Last week was not kind to my record.
But I will keep picking.
It’s not like this is all that difficult to do. (What is difficult is quantifying the carnage from last week; I’ll do that tally for tomorrow.
- Boise State vs. Louisiana Tech: Would’ve taken the Broncos, knowing they’re for real.
- South Florida vs. Pittsburgh: Would’ve taken the Bulls. Stupid sexy Gro-hawk.
- Utah vs. Oregon State: Would’ve taken the Utes, because it was at home. Also because Utah is a bit more clutch than USC has been since Reggie Bush’s Rose Bowl Lateral.
- Utah State vs. BYU: Why is Utah State an FBS team? Who, outside of the state of Utah, knows what their mascot is? (The Aggies, by the way.) These Cougars don’t care, but, I mean, really?
- Purdue vs. Penn State: Ooh, a road game against a conference team. As if Purdue wasn’t awful; remember, this team lost to an Oregon team helmed by something like the ghost of Akili Smith and to a Notre Dame team that no one would say is better than good. The Nittany Lions will be plumping for BCS buzz after this weekend.
- Iowa State vs. Kansas: Todd Reesing is basically a midget Chase Daniel: he would be a totally anonymous player if he didn’t lead an efficient spread attack, and he has absolutely no future in the NFL. I’m not sure that’s a great thing, but it’s enough for the Jayhawks when woeful Iowa State’s on the other sideline.
- Baylor vs. Oklahoma: It’s one thing to say you’re going to beat the number one team in the land. It’s another thing to do that as an offensive tackle, Jason Smith, when it’s your really good freshman quarterback who will feel the pain as large men run around and over you to get to him. The Sooners roll, as they will until Mizzou.
- Arkansas vs. Florida: Look, I know this is where I’m supposed to point out that Tim Tebow pounded on the podium during his post-game press conference, that the Gators are mad, that the defense played well despite turnovers, and so on, and so forth. But the most promising thing to take from last weekend is that Percy Harvin, who had something like 4,525 yards on 20 combined carries/receptions, is looking as scary as he ever has. If Florida can find a way to make him just an option rather than the option, this team could still be phenomenal on offense.
- Virginia Tech vs. Western Kentucky: I groaned inwardly when I saw this. Seriously, is there any “major” team more boring than a post-Michael Vick Virginia Tech squad? They don’t throw the ball effectively, they run a grinding offense, they rely on special teams to win a couple of games, and they’re always overrated because of an inexplicable need to accord Frank Beamer something. That said, the Hokies win this week, and that team just above could take a page or two from the playbook for winning Beamer has; it would at least mitigate spectacular flameouts.
- Alabama vs. Kentucky: The red flag for ‘Bama is that Kentucky leads the nation in scoring defense. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, that mark is attributable to playing Louisville, Norfolk State, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky. The Crimson Tide team that Nick Saban has clicking has more raw talent than those four schools combined.
- Kansas State vs. Texas Tech: It would be fun to see a 55-50 shootout that K-State wins because it’s Manhattan and weird things happen there, but I can’t imagine the Red Raiders being outscored by any team that can lose to that woeful Louisville team Kentucky thumped. (Insert SEC homerism here.)
- Vanderbilt vs. Auburn: How cool would it be for the SEC Championship to be Vanderbilt against Alabama? If the ‘Dores win this game, it would probably only take Vandy beating either Florida or Georgia and having that team win the WLOCP, thanks to the SEC West’s Werewolf Weekend and a favorable schedule that misses both LSU and Alabama this year and gives them Florida at home a week after that game. Plus, the Commodores have a defense that’s going to frustrate teams; they’ve clamped down on a good Ole Miss team and a pyrotechnic Rice offense, and I think there’s a few big wins yet to come.
- Colorado vs. Texas: If Colorado’s better than West Virginia and turnover-happy Florida State can thump the snot out of the Buffs, well, how bad is West Virginia? Texas is, I think, for real, in the sense that the Longhorns will win this convincingly, then get wood-chippered by Oklahoma next weekend.
- Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M: Texas A&M is terrible. Has any coach’s star fallen further and faster for on-field performance than Mike Sherman’s? He was the next Lombardi for five years in Green Bay, then the bottom fell out with a 4-12 mark, then he went to Houston to run an almost decent offense, and now he’s at A&M with a three-win team that’s going to get punked by Mike Gundy’s Cowboys this week. No respect for this guy.
- North Carolina vs. Connecticut: Call me when Vince Carter and Emeka Okafor show up and I might care. Heck, I might even care that other people have used that joke. All I know is that both of these teams are missing their starting quarterbacks and UConn wasn’t all that great with one, so I’ll be taking the Tar Heels and Cameron Sexton. (Apparently, UConn’s Donald Brown is the nation’s leading rusher. Yeah.)
- Wisconsin vs. Ohio State: Much as I would like to think Wisconsin could beat an Ohio State team I love to despise, that loss to Michigan has all the marks of a tailspin-starter. And Beanie Wells plus Terrelle Pryor equals a totally different and actually dangerous offense for the Buckeyes, something that hasn’t been true since their win over the Wolverines in 2006, with a healthy Ted Ginn, Jr., and a Troy Smith who wasn’t being mauled by Derrick Harvey.
- USC vs. Oregon: It would be nice for Oregon to beat SC, but this is a get-right game that allows the Trojans to get right back to the media hyperbole that’s necessary to sustain the cycle of overexuberance and crushing disappointment associated with having a constellation of talent but no true Sirius to rely on.
- Nebraska vs. Missouri: Revenge for Missouri after all those years of getting kicked by the Huskers! (Oh, I’m funny.) Tigers by about 35.
- Fresno State vs. Hawai’i: I picked Hawai’i in a fantasy league based solely on team wins this year. Stupid sexy WAC schedule. These Bulldogs aren’t anywhere near the mid-major champs they were cast as at season’s beginning, but the Warriors are terrible.
And you only get one prediction down here, and it’s just a reiteration: Vanderbilt beats Auburn.