Inside The Helmet To Cal-Utah, Texas-OU & Other Key Matchups
Some pundits were scratching their heads last week after the games because they did not foresee certain results, but that’s not the case with the Prognosticator.
Chief among these was the Trampolines falling to Arizona State but UCLA did what it does every year, and that’s drop a game after a big win or a rout.
And how about Myles Jack abandoning his team mid-season to prepare for the NFL Draft – what a team player! NOT! He actually took out an insurance policy last year that will pay him a million dollars if he’s not a first-round NFL Draft choice. Somebody should play that Carly Simon “Your So Vain” song for him.
This Week’s Games
WASHINGTON at USC (5 p.m., ESPN)
Big schools with multiple National Championships like USC should not be playing Thursday night games. That’s for the wanna-be programs which can’t get attention on Saturdays. But here you are Trojans, with Six-Pack Sark facing his former team, on a day in which there’s no tailgating on campus because, well it’s a Thursday and there are classes (hey, the Prognosticator doesn’t make the rules, just reports them!). What a wasted home game for Troy. At least the Song Girls are there and will do their dance routine after the game. U-Dub is a mere pushover opponent, tho Troy will try and make things interesting with penalties and a couple of turnovers. Winner: USC.
OKLAHOMA vs. TEXAS, Red River Rivalry (Noon, ABC)
It’s a mess at Texas. Charlie Strong is simply not the man for the job. There’s no quarterback ,no offensive system or even game plan it seems and a player was actually Tweeting on the sidelines during last week’s game. How the heck can a coach allow players to bring cellphones to the sidelines!? Clearly, this is a program in disarray. If the Longhorns get blown out – and they will, especially considering Bob Stoops is not known for his kindness – then Strong is going to be chased out of Austin by alumni with shotguns in pickup trucks. Still, this is a great rivalry – OU-Texas at the Texas State Fairgrounds – at least until the game starts. Winner: Oklahoma.
GEORGIA at TENNESSEE (12:30 p.m., CBS)
Here’s another coach on the hot seat, Butch Jones. His big problem is that he’s afraid to win. He had Oklahoma beat in the first quarter but kicked a field goal from the 6-inch line. At home! UT fans – and the Prognosticator is from Knoxville – are fed up with him and his promises. They are ready treat him like those two strangers who climbed up Rocky Top looking for a moonshine still. The strangers never came down from Rocky Top; reckon they never will, either. Dawg fans were salivating last week but now have their tails between their legs, but Nick Chubb will put a some bite behind their bark. Winner: Georgia.
WISCONSIN at NEBRASKA (12:30 p.m, Big 10 Network)
If it’s possible for first-year coaches to be on the hot seat, then both Mike Riley and Paul Chryst have managed accomplished it. These teams are, put simply, painful to watch. But that’s why mankind invented beer. And shots. Winner: Wisconsin
NORTHWESTERN at MICHIGAN (12:30 p.m., Big 10 Network)
Are San Francisco 49ers fans paying attention to what is happening in Ann Arbor? They are in places like Texas, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Nebraska as fans are saying “they got THAT guy and we’re stuck with THIS guy!?” The Cats are getting lots of credit for whipping Stanford – kind of a backward boost to the Pac-12 – and may scratch and claw a bit in the Big House. But the Wolverines are not only learning HOW to win, they are thinking they WILL win. Take a lesson Butch Jones. Winner: Michigan
ARKANSAS at ALABAMA (4:30 p.m., ESPN)
That win over Georgia – and the total domination in which it happened – has re-established that “fear factor” for the Tide. Do you think the Hogs are looking forward to facing Alabama? In Tuscaloosa!? Neither is any remaining team on the Tide’s schedule. Bama can continue that mental mastery with another beatdown. So we’ll see if the Tide has it in them this year; if so, then the rest of the SEC and college football world should be on notice that this team means business. Winner: Alabama
FLORIDA at MISSOURI (4:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Interesting game for the Gators here. They are trending upward but face some cagy Cats that always seem to be lurking in the back corner, ready to pounce on the SEC East. If there’s gong to be any chomping done in Columbia, then the Gators had better take a lesson from the team it whipped last week, Ole Miss. And that is you’ve got to do this consistently, not just once. Winner (in a close one): Florida.
TCU at KANSAS STATE (4:30 p.m., FOX)
The Horned Frogs are going to be introduced to something different this week, and that is a football concept called “defense.” It’s what the players who do not have the ball do, and they employ this tactic at Kansas State. TCU has been living on borrowed time this year – the blowout of Texas an obvious exception – and it’s going to catch up with it this week against the always well-schooled Wildcats. Winner: Kansas State
MIAMI at FLORIDA STATE (5 p.m, ABC)
They are wearing “Don’t Fire Al Grogh” t-shirts for this one. In Tallahassee! Not only are the Canes now an afterthought in the state of Florida, Grogh is inflicted with Butch Jones Disease. Winner: Florida State
CAL at UTAH (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Papa Bears step out of the den and into the spotlight as ESPN GameDay is at this one to face a team that has suddenly risen in the college football landscape. Doing to Oregon what Oregon has done to others will do that for a program. But will the real Cal please stand up, the one that can score as often as it snaps the ball or the one that nearly lost to Texas? The Prognosticator is not as quick as others to jump on the Utes bandwagon, and would not be surprised if they were “out-offensed” in this one. But they manage to win games just by being there and letting the other team make mistakes. There’s not enough trust in Cal to look for an upset. Winner: Utah