I managed a 3-1 record in last week’s national college football forecasts, but this permitted me to improve only to 20-12 for the entire fall. Now you know why I tell you . . . Don’t Bet On It!
Each of this week’s national games of note will be played on Saturday, October 29, unless otherwise noted:
BYU Cougars v. TCU Horned Frogs (Fri., Oct. 28): Quick . . . is this (a) a Mountain West conference game, (b) a Big 12 conference game, or (c) a non-conference game between an independent and a Big East team? Actually, it’s none of the above, though option (b) is not for lack of trying on Brigham Young’s part. Believe it or not, this game could affect the national championship race, in precisely the same way that the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party could: The Boise St. Broncos’ chances are dependent upon an undefeated regular season against a schedule strengthened by wins over sufficiently successful Georgia and Texas Christian clubs. Boise State needs the Bulldogs and the Horned Frogs to win this weekend, and Friday night will be all right for the BSU faithful when TCU beats BYU in this battle of the New Deal agencies.
Michigan St. Spartans at Nebraska Cornhuskers: Yes, I know that the transitive property does not apply to football, but can’t we lend a degree of credence to the "beat the team that beat the team" notion as it relates to a team that beat the team that beat the unholy living crap out of the team? Because that’s what we have here, which is why I’m siding with Sparty, even in Lincoln.
Baylor Bears at Oklahoma St. Cowboys: I’ll have to remember to check Big 12 Hoops this winter to make sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more points scored in the Baylor-Oklahoma State football game than in the Baylor-Oklahoma State basketball game. Neither of these teams is going to stop the other, but I expect the Pokes to be running on a slightly higher grade of octane, particularly at home.
Clemson Tigers at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: On the last two Saturdays, the Engineers have fallen to Virginia and Miami, largely because the Golden Tornado’s aerial assault has been ineffective, permitting opposing defenses to load up against the run. The Cavaliers rank twelfth nationally against the pass; the Hurricanes, 31st; the Tigers, 40th. The Ramblin’ Wreck defense has held three straight foes to 24 or fewer points, and six of eight for the season thus far. In Atlanta, a venue that historically has been unkind to the Jungaleers, I anticipate that the Yellow Jackets will oust the Country Gentlemen from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans: One of the best sports weblogs out there is Chris Brown’s Smart Football, which is dedicated to the premise that intelligence matters on the gridiron, and particularly on the sideline. In that vein, I feel it incumbent upon me to point out that (a) Southern California is coached by Lane Kiffin, and (b) every Stanford football player got into Stanford. Yeah, I’m picking the Cardinal.
Those are this week’s picks, for whatever they are worth, and by "whatever they are worth," of course, I mean "they are not worth wagering actual money," so, please, if you heed no other advice I offer you, at least listen to this: Don’t Bet On It!
Coming Soon: Too Much Information.