Week 9 Predictions
This Week: 2-7…I’m just gonna quit. This is THE worst weekend of football that I have lived in my entire life.
Auburn at West Virginia – Boy this game doesn’t mean what we thought it would does it? ‘National title implications’ he says…well not really anymore, and it hurt to say that, but anyway, it’s still a big game for both programs.
Both teams are not what we thought they would be, or at least not playing like we thought they would. West Virginia is seeing that their coaching hire was really dumb, and they can see oblivion in their future (once Pat White graduates). Bill Stewart looks like me jumping into my first head coaching job: knows football, but wouldn’t know the first thing about coaching a semi-major D-1 college football team. The only reason that they have any wins is that sometimes athletic ability trumps coaching, especially when you’re barely beating Rutgers and Syracuse. However, Pat White is still scary, and Noel Devine is fast, hopefully the return of Powers to the lineup will bring back the Auburn Defense that wasn’t there in the debacle that was Arkansas.
The Auburn offensive playbook has supposedly been stripped of all the fat over the last two weeks, and the players seem to like it. If the play didn’t work the first few times in practice, it was cut. So it seems we are going to go to more basic football, but probably keep a little spread in there to shake things up. I definitely foresee a lot of under center handoffs to get our bearings and maybe get up a touchdown or two. Ok, I’m starting to ramble. It’s going to be very cold, and the WVU stadium is supposedly very intimidating in all it’s 60,000-seat glory, but the talent level has to be on our side. WVU hasn’t played a D as fast as ours, Pat White is coming back from a concussion, we had a week off to get healthy, and it seems like the team has taken a new identity with Kodi at the helm and the plays being made simpler. It may be rough in the 3rd quarter, but I smell a victory.
Auburn 27, West Virginia 10
West Virginia 34, Auburn 17 – FAILURE
Duke at Vanderbilt – What would normally be slated the “worst game in the history of college football”, this one actually turns out to be a decent matchup. David Cutcliffe has given Duke it’s best start since, well I don’t when, but I’m sure it hasn’t happened since Spurrier was there. Vanderbilt played Georgia a little tougher last week than I expected, or maybe Georgia isn’t as good everyone thought, besides me (see Week 1, 2, 3, etc.). Vandy will pull this one out at home, but just barely, to get to their first bowl game since…well since a long time ago.
Vanderbilt 20, Duke 17
Duke 10, Vanderbilt 7 – FAILURE
Ole Miss at Arkansas – The Nutt returns to his old stomping grounds in this pivotal matchup of who will finish ahead of Mississippi State in the West Division standings. Arkansas has gotten a lot better, but gave the game to Kentucky in the final minutes last week. Ole Miss has consistently been pretty good, but gave the game to Alabama last week. The problem with Arkansas is performance. The problem with Ole Miss is coaching. Bad coaching on the road loses every time is what I say. At home, the Hogs pull off the minor upset.
Arkansas 24, Ole Miss 17
Ole Miss 23, Arkansas 21 – FAILURE
Middle Tennessee State at Mississippi State – Winner of the longest school names in one game award. Could you pay me enough to watch this? Absolutely not. That shows how much effort I’m going to put into this. Croom’s Bulldogs are bad, the Blue Raiders beat Maryland, so I guess that counts for something. This one’s a black eye for the SEC.
Middle Tennessee State 20, Mississippi State 13
Mississippi State 31, Middle Tennessee State 22 – FAILURE
Kentucky at Florida – Florida is going to kill them. Period.
Florida 45, Kentucky 10
Florida 63, Kentucky 5 – SUCCESS
Georgia at LSU – Somehow this game is at Tiger Stadium and not at night. I thought LSU always turned down the day slot (CBS) and took the night slot (ESPN) for big SEC games. I guess ESPN got the first pick and picked Alabama/Tennessee. Why? You got me.
Anyway, LSU’s defense was majorly exposed against Florida, and UGA’s offense was majorly exposed against Vandy. So what happens when an overhyped, struggling defense meets an overhyped, struggling offense? Defense wins every time. Corndogs over the Bulldogs in a semi-close one.
LSU 28, Georgia 17
Georgia 52, LSU 38 – FAILURE
Alabama at Tennessee – I just want to say that what I write here, I mean whole-heartedly. I am not letting my Bama hatred seep in to my prediction like it does almost every week. Bama has proven that it gets complacent with a lead in the second half. They have proven that they still don’t “finish”, but just ride on the decent leads they accrue in the first half. Tennessee’s offense was a lot better last week against a bad team, but will the Tennessee faithful show up to see it?
I honestly think that Alabama’s inability to finish, their first major injury (Cody), and Tennessee’s improvements will allow the Vols to pull of the upset, and probably save Phil’s job for one more year, so Vols fans can keep talking about firing him next season.
Tennessee 17, Alabama 10
Alabama 29, Tennessee 9 – FAILURE
Other Games That Might Tickle Your Fancy
Penn State at Ohio State – I’ve heard a lot of analysts say that if Penn State loses this game and USC wins out, USC would play for the national title over the Nittany Lions. That’s just stupid. Do they remember USC lost to Oregon State, and PSU beat those same Beavers 45-14? If you have the same record you have to look at schedule, then head to head. Yes, this would mean USC beat Ohio State and PSU would have lost to Ohio State, but USC beat them at home and PSU would have lost to the Buckeyes on the road. Plus, I believe you are really measured by your losses. In this case USC would have a loss from a far lesser team, Oregon State, that Penn State absolutely crushed. Penn State does have a pretty soft schedule (like every Big Ten team does), but they have killed every team they have played.
On the other hand, it looks like Penn State has replaced Michigan for the year. Why should we treat them any differently? Just as always, it comes down to the best two teams in the Big Ten playing each other for what seems like a national title spot for at least one of the teams, but that just so happens to be their only tough game of the season. It’s just Penn State this year instead of Michigan.
Anyway, I think Ohio State will keep it close because they are at home, but the Nittany Lions will stake their claim for their undefeated season late in the game.
Penn State 31, Ohio State 21
Penn State 13, Ohio State 6 – SUCCESS
** Upset Special **
North Carolina State at Maryland – You wanna know why the Wolfpack wins? They aren’t ranked. The Terps beat all the ranked teams they play and then lose to every unranked team (See Middle Tennessee St. in week 1). Also, a side not on the ACC: I just ran down their schedule for the week and noticed that in every game you really have no clue who is going to win. Most teams are hovering around 2-3 losses. What does this mean? They are all mediocre.
North Carolina State 10, Maryland 7
Maryland 27, North Carolina State 24 – FAILURE