Realizing that much of the time -- some would say most all the time -- my predictions are less than estimable, I try to keep this weekly exercise you are reading as entertaining as my feeble wordsmithery can provide.
So, about sundown last Saturday, an idea for this lede came to mind.
The week got off to a less than auspicious beginning, on Wednesday no less, when App State two-stepped out of my beloved bayou country with a W in Lafayette. Boomer Sooner confirmed it presently holds title to the Red River, and that it has some D to go with that O, and it was Horns Down in Dallas.
I had a feeling after those two miscues that my projection of Khalil Tate into the Heisman discussion with an Arizona W later over UDub was delusional. And so, it came to pass.
Kentucky was down at the half to the Razorbacks, and it looked like my only hope for a W on the weekend was my Cardinals, in whom I had full faith they’d indeed down Wake Forest.
So I would have been 1-4 had Woooooo Pig Sooey held on, and a noted Harry Nilsson tune came to mind, and how I could riff on how one isn’t the loneliest number when the 1(one) is your favorite squad. (FYI, Three Dog Night didn’t write it, they just had a big hit with it.)
Buuuuut, even that didn’t work out. Kentucky prevailed, causing the entire membership of the Little Rock QB Club to call an emergency session to figure out a way to provide one Robert Petrino in Exile a second second chance.
So, 2-3 it was but a few days after a perfecto. 23-14 on the season is 62% correct. Not bad, but, as is always the case, I expect to be back totally on track this weekend, after a slight careening off the rails.
This week’s winners:
Michigan @ Penn State. It’s not that Coach Khaki’s Wolverines have been so awful. At least record-wise. 5-1 is more than reasonably glossy. Getting crushed by Wisconsin was not so good however. Nor was being life and death to hold off the Long Gray Line in the Big House. And a Bo-esque 10-3 trudge over the Hawkeyes did little to impress the pigskin planet dwellers. A win in State College though, now that would be huuuuuuuuuge. But to do so, Michigan needs to discover some compelling, mistake free offense. The Nittany Lions have not lost in six, and are giving up but 8+ ppg. It is said that Saturday night in State College is the closest thing there is above the Mason Dixon line to Saturday night in Baton Rouge. The Nittany Lions will show their visitors why.
Temple @ SMU. Nothing says to the ACC, “You’re not really a Power 5 conference, but we are,” like the AAC. A couple of legit Top 25 squads, and a couple more wannabes knock knock knockin’ on the door. And as if we need enough proof that they really really really care about football in the Lone Star State -- Hello $60 million, 40,000 seats HS stadiums -- there’s the reality that a nice private Methodist school with the motto “Veritas liberabit vos” (Truth will set you free) committed so many NCAA violations it got the death penalty. A long time ago. The Mustangs are finally back, sitting atop its division, with at 6-0 record, including a W over its brethren Christian rival TCU. Temple, as my mama would say, ain’t exactly chopped liver itself at 5-1 with Ws over Maryland and Memphis State. But the Texans shall prevail over their visitors from the north, continuing their quest for NY6 bowl.
Oregon @ Washington. So, as I was out for my daily constitutional this morning, I came across a fellow, donned in an Oregon Duck sweatshirt. Not something one sees often in the Strategic City of the 70s a/k/a Derbyplace USA. “Go Quack,” I said. He just laughed, and kept quickly moving on, not wanting to engage, I suppose, some fellow greeting him with Charlie Manson eyes. Phil Knight U. has recovered properly from its opening L to Auburn, and is kind of cruising actually. It’s D is giving up only 8.7 ppg. I picked against UDub last week, and am asking myself if I really want to do that two weeks in a row, especially when they’re playing this pivotal Pac12 battle on home turf? The answer is Yes, as my Duck jersey comes out of mothballs.
Kentucky @ Georgia.The chinks in the armor of former Flavor of the Month Kirby Smart seem to be deepening, perhaps even cracking wide open. Bad late game decisions, especially time clock issues, have become an epidemic in college football. And Not So Smart seems to be ahead of the curve. He’s made some dooozies, arguably costing him championships. He did it again late last week against the Gamecocks. Between the hedges, no less. With hapless Will Muschamp calling the shots on the opposing sideline. Not a good look for Smart, or his team that had/ still has national title aspirations. Bottom line: Kentucky would have been better off playing this one in Athens on another weekend. Coming off that embarrassing L, the Bulldogs will be more like that pack of Doberman Pinchers that protected Gregory Peck in “The Boys from Brazil.” BBN starts to focus more on hoops.
Clemson @ Louisville. James Quick’s error in judgement seems so long ago far away. Dabo’s charges tallied 77 against the Cards last season, 47 the year before, 42 the year before that. The Cards gave up 59 in its upset over Wake Forest last time out. Do you catch my drift here? Yeah, the Tigers barely escaped the Tar Heels earlier in the campaign, but that’s what it took for the defending national champs to kick it up a notch. Which they have. The Cards W over Demon Deacons vaulted them to #47 (from #78) in theathletic.com’s 130. The site even projects the Cards to become bowl eligible and spend the holidays in El Paso. Which is now within the realm of possibility, assuming Clemson’s W on Saturday isn’t too awfully demoralizing.
-- Seedy K