Last weekend, I was 4 and 1. I really wanted Vandy to pull one out. I guess it's new coach, same Vandy. On to the next one.
So I’m too late for the Thursday night game, shoot me. I also picked 6 games instead of 5 so shoot me twice. For the record, I would’ve picked 7 and that would’ve been Auburn over MSU and said it would be a close one, but who cares, on to the weekend.
UGA vs USC
Dawgs all the way. I know that UGA is missing AJ Green and I understand that takes away the best playmaker on the team, possibly the best in the country, but it doesn’t take away the team. South Carolina is still missing Saunders so let's not handicap the Dawgs without looking at what the Cocks are playing without.
This will be a test to the UGA defense, the young receivers, and running backs for the Dawgs, but South Carolina is over matched. Everyone wants to talk about Stephen Garcia, Alshon Jefferies, Marcus Lattimore, and Stephon Gilmore. Yes, those guys had great games last week. So did Kris Durham, Jakar Hamilton, Justin Houston, Aaron Murray, etc. We can go at this for days. South Carolina beat up on a team that hasn’t been relevant since Brett Favre was their Quarterback and let’s be realistic, that was before Spurrier was even a QB at Florida and Spurrier is not a young man by any stretch of the imagination. Georgia beat UL Lafayette last weekend and looked good doing it, but some Georgia high schools could take on the Ragin Cajuns.
USC has a genius of an offensive mind in Spurrier, but hasn’t had the talent to play consistently and now that they do, they are freshmen and sophomores too. Ellis Johnson is also a genius, UGA would’ve loved to hire him, but don’t discount Todd Grantham and the 3-4 at UGA quite yet. Grantham came along under some of the best defensive mindsets to ever coach and has been very successful in both college and the NFL so it’s not a far stretch to say he will have a game plan in place to put Garcia on his ass and make Lattimore wish he would’ve selected UGA over USC.
The problem here isn’t a lack of talent or coaching on either side of the ball, the issue is going to be the athletes that step on the field and position for position, the only place USC may have an advantage at QB, but only because of the inexperience of Murray. Garcia is a head case and Connor Shaw may be good, but if the “experts” say that Murray isn’t ready for this game, after a full year and a half of seasoning with Richt’s system, there is no way in hell a true freshman is ready to step up. This game is going to be close, it always is, but USC has never beat UGA in Columbia under Spurrier and Richt isn’t going to let Spurrier’s punishment for owning his Dawgs at Florida stop this year.
Prediction – UGA 24 vs USC 16
Notre Dame vs Michigan
For the record, I hate the Little 11, Big 10, mediocre mania, or whatever you want to call the new “SuperConference”. I still don’t know that Notre Dame quite has what it takes to handle Denard Robinson. I could care less if the rest of the Michigan team even steps on the field, that guy is incredible. Sorry Tate, you should transfer, you’re a great QB, but you play at a school where they use a QB as a third running back. Go to Notre Dame, they could use a new QB after Crist is done.
Notre Dame looked better last week against Purdue than they have in a couple of years. The new 3-4 defense looked great and I have no doubt that Brian Kelly is going to do a hell of a job once he gets the Irish used to his playing style, but this year is not the year Irish fans. I hope the Leprechauns pull one out. I like ND, I want ND to win, I’ll be pulling for ND all the way on Saturday, but being realistic, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Sorry Matt, but I have to go with UM. I did pick ND in our pool though, I couldn’t go against you twice after all.
Prediction – ND 17 vs UM 28
OSU vs Miami
Let me repeat a very important fact, I cannot stand watching the Little 11 play any sport. The conference is mediocre, the teams are heavily over rated, and just because ESPN likes you, doesn’t mean you’re good. If you are a Little 11 fan, shut up, no really, just shut up. Don’t come to me telling me how the “Big 10 is the best conference in the whole galaxy” and how “Ohio State is an elite team because they beat every other team in Ohio and have never lost a game to an in-state school”. Miami is not Toledo, Miami of Ohio, or Moorehead State. You’re facing a much more focused Miami team than they have been in several years. Randy Shannon has this team of what used to be viewed as undisciplined thugs turned into a team of the legitimate talented young men that they all showed promise of being. Miami will win this game and will not leave a doubt about the fact that they are back and they are hungry for the respect that they have lost.
Terrell Pryor is a great athlete, but he can’t do it alone. This game may define his year and his Heisman hopes. Miami is not going to walk away a loser and will avenge their 2003 Fiesta Bowl loss convincingly.
Prediction – OSU 14 vs The U 31
FSU vs OU
I can’t believe that I’m saying this as a positive, but this isn’t Bobby Bowden’s team anymore. What used to be a powerhouse had become average in the last few years. The tradition of great football at Florida State had become just a tradition talked about at Thanksgiving. I remember sitting on the couch with my roommate in college talking FSU football. Sean is a huge FSU fan and it was great to be able to hold that over his head the last few years, but not anymore.
Christian Ponder is a great QB and is out to prove it this year. Landry Jones looked awful in week one, but Demarco Murray is an animal. If the FSU D can contain the Ohio State running backs, this game will be over early. The Big 12 has stepped up its game as a conference and the early rankings this year back that up. Personally, I think FSU has the ability to be much better than advertised and a sleeper on the National Level. I think this year is FSU’s year to put itself back into the spotlight and make a BCS bowl bid after winning the ACC. FSU handles OU in a close one.
Prediction – FSU 21 vs OU 17
PSU vs ALA
I know I’ve said it twice, but the third time is a charm. I hate the Little 11. Alabama rolls. Robert Bolden is made to look like he’s still in high school. Richardson and Eddie Lacy run for career highs. Greg McElroy and Julio Jones light up the PSU defense and Nick Saban and Kirby Smart show Penn State what a true elite team in an elite conference looks like. If you have doubts, go back and watch what the SEC has done to Ohio State, who most fans would agree is much better than PSU, in the last few National Championship games and other BCS bowls. Alabama rolls all over PSU and the game is over by halftime. If it’s not, it should be. Penn State is over matched and Joe Pa may retire after this loss.
Prediction – UofA 42 vs. PU… I mean Penn State 17
Oregon vs. UT
This one is going to be ugly. Welcome to major college football Coach Dooley. While I pray you can bring some class back to Tennessee, and thus far you have done your part, Oregon’s offense looks to be too much of a mismatch. The Ducks are scary fast, scary disciplined, and scary good. If nothing more than the fact that the Ducks have a ridiculous amount of uniform combinations to choose from and will no doubt look better than the puke orange Tennessee uniforms, I have got to go with Oregon.
I don’t often pick against SEC teams, especially those with a storied history, but UT has a new coach, too many new faces, and too many issues still hanging around from LaMe Kiffin. Sorry UT, this week you lose the game by more touchdowns than you’ve lost teeth and that’s saying a lot. The Ducks go back to Oregon touting how good the Pac-10 is and D.D. learns a few lessons in the process.
Let’s face it, Dooley is building a team and if he’s anything close to what his father was, which by all indications he is as amazing of a person as the great Vince Dooley himself, D.D. will have UT back on the map and quickly. Kudos to UT for stepping up the non-conference schedule despite playing in a brutal conference within a much improved SEC East. Florida, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina may all be in bowl games this year. UT will have their day, it just won’t be Saturday.
Prediction – Oregon 35 vs UT 14