The World’s Largest Cocktail Party is upon us, Clemson has received an early Christmas present by the Atlantic Coast To The Playoffs Conference – the SEC must have loaned the Tigers the officials from the Alabama-Tennessee game – the Lane Train not only has been derailed but is hanging on the edge of a cliff, Auburn still has a coach but not an athletic director, the over-regarded Trampolines were bounced in Eugene, the Horned Frogs are sticking it to teams, Jimbo Fisher continues to prove he’s the most overrated and overpaid coach in America and Oregon fans are enjoying life without Mario Cristo-ball.
College football is in its mid-season stride and in a couple more crazy weeks will be headed into its home stretch, rivalries and championship games positioning.
Now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Ohio State at Penn State (9 a.m., FOX)
What, this doesn’t warrant a prime-time slot on ABC or ESPN? The only white out that early in Happy Valley might be from snow. Now, whether or not the Pennsylvania Felines can do a snow job on the visiting Nuts comes down to which team controls the line of scrimmage and history here teaches us that this game will be a down-to-the-fourth-quarter snowball fight. One the team in the silver britches and clustered hard hats usually wins. Winner: Ohio State
Arkansas at Auburn (9 a.m., SEC Network)
The Pigs are no longer in Hog heaven but have a perfect opportunity to get down and dirty against the Hapless Harsins. They are facing an opponent that is more sideways than a stock car that just hit the wall in Talladega. With seemingly half of last year’s recruits leaving via transfer and others being shown the barn door, the Dirty Birds are a wounded and grounded animal. Other teams are like buzzards circling their pray. Winner: Arkansas
Miami at Virginia (9:30 a.m., EPSN3)
At least the Miami quarterback will be able to experience a “true college atmosphere” on the Cavalier campus, something he said he doesn’t get in the hollow NFL stadium an hour from Coral Gables where the Lames play. The Cristo-ball era is being battered; the team had eight – that’s not a typo – eight, turnovers last week in losing to the Dukesters. This prompted a Miami Herald sports writer to humorously state in his post-game sty with this beauty of a line: “$80 million sure doesn’t seem to buy as much as it used to, does it?” Winner: Virginia
Georgia vs. Florida (12:30 p.m., The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Jacksonville, FL)
They have added extra seats to accommodate a larger crowd than the NFL’s Jaguars can attract but no stadium in the world can hold all the Dawg and Gator fans who go the Jax Landing in a scene that earned this game its nickname. That was given by a dazed sportwriter walking through the crowd and commenting to his fellow scribes when he reached the sanity of the press box, “my gosh, it’s the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party down there!” It will be for both teams before the game but only for one afterward. Unless the Chompers follow the PubClub.com cheer of “Win Or Lose, We Booze!” Winner: Georgia
Oregon at Cal (12:30 p.m., FS1it’s )
Analysts are saying the Waddlers “are a completely different team since the Georgia game.” Of course they are because they are playing Georgia! The Prognosticator finds it amusing how the headline-grabbing “analysts” go overboard about a team just because of one win. Previously in this conference it was the same with UCLA. For the not so Ugly Ducklins when they are playing in the Pac-12, they are facing California Bears that have already gone into their winter hibernation. Winner: Oregon
USC at Arizona (3 p.m., Pac 12)
The Trojans get back on their horse after a week of patching up the battle scars from their unsuccessful road trip to Utah. They will not run into the stone wall they faced in Salt Lake and instead invade the more friendly confines of warm and cozy Tucson. There, they will find a lot less resistance against the Not So Wild Cats. Winner: USC
Kentucky at Tennessee (4 p.m., ESPN)
Okay, it’s Kentucky. Nice little story for a basketball school (sorry Mark Stoops; you’re doing a helluva job but not even Bear Bryant could shake the hoops hoopla). But when do they play Georgia!? Nov. 5. Normally that game is played in late September. Hmmm, think the SEC schedule makers sensed something here? Maybe that’s why the officiating was so bad in the Alabama game (by the way, have they figured out which down it is yet?). Hey, the Prognosticator is a cynical sports writer! Winner: Tennessee
Ole Miss at Texas A&M (4:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Apparently, $90 million sure doesn’t seem to buy as much as it used to, either. Nor does the new NIL money, for four of those freshman in that #1 class have been kicked off the team. Or is it five now? Anyway it’s about as many players as touchdowns the team has scored the past two games. The Cadets are hardly falling in line with their lofty expectations and must now defend their home fort against a bunch of battle-weary Rebels. But watch out for those Aggies fans, who somehow manage to forget the recent past and can make Kyle Field like walking into a minefield. Their team hardly has the offense to compete but if they close their eyes and pretend they are playing Alabama they might find just enough firepower to get the W. Winner: Texas A&M
Stanford at UCLA (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
This is bounce back up week for the Trampolines and the the most intriguing part of this game might just be seeing out how many people show up to the Rose Bowl to watch it. There certainly won’t be a lot of Cardinal fans because even when the Trees play at home up on the Farm, the players often outnumbers the fans. Those fans who do make the hike to Pasadena will be treated to an offensive show by the team in the cool home uniforms. Winner: UCLA