At some point last Saturday evening, luxuriating in Arkansas’ smackaround of Texas, I was pretty damned pleased with my huuuuuge comeback bubbling up in Week II.
Until I checked my documents, and realized that it was Arkansas State I had predicted would prevail over Memphis State, not the Razorbacks over the Longhorns.
The Tigers prevailed in that defensive tussle, 55-50. Each squad gobbled up almost 700 yards of O apiece.
Don’t get old, kids. The memory fades. Precipitously.
Buuuut, I did correctly pick ACC’s Pitt Panthers over the Vols. In Rocky Top. And the rising Cats, and Cards in their walkover. Mike Leach’s Mississippi State handled N.C. State, in another battle of States. Which I got wrong.
So, despite the self confusion about the schools from The Natural State, I still got more right than wrong. 3-2 for the weekend, head still above water, 8-6 on the season.
Interesting matchups continue, as actual autumn draws nigh.
This weekend’s winners:
Nebraska @ Oklahoma. I can hear Bookstore Billy now as I type. Seedy K chose another walkover to pick the winner of. How brave of him. Maybe so. But this is an intriguing matchup for any number of reasons. Not the least of which is that it marks the 50th anniversary of the universally regarded Game of the 20th C. Johnny Rodgers electrifying 72 yard punt return tore ‘em loose from their shoes, and led the #1 Huskers to a sizzling 35-31 W over #2 Boomer Sooner. Former league and geographical rivals, these two schools haven’t met in 11 years. The last time they played in Norman, Oklahoma laid 62 on the visitors. Which they might very well do again in the game beleaguered Scott Frost clandestinely tried to cancel. However many tallies the Okies fashion, it shall be significantly more than their old rival.
Purdue @ Notre Dame. It’s hard to get a handle on the Boilermakers, even though that crack Jeff Brohm passing game is completing 3 of every 4 tosses. The opponents in Purdue’s two Ws have been hopeless Oregon State, and hapless UConn. Plus leading RB Zander Horvath broke his leg and is out. The Fighting Irish are also a question mark. Beat Florida State, which may not be very good. And barely escaped Toledo’s MAC Attack, under TD Jesus’ mournful stare. Only a hundred miles separate these eminent universities of higher learning, which used to battle every season, but haven’t since ‘14. I’d love for the Boilermakers to prevail, but, air strike capabilities notwithstanding, just don’t think they’ve got enough to sneak out of town with a victory.
Cincinnati @ Indiana. This weekend’s Outlier Bowl shall be contested in Bloomington. Prior to the campaign, there was buzz that both the Hoosiers and Bearcats could slip into that last slot of the Final Four. IU fell out of that conversation, after an opening week 6-34 thud in Iowa City. Slugging Paul Petrino’s Idaho Vandals was small potatoes. Cincy’s two Ws have been learn nothing beatdowns of Miami (Oh) and Murray State. Who’s ready here to kick it up a notch, and who isn’t? Hard to gauge. Tom Allen will certainly have the Crimson & Cream pumped. But are Luke Fickell’s favorites really ready to prove they’re ready? I. Am. Just. Not. Sure. Went to the ol’ coin flip. Came up Cincy.
Chattanooga @ Kentucky. Awhile ago, I read an article about how this middle Tennessee burg has become kind of a hip place to live. There’s a hotel at the train station called the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. Which is cute, and entrepreneurial. Which I mention as filler. Didn’t want this paragraph to be too awfully sparse. To be relevant, the BCS Mocs haven’t a chance against the new look Wildcats.
Central Florida @ Louisville. This is the most important game for U of L in a long time. The fan base is at wit’s end. What with the NCAA stuff. The disenchantment with Coach Satt. Disappointments on the gridiron. The horrid fan experience at the home opener. The revelation that U of L’s recently hired Director of Fan Experience has in the past expressed on a number of occasions his deep seated hatred for U of L. One has to wonder who’s in charge here? What more could happen to piss off the loyal followers? Losing this contest, that’s what. Both the Golden Knights and new mentor Gus Malzan are proven winners in recent seasons. The Cards? Uh, not so much. Not so much at all. Is Friday on national TV the night U of L turns it around? Going with my heart instead of my head, I respond in the affirmative.
— c d kaplan