Quick recap: Purdue’s defense played like they’d been drinking boilermakers instead of engineering and building them. The Tar Heels came back to earth. Florida State self destructed. Again. Kentucky did what Kentucky has traditionally done. And the University of Louisville Cardinals continue to show improvement, but that they still have a way to go.
Which is to, in an oh so subtle manner, advise that the kid was a perfect 5-0 last weekend.
Not bad for someone who believes the shtick is more important than the predictions.
12-5 for the year rounds out to 70% correctitude. I’ll take it.
No reason then to prattle on verbosely.
Hear me now and believe me later, here are this week’s winners:
Air Force @ Boise State. Wild Blue Yonder vs. Boise Blue Turf. Not a lot of folks in my neck of the woods pay attention to the Mountain West. So be it. This is a big one between two undefeated schools, sitting at the top of the league’s Mountain Division. (The other is the West Division. The cleverest conference nomenclature since the Big Ten had the Leaders and the Legends.) Though the Falcons were expected to be improved, coming off of consecutive bowl-less 5-7 campaigns, nobody computed them to win in Boulder last week. Which they did, scoring on the first play in OT, after blowing a two TD lead in the 4th. Their 2-0 start makes this an intriguing matchup with the Top 25 Broncos who started the Willie Taggert needs a Moving Van movement in Tallahassee, after Boise came back from a 113 point second half deficit to defeat the Seminoles in Week I. This is a great Friday night lead in to college football Saturday. It should be close, but the jets get grounded on the blue.
California @ Ole Miss. Is it my imagination or are there more of these -- let’s call ‘em what they are -- weird intersectional matchups than in seasons past? I mean do you think the guys in Oxford Town could pinpoint Berkeley on a map? Or vice versa? What happens if the Golden Bears have to pass by the scene in the Grove on the way to their locker room? And, yes, the eagle eyed among you are correct. I make a gratuitous mention of this glorious old school Ole Miss tradition every time I consider one of the Johnny Rebs’ games. Did you know the only time restaurants in town can sell alcohol on Sundays is on football weekends? Which reasoning does not explain why, for the oddest of reasons, the university will only begin selling beer in the stadium for the last three games of the season. Cal is better. They won at Washington and have vaulted into the Top 25. It will not matter. The sorority sisters in their cocktail dresses shall celebrate.
Michigan at Wisconsin. When it comes to, well, frankly, most matters in life, Badger Billy is my arch nemesis. Among other things, like his mistaken belief he was the only power hitter on our softball team, Fear & Loathing In Louisville, he considers himself a gambling savant of sorts, and thus -- along with his runnin’ podner Doppelgänger Boris -- was tripping all over himself to give me grief for my less than prescient picks two weeks ago. Anyhow, as if you couldn’t tell by his internet handle of choice, he’s spent many a game day in Camp Randall. His Cheese Staters, though relatively untested against a couple of directionals (Central Michigan, South Florida) did outscore the Bulls and Chippewas by a combined 110 to zed. The Wolverines are also undefeated in two, but have looked eerily Harbaughian. Which is to say I’m going with Wisconsin to save myself a lot of aggravation. But I’m so sure Badger Billy will still find some way to bash me.
Kentucky @ Mississippi State. It is not my imagination, though I shall provide no empirical evidence or analytics to back up what I’m about to say, but there have been more QB injuries in the first weeks of the season -- college and pro -- than in any previous seasons. The Cowbells’ QB Tommy Stevens has missed time in the last two battles with a shoulder injury. The Cats lost their starter, and are relying on Grad Transfer Sawyer Smith, who was, as the commercial goes, just OK in last week’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory L to the Gators. Where have you gone Gunnar Hoak? Oh yeah, he pulled a Brandon Wimbush and now resides along the banks of the Olentangy. I’m truly torn on this one. Which team will step up more than the other? Geesh, despite my font of expertise, I’m at a loss. Coin toss. Literally. Heads: Cats. Tails: Bulldogs. Heads.
Louisville @ Florida State. There were too many bonehead play calls and strategies and botched executions last weekend to list. Among them Pat Narduzzi’s incomprehensible decision to kick a FG when poised at the Penn State one, when his Pitt Panthers were down 7 late against the Nittany Lions. But the Seminoles’ craven, Keystone Kopish, watch-us-spit-out-the-bit second second half laydown of the season, last time against UVa, sure tops my list. Though Willie Taggert’s record is, let us be gentle, somewhat unimpressive despite his upward mobility, I gotta ask: Is he really this bad? Well, we shall find out Saturday against the upticking Cardinals, a team with QB queries of its own. (See paragraph above.) Different questions abound for the Cards, but ones just as intriguing. How much better is this bunch than last season’s, which should have beaten F State, but were thwarted by another heinous coaching gaffe? We shall find out Saturday. Unless it’s a no brainer I am ever loathe to pick against my Cardinals. But I feel good about this one. Ls up!
-- Seedy K