It’s Week 5 of the college football season and so far we have seen the fall and potential rise of a dynasty, the rise of an old one, the demise of a new one, the in-over-his-head coach of a traditional one sending 10 men onto the field – after a timeout, no less – to lose on the last play, the pounding of a one that never was and the transfer of one from the windswept plains of Oklahoma to LaLa Land.
While Alabama tries to re-establish itself and Florida State tries to convince skeptical people it’s really back (this time), Clemson exits stage right by the end of September, Notre Dame’s coach is more confused than its fans, Colorado gets its Neon smashed by bunch of hard-nosed Ducks and Linoln Riley has created Oklahoma West by pairing a dynamie offense with a defense that regards tackling and covering receviers as a mere suggestion.
And the cinnamon stick in the Hottie Toddie to all this is that the rumors of Lane Kiffin’s maturity are greatly exaggerated.
Now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
USC at Colorado (9 a.m., FOX)
After a late Saturday night in the Arizona desert, Troy must muster the troops for an eye-rubbing Bloody Marys start time in the ski state. USC fans are not the least big happy about it, either, but with the Big 10 looming they had better get used to it. After they see how much their offense is traveling up and down field they will be feeling better about it, tho the Neons will be doing the same so it’s going to take a few more frustrated trips to the bar before the Southern California soldiers get the conquest. Winner: USC
Penn State at Northwestern (9 a.m., Big 10 Network)
The Chicago Cats managed to claw out a Big 10 win against the less-than-golden Gophers last week but now face a more menacing foe in the are-they-really-this-good Mount Nittanys. This game is not a good measuring stick to answer that question but it will be provide a “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” atmosphere in State College with the early start time. Winner: Penn State
Texas A&M vs Arkansas (9 a.m., SEC Network, Jerry’s World, Dallas)
After causing thier fans to cover their eyes more than cheering this year, the Jimbos take on a bunch of battered Hogs who can’t seem to finish a game despite having them tantalizing close in their grasp. The Prognosticator knows this game, which is a rather brief rivalry, has all kinds of crazy ball bounces (last year one of many bizzare moments was the game-winning A&M field goal doinking off the very top of the crossbar), weird plays and umpredictable don’t-turn-your-head-or-you’ll-miss-it plays. And no matter how far the 12th Men fall behind, they will somehow, some way, win it at the end. Winner: Texas A&M
Georgia at Auburn (12:30 p.m., CBS)
So far, the top-ranked Athens bullies have chewed up the cheap toys on thier early schedule and now go to the Plains in the South’s oldest rivalry. Fortunately for them, they face a team that would have trouble scoring against tackling dummies, let alone real tacklers. When the adult frat boys at Auburn hired a coach named Freeze they didn’t expect their offense to freeze everytime they got the ball. They certainly want thaw out this week. Winner: Georgia
Kansas at Texas (12:30 p.m., ABC)
The Sarks have shaken off their Bama hangove and are acting like sharks now, sensing weaknesses in opponents and moving in for the kill. The Red Legs are next on the menu although they will put up a bit of a fight before subcoming to the inevitable. Winner: Texas
Oregon at Stanford (3:30, Pac-12 Network)
This is a game of the haves and the have nothings. The Trees are mere sticks now and in are such bad shape that any team – let alone one swopping in from a tree-heavy state – will be having its starters riding the pine shortly after halftime. Winner: Oregon
Notre Dame at Duke (4:30 p.m., ABC)
If the the 10-man Domers thought they were overmatched on the last play of the game against Ohio State, just wait until they go against the Dukies, who have a coach that – if he’s not yanked away by a struggling program – may get people there thinking he’s the Coach K of the gridiron. The always over-ranked and over-regarded “Fighting” Irish are about to run out of ranking luck. Winner: Duke
Alabama at Missississippi State (6 p.m., ESPN)
As you read this, the Stark students are sleeping in tents by the stadium in order to get into this game. No doubt with a cowbell as thier companion. It is into this environment that the teetering-on-the-edge Jalen Milroe and Alabama offense enters and the Great Nick has decided it’s best to go with the high-risk, high-reward quarterback rather than the safer option of his strong-armed backup. The State Dogs have so far been much more bark than bite and and as a result, the Crimson Tide will roll back to T-town an easy winner. Those State students will probably follow them becuase that’s where they go to party. Winner: Alabama
Washington at Arizona (7 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
The Sailgaters have sailed right past their opponents so far and don’t figure to be running aground in landlocked Tucson. The Prolific Penix And His Goal Line Penetrators will simply blast past whatever blockade the Zonies try to erect. Winner: Washington