There are at least a couple of regular readers for whom it would appear they seem to derive their whole sense of well being from my weekly follies here at Prediction Central. They are ever quick to point out my miscues, and draw great delight from same.
When I suffered four losing weekends in a row -- Weeks III-VI -- they were full with a deluded sense that all was right in the world. When I picked a bunch of locks to go 5-0 in Week VII, they scoffed.
After the following consecutive 3-2 weeks, they smirked warily.
And, after last weekend, another perfecto for yours truly, they . . . well . . . they . . . let’s just say, to coin a cliché, the silence is deafening.
For the stat geeks amongst ya, I’m 16-4 over the last four weeks, now 30-20 on the campaign.
Yo, dudes, ye who would be quick to naysay, uh, where are you? How about some well deserved propers? Some R E S P E C T.
Not that I mean to trumpet my own triumphs or anything like that.
Anyhow, the season is entering the home stretch. Those last two spots in the CFP remain somewhat up for grabs. Bowl eligibility is the target for many. And U of L Cardinal fans are checking fifteen times a day for that Tyra Tweet, advising a change is gonna come.
Confidence restored, my prognosticatorial legerdemain patently evident once again, I provide this week’s winners:
Purdue @ Minnesota. Cardinal fans gaze longingly at the Boilermaker sideline, wondering whether Favorite Son, Son of Oscar, Brother of Greg, Brother of Brian, Jeff Brohm has recurring visions of roaming the sideline on Floyd Street? He’s the classic legacy/ future BMOC who gets an immediate unanimous vote when the frat boys are considering a new pledge class. As Olivia Newton-John would sing, “He’s the one that we want.” After an 0-3 start, Brohm’s team is 5-1 with two Top 25 Ws. Trust me, U of L fans aren’t the only ones eyeing West Lafayette. Though Brohm seems to have it going at a Power 5 school, there is a cautionary admonishment with this weekend’s foe. A couple of years ago, Golden Gopher coach PJ Fleck was Flavor of the Month at one of those Michigan Directional Schools. He went 2-7 last season in the league. He’s 1-5 this year, losing to hapless Illinois by three TDs and a FG. Boilermakers prevail. Cardinal fans’ as yet unrequited longing quickens.
Virginia Tech @ Pitt. Is the ACC Coastal cockamamie or what? Miami’s turned into an also ran. Georgia Tech has leveled at mediocrity. UVa under Bronco Mendenhall is overachieving. At least the Cavs were until last weekend when they fell at home to the Panthers, who now lead the division. As it is said, Pitt controls its own destiny. A W this week over the formerly formidable Hokies will help a lot. As for Va Tech, they be reelin’. And not rockin’. There’s that loss to woeful Old Dominion. At home. And two consecutive setbacks to BC and Ga Tech. At home. Is it reasonable to expect the Hokies to do the tighten up in Steel City? Well, Frank Beamer ain’t walking through that door, and Justin Fuente’s guys have taken a step back this season. Panthers prevail.
Washington State @ Colorado. We love Mike Leach, right? How can you not savor a football coach who is definitely outside the norm, whose synapses always seem misconnected, who is -- let’s tell like it is -- wacked? Yet his very young Cougars are arguably the most surprising contingent of this season. They stand #8 in the CFP standings. Guru Phil Steele had ‘em #68 in his preseason power rankings. Yet, with that coach of theirs, one never knows when it all might fall apart. Colorado started fast, gaining some attention. Until we realized that Ws over Nebraska and UCLA mean nuttin’ honey. The Buffaloes have now lost four league games in a row, including to the Beavers at home. Leach’s Northern Division Pac12 leaders are but a slight fave in Boulder. Perhaps the oddsmakers think Leach might take a toke or two before the game. Not that he needs it. But the Cougars could be herbing up afterward, after they win.
Kentucky @ Tennessee. The Cats went from 1985 until 2011 without a W over the Vols. They won again last season in Lexington. Now they face a retrenching Rocky Top squad, in another marker game of the Mark Stoops Era. Losing at home to an obviously better Georgia squad is not to be ashamed of. But if UK is truly upward bound, a win over the Orange would be a sign of confirmation. The Volunteers are still in the hunt to become bowl eligible, so they’ll be ready. Kentucky has to show it can recover from the disappointment of last weekend at Kroger Field. Are the Wildcats truly ready to take the next step. A W here and they’re on a collision course with 10-2 and a New Year’s Day bowl. UK makes it two in a row over their rival for the first time since ‘77.
Louisville @ Syracuse. No way José. Dino Babers is turning it around in the Carrier Dome. Might he like a move to a more moderate clime, like, say, Derbytown?
-- Seedy K