would be easy for those not in the know to start ringing the Victory Bell for the Horsemen and look forward to Notre Dame. After all, the Baby Bears couldn’t beat lowly Arizona last week so what chance do they have against Riley’s Raiders? First of all, they are the Trampolines and somehow manage to bounce back up off the ground as if nothing happened. Secondly, one of Troy’s traditions is to play poorly in the Rose Bowl. Unless it’s the Rose Bowl. Winner: UCLA
Utah at Oregon (5:30 p.m., ESPN)
The Utes made Duck soup out of the Waddlers not once but twice last year and are all set for another feast this year. The Webfooters tripped all over themselves last week in losing to the U-Dubers with the rookie head coach making rookie mistakes. Utah is as solid as its muscular coach and like him, not flashy but are smart enough to take advantage of one of the country’s worst pass defenses. Winner: Utah