The Saturday Speculator: Week 2

Here’s where I’m going to throw out my predictions for the Top 25 games for the week and other mostly totally erroneous opinions about the upcoming Saturday’s slate of action.

I have last week’s picks, the ones I would’ve made, tucked down there, too, so you can consider this the kickoff of The Saturday Speculator.

Just so you know, I’m picking every game the Sporting News’ crack online team deems worthwhile.

  • South Carolina at Vanderbilt: I would’ve taken the Gamecocks, probably by 24-6 or something. Oops.
  • Eastern Illinois at Illinois: I’m on recond as calling him “arguably the best quarterback in the Big Ten,” so, yeah, I’m on the Jumbo Juice bandwagon; Illini, 45-10.
  • Marshall at Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s highly overrated, like every year, but Marshall isn’t even rated. Badgers win, 34-17.
  • Ohio at Ohio State: I know more Ohio alums than tOSU grads. This may or may not be because no one has ever graduated from Ohio State. Still, this is the week Terrelle Pryor gets to insert himself into the hype surrounding next weekend’s trip to SoCal; Buckeyes, 52-14.
  • Southern Miss at Auburn: The 2008 version of the War Eagle spread sputtered last week, and a test will come against a team that debuted its own tweaked spread under Larry Fedora. The Golden Eagles made sweet, sweet music to the tune of 633 total yards, including 426 rushing yards last week. If Auburn doesn’t come out firing, this one is close to the wire. Still, Tigers have Sen’Derrick Marks, and Southern Miss doesn’t, so 31-24.
  • BYU at Washington: The Ty Willingham Farewell Tour That Suspiciously Resembles The Bataan Death March (TYFTTSRTBDM) continues, Cougars win big, 41-17.
  • Cincinnati at Oklahoma: Cincinnati could grind it out and keep this close. Could. Sooners, 70-14.
  • Central Michigan at Georgia: The real trouble spot for Georgia isn’t the Chippewas’ Tebow clone, Dan LeFevour. It’s Knowshon Moreno’s ACL. Bulldogs, 45-19.
  • Utah State at Oregon: If I were to pick an animal that would be a lot of fun to watch in a mine, it would be a duck. (And Oregon’s a lot better than Utah State.) Ducks, 48-21.
  • Mississippi at Wake Forest: This is a sexy upset pick that might come true, but I think Wake Forest’s just a little too good on defense for the very green Jevan Snead. Demon Deacons, 30-21.
  • Oregon State at Penn State: This is a sexy upset pick for the lobotomized of the world who think losing to Stanford isn’t symptomatic of a program’s free fall. Nittany Lions take care of business in their first game against a real team, 28-13.
  • West Virginia at East Carolina: This is a sexy upset pick for those who don’t realize West Virginia has Noel Devine and Pat White. Mountaineers, 45-20.
  • Louisiana Tech at Kansas: Louisiana Tech upset the Fighting Sly Crooms last week. Mark Mangino won’t let that happen to this Kansas team, but it could be tight late if the Jayhawks sputter early as they did against Florida International. Jayhawks, 35-21.
  • Southeast Missouri State at Missouri: This is like bringing a spork to a knife fight. Tigers, 58-7.
  • Tulane at Alabama: Nick Saban is really one of the ten best college coaches out there. His freshman class is testament to that, and they will again lead this Alabama team. Crimson Tide, 34-13.
  • USF at UCF: It’s funny that for years UCF has been trying to get called just that in the press, rather than Central Florida, and in the listings for this game, it’s usually South Florida that gets the extended treatment. The Bulls battered the Knights last year, have never lost to them, and won’t on Saturday. Bulls, 38-27.
  • Troy at LSU: LSU has about two more weeks to put together something resembling an SEC quarterback, but their defense and running game make sure that Troy, which would give any other SEC West team some trouble, is naught but nuisance. Tigers, 42-20.
  • Miami (FL) at Florida: I can’t say I don’t think that both teams are revved up for this, because all reports out of Gainesville are that players were overlooking Hawai’i for this game. But I think Miami needs this win a lot more than UF does, and I think the heart Randy Shannon’s been putting the pads to for two years will stir just a little on Saturday night. Then Tebow will take over. Gators, 49-27.
  • UNLV at Utah: Utah looked good, but not great, in beating Michigan. UNLV knocked off Utah State last week, but don’t look for them to pull the Beehive State Public School Double: Utes, 33-20.
  • Texas Tech at Nevada: Can’t fault Nevada’s Chris Ault for trying to schedule the big boys, because the next game for the Wolf Pack is Mizzou. Red Raiders roll, 63-27.
  • Stanford at Arizona State: Now, this is a potential upset if Stanford can put Rudy Carpenter on his back. I don’t think they can pressure him for four quarters, but they can for three. Sun Devils, 34-24.
  • Texas at UTEP: Texas will be the most underrated team heading into the Red River Shootout, at which time Oklahoma will remove that brand with all the surgical deftness of a thresher. UTEP? UTEP’s pretty bad. Longhorns, 56-17.

The names on everyone’s lips after this week will be Terrelle Pryor, Tim Tebow, Justin Roper, DeMarco Murray, and Trindon Holliday.

No one will want to be UCF quarterback Michael Greco on Sunday morning.

The most impressive team this week will be Oklahoma, followed closely by Florida and Ohio State.

Notre Dame and Michigan will both be unimpressive; Georgia Tech will lose.

I would have been 19-4 against the SN slate last week, and, bonus prediction: they’ll never realize their numbers are wrong.

And I’ll be back next week. Feel free to chime in in the comments.

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