Oregon-Ohio State Highlights This Week’s Games While Clemson Licks It Wounds And LSU Braces For Impending Doom Under Coach Oh
The first week of the college football season is over and apparently, it’s over as well for Vanderbilt football, the ACC, most of the Big 10, a lot of the Pac-12 and Coach Oh.
What the early games have shown us is that there is no legitimate contender to Ohio State in the Midwestern league, Clemson may still win the one-time basketball league by pure default, Oklahoma was either looking ahead (but to whom, Wester Carolina?) or is again over-ranked in the preseason polls, Oregon better pull itself out of the deep end of the Duck pond and Georgia is too conservative to let its quarterback loose (or maybe there’s a reason J.T. Daniels couldn’t crack even the backup lineup at SC).
In Tallahassee, Florida State honored the late, great Bobby Bowden and then went out repeated what happened to him so often against Miami. This one, tho, was against Notre Dame. And it was Wide Left.
Saturday, Sept, 11, is not just the 9/11 anniversary but the birthdate of Paul “Bear” Bryant. The night before in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1971, he won his 200th career game, a monumental upset of Southern Cal that not only re-established Alabama as a national power and Team of the Decade, but ushered in the wishbone era to the Tide.
The previous year, SC whipped Bama behind the dominant running of Sam “The Bam” Cunningham. That convinced pro-segregation Alabamans that it was time for the Crimson Tide to move to integrated squads. A few years later, when talking to a reporter, Bryant mentioned Cunningham and said he “ran all over my skinny little white guys” and that Alabama had no opposition to recruiting black players after that game. Sam “The Bam” passed away this week.
Now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives in America’s Finest City, San Diego.
Saturday, Sept. 11
Oregon at Ohio State (9 a.m., FOX)
The Ducks nearly fell into the deep end of the pond last week against Fresno State and now must rise early to meet the challenge of the Buckaroos, where the waters are much more treacherous. The Acorns aren’t exactly skipping rocks on the pond but they’ve got enough propulsion to quickly get from one side of the lake to another quite a few times. If the visitors are to have any chance at all, Coach Crystalball must quit playing to lose and start playing to win. And he simply can’t do that, which will swamp his team in the end. Winner: Ohio State
UAB at Georgia (12:30 p.m., ESPN2)
The Kirby Canines are out of the college football’s dawghouse after their offensive snoozefest against Clemson, but true Georgia fans are waiting for the other paw to drop. Will it be against Florida? Next week against South Carolina, which somehow manages to beat Georgia even when it can’t beat anybody else? Gasp, could it come against Kentucky? At least they get to rest easy this week. Winner: Georgia
Texas A&M vs Colorado (Mile High Stadium, Denver, 12:30 p.m., FOX)
Howdy folks, who’s ready for some good bull in the home of the Broncos? The high-stepping folks from Texas sure are, tho it’s the Ralphies who hope to lasso the invaders. Their visitors’ biggest opponent might not be the Buffs but getting adjusted to the altitude and reading their press clippings. They certainly have the horses to turn this into a full-scale rodeo romp. Whoop! Winner: Texas A&M
Mercer at Alabama (1 p.m., SEC Network)
Is there going to be a mercy rule in this game for Mercer? Call the game at halftime so the students can get to Gallette’s and Inisfree Pub without having Coach Saban call them out for leaving early? If not the Pachyderms might put such a stomping on the poor Bears they will need help getting back on the team bus. Winner: Alabama
South Carolina State at Clemson (2 p.m., ACC Network)
Ahh, this is more like it. Enough of those junkyard Dawgs chewing up the offensive line, this is more in line with what the Felines are used to handling. But wait, SC State are the Bulldogs, too. But they don’t have nearly the bite as the ones from Athens. Winner: Clemson
Texas at Arkansas (4 p.m., FS1)
In both a flashback to the past and a look into the future, these two ol’ rivals put on the pads again and go after it, Southwest Conference style. After boiling Rice (gee, they ARE playing a SWC schedule), the Hogs are ready to run loose against the suddenly competent Sarks. In this rare matchup in which fans of both teams eat their own mascots, it’s going to be the creative offensive wrinkles of the Horns’ new coach who BBQs the Pigs. Winner: Texas
McNeese State at LSU (5 p.m., SEC Network)
After having swallowed their humble pie, the not so ragin’ Cajun fans are stirring up the gumbo on the bayou in hopes that Coach Oh can add some spice back to the recipe before it boils over into a complete mess. Not only were the Felines as lost on defense as they were last year but they were pushed around by a freakin’ “sissy blue” team and were hopelessly out of shape by the fourth quarter. Mac ‘n Cheese State is a perfect meal-time side dish but many fans are bracing for a Gene Cheeze-It type of collapse. Winner: LSU
Stanford at USC (7:30 p.m., FOX)
If the Cardinal could not score more than seven points in a loss to a team from the Lost Conference, then what chance do they have against USC in the Coliseum? Clay Helton being on the other sideline, of course. The Helton Skelters finally got marching in the right direction in the fourth quarter last week but they had better check their field map before heading out for this Conquest. Having won nine of the last 14, the Trees seem to be able to make the Southern Californians run into a few low branches. David Shaw is clinging onto the tree trunk with his fingernails and as he continues to slide down it, he’s about to land right on the hot seat. Winner: USC