Alabama-LSU, Florida State-Clemson & A Stanford Upset
There was another crazy ending on a kick this past weekend; that’s three on three consecutive Saturdays. And what about the ending to the Michigan game in which Minnesota’s game-winning touchdown was ruled down at the 1 and there was only time for one final play!?
It’s been quite a season and things are about to get even more interesting. And intense.
The College Football Playoff Committee has released its first rankings and it was good to see the members seem to be actually watching the games and evaluating schedules.
They may also be taking circumstances into account. Yes, Alabama lost to Ole Miss and the Georgia win may not now look that impressive but at the time Colonel Rebel was playing out of his mind and with a lot of confidence and the Dawgs were undefeated, at home and not yet playing like dogs. The Dawgs’ top dog, Nick Chubb, was also in the lineup vs. Bama.
The Big 10 and Big 12 are not yet into their respective back-loaded schedules and Utah is all but forgotten after being hammered by USC. Stanford’s escape over Washington State was ignored because few people outside of the Apple State realize Wazzu actually plays football.
This week provides one monster game and one big game, as well as enough other matchups to keep us entertained. And, as in the case of the best regular season in sports, probably really entertained with another wild finish. Or two.
Onto this week’s games. All times Pacific.
This Week’s College Football Games
BAYLOR at KANSAS STATE (4:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1)
This gives us something to watch now that it gets dark at about 5 o’clock. One would hope that sly ‘ol Bill Synder would be his old sly self again and make a game of it, but his ‘Cats are apparently hiding in the closet since nearly beating TCU. They even lost to Texas. The Texas Bears are looking to run up the score and keep running all the way to Dallas in order to hand the game ball to the playoff committee. If the Cats come out of the closet they may make this fairly interesting for a while. If not, then, well, go to Happy Hour. Winner: Baylor
STANFORD at COLORADO (10 a.m., Pac 12 Network)
The Prognosticator is going out on a limb and predicting what some will call one of the major upsets of the college football season. Colorado will beat the Trees. Now before you start sending an ambulance to the house to see if I’m feeling okay pause, if you will, for a moment and consider the reasoning behind this bold prediction. The Cardinal are kissing their tree roots that they escaped Pulllman with a win; the Wazzu kicker missed all five of his field goals, including the potential game-winner on the last play of the game. Colorado is not as bad as it has been and while that would be quite the dubious achievement if it was, the Buffs buffaloed UCLA, coming within a boneheaded pass call on fourth-and-two of probably winning that game. They also ran an astounding 115 plays against the Bruins. The Cardinal are looking past this game but it’s one that will ruin their playoff hopes. Then they will beat Notre Dame. Winner: Colorado
FLORIDA STATE at CLEMSON (12:30 p.m., ABC)
While this is a big game, it’s not a monster game and ABC acknowledged as much by putting it in this time slot instead of prime time opposite Alabama-LSU. The Tigers are #1 in the country for the first time since William “The Refrigerator” Perry was in Tiger Town. It is also typically the type of big stage in which these big cats go lay down in the jungle. It would not surprise the Prognosticator if that were to happen again, but the Seminoles are lacking that wild warrior spirit this season. As well as that wild scoring threat, Jameis Winston. Winner: Clemson
TCU at OKLAHOMA STATE (12:30 p.m., Fox)
The Horned Frogs have been hopping around the lazy confines of the lily pads, and even then nearly got drowned by Texas Tech because they have no defensive mechanism. Now they play a team that lit it up for 70 last week (against Texas Tech, perhaps not ironically). The Pokies may not be the ones to take down TCU before Baylor does, but it’s going to happen. Winner: Oklahoma State
UCLA at OREGON STATE (1:30 p.m., Pac 12 Network)
Assuming the Baby Bears have enough players left to field a team – they were dropping like leaves in the fall last week against Colorado – then they will have enough left to beat the hapless Beavers. Oregon State opened the season by squeaking by BBQ U, also known as Weber State, and that’s pretty much been the season’s highlight. The one thing going for the Beavers is the weather – it’s going to be in the 50s and raining. The Bruins had better bring their winter coats. Winner: UCLA.
MICHIGAN STATE at NEBRASKA (4 p.m., ESPN)
What in the world of last-play losses has happened to the Huskers? Just when it seemed things could get no worse – they lost to Illinos, for cryin’ out loud – they exceed that ineptitude by getting beat by Purdue. Purdue! The only teams to lose to the Boilermakers play their games on Friday nights on high school fields. Sparty may – or may not – be a top-tier team but we sure won’t know any more on that subject after this game. Winner: Nebraska
LSU at ALABAMA (5 p.m., CBS)
It’s the Game of the Century II and like the original, might come down to field goals. Alabama’s kicker is like an elephant that sees a mouse when it comes to knocking the ball through the uprights. Of all the athletes Nick Saban has recruited to Tuscaloosa you would think he could find one guy who could excel when toe meets leather. The Tigers will ride the tail of Leonard Fournette but that’s like handing the Pachyderms bags of peanuts. The Tide is the deeper, more well-rounded team but the Tigers get so worked up for this game it’s like throwing raw meat in to a cage. Both sides are hungry and this is going to be a tough, physical game. Winner: Alabama
ARIZONA at USC (7:30 p.m, ESPN)
Troy has come out of the Trojan horse and is now brandishing a sword at anyone who crosses its path. And now into that path walks a wounded Wildcat. The Zonies have been about as competitive as a drunk Smackfest team this season and last week seemed to have mentally headed to the bars for the rest of the season (they lost 49-3 to Udub). The Trojans are making a late, great run with an interim coach, which seems to be a new tradition of late. Winner: USC