A White Out At Penn State, The Renewal Of An Old Big-8 Rivalry And Alabama Goes To The Swamp
As college football rolls into its third week we know a few things while some others remain a mystery.
For example, the Nuts’ defense cracked and now the team is fighting for its playoff life. The Hogs are running wild while the Longhorns are going back out to pasture.
USC finally got rid of the “Nine Lives” coach – it’s amazing how many times he was able to land on his feet – and now actually has a chance to go to the Pac-12 Championship. It’s only a matter of time before LSU does the same to Coach Oh and Nebraska may truly be chilling on Scott Frost after this week’s game against OU.
All that we do know.
What we do not yet realize – due to lack of games and quality opponents – is whether or not Penn State has a good enough defense to carry its offense into Big 10 contention, if Auburn is a bunch of paper Tigers, if Georgia can chase away an upset ghost of the past and if Nick Saban got the full attention of his players this week so Alabama can look like Alabama again.
Now onto this week’s games. All time PT because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Nebraska at Oklahoma (9 a.m., FOX)
The Shuckers get the game they did not want and while it’s not Thanksgiving nor is deserving of any “Game Of The Century” advance billing, it is nice to see an old Big-8 rivalry game restored for both schools. This one, rather than coming down to a punt return or dramatic touchdown run, has rout scribbled all over it. Think the German army vs. Poland. Which makes the Prognosticator wonder, will Nebraska pull a USC and fire the embattled Frost two days after the game? However, as a Cornhusker fan told me recently, “who else are we going to get right now?” Winner: Oklahoma
Virginia Tech at West Virginia (9 a.m., FS1)
The Prognosticator was caught off guard by the Lunch Pails not only beating North Carolina but dominating the Heels. The question I now have is, can they keep it up consistently throughout the season? The Couch Burners haven’t exactly lit any fires lately and they don’t figure to in this game, either. Winner: Virginia Tech
Purdue at Notre Dame (11:30 a.m., NBC)
It is oh, so tempting to pick an upset here, as the Irishmen have been fighting with going down the past two weeks. Eventually this will catch up with them but the Prognosticator is too wary of Purdue’s history in close games. The Boilermakers have an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And it will happen again this week. Winner: Notre Dame
Alabama at Florida (12:30 p.m., CBS)
The Pachyderms come stomping into The Swamp looking to wrestle some Gators and send them to a watery grave. The King has made it clear to his players that they had better straighten up and pay attention or they are the ones could get swamped. UF has two quarterbacks to play and the Mullenheads know how to attack on offense, but while Bryce may be Young, he’s as poised as a senior. Winner: Alabama
Tulsa at Ohio State (12:30 p.m., FS1)
The Nuts will be living on Tulsa time this week while their offense cracks open holes in the Hurricanes’ defense with gale-force power. This lightweight opponent will also help the Buck’s D restore a bit of face after getting torched by Oregon, tho a definite storm is brewing in Columbus. Winner: Ohio State
Florida State at Wake Forest (12:30 p.m., ESPN)
The best thing that can be said about Mike Norvell is that at least he didn’t lose to Stanford. But he did lose to Jacksonville State on a last-second Hail Mary, not exactly something that looks good on the ‘ol resume. The Preachers should only offer token resistance but at this point, any team with a heartbeat is capable of beating the Spears. Winner: Florida State
USC at Washington State (12:30 p.m., FOX)
The Helton Skelter era is over, but a rainy afternoon in chilly Pullman stands in the way of a Conquest for the interim coach. Much more than the Cougars anyway, for they have proven to be nothing like the prowling cats of their nickname. Troy should be inspired enough to withstand the weather and whatever token resistance the home team can muster. Winner: USC
South Carolina at Georgia (4 p.m., ESPN)
This is always one of the Best College Football Rivalries Nobody Knows About, and quite often it’s the Cocks who rise to the occasion and either pull off the upset or scare the silver britches off the Dawgs. There’s a lot of talk around the SEC about the Chickens doing it again this year, and with both quarterbacks banged up the Kirby Canines are definitely vulnerable. But they are on high alert and surely won’t blow this one. Surely, right? Winner: Georgia
Stony Brook at Oregon (4:30 p.m., Pac-12)
A week after stunning Ohio State (and, perhaps, waking up the college football world), the Ducks hope not to get stoned when facing this small school from update New York. After all, the Seawolves emptied the toothpaste tube on Colgate last week. But they will be brushed aside by the hosts, who really just have to keep their heads above water in a watered-down conference to be in national championship contention. Winner: Oregon
Auburn at Penn State (4:30 p.m., ABC)
It’s the Lions vs. the Tigers in this clash in Happy Valley. The hosts have a host of offensive question marks – namely, can their quarterback hit an open receiver?– while the visitors have had two scrimmages to warm up for this one. The War Eagles are a different team when they play outside of the friendly confines of the Plains – how else to explain them being able to beat Alabama and Georgia the same year and then lose to Central Florida in the bowl game? – and Bo Nix is mixed up when wearing white instead of dark blue. Speaking of white, he will see a lot of it with the White Out in the stands. And that will be enough to make it a happy night in Happy Valley for the home team. Winner: Penn State
Fresno State at UCLA (7:45 p.m., Pac-12)
Is this the week the Trampolines drop back to earth and fall on their faces? Do the Bulldogs have enough bite to put a scare into the Baby Bears? Well, they nipped at the britches of Oregon two weeks ago and called off the dogs in a rout of UConn (which, granted, is no great achievement). The hosts, tho, seem to have a Chip on their shoulder and won’t be falling too far down in this one. Winner: UCLA
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