Last weekend, the University of Louisville Cardinals skunked Syracuse.
I too threw an ofer. Five correct, zero incorrect.
The Cards’ foe was hapless.
I’ll admit for the sake of transparency, that at least several of my predictions were gimmes. Bama over the Cats. Buckeyes over the Hoosiers. But Boomer Sooner was not the lock they now seem in retrospect over the Cowboys.
And Cincy did its best late to outwit itself, but still hung on for a win at Central Florida.
5-0 for the weekend. 39-21-4 on the year.
To satisfy, or at least feign an attempt to mollify, my naysayers, I’m adding a special bonus pick this holiday weekend. Six picks for the price of five.
Pennsylvania State @ Michigan. Schadenfreuder that I tend to be at times, I couldn’t help but weigh and in and am now smirking in advance of the plight of the losing coach of this encounter. Which I have dubbed the Turkey Weekend Buy Out Bowl. Not long ago, this would have been ABC Prime Time, but . . . the Nittany Lions have opened the season, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss. The Wolverines have fared moderately better, win, loss, loss, loss, win. The latter victory coming in OT against Rutgers, whom the maize and blue nudged 52-0 last season, 42-7 season before that, and 73 nil in ‘16. Though I’ve never had a personal encounter with either James Franklin or Jim Harbaugh, their public personalities have always rankled. The latter’s less so. Moderately. Plus the game is in the Big House. Hail to the Victors.
Oregon @ Oregon State. Ah, the age of political correctitude. As if we don’t have enough other stuff on our minds. There is a move afoot to change the mascot of my J.M. Atherton H.S. Rebels to something more “appropriate.” Even though the Rebel was changed to a Revolutionary War one decades ago. It seems the powers that be at the Beaver State rivals agreed this past summer not to call this annual battle the Civil War. I mean, is Ken Burns, like, on retainer or something? The Quack are still wishin’ and hopin’ for a Final Four invite. Though at #9 in the rankings, and but three games left plus the championship, they got some rows to hoe. But Uniform U. will look mahvelous on the way, wherever they land. The Beavers will put up a fight, but not enough to prevail.
Oklahoma @ West Virginia. The oddest coaching change of the last little while came in Morgantown. Where Dana Holmgren abdicated to G5 Houston. The Mountaineers appear this somewhat of a breakout season to have upgraded when pilfering Neal Brown from Troy. The Mountaineers are a presentable 4-3, hoping for more Ws than Ls. The last time Oklahoma visited the Mountain State, where montani semper liberi (Mountaineers are always free), the Sooners escaped late in a 59-56 barnburner. The visitors are hoping to ride that new and improved high tech suspension, tipover-free covered wagon to the Final Four. That ain’t gonna happen, but they will win this one.
Maryland @ Indiana. Coming off a did-the-Hoosiers-really-come-that-close-in-the-Horsehoe? L last time out along the banks of the Olentangy, this one is going to test the mettle of Flavor of the Month IU. Coach Tom Allen will be ready. He’s always ready. Have you seen any of his locker room implorations? The guy is I.N.T.E.N.S.E.. The Terps are 2-1. But what can be gleaned from victories over Penn State and Minnesota, and giving up 45 in a crushing L to Northwestern? Not much, frankly. Allen’s overpowering energy force will prevent a letdown for the Crimson & Cream.
Kentucky @ Florida. Uh, no.
Louisville @ Boston College. (Edited.) When o’ when o’ when will the University of Louisville become a “destination school” for coaches, instead of a “stepping stone?” Scott Satterfield and AD Vince Tyra have squelched the Satt to South Carolina rumors. At least for today. Which leads us to this hard-to-figure out game. BC hardly beat woeful Syracuse, yet should have prevailed over Clemson. The Cards looked moderately better against the Orange, but remain inconsistent and underwhelming. This is the classic pick ‘em game. In such battles involving my Cardinals, I go with my heart. Which I do here. Against my better judgement.
— c d kaplan