The NBA has started and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Lakers in LA on opening night! Yeah, I don’t really care, either. It was a wild weekend for college football last week as Marcus Lattimore suffered an absolutely horrific knee injury (don’t worry, this is NOT linked to the video of that injury). You know it’s bad when both teams are at midfield praying together. Get well, kid.
What adventures await this week? Onward.
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide at No. 6 LSU Tigers: 7 p.m. on CBS
Last year this game was the most boring big game ever as LSU won at Bama, 9-6. I don’t expect that to be the case this week, but I also don’t think it’s going to be Texas vs. Baylor, either. Les Miles is 36-1 at home as the LSU head coach, but in the most of those 37 games he’s had a better quarterback than he does right now.
The Tide are 9-point favorites on the road and that is due entirely to LSU’s inability tothrow the ball (106th in the nation in passing) and their inability to protect the passer when they try (81st in the nation in sacks allowed). This looks like a convincing Alabama win… But it’s at night in Baton Rouge, which is worth a touchdown itself. I think this a hard fought defensive game, but I see the Sabans making more plays on offense than the Miles. I’ll take Alabama, but I am not overly confident in that pick. Tide 27, LSU 14.
No. 4 Oregon Ducks at No. 17 USC Trojans: 6 p.m. on FOX
The shine is off this game after USC got whacked in the desert, but there is still plenty on the line. For the Phil Knights, it’s another step towards playing for a national title and for USC it’s staying atop the Pac-12 South, where they are a half game up on UCLA. There is a good chance these two meet again in the Pac-12 Championship Game, but the first step for that to happen is USC beating the Ducks now. I don’t think they do that. This is a middle of the pack team statistically and I think Oregon runs all over them. Matty Trojan will keep it close, but the Ducks move on. Oregon 41, USC 24.
No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies at No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs: 11 a.m. on ESPN
It’s really interesting to me that the No.16 team is traveling to the No.15 team and the No.16 team is a touchdown favorite. Digging deeper, however, you see the Ags have played a far tougher schedule than Mississippi State and that is the reason. These schools are very similar in uniform color, rural-ness and disdain from me. The Aggies are playing very well, dropping only two games that they could have easily won, while Cow Bell got blown last week by Bama. I think the Aggies are better, but the home crowd is going to even that out some. I think the Aggies win, but I don’t like them so I won’t pick them. Bulldogs 30, A&M 24.
Worst Game of the Week
Illinois Illini at Ohio State Buckeyes: 2:30 p.m. on ESPN
On probation for the pants thing, the Buckeyes are not allowed to be ranked in the BCS system. In the AP Poll they are ranked No. 6 and are 9-0. Illinois is AWFUL. They lost by two touchdowns last week at home to Indiana, who had not won a conference game in over two years, and they allowed seven sacks to a Hoosier team that had 12 on the entire season. See? Awful. This is ugly early.
I’ll take the big loss I suffered this week any day of the week. My imaginary bookie is not chasing me through bars of Hell’s Kitchen this week with nearly as much vitriol as before.
No. 2 Florida Gators vs. No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs
Why it was included: Top 10 match up, World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Texas/ou-type hate.
Prediction: Gators 31, UGA 20. I was wrong to doubt the Gators. Florida wins big (my fingers were crossed).
Reality: UGA 17, Gators 9. See? My fingers were crossed. Totally counts.
The Georgia Bulldogs spent last week calling each other out on defense and responding to being called out and it worked. The Bulldogs held Florida to three field goals and forced six turnovers and battered quarterback Jeff Driskel. Florida had four turnovers coming into the game, but committed their fourth of the day in the third quarter. It was fun to watch as these two really dislike each other. Lots of pushing, shoving and talking and even one fight before the coin toss. A leader called out the defense and they responded with a stunning effort. Are you listening, Texas? Got you, Gators. Psych!
No. 11 Mississippi State Bulldogs at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Why is was included: Two undefeated SEC teams, West lead up for grabs, Justin Beiber look-alikes everywhere.
Prediction: Alabama 44, MSU 14. Not that close, Tide too good, Cowbells everywhere.
Reality: Alabama 38, MSU 7. Not that close, Tide too good, Cowbells everywhere.
I’ll take a win on this one (my rules). It went exactly like I thought it would. Alabama is just killing people right now, aren’t they?
No. 14 Texas Tech Red Raiders at No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats
Why it was included: Best Big 12 match up, both playing well.
Prediction: K-State 31, Tech 20. K-State will be hungover, Collin Klein takes over.
Reality: K-State 55, Tech 24. K-State was a little hungover, hammered Tech in the second half.
It took some time to get revved up as I thought it would, but in the second half K-State showed why they are the No. 2 team in the country as they turned a 13-10 halftime lead into a 55-24 route. Optimus Klein accounted for four touchdowns and 316 total yards and the K-State defense shut down Tech and forced three turnovers to turn the game. The Wildcats are for real and, barring one game, I’m all in for the Bill Snyders to rep the Big 12 in the title game.
No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish No. 8 oklahoma sooners
Why it was included: Top 10 match up, both big powers, Saturday night showdown, I hate them both
Prediction: ou 39, Notre Dam 17. The sooners mop the floor with the Irish, ou doesn’t lose at home.
Reality: Notre Dame 30, ou 13. The sooners do lose at home, they mopped nothing at all. Hilarious.
I have a buddy who said Manti Te’o reminds him of Ray Lewis. Obviously not personality-wise, but I think that is spot on. The guy just makes plays. As I watched a returning-from-injury sophomore lead an Irish team into Norman and push around the bullies in crimson, it just made me mad — still stinging from the Cotton Bowl loss and I didn’t even realize it. A huge win for Notre Dame, who are positioning themselves for a title run.
Worst Game of the Week
No. 20 Texas A&M Aggies at Auburn Tigers
Why it was included: Auburn is terrible and their fans are irrational and crazy. Not just the everyday ones, but the guys win money that make decisions.
Prediction: Ags 35, War Eagle 21. Auburn has no fire left, but will muster one last effort, but lose.
Reality: Ags 63, War Eagle 21. Auburn has no fire left, mustered nothing at all. Seriously. This team is done.
Everyone start getting your resumes together at Auburn, because the curtain is closing. The real question is where does Auburn turn for new coach? Iowa State? Petrino? This will be fun.
That’s it for this week. See you next week. For more nonsense follow me on Twitter @TreyMcLean.