Three Conference games highlight the weekend’s action and should go a long way towards establishing some early favorites. The non-conference contests should give the ACC teams an opportunity to lick their wounds from earlier losses. Here are the picks:
#19 Miami – Pittsburgh – Miami did not look bad against what could be the third best team in the nation. Pittsburgh lost on the road to a BCS pretender. Miami’s QB is experienced, the Panther’s is not. Miami 30-14.
VaTech – Boston College – VaTech held on to keep from falling to 0-3, while BC was resting up. I still think the Hokies have too much fire power for a weak Eagle team. VaTech 31-3.
NC State – Ga Tech – The Jackets haven’t been able to stop the run and NC State has looked pretty impressive in their three wins. I just think the option attack will be too much. Tech 35-28.
In other action: Florida State thumps Wake Forest, Maryland rebounds against FIU, Virginia squeaks past VMI, and Army adds to Duke’s loss column.
With three games pitting undefeated Conference opponents against one another, this is a real “shake it up” weekend. After Saturday, we will know who the contenders and pretenders are.
#1 Alabama – #10 Arkansas – I don’t know if the Razorbacks are a legitimate top 10 team. The Tide looks like they could compete in the play-for-pay league. This one is not as close as folks are thinking – even in Fayetteville – Alabama 31-13.
#12 South Carolina – #17 Auburn – The Tigers were manhandled by Clemson before escaping with a win last week. They entertain another team from the Palmetto state, one with a powerful ground game and an accomplished passer. This week Auburn is not as lucky. South Carolina 27-17.
#9 Florida – Kentucky – The Wildcats enter the Swamp undefeated and featuring some offensive studs. The Gators have been riding their defense to come from behind victories in their first three. If Florida lets Kentucky up early, this could be an upset. Florida 21-17.
#15 LSU – #22 West Virginia – Can the Bayou Bengals stop the Mountaneer spread? Both teams have already been tested, but I believe LSU has had the tougher road. LSU 24-20.
In other action: Georgia drubs Mississippi State, and UAB upsets Tennessee.
There are only two Conference match-ups, and one non-Conference game of significance (unless it’s your team, of course). A couple of C-USA teams could make their mark against the “Big Boys” this weekend.
#4 TCU – SMU – Both teams have faced Pac 10 and Big 12 opponents. While TCU beat Oregon State and Baylor, SMU went 1-1 against Texas Tech and Washington. The Horned Frogs look legit. TCU 45-28.
UCF – Kansas State – The Wildcats are undefeated, having dispatched Conference rival Iowa State last weekend. UCF played a very good NC State team pretty tough a couple of weeks ago. C-USA makes a statement. UCF 27-18
Houston – Tulane – One of only two Conference games finds Houston reeling from its loss to UCLA. Tulane has had a week to rest up since being thumped by Ole Miss. The Cougars get well in a hurry. Houston 49-14.
In other games: Southern Miss pounds Louisiana Tech, Baylor thumps Rice, Marshall gets their first win against Ohio, UTEP gets by Memphis, and Tulsa beats Central Arkansas.
#2 Ohio State – Eastern Michigan – Terrell Pryor pads his Heisman resume. Ohio State 49-10.
#3 Boise State – #24 Oregon State – The “Smurf” field envelopes another foe. Boise State 28-20.
#5 Oregon – Arizona State – It could be awful hot in Tempe, but the Duck defense is for real. Oregon 27-14.
#6 Nebraska – South Dakota State – Surprisingly, this isn’t as bad as last week’s rout of Washington. Nebraska 42-3.
#7 Texas – UCLA – The Bruins find out that the Longhorns of the Big 12 are a far cry from the Cougars of C-USA. Texas 24-7.
#8 Oklahoma – Cincinnati – Will Oklahoma be dominant or snooze through another game. Glad I’m not betting the line on the Sooners this year. Oklahoma 28-14.
#11 Wisconsin – Austin Peay – The Badgers final tune-up before Conference play. Wisconsin 38-3.
#13 Utah – San Jose State – The Utes face another weak opponent while holding a possible BCS slot. Utah 31-17.
#14 Arizona – California – The Wildcats can’t count on scoring 21 points on 8 offensive plays this week…or maybe they can. The Bears were lit up by Nevada last week. Arizona 35-10.
#16 Stanford – Notre Dame – The Irish were a fake field goal away from being 2-1. The Cardinal make the cross country trip to the land of “Touchdown Jesus”. Upset special – Notre Dame 31-28.
#18 Iowa – Ball State – The Hawkeyes are smarting after their latest visit to the desert. They’ll feel a little better after this one. Iowa 42-10.
#20 USC – Washington State – I don’t think the Trojans will win the Pac 10, but Washington State is not the team to knock them off. USC 27-13.
#21 Michigan – Bowling Green – Dennard Robinson is a good fantasy pick this week. That says it all. Michigan 42-27.
#23 Penn State – Temple – The Owls visit College Station on a roll. It’s been 70 years, but the Nittany Lions have almost no ground game and turn the ball over waaayy too much. Upset special #2 – Temple 24-21.
#25 Michigan State – Northern Colorado – A little trickery against Notre Dame kept the Spartans undefeated. They won’t have to resort to anything but vanilla this week. Michigan State 31-9.
Be sure to tune into Big Boy Sports Southern Style on Blog Talk Radio – Sunday at 3pm ET. Mattihardhead, the Dirtdog, and “brother-in-law” John will break down the weekends scores and highlights.