Since I had another OK, but still less than optimal weekend last, I’ve decided to change things up yet again.
No elongated opening shtick.
All together now: “Awwwwwwwww.”
Three Ws — Georgia, SMU and Iowa State — and two Ls — BC and Kentucky. Troy and South Alabama were a DNP.
For the year, 15-12-2.
This week’s locks:
Texas vs. Oklahoma. Ah yes, the Underachievement Bowl in Big D. Here’s what both these vexing squads are singing as they fly into Dallas (in a DC 9 at night). “Well, I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind/ But I came into Dallas with a Dollar and a dime.” Not so Boomer Sooner is 0-2 in the league. Hook ‘em Sometime Horns are 1-1, but only thanks to dumb luck in Lubbock. Will this one rise to Gus Johnson level at noon Saturday, with an empty midway at the state fair outside the stadium gates? I. Haven’t. A. Clue. What I do know is that the team which blocks and tackles as well as Jimmie Dale Gilmore writes and sings will win. Spencer gets rattled in the Red River Shootout. Burnt Orange.
Miami @ Clemson. What’s interesting about this game to me is that there’s another in the ACC featuring Top 25 schools — North Carolina and Virginia Tech — neither of which is named for Thomas Green Clemson, who, by the by, was married to John C. Calhoun’s daughter. When was that last time that happened? Of more interest to most pigskin fans, whose minds wander less than mine, is whether the trending ‘Canes have improved enough to actually challenge dominant Dabo’s recent conference supremacy? Some day maybe. But, not yet. Especially in Death Valley.
Kansas State @ TCU. The Horned Frogs won in Austin. The Wildcats won in Norman. Giving this game formerly on the undercard more gravity than that other one mentioned above. Come to think of it, given this one’s Prime Afternoon time slot, might Gus Johnson be in Fort Worth instead of Dallas? On such relatively meaningless minutiae does my mind obsess. I really like TCU QB Max Duggan. Tough kid. How tough? Oh, well, he had heart surgery in August, and is back leading his mates. That clinching TD run against the Horns was sweet. In the battle of Purple, homies take it.
Mississippi State @ Kentucky. Mike Leach remains one of the curiosities in the Chinstrap Universe. He’s like one of those extraordinary creatures you see in films about life on the ocean floor. So exotic, they has to be animation, right? Flavor of the Week after a headscratching W in Baton Rouge. Now looking to retool after falling at home to Arkansas. Meanwhile, as much as life has changed in this Year of Our Discontent, some things are just the same as they ever was. Like the Wildcats finding a way late to blow a chance at victory. One can only hope that Stoops and staff understand that they need to zone State’s passing attack. I’m assuming they are smart enough to do that, thus UK will prevail. By a smidge.
Louisville @ Georgia Tech. It’s put up or shut up time. For both the Cardinals and the Ramblin’ Wreck. Three games in, U of L has the look of a team whose prospects were seriously misoverestimated. Manhandled by Miami and then Pitt, who then fell to NC State. An unimpressive win over WKU, whose only victory is a wafer thin escape over hapless 0-4 Middle Tennessee. Will Coach Satt and his staff have worked some magic with an extra week of R & R? Meanwhile GT jolted expectations with an opening victory over overrated Florida State, then fell back to the norm. So, they’re looking to rebound. And are at home. I have always picked the Cardinals in this weekly exercise. But I have vowed to be more realistic from now on. Some habits are hard to break, but I honestly (and subjectively) think Louisville shall prevail Friday evening.
— c d kaplan