There are questions about the quarterbacks in Tuscaloosa and Columbus, cautious optimism in Austin and Chicken Little is running around College Station because the sky – or at least buyout money – may be falling on Jimbo Fisher.
College football is taking off the diapers and putting on the big-boy pants in this young season and some teams are already looking old before their time. Yes, teams that have taken hits the first two weeks can “still achieve all our goals” but they won’t come close if the play in those games is any indication of thier capabilities.
Now onto the games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
LSU at Mississippi State ( 9 a.m., ESPN)
Kelley’s Heroes march into the stark landscape of western Mississippi, fresh off acting like backyard bullies after taking out their Florida State frustrations against some lower-level Tigers. But the felines might find themselves in an unexpected fight for survival against a bunch of woofers backed by fans armed with cowbells. The State Dogs have a bit of a bite to go with their bark and the fur will be flying on both sides. Winner: LSU
South Carolina at Georgia (12:30 p.m., CBS)
Several years ago, the Progosticator labled this game as College Football’s Greatest Rivalry That Nobody Knows About. It has a history of unexpected turns, bizarre bounces (one went off a helmet resulting in a defensive touchdown by former Dawg and ESPN commentator David Pollack) and otherwise odd and exciting moments. UGA is out of the doghouse and in the skybox with few teams on a breezy schedule able to cause trouble in the bonyard. Beamer’s Boys haven’t exactly done anything stir up the dog dish but that alone spells trouble for these top Dawgs. After all, even a Will Muschamp-coached Carolina team upset the Kirbys in Athens. Winner: South Carolina
Alabama at South Florida (12:30 p.m., ABC)
When this game was first announced, Tide fans were questioning why Bama would be playing this level of a team on the road instead of at home. Now they asking questions of a far bigger issue: is Jalen II the best quarterback on the roster? If that’s the case, then the dynasty may not be done but it will be on pause this season. The Bulls, who have already been gored by Western Kentucky by two touchdowns, are hardly as dangerous as the ones in Pamplona, so running with them is not the game here but running past them is it. The Tide will take the Bulls by the horns yet the biggest drama will be who is taking the snaps. Winner: Alabama
Washington at Michigan State (2 p.m., Peacock)
Sparty will be seeking a spark after his $95 million mistake coach got suspended because of a sexual harassment invesigation. The not-so Mean Green Machine is facing a downfield pass-happy team led by a quarterback who once played in the Big 10. Precise Penix will take full advantage of the situation and add to the mysery index of Michigan State fans. Winner: Washington
Tennessee at Florida (4 p.m., ESPN)
Just as UT folks were preparing to gloat over rival Alabama’s loss, they looked down at their own team and started worrying about losing to Austin Peay. So they have been pretty subdued this week. The good news is that the Chompers just don’t have the players to swamp hardly anybody this year. Plus, neither Peyton Manning nor the Big Pumkin are inovolved in this one and thus there’s no Citrus Bowl involved, and that translates into a Vols victory. Winner: Tennessee
Colorado State at Colorado (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Neons hit the prime time with a Saturday night home game on ESPN in a game that used to be played Labor Day Weekend in Denver. Since that time, local and national attention has been as low as Colorado’s program. Now, tho, the Ralphies are running wild and are the big early-season winners of media attention. The Bighorn Sheep won’t do anything to slow it down, although Coach James took a shot at Coach Dion, saying, “when I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat and my glasses off. That’s what my mother taught me.” That heats things up a bit. Winner: Colorado