UCLA Trampolines Turn Out To Be Fool’s Gold
Sometimes, the Pigskin Prognosticator buys fool’s gold. Goes against what I know best, and that is picking games based on certain schools’ tendencies and traditions of successes or failures.
So when that gold looks good – like the gold on UCLA’s helmets to start the year – I should know that it’s really the same ol’ rust under that early-season shine. The team lived up to the Prognosticator’s nickname of the Trampolines on Saturday night by falling completely on their faces against Fresno State.
They were bouncing high after physically whipping LSU and had me thinking, “hmm, maybe the Chipster finally has something going here.” But now I realize that result says more about the Bungle Tigers under Coach Oh than it does about the Baby Bears under Kelly.
It was another embarrassing performance by the worst conference in major college football. Did you know the best team in the Pac-12 is not even in the Pac-12? It’s BYU, which is 3-0 against the league. Pac-12 After Dark? Heck, the Pac-12 is IN the dark.
Fool’s gold struck again with the Va Tech Hokies, who again proved they can really be hokey on any given Saturday. They are as predictable as an earthquake.
On the other hand, King Saban emerged victorious from a messy Swamp, the far superior Kirby Canines kept the Cocks down, Auburn proved it can still get egregious officials calls even when away from Jordan-Hare, Ohio Sate’s defensive coordinator did not call the defensive plays in a close game against a weak non-conference opponent, Spencer is surprisingly rattled at Oklahoma and the Dabo Felines had to rely on a goal-line defense to beat lowly Georgia Tech. But hey, at least they are not Florida State.
Now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin (9 a.m., FOX, Soldier Field)
If the Badgers’ game against Penn State is any indication, they will be having a heck of a lot of trouble getting any kind of offense going in this one. Yet they know if they catch the Leprechauns they will be entitled to a pot of gold. And not fool’s gold. The Irish are trading the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium for the friendly confines of Soldier Field and with all their Chicago-based fans this will be enough to carry them to victory. Winner: Notre Dame
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (12:30 p.m., CBS, Jerry’s World)
Are the Hogs, who ran wild over Texas, also fool’s gold? Actually, the Prognosticator believes the Cadets are, and that was before their starting quarterback went down with an injury. The logical conclusion is that the Pittman Pigs will go 2-0 against Texas teams. But the Cadets always somehow seem to pull a rabbit out of a hat in a wild one when these schools meet in Jerry’s World. Look for a weird bounce of the ball or perhaps an SEC officials’ blunder like an extra down or a Memphis State-type of punt return. Winner: Texas A&M
Clemson at N.C. State (12:30 p.m., ESPN)
The Wolfpack are a popular pick to pull the upset but those people either don’t realize or choose to ignore the fact they were whipped by Mississippi State, hardly a college football juggernaut. The Clemson Cats are hanging on by their claws and will claw their way to a close win in Raleigh. Winner: Clemson
UCLA at Stanford (3 p.m.)
This one should be easy. The Trampolines will bounce back up and beat down the Trees. And if they don’t, those first-game good vibrations will be replaced by calls for the AD to make the same move as their cross-town rivals . Winner: UCLA
Tennessee at Florida (4 p.m., ESPN)
There’s a bunch of angry Gators in the Swamp and the unfortunate Volunteers are marching right into an ambush. UF nearly went “chomp chomp” on the Tide and are chomping at the bit to tear into their next opponent. It does, however, have to be careful ot look ahead and not behind; many teams let Alabama beat them twice. Winner: Florida
Southern Miss at Alabama (4:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Battered, bruised but still unbeaten, the Pachyderms look to regain their steady footing at home against a long-time foe. They should quickly clip the wings of the Golden Eagles, who are walking right into a growing beast of a team. The Tide is just beginning to hit its stride and that will make for a fun Saturday night in T-town. Winner: Alabama
West Virginia at Oklahoma (5 p.m., ABC)
The Couch Burners caught fire against the Hokies and hope to continue to be hot in Norman when they face the perplexing Sooners. Perplexing because the Boomers have yet to lay the boom on anyone and look as vulnerable as a freshman sorority girl at her first keg party. OU is going down sometime this season and maybe twice. Perhaps it starts here. Winner (in an upset): West Virginia
Arizona at Oregon (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
The not-so-wild Cats have not won a game since the first of October in 2019 (of course they beat the Trampolines that year) and now go to the Duck Pond to get trampled by the Quackers. The only Pac-12 team that seems capable of beating the Ducks are the Ducks themselves and their fourth-quarter too-conservative coach. But that won’t be an issue this week. Winner: Oregon
Oregon State at USC (7:30 p.m., TV TBD)
The Trojans quickly got over their Helton Hangover and hung 45 straight on hapless Washington State. But, as the Prognosticator well knows, a team often has a big letdown the second week after its coach is fired and reverts to its old form. In Troy’s case, this should not really matter for it is facing a team that lost to Purdue, which was uncompetitive against Notre Dame. With the game being played a home, this should be an easy W. Winner: USC