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Friday, October 3, 2014

Week 6 Predictions

It's week 6 and as of this writing Brady Hoke is still the Head Coach of Michigan football, but while Michigan football is still playing, their house seems to be burning...

Sadly, Kansas told everyone's favorite fat coach, Charlie Weis, to...

There goes the Jayhawks schematic advantage.

Weis was 6-22 in his tenure in Lawrence.  His contract was a 5 year deal worth $2.5 Million per year.  Let's see, that works out to... $2.5 Million X 5 years = $12.5 Million / 6 wins = $2.08 Million per win.

No, unfortuantely I am not.  On top of that, Kansas still owes him for the final 2 years of his contract!  Is there any other profession that gets paid so much for doing so little?
We don't even have to recruit!  
Alright, let's talk some football...

Top 25 Action 

Wake Forest @ #1 Florida State - FSU found themselves down 24-7 after the first quarter last week against NC State.  The Wolfpack couldn't hold that 17 point lead though.  By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the Wolfpack D was gassed and gave up 56 points.  Sure, NC State scored 41, and may have shown FSU is vulnerable on D, but it's still a loss.

QB Jameis Winston, back from his one game suspension, threw for 365 yards with 4 TD's and 2 INT's. The 'Noles are currently on a 20 game winning streak and won't play another team that is currently ranked other than #9 Notre Dame on Oct 18th.  That game will be played in Tallahassee.

The longest modern era winning streak belongs to Miami (FL), who won 34 straight from 2000-2002. Some questions remain,, such as will FSU suffer an upset along the way?  Or will Winston lead them to back to back titles?  Does FSU have the hottest fans in college football?

Wake Forest is... Tim Duncan's alma mater.  That's literally the nicest thing I can say about them.

56-3 Florida State

Arizona @ #2 Oregon - The Wildcats are 4-0 thanks to a last play Hail Mary from QB Anu Solomon that was hauled in by WR Austin Hill in between 3 Cal defenders.

Arizona scored 36 points in the 4th quarter!

You heard me.  Cal for some inexplicable reason completely forgot how to play defense for the entire fourth quarter.  QB Anu Solomon finished with 520 yards passing, 5 TD's, 2 INT's and 46 yards rushing.  This kid is a future Heisman candidate in Rich Rod's offense. If yo u like offense, this is a can't miss game.

56-49 Arizona

UPDATE: Despite being WAY off on the score, Arizona did in fact pull off the upset in Eugene 31-24.

#3 Alabama @ #11 Ole Miss - One of the traditions of college football is the tailgating, and there are not many better than The Grove at Ole Miss.
Hiiiiiii!! 
Ole Miss Finally has a good team to go along with great tailgating. 
The Rebels are only giving up 8.5 points per game, good for 3rd in the nation. But the competition thus far has been less than stellar. QB Bo Wallace has 1200+ yards passing and 11 TD's and will look for his #1 WR, true sophomore Laquon Treadwell early and often against the Crimson Tide.

Despite being the Mecca of college football since Nick Saban took over, Alabama's tailgating leaves something to be desired...
Ask me where the elephant's trunk is. 
... or undesired.

Bama crushed the Gators 42-21 in Gainesville.  Bama's D held Florida to just 200 total yards, including only 93 passing. The offense was led by QB Blake Sims and WR Amari Cooper, one of the best in the nation.

Granted, Florida's offense sucks, but Bama's D has shown it's solid.  However, they're losses under Saban have typically come against teams that employ a spread attack with elite athletes, and that's just what Ole Miss is equipped with.

Ole Miss will need to spread out the Bama D and avoid turnovers, if they can do that, they'll have a shot at handing Saban his first home loss since 2012.  But Bama hasn't lost to Ole Miss since 2003, and despite what I foresee as a close game, well, ...
Y'all seen some folk walkin round with 2 red sleeves?  
33-27 Roll Tide

#4 Oklahoma @ #25 TCU - The Sooners are one of only a handful of teams outside the SEC with a shot at the playoffs.  OU has had a balanced offense this season, ranking 41st in passing and 34th in rushing while averaging 44.8 points per game.

Freshman RB Samaje Perine has emerged as the lead back for the Sooners.  Perine ran through the Mountaineers D to the tune of 242 yards and 4 TD's on 34 carries last week, helping OU to a 45-33 victory in Morganville and sparing dozens of couches from going up in flames in the process.

TCU faces OU and Baylor in back to back weeks, so we'll find out quickly if their 3-0 start means anything.

38-17 Oklahoma

#15 LSU @ #5 Auburn - LSU vented their frustration coming off a loss at home to Mississippi State and crushed New Mexico State 63-7.  There's a lot to like about the Tigers...
Whoa! Where did these come from? 
... as the Tigers two headed monster of a ground game can burn the clock against an Auburn offense that likes to play as fast as possible. RB's Leonard Fournette and Kenny Hilliard have 56 and 57 carries respectively, and both average over 5 yards per carry. When the Tigers take to the air, their main threat is WR Travin Dural, who's averaging a ridiculous 25.4 yards per catch.

Auburn's offense was held in check by K State on the road.  Even though the Tigers won, they were held to just 20 points. The Tigers ground game is paced by RB Cameron Artis-Payne.  The Senior is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has 5 TD's on the year.  The Tigers D has also been solid thus far but has not seen a team with the talent that LSU has.  This has all the makings of two SEC teams that would probably win the Big Ten easily beating up on each in conference.

31-27 LSU

#6 Texas A&M @ #12 Mississippi State - Texas A&M looked like ass...
... for 3 quarters before rallying from 14 down in the 4th quarter against the Razorbacks last week to force OT. A&M then scored a TD on their first play from scrimmage and stuffed the Razorbacks on 4th & 1 to get the W 35-28.  A&M looked anything but the #6 team in the country as they struggled at home against an Arkansas program that has now lost 14 consecutive SEC games.

Bulldogs dual threat QB Dak Prescott is the best QB you've never heard of in college football.
He's also the second most famous person to be named Dak...
Hey Luke, great job getting our speeder shot down.  You can levitate a spaceship but can't stop me from getting crushed by an Imperial walker? But you made sure you got your damn lightsabre! Great use of "the force" you dick. Effin Jedi. 
Prescott has 11 TD's to 4 INT's this season and 964 yards passing, but he's also added 378 yards and 3 TD's on the ground.  The Bulldogs already won at LSU for the first time since 1991, and they face current #5 Auburn next week.  The Aggies are vulnerable and MSU is looking to get it's name into the playoff picture.  If HC Dan Mullen and his squad pull off the upset this and finish with the hat trick against top 10 teams next week they'll be in great position heading into November.

37-31 Mississippi State

#7 Baylor @ Texas - New Longhorns HC Charlie Strong has dismissed his 9th player from the team since taking over.  He's trying to change the culture of Texas football, which is like trying to change the gun culture in Texas...
Longhorns pep rally.  Governor Perry is a big fan, he arrived in that NASCAR in the background.'Murica!!!
... against teams with a pulse, the 'Horns offense has been putrid.  They lost to UCLA's backup QB a few weeks ago in Austin, but managed to hold the Charlie Weiss-less Jayhawks scoreless last week.  Their O only managed 23 points though.  Like the Texas border fence...
Nobody will be able to find their way around this fence! Yee haw!!! 
... it's a work in progress.

As usual, the Bears offense is racking up points in droves on offense. Despite the prolific offensive numbers, Texas is actually the best team they'll have faced this season.  Which is disturbing...
I find Baylor's schedule disturbing. 
... Baylor's D has been vulnerable despite the lack of offensive firepower they've faced this season.  I don't think Texas' offense will be able to keep pace with the Bears offense even if they can put points on the board.

56-31 Baylor

Utah @ #8 UCLA - Utah was up 21-0 at one point against Wazzu last week but couldn't hold back HC Mike Leach's infamous Air Raid offense in the second half.  The Utes lost a close one 28-27.  Despite the loss, the Utes are a pretty good football team Their offense begins and ends with RB Devontae Booker. The Junior is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and is literally carrying the Utes offense this season as their passing attack has sputtered.

I'm not sure anyone outside of Westwood believes UCLA really is the #8 team in the country.  The Bruins may also be looking ahead to their game against Oregon next week, that all of a sudden is not as big now that the Ducks lost to Arizona.

This game is prime for an upset if the Utes can avoid turnovers.

24-20 Utah

#14 Stanford @ #9 Notre Dame - The big game of the week! The Irish take on the Cardinal in South Bend.  Brian Kelly is 41-15 since taking over in South Bend and has greatly improved the talent in South Bend...

... after a 4-0 start, is looking to get the Irish into the playoffs with a shot at a national championship.  After a year long time out to think about what he did wrong, QB Everett Golson is playing better than ever.

He's completing nearly 70% of his passes for 1,142 yards and 11 TD's to only 2 INT's.  For comparison, during the 2012 season when Notre Dame went 12-1 Golson had 12 TD's passes on the entire season.

Stanford has bounced back since their loss to USC with two consecutive wins, including a hard fought contest at Washington last week.  The Cardinal D has stepped up big while the offense continues to try to find it's stride.  Talent wise, Stanford can compete with Notre Dame...

... the difference in this game will be whether the Cardinal offense can avoid mistakes that plagued them in their loss to USC. Expect a low scoring affair.  Whoever wins the turnover battle will win this one.

24-17 Notre Dame

#19 Nebraska @ #10 Michigan State - Nebraska is 5-0 and the toughest team they've faced is a 3-2 Hurricanes squad, whom they beat at home by 10 points.  They also struggled against FCS McNeese State at home.  The Huskers continue to play down to their competition.  If only they could pull themselves together and look good for an entire game.

Sparty might not be the prettiest team to watch, but their D is downright nasty...
Ooooh!  That D tastes NASTY! 
... Over their past two games since their loss at Oregon, Sparty has outscored their opponents an average of 64.5 - 14. If your offense is struggling, 9 out of 10 doctors recommend Eastern Michigan and Wyoming.

*** Surgeon General's Warning: Playing Eastern Michigan may cause your offense to look bigger, better and faster than it really is.  Continued playing of Eastern Michigan can lead to delusions of grandeur. ***

So which of these teams is for real?  I'm going with Sparty.

35-19 Michigan State

Vanderbilt @ #13 Georgia - Vandy has gone from respectable last season to down right atrocious this season...
... things have gotten so bad in Nashville, their fan threw his hat and shirt onto the field in disgust and stormed out of the stadium.  No really, that guy really is a Vanderbilt football fan.

The Commodores will have no answer for RB Todd Gurley and the Bulldog offense.

49-7 Georgia

Arizona State @ #16 USC - The Trojans bounced back from their road loss to Boston College with a 35-10 drubbing of the Beavers.  QB Cody Kessler seems to have found his footing as the starter completing 72% of his passes for 1,107 yards and 10 TD's with zero INT's.  If the Trojans get hot...
... they could run the table in the PAC 12 and have a shot at the playoffs.

The Sun Devils lost their first real test of the season, giving up 62 points to UCLA.  They now face their second of three consecutive games against ranked opponents.  If the Sun Devils get hot...
The luckiest guy on ASU's campus is also their valedictorian. 
... ah forget it.  Now I'm just trying too hard.

34-17 USC

#17 Wisconsin @ Northwestern - Northwestern brought a passing attack ranked in the 120's to Happy Valley last week and of course...
Well that was unexpected.
... completely dominated the PSU secondary!  The Wildcats took control in the second half with a pick six followed by a sack & fumble deep in PSU territory on back to back plays en route to a 29-6 victory. So is the PSU offense that bad or is the Northwestern defense that good?

Wisconsin poses a much different opponent in that they can actually run the football.  PSU's OL might be one of the worst in FBS, however, Wisky will literally dominate you on the ground like Olivia Munn dominates tuna...
Smells like fish in here.
RB Melvin Gordon is averaging a ridiculous 7.8 yards per carry.  Which they'll need to continue because the aerial attack is ranked 115th in the nation.

It's going to be along night for the Wildcats.

35-14 Wisconsin

Utah State @ #18 BYU - The Aggies are coming off a 21-14 OT loss to Arkansas State.  Their offense stinks, their D is below average, and they're facing a BYU squad that put up 28 points in the second half on the road against Virginia last week in a 41-33 win.  This one shouldn't be close, but stranger things have happened in the Mormon state...
John Smith's gold plates said Undie Runs are perfectly fine! 
The Undie Run is a real thing in Utah by the way.

45-13 BYU

#20 Ohio State @ Maryland - Despite giving up 352 yards passing against Cincy last week, the Buckeyes are not interested in recruiting fans to play in the secondary.  However, they are willing to let fans be tackling dummies...

... that is OSU strength coach and former Buckeye linebacker Anthony Schlegel body slamming a fan that wanted to get a bit too close to the action...

... and we bear witness to the best body slam since...

BOOM!  So I predicted the Buckeyes to lose last week and I'll eat my crow this week.  OSU held Cincy to 70 yards rushing and their offense put up 50 points.  QB J.T. Barrett had 330 yards passing and 4 TD's and 76 yards rushing.  The Buckeyes totaled 710 yards of offense, their most since 1986. OSU has not totaled 116 points in their last two games. So it's safe to say Meyer has ironed out the offensive woes that plagued them in their loss to VA Tech.  Their pass defense is another story.

Maryland is off to a 4-1 start in their first year as a member of the Big Ten.  They dismantled Indiana 37-15 last week.  The offense is led by WR Stefon Diggs, one of the best in the country.

The Terrapins gave up 40 points to a WVU team that utilizes a spread much like the Buckeyes.  So is Maryland ready to make some noise in the Big Ten this year, or are they just happy to be here?
I'm happy to be here! 
45-24 Buckeyes

Iowa State @ #21 Oklahoma State - The Cyclones are 1-3, with two of those losses coming to ranked opponents, and the other to FCS North Dakota State.  They're one win?  Against in state rival Iowa, but the Hawkeyes are a Big Ten team so really their losses to ranked opponents are more respectable.  You know what else is not respectable?
The Cyclones team photos.  Are you not intimidated?

The Cowboys might be pretty good.  Their lone loss coming to #1 FSU in the first week.  They should be 5-1 when they take on current #25 TCU.  The path to the playoffs is easier for the Big XII champ as they won't need to play in a conference championship game.  Like their fans...

... the Okie State offense is stacked.  HC Mike Gundy, whom I'd like to remind you is a MAN!
... has the Cowboys aerial attack working and the offense putting up nearly 40 points per game.  They'll  need to tighten up that D if they hope to make it into the playoffs.

42-10 Oklahoma State

SMU @ #22 East Carolina - ECU HC Ruffin McNeill...

...he of the Mike Leach coaching tree, has led his alma mater to a 3-1 start utilizing his mentor's Air Raid offense.  The Pirates are putting up nearly 400 yards per game through the air and are looking to the turn the gridiron into the hardwood by simply outscoring you.  Not many teams can keep pace with the Pirates high octane offense.  Their lone loss was to then #21 South Carolina and their schedule looks extremely favorable for the next month. Barring an upset, the Pirates will be 7-1 heading into a game at Cincy in November.  Despite a weak schedule, ECU may have an outside chance at the playoffs if they can run the table.

SMU has scored 12 points all season.  Their offense during 1987 was better than it is this year.

56-0 East Carolina

Texas Tech @ #23 Kansas State - Texas Tech, the originators of the Air Raid offense, are living up to their history with a passing attack ranked #11 in the nation.  The Red Raiders are also averaging 33.8 points per game.  And just like their history under Mike Leach, the Red Raiders are giving up 38.8 points per game.  The TX Tech D is too football what Baba Booey is to a first pitch...

K State's D isn't great, but it did limit Auburn to 20 points in a losing effort.  They should be able to hold the Red Raiders in check enough to get the W.

38-31 Kansas State

Games of Note 

Michigan @ Rutgers - Ooh boy!  Michigan.
                              
The Wolverines held a rally this week... a rally to FIRE their athletic director Dave Brandon!

When is the last time you heard of a pep rally to fire an AD? They're calling it Concussion-gate and you can view the play in question below...
QB Shane Morris stayed in the game despite needing the support of his OL to stay on his feet.  Then, after coming out of the game, he was put back in when QB Devin Gardner's helmet came off and he was required to sit out a play.

HC Brady Hoke and AD Dave Brandon have issued numerous statements both back tracking and conflicting each other along the way.  The Michigan medical staff refused to be strong armed into backing Dave Brandon apparently. Good for them.  The Wolverines are competing with Penn State for the worst OL in the Big Ten this year, and Rutgers knows what to do against a bad OL.

Rutgers is going to blitz and blitz often.  They'll challenge QB Devin Gardner to make plays under pressure, which is not his forte.  Like a sun burnt ass...

Brady Hoke's seat is starting to burn. 

30-28 Rutgers 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Week 5 Predictions

Who predicted  HC Cousin Eddie taking down the Mad Hatter and LSU in Baton Rouge?

Yup. For two weeks in a row now, in this very space, I've correctly predicted the big upsets!

So I guess you could say I'm streaking!

I bet you were expecting an Old School reference.

I wouldn't want to disappoint you so here you go...
... and like Frank, I too think it tastes so good when it hits your lips.
One of the better Oktobefests I've tried.

Let's talk some football...

Top 25 Action 

#1 Florida State @ NC State - The 'Noles upped Winston's suspension from a half to an entire game against Clemson....

And even without Bubba Winston and his Crab Shack, FSU somehow, miraculously, survived, but they needed OT to dispatch of Clemson. But FSU's QB was not the story in this game.  Instead Dabo Swinney, who apparently wears tighty whities...
switched QB's at the half, benching SR Cole Stoudt in favor of true freshman Deshaun Watson.

Clemson was up 17-10 late in the 4th quarter until WR Rashad Greene, one of the best in the nation, broke loose for a 74 yard TD to tie the game at 17.  The 'Noles recovered a Clemson fumble in their own territory with 2 minutes left in regulation, and then HC Dabo Swinney for some reason passed up a 33 FG try in OT on Clemson's first possession and went for it on 4th and 1.  FSU stuffed the run, and a few plays later scored the game winning TD.

So now the question becomes, if you can't beat FSU without Winston, can anyone in the ACC beat them WITH Winston?

34-13 Florida State

LA Tech @ #5 Auburn - Auburn had been averaging 52 points per game but struggled on the road in little Manhattan.  The Wildcats gave the Tigers everything they could handle but Auburn held on for a 20-14 win.

LA Tech lost to an FCS school last week.  Auburn can look ahead to their meeting with LSU on October 4th.  If they wan win that game they'll be making a push...

... for the playoffs.

52-6 Auburn

Arkansas @ #6 Texas A&M - The Aggies have been filling up on cupcakes the past 3 weeks after their impressive week 1 win against South Carolina.  They beat up on the June Jones-less SMU last weekend 58-6.

On the flip side, Razorbacks HC Brett Bielema has found wins much harder to come by outside of Madison.  After going winless in the SEC last year, he's off to an 0-1 start this year.  It's not going to get any easier as Arkansas faces 6 teams currently ranked in the top 17 over their next 7 games.  They'll need to pull an upset or Brett's seat is going to start to get hot, like his wife...
Bake me some cupcakes!
37-16 Aggies

#7 Baylor @ Iowa State - Baylor might be ranked #7 but they've played two of the worst teams in the FBS and one FCS school.  Which is why pre-season rankings are worthless.  It's hard to say if the Bear are real contenders or fake pretenders...
Real or Fake? You decide.
...and, barring an upset along the way, we likely won't find out until Nov 8th when they play current #4 Oklahoma.

The Cylones did what every team does, beat a Big Ten team out of conference.  This win was made even sweeter as they scored 10 points in the 4th quarter to get the W against in state rival Iowa.  Iowa State is now 1-2, having lost to FCS North Dakota State.  And as we all know the transitive property applies to football, therefore FCS ND State > Iowa.  Yes, the Big Ten is terrible.

44-10 Baylor

#8 Notre Dame @ Syracuse - The Irish are off to a 3-0 start having dispatched Rice, Michigan and Purdue.  So what did we learn from those games?  Michigan is in some deep doo doo.  The Irish are only giving up 10 points per game, meanwhile 'Cuse sits at 2-1.  They needed double OT to beat FCS Villanova, then lost to Maryland, a freaking Big Ten team!  Ugh. That's embarrassing!
Losing to a Big Ten team? 
Syracuse likes to run the ball.  Mostly because they have no choice as their passing game is ranked 101st in the nation.  Notre Dame is REALLY good at stopping the run...
This equipment was used to simulate the Alabama defense. 
37-13 Notre Dame

Wyoming @ #9 Michigan State - Both of these teams have had the privilege of getting crushed by Oregon, but only one of their coaches likes fish sticks.

Wyoming lost 48-14, Sparty lost 46-27.  That is the only loss for both teams.  Wyoming has not scored more than 20 points in any game.  Fortunately for the Cowboys, their D has held their opponents to less than that in their wins.  As for Sparty...
Michigan Sate does not pay it's assistant well.
... they played and FCS team and Eastern Michigan, which may as well be an FCS team, neigh, an NAIA team, so we have no idea if they're any good.  But they are in the Big Ten, so they probably aren't that good.

34-6 Michigan State

Memphis @ #10 Ole Miss - The last time Memphis went on the road against a ranked team they gave UCLA everything they could handle before losing by a TD.  The Tigers have a decent offense and their defense is not bad.  The talent gap between Memphis is a huge as the gap between 80's Bon Jovi
I was Livin' On a Prayer...
And 2014 Bon Jovi...
... Now I sing country music. I shit you not, Bon Jovi put out an effing country album! WTF JON!? 
... and did you ever notice that 80's Bon Jovi was the inspiration for serial killer Buffalo Bill?
I am also from New Jersey. 
Weird shit right there.  Anyway...

38-13 Wyoming

#11 UCLA @ #15 Arizona State - Finally! A decent game this week.  UCLA is 3-0 but their margin of victory has only been by 8, 7 and 3 points. Backup QB Jerry Neuheisel hit WR Jordan Payton for the winning TD with 3 mins left for a 20-17 road victory against Texas last week.  Yes, that is HC Rick Neuheisel's son...
Why can't I have the mic Dad?
... Bruins starting QB and Heisman hopeful Brett Hundley injured his left elbow n the first quarter. He was back this week against ASU and appears to be just fine.

ASU is averaging 47 points per game against a schedule that can only be described as ...
Ahhhhh!! 
... yeah. That was unpleasant.  Let's get that image out of our heads...

Sun Devils RB D.J. Foster is averaging a video game like 9.5 yards per carry. But running through Swiss cheese defenses is not that hard.

Both these teams are over rated.

37-17 UCLA

UPDATE: UCLA put up 35 points in the second half and destroyed ASU 62-27.

Tennessee @ #12 Georgia - Tennessee went on the road and suffered a beating last week....
OU got biblical on Tennessee in Norman. 
... losing to OU 34-10.  Speaking off the cuff after the game, Vols HC Butch Jones had this to say...

"Eshe, she went down to Holly Springs.
Rasadon and Baba, they went down to Peachtree.
Headliner, I challenge you to a game of horseshoes.
A GAME OF HORSESHOOOOEEESSS!"

Who knew horseshoes was so big in Tennessee?
The Vols are young, and despite having a Senior QB, they've struggled on offense.

The Bulldogs dismantled Troy 66-0 last week and have a shot at running the table into November.  If HC Mark Richt can avoid another let down, Georgia could be 9-1 heading into a showdown with Auburn.

33-17 Georgia

Missouri @ #13 South Carolina - The Big Ten won a game against the SEC!
WAIT!? WHAT!? 
 You heard me!  Indiana knocked off Missouri last week 31-27!!
Are you shitting me!? 
 I am not shitting you!

RB D'Angelo Roberts scored on a 3 yard run with :22 second remaining and Indiana had one of their biggest wins in the history of their program.

This win puts HC Kevin Wilson in line to move up to a bigger job once the off season roles around.  Indiana has a real chance to go bowling this year, but I'd be surprised if Wilson is coaching that game.  He's turned Indiana into a decent program which is no small feat, but the Hoosiers don't have the infrastructure to support a long term improvement on the grid iron.

Mizzou will need to get its' shit together and rebound from the loss as they face a Gamecocks squad that still hasn't found a way to plug it's leaky defense.  USCe beat Vandy 48-34 last week, which is the same amount of points Vandy scored against UMass in week 3!

The Hoosiers showed Mizzou can be beat but Mizzou's offense is better than advertised.  Unless the Gamecocks come up with some stops on D, the Tigers will rebound with the win on the road.

38-31 Mizzou

#16 Stanford @ Washington - Stanford's D is only giving up 4.3 points per game, good for 1st in the nation.  But that stat is aided by two shutouts against FCS UC-Davis and Army.  Not exactly offensive powerhouses.

A recurring theme early in the season is teams being undefeated against cupcake schedules.  That is especially true with Washington where the Chris Petersen era ...

... has started off 4-0, but check out who UDub has beat...
17-16 over Hawaii
59-52 over FCS Eastern Washington
44-19 over Illinois - a Big Ten team
45-14 over Georgia State - entering it's 2nd year as an FBS program

It can be fun beating up on someone smaller...
.. but it ultimately proves nothing.

If this game were in Palo Alto I'd take Stanford, but playing in Seattle is a huge home field advantage for the Huskies.

24-17 Washington

New Mexico State @ #17 LSU - LSU was down 34-10 in the fourth quarter at home against Mississippi State before mounting a furious comeback that ultimately fell short.  The Tigers lost 34-29, their first loss at home to the Bulldogs since Tim Allen grunted his way into the American pop culture...

... as Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, a drug addicted alcoholic local celebrity with a criminal record.
Wilson? 
Maybe my recollection between his TV character and real life is a bit off, but my point is it's been a long time since MSU won in Baton Rouge.

LSU has a QB controversy on it's hands after backup QB Brandon Harris led the comeback last week after starter Anthony Jennings did nothing all game.  No matter who plays this week, LSU should have a much easier game.

New Mexico State is not a good team.

52-3 LSU

Oregon State @ #18 USC - Looking for a BDay or Christmas present for a guy?  Can I make a suggestion...
Yup.  That's a real calendar. 
... There are thousands of jokes to be made when Trojans and Beavers square off.

Will the Beavers get pounded by the Trojans?

Or will the Beavers break the Trojans?

I could go on but I'll digress.

USC is coming off a road loss to Boston College.  Meanwhile Oregon State is 3-0 against... you know what, never mind.  Let's just assume pretty much any undefeated team has beaten nobody good so far, cool? Good.

26-20 USC

South Florida @ #19 Wisconsin - In 2007, South Florida was 6-0 and ranked #2 in the initial BCS rankings...
Kansas? Kentucky? Cal? Hawaii? 
... and Boston College was #3!?  That was 7 years ago.  Now, South Florida has gone 3-9 and 2-10 in the past two season.  This season the Bulls are 2-2 but their offense is putrid and their D is not much better.

Wisconsin set a Big Ten record for rushing yards in a game as they rolled up 644 yards against Bowling Green en route to a 68-17 blowout. Unless a team like Maryland or Rutgers pulls an upset, Wisconsin has a rather easy road to the Big Ten Championship game this season.  They won't play a team currently ranked until they meet current #21 Nebraska on November 15.  Will the Wisconsin fans be doing Duckface in Southern California for the new year again?

So... duckface.  I'm not sure when this became a thing, but like all things kids think are cool today, it's another ripoff from the 80's.  Ravishing Rick Rude was duckfacing 30 years before memes were a thing.

42-17 Wisconsin

Illinois @ #21 Nebraska - Despite giving up 32.5 points per game and raking 113th in rushing yards per game, the Illini are 3-1.  Their offense is generated by the arm of QB Wes Lunt, a transfer from Okie State.

The Sophomore QB has 1,237 yards, 11 TD's and only 3 INT's this year.  He might be the best QB in the Big Ten this year.  Coming off seasons of 2-10 and 4-8 Illini HC Tim Beckman might have found a player that saves his job in Champagne.

The Huskers are off to a 4-0 start but the D has been shaky and the team seems to play down to it's competition.  For now, Bo Pelini is off the hot seat as well.  And despite a contentious relationship with Husker fans...
"I have a contentious relationship with Bo Pelini." 
... the head coach won over some fans during the Husker's spring game this by doing this...
... his obsession with cats may have been foreshadowed by his senior pic from college...
Meooow.
The Huskers were once again lead by RB Ameer Abdullah who racked up 229 yards and 3 TD's against Miami in a 41-31 win.  Abudllah is making the case to be the first Heisman contender for the Huskers since Eric Crouch took home the hardware in 2001.

With a shaky D and facing arguably the best QB they've seen this year, I think the Huskers might open Big Ten play with a loss.  And I honestly can't believe I'm picking the Illini because they've been terrible and Beckman sucks.

37-26 Illinois

Cincinnati @ #22 Ohio State - Former 5 star recruit and current Cincy QB Gunner Kiel was Mr. Indiana Football in 2011, which is like being the guy on the right...

... on top of that, he's the second most famous person named Gunner...
"After the Rain, my hair still looks awesome!"
... and in addition, he's indecisive.  After having 20+ scholarship offers, he first chose his in state Hoosiers... then Les Miles got his ear and he flipped to LSU... then Brian Kelly swooped in and finally, Gunner enrolled at Notre Dame.
"Is that a midget cheerleader over there?"
After losing the QB battle, Gunner decided to transfer to Cincinnati to play for HC Tommy Tuberville. Finally, 3 years after graduating high school, Gunner finally took meaningful snaps at the college level. He's led Cincy to a 2-0 start but that was against MAC teams.  He does have 10 TD's and nearly 700 yards passing in those two games however.  So will Gunner finally live up to the hype that surrounded him 3 years ago?

The Buckeyes vented their frustration on Kent State to the tune of 66-0 before entering their bye week.  To keep OSU in the news during their bye week, HC Urban Meyer released a story how he thought he was dying while he was HC at Florida in 2009. He also revealed he was depressed.  The story changed the subject from his team's poor performance against VA Tech in their loss at home and his inability to coach up a QB that can't run like Alex Smith, Tim Tebow or Braxton Miller.  Ironically, the only one of those QB's with a pro career to speak of is Smith, who is not thought of as a running QB.  The Buckeyes have issues on offense and defense, and no amount of "look at me" Urban Meyer press releases is going to change that.

Will Meyer have more health problems if he loses two games at home within a month?

35-33 Cincinnati

Texas Tech @ #24 Oklahoma State - This game was played before I wrote anything.  Okie State won 45-35.

UTEP @ #25 Kansas State - K State is coming off a bye week but prior to that they held the explosive Auburn offense to 20 points.  Unfortunately they could only score 14. By the way, did you know there's a beach in Kansas?
There's more than just corn in Kansas!
Also, did you know one of the pics below is a federal prison?  And the other is UTEP's campus.


Not kidding.

45-17 K State

Games Of Note

Northwestern @ Penn State - After facing a 2 game suspension, Northwestern lost RB Venric Marc, arguably their best offensive player, when he decided to transfer to an FCS school.  Then the Wildcats lost their best WR Christian Jones to a knee injury.  Those losses have led to a 1-2 record and a 106th ranked passing game to go along with a 75th rank rushing attack.  The Wildcats are hurting this year.

On the flip side, Penn State finally got their rushing game going against UMass.  The Nittany Lions rushed for 5 TD's in a 48-7 rout.  QB Christian Hackenberg had his worst game of the season.  He missed on several easy throws early and looked off most of the game.  Fortunately they did not need his arm to lead them to the W against one of the worst squads in FBS.

This week will be a bit tougher as Northwestern's D is only giving up 20 points per game. Penn State's D is only giving up 11, good for 6th in the nation, and is really tough to run against.  Northwestern always plays PSU tough, so look for them to air it out and test the suspect PSU secondary.  If Hackenberg throws some more INT's like he's prone to do, this game could be closer than it should be.

24-20 Penn State.

Maryland @ Indiana - As mentioned above, Indiana scored one if it's biggest wins in program history beating Mizzou 31-27 on the road.  Is Indiana the surprise team of a weak Big Ten this year?

Or will that title belong to Big Ten new comer Maryland?  The Terrapins are 3-1 after beating up on Syracuse last week.  They also have cool new uniforms...

In case you're wondering, the founder of Under Armour, Kevin Plank, is a Maryland alum. He's basically attempting to become the Phil Knight of the east coast. But can Maryland become the Oregon of the east coast?  They'll have to start by beating a better than normal Indiana squad on the road.

27-24 Maryland

Minnesota @ Michigan - Michigan's program seems to be in a free fall...

Michigan AD Dave Brandon had the brilliant idea of doing a promotion with Coca-Cola to give away Michigan football tickets.
"Also, buy one XL pack of Junior Mints and receive season tickets."
That is, if you buy two coke products, which should run you about $3, you receive two tickets to a Michigan football game, face value $150.
"What do you mean?  Brady Hoke is doing an awesome job.  Attendance is great.  This promotion will help sell a lot of Coke products." 
Is there a more hated AD in all of college football than this man right now?  The promotion has been cancelled and the backlash has been swift and severe. This pretty much sums up the Michigan fan base right now...
"I miss the RichRod era."
The Wolverines have only 10 points total in their two losses.  There is talk of QB Devin Gardner being benched in favor or Sophomore Shane Morris.  The offensive line is a mess.

Even their punter is having issues...

Yes, Michigan is an easy punchline right now, but they're still 2-2 and HC Brady Hoke still has time to save this season.  Entering Big Ten play this week he gets Minnesota at home.

The Gophers are not a threat through the air, ranking 124th in passing yards per game.  They're leading receivers have only 6 catches each... for the entire season. The Gophers are one dimensonal, they're going to run the ball. Senior RB David Cobb leads the way with a 5.9 average yards per carry. Michigan would be wise to stack the box and make Minny take to the air.  The Gophers D is also going to allow some points.   There is no reason whatsoever Michigan should lose this game at home.

27-13 Michigan