While I remembered that Louisville never beats Clemson — Literally. Sadly. — and picked that way, hoping I’d be wrong, I forgot about the Cats.
Specifically, I forgot, no matter how good or bad the Volunteers are, they beat Kentucky. Figuratively. Year in, year out. Decade in, decade out. Unfortunately, my memory lapse meant I picked the Big Blue.
But I also picked Baby Blue, and was thus pleased when Carolina came back on the formerly undefeated Demon Deacons.
Iowa State won. Hugely. Also formerly undefeated Michigan State lost.
So it goes. 3-2 for the weekend. 33-21 for the season.
North Carolina @ Pittsburgh. This one’s hard to figure out. The Panthers are 7-2, coming off a bye week when they played Duke, and will be on home turf. Plus they have the QB Flavor of the Week, Kenny Pickett. The Tar Heels have been underwhelming overall, but came back strong last time agains Wake, and beat now hot Miami a few weeks back. Their QB is Sam Howell, who once was what Pickett is now. And, he may be again. In such head scratchers as this, I pick the home team.
Miami @ Florida State. On a pigskin planet where things made sense, the Seminoles and Hurricanes would be Top Ten. Every. Single. Year. They reside in a region where there’s enough football talent to go around. This used to be a biggie. SI front page with the header: “Wide Right!” Or, was it “Wide Left!?” Anyway, State’s muddling along at 3-6. Inconsistently. Started off with four consecutive Ls. Won three, and enter this one with two defeats in a row. Not exactly trending as they would like. While as of late, real rookie Tyler VanDyke is leading the U back toward the spotlight. Visitors prevail.
Michigan @ Pennsylvania State. With these two Used To Be Powers, it seems to be about the coaches more than the players. Persnickety Jim Harbaugh. Will He Really Jump To Troy James Franklin. The Wolverines, despite their L to cross-state rival Spartans, appear to maybe possibly having righted things in Ann Arbor. But this game’s in Quakertown. Where the Nittany Lions shall prevail.
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt. Nothing like a trip to visit the Commodores to make you feel better.
Syracuse @ Louisville. Last weekend was a good one for U of L QBs. Except, oh, the current one. Jeff Brohm’s Boilermakers won. Teddy B’s Broncos took over JerryWorld. Dave Ragone, Falcons OC, fashioned a W over the Saints. And, Lamar Jackson did what Lamar Jackson does. His Ravens, seemingly destined to succumb, fought back to down the Vikings. That very same resident of Heisman House will be back in Cardinal Stadium, getting his jersey retired. How appropriate that the Orange are the foe. You recall that Lamar Leap and all, the image that thrust Jackson into the national consciousness. His presence and spirit force spur the Cards to victory.
— c d kaplan