With the season headed into the short days of November and December, it’s not just the rivalries and championship aspirations that are heating up but restless alumni.
Nervous ADs have canned coaches at Virginia Tech and Washington within the past week and more are likely to be sent to the showers in the next couple of weeks.
In Gainesville the Mullenheads are living up their Prognosticator nickname, in Miami the Hurricanes are getting dizzy under Diaz, in Westwood they are finally realizing that Chip Kelly is no wizard and in Austin the party may be over before it really begins for Sark as some are floating the idea of him being a one-and-done coach (Alabama fans sure would welcome him back to Tuscaloosa).
This Week’s Trivia Question: Why is UCLA’s mascot the Bruins?
Last week’s trivia question answer: Tennessee’s colors are orange and white because that is the color of the flowers that used to grow on “the Hill,” which is behind Neyland Stadium and leads to the oldest building on campus.
Now onto the games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Michigan State at Ohio State (9 a.m., ESPN)
Sparty has a bone to pick with the College Football Playoffs committee for still being ranked behind a team he beat, but he has a chance to show he belongs at the big boys’ table this weekend. At the head of the table, with an electric knife in hand ready to carve up any Big 10 competition, is Brutus Buckeye. So far it’s been like slicing through hot butter (as long as Oregon is not in the room) tho it’s been a grind against several teams. This won’t exactly be a piece of cake but in the end the Nuts will be on top. Winner: Ohio State
Post-Game Analysis: Sparty shows its true self, able to barely beat weak opponents, put together enough to beat Michigan and get over-ranked and then get exposed big-time by Ohio State. Don’t think LSU will be beating down Mel Tucker’s door now.
Charleston Southern at Georgia (9 a.m., ESPN+, SEC Network+)
When you are the #1 team in the nation and you can’t even get onto a regular ESPN Network channel, then you know you’re in for an easy, breeze day. Winner: Georgia
Post-Game Analysis: About what we all expected,
Wake Forest at Clemson (9 a.m., ESPN)
The Dekes are great on offense, (averaging nearly 45 points a game) but geeks on defense (allowing 29, including 55 to North Carolina and fifty six to Army). Who do they thing they are, Florida!? By contrast the orange felines score about as often as a shy freshman with pimples at a frat party, so this will be a chance for them to put up a few points for a change. The problem is, they will need to do it all afternoon and that’s not something that this Trevor-less offense seems capable of achieving. Winner: Wake Forest
Post-Game Analysis: Okay, so Clemson left the Deckes in their Wake.
Iowa State at Oklahoma (9 a.m., FOX)
So the Stacked Beer Cups finally fell last week and looked pretty inept in doing it, proving the playoff committee knew what it was doing all along. Now that they get into the back-loaded part of their schedule it could all catch up with them and the season could all come tumbling down like one of those pyramids in a beer garden. The Cyclones can pull off the occasional upset but seem to take two steps back for every one forward. As a result, let the stacking begin again. Winner: Oklahoma
Post-Game Analysis: Will be media keep drooling over Matt Campbell for other openings writing senseless things like “what he has done at Iowa State is nothing short of a miracle” and other nonsense. He’s 6-5 and hasn’t ever beat the school’s main rival Iowa. Would any AD really hire a coach who can’t beat the rival?
Washington at Colorado (Noon, Pac-12 Network)
The U-Dubers have added themselves to the list of schools looking for a new head coach while the Buffs are on somewhat on a roll, having only lost three times in their last five games. That’s an accomplishment for this squad. The Ws have managed to both win and lose ugly and in keeping with that trend they will get this W in less than spectacular fashion. Winner: Washington
Post-Game Analysis: Things must really be bad at U-Dub if it can’t beat the Buffs.
Arkansas at Alabama (12:30 p.m., CBS)
The Tide hasn’t always been rolling this season and Coach Nick sent a message to his players after a lackluster practice this week that they had better churn up the water or they could be as flat as a lake on a clam day against the suddenly no-longer-pushover Hogs. The Pachyderms are down to two scholarship running backs so it’s up to Bryce Young and the slippery-fingered receivers to try and hogtie the visitors. They will succeed but not without a few anxious moments for the fans in Bryant-Denny. Winner: Alabama
Post-Game Analysis: Alabama always gets a team’s best and Arkansas gave all it had, but the Tide has Bryce Young and 550 passing yards.
Nebraska at Wisconsin (12:30 p.m., ABC)
If you believe some of what you read, then the Shuckers are not quite as bad as their miserable as their 3-7 record and are actually making some progress under the frosty Frost. One thing is certain, they sure play the good teams close. Not that the Badgers are necessarily a good team but they should get the best the Lincoln Logs can deliver and this could (finally?) be the game the Frosties pull out a close one. Winner: Nebraska
Post-Game Analysis: Close! Again.
UCLA at USC (1 p.m., FOX)
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This year has been so bad for USC that that the Coliseum has not had more than 65,000 at any game. The Trampolines are not doing much better and if they lose this one than the chips will really be down against Chip Kelly. Still, it’s a rivalry and may offer an exciting finish – another USC-UCLA tradition in the Rose Bowl – with the least-worse team coming out the victor. Winner: UCLA
Post-Game Analysis: Hey, at least the band plays and the Song Girls dance after USC games in the Coliseum, win or lose!
Auburn at South Carolina (4 p.m., ESPN)
The season that nearly collapsed right at the start for Aubie – a near-loss to Georgia State that was saved only by an official’s flag at the end – is in now on the teetering edge of falling off a cliff. They have one foot on a banana peel headed into Williams-Bryce where the home fans last saw their team hang 40 on the Mullenheads in a rout (only to turn around and get pushed around by Missouri the next week). Bo Nix is out with the savior of the Georgia State game starting at quarterback and the kicker is injured too, so does this mean the Palmetto Bugs will suddenly spring to life in the Palmetto State? Maybe, but the Prognosticator feels they fiesty Chickens will put up a good fight in front of the home crowd. Winner: South Carolina
Post-Game Analysis: Rumor has it that Washington is interested in Bryan Harson, who is from that area, as its next coach. At this point, Auburn fans would probably send the university plane to deliver him to Seattle. Harson would probably even get vaccinated to get the heck out off all the criticism he’s about to get from the Aubies and media.
Cal at Stanford (4 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
The only way this game would be interesting to watch would be if the Stanford band runs onto the field before the end. Winner: Stanford
Post-Game Analysis: Oh, Stanford is THAT bad.
Oregon at Utah (4:30 p.m., ABC)
The Utes are like the sly dog at a Thanksgiving dinner in that they just hang around and hang around and eventually are rewarded by getting scraps from the other team. Dropping the ball, for example, produces the same result as when piece of turkey falls on the floor – it’s gone before you know it. That’s a credit to the scrappy players and coaching of Kyle David Wittingham. Earlier this year the Ducks waddled into the Horseshoe as underdogs and came out on top and they do the same this week at the Rice box. Winner: Oregon
Post-Game Analysis: Oh, well, goodbye College Football Playoffs to Oregon and it’s hard to believe that 8-3 Utah is the best team in the Pac-12. Says a lot about that conference.