Going Inside The Helmets Of Washington-Utah Auburn-Ole Miss, Clemson-FSU & The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com College Football Blogger
Welcome to The Pigskin Prognosticator!
The Prognosticator is beaming because of two spot-on predictions last week, BYU and Boise State ending exactly (to nearly the very yard line) as stated with a Hail Mary, and Penn State upsetting Ohio State in Happy Valley.
And what exactly is the state of Ohio State now as it takes on the bookworms from Northwestern? What about Nebraska – many will get their first look at these new Red Men when they go to Wisconsin. Same with U-Dub as the Huskies trek to Utah. Clemson tries to look like Clemson is supposed to look like this year as it visits Florida State which, as it turns out, turns out not the biggest game in the ACC. The social highlight of the weekend is the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Now onto this week’s games.
VIRGINIA TECH at PITTSBURGH (4 p.m., ESPN)
The Gobblers gobbled up Miami last week and hope to keep their feathers attached when they get attacked by a group of Panthers. It could be a feast for the hosts if the visitors do not stop the run game and the Hokies were a bunch of pokies earlier this year against Syracuse. Somehow, the Prognosticator feels they will have just enough birdseed in the tank to keep from getting clawed. Winner: Virginia Tech
CAL at USC (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Troy got off the horse last week for a break and now rides into the Coliseum on a Bear hunt. October has been much more kind to the Trojans than was September (then again, getting to play both Arizona team certainly helped) and they should be primed to make a big Conquest of the campus to the north. It should happen, too, if for no other reason than Cal has gone win-lose, win-lose the entire season and won last week. Winner: USC
SAN DIEGO STATE at UTAH STATE (5 p.m., CBSSN)
A few weeks ago, the Prognosticator alerted you about San Diego State running back D.J. Phumphrey and now the rest of the country seems to be catching up with me. Phumphrey, the country’s leading rusher and ninth on the all-time college rushing list, is finally getting some mentions as a Heisman Trophy candidate. He has no chance to win it of course, but a big showing on national TV on a Friday evening – on Halloween weekend, no less – may carve out a few votes for him. Winner: San Diego State
MICHIGAN at MICHIGAN STATE (9 a.m., ESPN)
The Sparty charm has not only worn off this year, its flaked off like rust on an old automobile. The lugnuts have fallen off the East Lansing pickup this season and Big Brother is coming in like big bullies. The Wolverines, who had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown last year on the last play of the game in the most incredible finish in a season of incredible college football finishes, may not have to even punt this year. Winner: Michigan
WEST VIRGINIA at OKLAHOMA STATE (9 a.m., Fox)
The Couch Burners have something the Big 12 has never seen before – a defense! The conference apparently doesn’t know how to react to this strange part of the game and so, by golly, West Virginia is undefeated. The Pokes might be able to change that but the Prognosticator is going with the team with the “D.” Winner: West Virginia
WASHINGTON at UTAH (12:30 p.m., FS1)
U-Dub has arrived! In Utah, anyway. The Huskies have treated Pac-12 opponents like dog meat and they are ravenously approaching this game. This is also one of the best chances for the national media – and the College Football Playoff committee – to assess the Huskies. A big win puts them high on a mountain while a loss sends them back to where the actual dog of huskies originated, Siberia.
Utah will keep this game close, as it does to every team it plays and while the Utes somehow always manage to win by a field goal or a touchdown, they won’t quite be able to squeeze out this one. Winner: Washington
GEORGIA-FLORIDA IN JACKSONVILLE, FL (12:30 p.m., CBS)
The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party takes place around the stadium while inside, it’s one of the South’s all-time heated rivalries. Too bad for the Dawgs they don’t have much bite this year; they seem to be content to roll over and expect a belly rub. You try that with a Gator and you’re going to get your hide handed to you.
Which pretty much happens every year in this game anyway. And Lindsey Scott isn’t coming to the rescue for the Dogs. Winner: Florida
TEXAS at BAYLOR (12:30 p.m., ABC)
If Charlie Strong has any magic, now is the time to use it. His seat is hotter than a grill at a tailgate party and if the Horns get blown out then he’s likely as good as grilled.
Then again, it may not matter; there’s rumors out that Tom Herman to Texas is a “done deal.” At the same time, the Bears are growling when most people expected them to be in hiding. Winner: Baylor
NORTHWESTERN at OHIO STATE (12:30 p.m., ESPN)
A bruised Brutus returns to the nut state having fallen from the tree and is desperately hoping this doesn’t turn into a full harvest season. This is a very beatable team – again – and Northwestern might just be the team to do it. After opening the season by losing to Western Michigan and Illinois State, the Big 10 has been a relatively pushover for the Wildcats.
The Prognosticator senses a close one yet feels the horseshoe will provide just enough of an edge to have Buckeyes fans breathing a sign of relief at the end. Winner: Ohio State
NEBRASKA at WISCONSIN (4 p.m., ESPN)
It’s not too “cheesy” to call this one of the biggest Big 10 games of the year. The Dairy Boys are not ones to cry over the spilled milk of close loses to Michigan and Ohio State and are going to be challenged by the rising corn stalks from Nebraska. But the Shuckers’ pumpkin is about to burst. Winner: Wisconsin.
AUBURN at MISSISSIPPI (4:15 p.m., SEC Network)
Colonel Rebel has been retreating from enemy territory and is putting up the defenses back at Fort Grove. Well, maybe not defenses because the Land Sharks of recent years have given way to a group that has been giving up points as if they were in the Big 12. So the Rebels are surly stockpiling offensive ammunition to hurl at the suddenly awakened Tiger from the Plains.
Auburn has come to life after the half-second win over LSU. And that’s Auburn, a team that always plays on momentum. It’s going to be close and it’s going to be high scoring but that momentum will come to a halt and finally the Ole Miss fans can breath a sigh of “Hottie Toddy” after a game. Winner: Ole Miss
CLEMSON at FLORIDA STATE (5 p.m., ABC)
The Spears have been getting speared on defense this year and having to face Deshaun Watson isn’t exactly the best thing to heal a wounded warrior. But Watson and his pride of cats have been mostly tamed Tigers this season, failing to live up to their preseason predictions. Instead of dominating, they’ve been hanging on by their claws.
If this game doesn’t perk up the point producers then they won’t be playing for the Big Prize at the end of the season. Winner: Clemson