The Saturday Speculator: Week 5

I’m going to spare you a lot of prologue.

Just go read this, okay?

Home teams are listed first in my picks, if you care. My picks are in bold. And over the last two weeks, I went 31-6 (15-3 in Week 3 and 16-3 in Week 4), bringing my season total to a quite healthy 70-12 mark. But it’s already 70-13 before Saturday.

  • Oregon State vs. USC: Thanks a lot, Trojans.
  • Maryland vs. Clemson: The two most spectacularly streaky and consistent inconsistent teams in the ACC play in College Park. But these Tigers have to loose the terrible twosome of James Davis and C.J. Spiller, right? Right?
  • Ohio State vs. Minnesota: I think Tim Brewster’s Magic Gopher Carpet Ride ends against Terrelle Pryor. The freshman may not have been polished against Troy, but he needs only to be effective for this team to win so long as their defense isn’t turning to putty as in Los Angeles. The Buckeyes win in a walk.
  • Florida vs. Mississippi: I keep waiting and waiting for Mississippi’s Ed Orgeron talent to meet with Houston Nutt’s coaching acumen for an upset, but they’re apparently both distracted by the gals in The Grove. It’s an early game and on Raycom Sports, the sort of low-profile thing the Gators have stumbled on from time to time, and the 2007 game in Oxford required Herculean stuff from Tim Tebow on the ground, but I can’t see a loss.
  • Auburn vs. Tennessee: It would be easy to say that Tennessee’s due for an out-of-nowhere win against an SEC opponent, maybe one in the vein of their clobbering of Georgia last year, but I watched some of the UCLA game and all of the Florida game. Jonathan Crompton, I knew Erik Ainge. Erik Ainge was a friend of mine. Jonathan, you’re no Erik Ainge. Tigers roll.
  • UCLA vs. Fresno State: There are games that just frustrate the hell out of the prognosticator in me; anything involving UCLA this year is going to fit that bill. There was hope in the Kevin Craft Project for a half, but that’s gone up in smoke faster than Ludacris’ pool house. But Fresno struggled against Rutgers and Toledo and got ground to a pulp against Wisconsin, so the Bulldogs‘ bandwagon is a little light. I’m not jumping on, either.
  • Texas vs. Arkansas: Texas gets to look good again by beating up the SEC’s worst team. At least Mississippi State has a defense. The Longhorns will have no problems, and I would take the points if the spread is anything less than 35.
  • East Carolina vs. Houston: I can’t imagine Patrick Pinkney playing as poorly for the Pirates (say that five times fast) as he did down the stretch against NC State, but, then, I wasn’t expecting the fairly good ECU defense to collapse without a couple of glue players. Houston’s nothing special, and that means the Pirates are my pick, but I’m not going to be surprised either way.
  • Michigan vs. Wisconsin: I think Wisconsin’s overrated, with a win over Fresno State as their respectable victory so far, but Michigan’s only a little bit underrated, and there’s still no semblance of a cohesive offense in Ann Arbor. Any other year, with a bit more enthusiasm in the Big House and a little more talent on the field, I’d take Big Blue, but it’s going to have to be the Badgers for me.
  • Wake Forest vs. Navy: The government makes, Wake takes. (I couldn’t resist.) Demon Deacons keep a zero in the loss column.
  • Oklahoma vs. TCU: If you listened to EDSBS Live this week (and if you didn’t, you should), you heard Peter Bean teasing Orson Swindle/Spencer Hall about his inability to confidently believe in anything but a close game here. And, well, my thought has been classic Lee Corso, that it’s going to be closer than the experts think, and I can’t quite come up with a reason to change that.
  • NC State vs. USF: I’ve written about this, but, basically, though I believe in the now-injured Russell Wilson, NC State’s still not very good with him, and without him and the talented Nate Irving, it should be a long day for Harrison Beck, and he’s going to be very well acquainted with George Selvie by the end of the Bulls‘ win.
  • LSU vs. Mississippi State: This game last year was not pretty. And guess what, Wesley Carroll? You’re still Wesley Carroll, and the Tigers don’t lose to Wesley Carroll.
  • Georgia vs. Alabama: It’s going to be brutal, it’s going to have at least one play where Knowshon Moreno makes you sit up in your seat, it’s going to wake people up to just how ahead of schedule Baby ‘Bama really is, it’s going to be close until the end, and, of course, it involves John Parker Wilson being trusted to win a game. Because of that, I’m taking the Bulldogs.
  • Utah vs. Weber State: Because the Mountain West gets cupcakes, too! The Utes win, and huge.
  • Penn State vs. Illinois: Remember when I was yapping about how Juice Williams was the second-best quarterback in the Big Ten? Well, I was hoping you didn’t, because the new best guy, Penn State’s Daryll Clark is going to be giving Illinois fits and leading the Nittany Lions to a win Saturday night, and I wanted to say something about him coming from nowhere. Rats.

Quick Hitches

Trindon Holliday is going to do something big this weekend. No one will want to be Harrison Beck or Rich Rodriguez on Sunday. The blackout in Athens is going to be a damn cool sight between the hedges. In a world starved for Heisman candidates and reluctant to embrace Chase Daniel (more on this next week), Javon Ringer’s standard performance against Indiana to kick off the day will be enough to maybe get his name on ESPN. A meteor will hit the Pittsburgh-Syracuse game and no one will notice. (I wish harm on no one, but people watching that game need lobotomies and refunds.) Northwestern’s Tyrell Sutton gets a camera on him to do something special this weekend, and his quarterback, C.J. Bacher, gets to show he’s one of the Big Ten’s best. North Carolina-Miami will be a good game; Colorado-Florida State will not. The SEC will look even better than last week, and though Washington will get its first win against Stanford, the Pac-10 will be mentioned as the worst conference in America.

I’ll be blogging the Florida game, but, beyond that, who knows?

Questions, grievances, additions, corrections? Leave a note.

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