So, class, what did we learn from last week’s predictions?
Kentucky is legit. Probably.
Louisville is not. Definitely.
Northwestern and Iowa State are feisty. Mos Def.
Dan Mullen’s still got some work to do at Florida to get to where Kirby Smart has his Georgia Bulldogs. Ask Professor Finebaum, that’s his bailiwick.
And, keeping one’s knee totally straight, even with an expensive draconian immobilizer velcrowed tightly in place, remains a chore. Even when sitting one’s butt day and night watching college football.
Oh so damn true. But, hey, enough about me.
My winning percentage streak continues. 3-2 for the weekend raises me to 25-20 for the season.
This campaign’s rounding the far turn, beginning to head home. Thus the games get ever more interesting as the upper echelon fights for Condoleezza Rice’s attention, and the also rans pursue the lofty but not very exclusive status known as “bowl eligible.”
This week’s winners:
Temple @ Central Florida. Not only have the Knights won more games in a row than the U of L LadyBirds have won national titles, the university, which is kind of an afterthought other than on the gridiron, has the largest student population of any in the land. 51,269, I’m advised. That’s some serious matriculation. (#2 for the record is DeVry U. And if you’re thinking who? what? never heard of it, join the crowd.) Despite the roll the Floridians are on, they remain the Rodney Dangerfield of the CFP hierarchy at #12 in the opening line. Josh Heupel’s gang runs and scores and QB McKenzie Milton is a name on the tip of Mel Kiper’s tongue. But the Owls, with some impressive recent forays after a slow start, are knotted with UCF atop the AAC East, having conquered Top 25 Cincy last time out. Will they be howling after their visit to Orlando? Only if they pack in a ride on the Primeval World at that Disney park. Knights march on.
Iowa State @ Kansas. I recall catching a few moments of a Rock Chalk Jayhawk pigskin encounter a few years back, and thinking, this isn’t only the worst team I’ve seen all season, this could be the most woeful college contingent ever to take the field. Well, they still aren’t very good. But the school has finally finished paying off Charlie Weis to go away. (Notre Dame might still owe the one time heralded savant some moolah, not sure.) Anyway, the Jayhawks still aren’t very good, but they did beat TCU, which probably has more to say about the Horned Frogs than KU. Those of you paying attention here know I’ve got a thing for the Cyclones, who came through for me last week. So, yeah, I’m going for the two in a row. Visitors leave town with smiles on their faces.
Alabama @ LSU. How big is this Saturday Night in the Swamp battle between two squads in the first Final Four poll? Keith Jackson big. Lindsey Nelson big. Chris Schenkel big. Billy Cannon big. Joe Willie big. Bear big. Chinese Bandits big. Which is to say, given the stakes and the setting, as huuuuuuge as it gets in college pigskin. The University of Houndstooth has been steamrolling foes like Wrong Foot Louie Campi knockin’ ‘em down on the way to another 300 game. But, as dominant as the Tide has been of late -- 4 titles in the last 8 seasons -- ‘Bama hasn’t had an unblemished record since the ‘09 championship year, when they vanquished Hook ‘Em Horns. An Auburn or Ole Miss or A&M or Clemson is ever lurking to cause superduperfan Harvey Updyke serious gastrointestinal distress. The Bayou Bengals, one of the season’s most surprising success stories hasn’t captured this battle since ‘11, but the Tide turned for the title a month later. Is this the year Orgeron’s Overachievers are the blemish on the Tide’s resume? I just can’t bring myself to believe so.
Georgia @ Kentucky. Everybody who saw this coming before the campaign as a legitimate Top 10 battle raise your hands. Liar liar pants on fire. Kirby Smart’s #6 Bulldogs? Of course. The Cats? No way Jose. But UK held a testy Mizzou squad without a 1st down in the 2d half last week, then drove the field for the winning score after the final buzzer. Legitimacy has ensued. But, despite the incredible leadership and talent of Benny Snell and Josh Allen, and the reality that the Big Blue has its mojo workin’, one has to ask. Are the Wildcats really ready of the Big Big Time? There have been chinks in UGa’s armor. Yet all seemed repaired last week against FLA in the WLOCP. Methinks the Cats will be a little too pumped, the stadium too raucous too early. Georgia wins.
Louisville @ Clemson. As I write, the spread is something like 37. It won’t be that close.
-- Seedy K