Three weeks, two coaches fired with another one on the way.
Here’s what we know so far about college football 2022.
Nebraska really stinks and things in Lincoln are far worse than we ever imagined, Georgia is really good, Auburn is an embarrassment to the SEC (so, too, is Missouri except it goes unnoticed because nobody cares about football in Mizzou), Appalachian State proves it’s great to be both good and lucky, USC can score, Chip Kelly is probably happy that the Rose Bowl is empty with that team he is putting on the field and the Big 10 is really the Big 2.
Meanwhile, Miami is not only not back, fans have already had it with Mario Cristo-ball’s play-not-to-lose style. Cristo-ball is the modern version of Dave Wannstedt, the failed Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and Pitt Panthers coach who never met a field goal he didn’t like. Arizona State’s AD finally fired his buddy and former client Herm Edwards – he was a Edwards’ agent before becoming AD and the hiring raised the Prognosticator’s eyebrows then and now – and the team awaits NCAA sanctions for brazen rules violations.
Now onto the games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Maryland at Michigan (9 a.m., FOX)
Big Blue gets to pad its undeserved Top 5 ranking against a conference foe that struggled to edge SMU last week, so don’t expect this to be much of a contest. Especially in the Big House. About the only thing the Terps have going for them is that Mike Locksley once coached under Nick Saban. He even was offensive coordinator for a year before heading to the land of crabcakes and beer (considering Bama fans would like Bill O’Brien to take a long walk off of a short pier, they would welcome him back in a second). He’s hardly been as quick a study as Kirby Smart, tho. Winner: Michigan
Missouri at Auburn (9 a.m., SEC Network)
If it’s true that misery loves company then the visiting Tigers will feel right at home in Jordan-Hare. If Hapless Harsin loses this one he might as well head to a beach in Mexico where he can spend his $15 million buyout far away from the wolves in Auburn. His contract states that he is entitled to the buyout if he is fired “without cause.” Certainly the boys down on the Plains would have a legitimate argument that barely beating sub-par teams, getting run out of its own building by Penn State, losing to Missouri and being at the bottom of recruiting it the cut-throat SEC is certainly not without cause. He won’t have to worry about that this week, tho, because Mizzou is that bad. Winner: Auburn
UCLA at Colorado (11 a.m,. Pac-12 Network)
If one matchup involving major conference teams can top the Miserable Missouri-Awful Auburn tilt for Most Boring Game Of The Week, this is it. The Baby Bears can only thank a boneheaded call by the South Alabama coach – he called for a fake field goal with the lead deep into the fourth quarter which of course backfired– for being undefeated against an underwhelming schedule. The Buffs under former UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell (one LA Times columnist referred to him as Karl Dullard) are the worst team in college football, at least one not named Nebraska. Winner: UCLA
Florida at Tennessee (12:30 p.m., CBS)
The days of Steve Superior infuriating Vols fans with his verbal jabs and his team are now but a fading memory even for the most loyal Chomper fans. Today’s Gators are a one-man show offensively and Anthony Richardson can only threaten defenses when he runs the ball. All the Big Orange defense needs to do is stack up to stop him and it can’t miss. The over-hyped Heupel has the UT folks whipped up into a frenzy and they will be even higher on Rocky Top after this one. Winner: Tennessee
Notre Dame at North Carolina (12:30 p.m., ABC)
Since the no-so Fighting Irish haven’t been able to score against anybody else, they get the chance to turn into USC for a day against the worst pass defense in college football. It might just take until the fourth quarter to happen. Winner: Notre Dame
Oregon at Washington State, 1 p.m., FOX)
The Ducks did exactly what the Prognosticator expected them to do last week, and that was end BYU’s faint hopes of impressing the media enough to make them start clamoring about the Cougs being a College Football Playoff contender. “I feel better now about the season” one seasoned OU fan told the Prognosticator and he will be feeling even better by Saturday night. Winner: Oregon
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (4 p.m., Jerry’s World, ESPN)
Since this game started up again in 2012 – in the SEC instead of the old Southwest Conference – it has produced some of the most exciting games of the college football season. Three times they have gone into OT with several did-you-see-that plays on both sides. And one other thing remains constant: somehow, some way, the Cadets always manage to win. Okay, they got Hog-tied last year but that was an aberration rather than the norm. Jimbo will survive another close call, tho it’s hardly a season-saving game. Winner: Texas A&M
Vanderbilt at Alabama (4:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Traditionally, when fans of an SEC West team see Vanderbilt on the cross-over schedule they breath a sigh of relief and say “whew, we’ve got Vandy instead of Georgia or Florida.” But the houndstooth-clad supporters might be in for a rude surprise in Bryant-Denny because the Commodores have been putting the anchor down with an elusive and strong-armed quarterback and are averaging 41 points a game. That used to be a whole season of scoring for Vandy. It’s not as if the Tide will be Judge Smails’ boat to Rodney Dangerfield’s yacht in Caddyshack – “hey, you scratched my anchor!” – but the receivers better start getting open and catching Bryce Young’s passes and Oh My What Are You Doing O’Brien needs to realize that Bama has some pretty good running backs to really make the Tide roll. Winner: Alabama
Wisconsin at Ohio State (4:30 p.m., ABC)
What has happened to Bucky? He’s been badgered by Washington State and last year was an unimpressive 9-4 (hey who’s coaching them, Jimbo Fisher?). So anyone who thinks Bucky will waltz into the Horseshoe and plant one on the home team has been spending way too much time drinking Das Boots at the Essen Haus. Good idea with this team, by the way. You would be nuts to pick against the Buckeyes. Winner: Ohio State
USC at Oregon State (6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
Traditionally, USC hates going to Oregon State. So much so the Trojans would leave and return to the warmth of LA on the same day. That’s because this game used to be played in mid- to late October when the weather in Corvallis would be a very un-LA-like 45 degrees with a chilly and steady rain. A fired-up crowd would inspire the Beavers and they would build a dam around the SC offense while constructing just enough offense to either make it uncomfortably close or pull off the upset. This year, however, the weather will be clear and a relatively balmy 55 at kickoff. The crowd will still be there and the Dam Builders will put up a fight but the dam will burst after halftime. Winner: USC