Ol Jimbo is gone – counting not sheep but million-dollar bills (either 75 or 77 of them, depending on which number you care to believe), Zack has been hacked at Mississippi State and a few other coaches are on the phone discussing their futures with their agents.
Apparently, no buyout is safe, so watch out Not Big Game James (Franklin) for things may not be so happy for you in Happy Valley. And they may be about ready to split the Lincoln logs at USC. Across LA, the not-Wizard of Westwood Chip Kelly is so done the UCLA 8 clap will be confused with fans cheering his exit.
So if you think that’s termoil, just wait until Saturday. It’s “Termoil Time” for a few highly-ranked teams, which will see their seasons rolled over as if caught in a washing machine.
Now onto this week’s games. All time Pacific because The Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Michigan at Maryland (9 a.m., FOX)
The Sign Stealers are looking to swipe some turtle soup in the land of crabcakes and beer and there’s little holding them back because the Shells are a shell of what people expected of them this year. They have lost four of their last five, their last game being a sleep-inducing 13-10 win over .500 Nebraska. It’s still hard to judge just how good (or not) the Coach Khaki-less Big Blues are because their schedule has been akin to that of teams that play on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Plus the Big 2 tradition of the Big 10 calls for a Michigan or Ohio State to stumble once before their big matchup and this could be somewhat of a trap game so don’t be surprised to see this outcome. Winner: Maryland
Georgia at Tennessee (12:30 p.m., CBS)
Any chance the Rocky Toppers had of topping the Kirby Canines went tumbling down the Great Smokys with their rotten performance last week at Mizzou. They looked about as inspired as bluetick coonhound stretched out on the front porch. If they don’t get off their tails for the big Dawgs, they will be run right out of their own house. The best they can do is offer the intruders a few sips from the corn jar and hope that staggers them a bit. Or at least lessons the pain of their bite. Winner: Georgia
UCLA at USC (12:30 p.m., ABC)
The Prognosticator knows what’s wrong with the Baby Bears. Other than hiring a disintrested coach six years ago (he’s 33-33) living off his past reputation, it’s the uniforms. The chinstraps are all gold. The shoes are color-coordinated. Even given the fact they are in LA, they obviously spend too much time looking fashionable rather than focusing on game plans and player improvement. Across town, Troy’s weaknesses are just as obvious. The defense – the secondary in particular – is simply a bunch of pylons dressed in cardinal and gold. Were it not for the brilliance of the quarterback bailing out a weak offensive line and overcoming other teams’ touchdowns time and time again, this would be a .500 team. Remember how Sam Darnold masked several defencies in 2017? Caleb is doing the same thing this year. This won’t be a ballet symphony of exquiste football; a scrambling madhouse is more like it. When it’s over and the sun sets behind the Colisum, the Song Girls will be dancing to “Tusk” and saying “Fight On.” Winner: USC
Oregon at Arizona State (1 p.m., FOX)
The most impressive part of the Waddlers win over USC was not its offense or quarterback but its defense. It had Caleb Williams running around behind the line of scrimmage as if he was the only Centurion on the field. He was a lone warrior in search of fellow legionaries. If this is how they really play D rather than an abberation due to the Trojans’ inepetitude on the offense line, then they won’t stop until they get to Houston in January. If not, then they may melt under the heatlamp that the Sun Devils suddenly turned on in the Rose Bowl last week against UCLA. That’s unlikely and the Ducksters will waddle out of the desert with the W. Winner: Oregon
Washington at Oregon State (4:30 p.m., ABC)
Do the Houdinis have yet another fantastic escape in them? So far they have done the football equivalent of the straightjacket escape, bridge jump (well maybe that’s what their fans have felt like doing a few times) and the Metamorphosis. What’s next, the Chinese Water Torture Cell? It takes a lot ouf of a team to hang on or make a comeback week after week and these Pacific Northwest Dogs are facing a pesky squad of aquatic mammals playing with the support of a lively crowd. The visitiors from the north have the more prolific offense with a Hesisman Trophy candidate quarterback who can flat-out make plays. But they will find themselves in hot water in a too-hostile environment. The magic runs out this week. Winner: Oregon State
Texas at Iowa State (5 p.m., FOX)
A few years back, Iowa State knocked off an Oklahoma State team that was one game away from playing for the National Championship, one that had barely survived close games until it all impolded. The Cyclones have also sent highly-ranked Oklahoma teams back to the windy plains with thier heads hanging low. The school seems to have a knack for upsetting title contenders.That’s what awaits the Steers here. Pretty much since beating Bama, the Sarks have been living on borrowed time, blowing halftime leads and barely hanging on to beat the likes of Houston and TCU while withstanding a why-now-two-point-conversion-try in the first overtime against Kansas State. All that good fortune is going to wind up lost in an Ames tornado. Winner: Iowa State