A Look Around The Country

Same mediocre play, different week. I’m pretty sure almost every week I write this the top teams in the country are either not playing or struggling against inferior opponents. It happened again this week. Florida State squeaked by NC State while giving up 40+ points. The Seminoles are going to lose eventually; I guarantee it (in my best Men’s Warehouse voice). Oregon, Oklahoma, and Alabama were all idle this week before huge tests against Arizona, TCU, and Ole Miss respectively. Don’t be surprised if one of them goes down in an upset. As you’ll see from the “Big Games this week” section, there are plenty of great games this weekend. Many of which will be season-defining for the teams involved. After this weekend, we will have a much clearer Playoff picture headed into the month of October. So buckle up.

Notable Games Last Week

UCLA 62 Arizona State 27

I’ll be honest; I underestimated Bret Hundley and the Bruins as I predicted them to lose this one. But it’s safe to say now that UCLA is a clear contender in the PAC 12 race and pose a real threat to Oregon (they play in Pasadena on October 11). Hundley looked like a Heisman contender most of the game and if he continues to play like that, UCLA could be looking at a Playoff berth in December.

Missouri 21 South Carolina 20

A week after losing to Big Ten powerhouse, Indiana, the Tigers of Mizzou were able to dispatch South Carolina at Williams-Brice. I can’t make sense of the SEC East right now. They have no clear favorite right now except maybe for Georgia. To me it doesn’t really matter who wins the East because they will get destroyed in the SEC title game by the eventual West Champ. It’s back to the drawing board yet again for Steve Spurrier.

Ohio State 50 Cincinnati 28

What started with the Bearcats scoring on a long touchdown pass early in the game led to an Ohio State romp. Then Cincinnati came back, and then the Buckeyes pulled away again. In the middle of all that was an Ohio State student (and Evan’s Scholar) running onto the field only to get planted into the ground by former Buckeye LB Anthony Schlegel. It was an odd night. The Buckeyes still need to work on their pass defense but the offense behind J.T. Barrett and Zeke Elliot is starting to come together. If they can fix the secondary, it will be fun to watch them make a playoff push.

Big Games This Week

Ohio State at Maryland

The Buckeyes kickoff Big Ten play against the newcomer Maryland Terrapins. It will be fun to watch Ohio State fans take over College Park just like they do to every other stadium in the conference and country every week. Let’s give them a warm welcome to the Big Ten. The offense should excel most of the day, with the only real concern being on the defensive side of the ball. The secondary will have to handle WR Stefon Diggs who was once a Buckeye prospect. If they can do that, they should win big.

Saturday, October 4 at 12:00pm on ABC

Alabama at Ole Miss

Oxford, Mississippi will be rocking as the Crimson Tide roll into town on Saturday. Bama has been struggling against most of its opponents this year mostly because of the inexperience at quarterback. But the Rebels are coming off of a lackluster win over Memphis making it pretty clear that they were looking ahead to this one. I highly suggest you tune in to watch this one. Ole Miss keeps it close but the Tide pull away in the fourth quarter

Saturday, October 4 at 3:30pm on CBS

Stanford at Notre Dame

The Irish have been extremely underrated so far this season and I think as the season goes on we will start to see why they were in the title game in 2012. They’re the least talked about top 10 team by far this season. Everett Golston has been playing lights out so far and I expect that to continue against a good Stanford defense. Brian Kelly is the man in South Bend but look for a repeat of the 2012 game; it will go down to the wire. Notre Dame comes away with the W.

Saturday, October 4 at 3:30pm on NBC

Nebraska at Michigan State

Who would have thought that this game would be such a huge matchup in primetime. Not me. In what could be a Big Ten championship preview, Pelini’s Huskers march into East Lansing to take on the favored Spartans. Ameer Abdullah has been playing like a Heisman contender so far this year so the MSU Defense will be put to the challenge. But Nebraska hasn’t seen an offense as good as the Spartans all season. Guys like Connor Cook and Jeremy Langford are a handful for any defense. It’ll be a great four quarters of football, but Sparty comes away with a 3 point victory.

Saturday, October 4 at 8pm on ABC

I also suggest tuning into Arizona-Oregon, Utah-UCLA, Arizona State-USC, Texas A&M-Mississippi State, Oklahoma-TCU, Baylor-Texas, and LSU-Auburn. So go buy a case of beer, fill up your cooler, and sit your butt on the couch all day. It’s a Fall Saturday, so it’s socially acceptable.

Michigan Update

It’s going to get worse in Ann Arbor before it gets better. This has been an absolute train wreck of a season for the Wolverines and I have Brady Hoke on Fire watch any day now. His mishandling of QB Shane Morris’s concussion symptoms is just another incident in a long line of mishaps he’s had at Michigan. They lost to Minnesota this week 30-14 and their schedule doesn’t seem to get any easier (for them at least). They play Rutgers, Penn State, and Michigan State over the next three games. They will lose at least 2 of those, maybe all 3. So long, Brady.
My Playoff if the Season Ended Today

1. Oregon (was idle this week, plays Arizona this week) The Ducks will have plenty of rest heading into their game with the Wildcats. Mariota is good, I mean really good. I don’t anticipate any problems with this one. They are still my Number One.

2. Oklahoma (was idle this week, plays TCU this week) For me, the Sooners are the only equal opponent with Oregon right now. There is a huge drop off to number 3. They take on the Horned Frogs this week and I expect them to roll. The Red River Rivalry is next week. Boomer Sooner.

3. Alabama (was idle this week, plays Ole Miss this week) I bumped up the Tide this week mostly because they have been a little more consistent than Florida State. I still can’t imagine them going undefeated though. As a side note to that: I highly doubt any SEC team goes undefeated. The West is brutal.

4. Florida State (beat NC State 56-41, plays Wake Forest this week) I cannot wrap my head around their struggles so far. It sort of made sense last week since Winston was out. But they have a great defense; there is no reason why they should be giving up 41 to the Wolfpack. Have to believe they get beat eventually as well. As far as I know, the eventual national champion is sitting outside of the top 10.

Just Missed the Cut

5. Baylor
6. Auburn
7. Notre Dame
8. Texas A&M
9. Michigan State
10. Ole Miss
17. Ohio State

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