Bottom line is I should have taken last weekend off. Like the majority of the Top 20.
But no, I stayed the course and suffered for it.
2 Ws. 3 Ls. 33-19 on the year.
Not to worry. I fired my entire staff, and am feeling rejuvenated with fresh input, heading into the most important weekend of the year.
For the first time in college football history, there will be two battles on the same Saturday in which both combatants are 8-0.
And the Louisville Cardinals take their first stab this year at bowl eligibility.
Let’s go. And don’t be telling me how I only choose easy games to predict.
Kansas State @ Texas. When it came time for the muckety mucks in The Other Manhattan to choose a new football coach to replace their cranky legend Bill Snyder, they were realistic and realized that Brad Stevens, I mean Bill Parcells wasn’t going to be moving to the Heartland to mentor the Purples. They looked for a midwestern dude with a pedigree, and tabbed a former multi-champion from the FCS, where titles are earned the hard way. Chris Kleiman appears up to the task, after blasting juggernaut Oklahoma week before last. Texas, at 5-3, is more than a bit disappointing in Tom Herman Year III. Are the Wildcats up to the task of winning in Austin? Sometime soon, but not this year.
Louisiana State @ Alabama. Wouldn’t it just be a hoot if this game ended 9-6. Every bit of hype includes some mention about what a high scoring affair this shall be. Maybe. Maybe not. What we do know is it will be intense. The big question, if you haven’t been paying attention, is whether Tua will be on the gridiron for the tussle? Nick Saban has been coy, advising it’s a game day decision. Imagine our surprise? OK, the other imponderable is whether Ed Orgeron can get any more intense for this legitimately big game than he does when his Bayou Bengals face Northwestern State? Whatever, I believe LSU will be ready for V I C T O R Y.
Pennsylvania State @ Minnesota. In case you missed my not so passive aggressive factoid above, this brouhaha also features a couple of schools who have won all 8 of their games so far. But, it seems one guy’s 8-0 isn’t the same as another guy’s. The Nittany Lions, at least according to the Selection Committee, field the fourth best team in the land, after three other 8-0 teams, and ahead of another right behind them. While the Golden Gophers are ranked #18, right behind four schools that have each lost twice. Hmmmm. Ah, the ol’ strength of schedule bugaboo. Which doesn’t mean, in and of itself, that the team playing the stronger schedule is better. To prove my point, I’m advising that Flav o’ Flav of the month, PJ Fleck’s home team wins.
Tennessee @ Kentucky. Back in the days when traditions were traditional, and adhered to for the sake of tradition, the Wildcats played the Volunteers to end the season -- usually losing -- and the University of Louisville to open the season. Then came the new elephant in the room, the World Wide Leader, who dictated that UK and U of L would end their seasons against each other, and Rocky Top and the Big Blue would play when they could fit it in their schedules, sometimes as early as October. Kentucky still loses almost always. The Orange have fallen on hard times, but won twice in a row over the Gamecocks and UAB. The Cats have fallen back to the norm somewhat after last year’s boffo campaign, but their fans are still fretting in fear that Coach Mark Stoops will move to Tallahassee. UT has not traditionally needed to be better to prevail here. But this season the victor shall be dressed in blue.
Louisville @ Miami. The era of homie Manny Diaz has gotten off to a veritable roller coaster of a beginning. Ls to the Gators and Tar Heels to start the season. A loss to woeful Georgia Tech. But the Hurricanes have now won two in a row, against Pitt and rival Florida State, which then fired its coach. Meanwhile, the surprising Cardinals have wrapped three league Ws around an L to mighty mighty Clemson, then took a sabbatical last week before their trip down to the Sunshine State. Will U of L be as successful Saturday as their hoops counterpart was on Tuesday. With bowl eligibility beckoning. You betcha.
-- Seedy K