College football games of the week: Best matchups in the Top 25
For a week I thought would be fairly ho-hum with no drama, week two of college football was just the opposite. Arkansas threw up on itself, Wisconsin forgot the rules and Brett Hunley owned Nebraska, turning the top 25 upside down going into week three. More interestingness:
Week three awaits! Let's get to it!
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide at
No.8 Arkansas Razorbacks: 2:30 p.m. on CBS
The Hogs will be called. Arkansas has a chance at a national title if they can get this win. Arkansas, despite the loss of Petrino, should be favored in every game from here on out, including the season finale against LSU at home. A win Saturday launches Tyler Wilson’s Heisman campaign and puts the backs in the driver’s seat for the SEC West title.
Never mind. Thanks for nothing, Louisiana Monroe. Selfish.
No. 17 Florida Gators at Tennessee Volunteers: 5 p.m. on ESPN
This is old school hate and it’s back on the national stage. Remember Steve Spurrier railing on Peyton Manning? What about when Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin publicly accused Florida’s Urban Meyer of cheating and then taunting him about it? Fantastic stuff and I want more.
Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp look like a couple of guys who could get in a fight at happy hour, don’t they? The Gators won last week, but I think their run is over and Tennessee wins a physical, possibly ugly game in front of a rabid 100,000-plus crowd in Knoxville, eager to see the Vols beat Florida for the first time since 2004. Rocky Top 27, Gators 21.
No. 3 USC Trojans at No. 16 Stanford Cardinal: 6:30 p.m. on FOX
How many college coaches have a rap lyric about them? I know only one: Lane Kiffin. You can bet Matty Trojan remembers USC’s triple overtime loss to Andrew Luck at the Coliseum last year and is itching for some payback.
I think USC wins this fairly easily and Barkley vaults to the top of the Heisman polls. I hope Stanford wears those black uniforms again, because those are great.
No. 19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at No. 10 Michigan State Spartans: 7 p.m. on ABC
Two years ago Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio had a heart attack after this game and the overtime victory vaulted Sparty to No. 25. Now they are ranked in the top ten and are the class of the Big Ten. A win by Notre Dame and their adorable coach Brian Kelly would be statement that the Irish are back, but I like Sparty at home and their monster tailback Le’Veon Bell, who is on everyone’s Heisman radar after his big game vs. Boise State to start the year.
More of that this week. Bell rolls on, as does Sparty, 34-24.
Worst Game of the Week
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at No. 4 Oregon Ducks: 2 p.m. on Pac-12 Network
Former Tennessee All-SEC wide out Da’rick Rogers is now at Tennessee Tech. The only problem is no one else from Tennessee is there. What in the world will the Ducks wear? Maybe they will add some texture to their uniforms this week. Feathers? Pulsating lights? Clear helmets? That will be the only interesting thing about this game.
Last Week's Picks
Before this week's games get going, let's take a look at how close (or far off) I was on my Week Two picks.
No. 23 Florida Gators vs. Texas A&M
Why it was included: First A&M SEC game, Aggies are funny.
Prediction: Florida talent and athleticism will prevail, Gator ground game will take over, it will be loud, Whoop!
Reality: Florida talent and athleticism prevailed, Gator ground game took over, it was loud, Whoop!
The Aggies came out hot, but Will Muschamp’s halftime adjustments and A&M's consistent ability to blow any lead allowed the Gator offense to climb back into the game. Every third Longhorn fan at every tailgate in Austin on Saturday was doing the Gator Chop during the second half comeback. See Ags, the Horns are still thinking about you.
Texas Tech vs. Texas State
Why it was included: Tech at Texas State. When was the last time that happened?
Prediction: Tech isn’t very good, Texas State beat Houston, Texas State rises up and wins 33, Tech 31.
Reality: Texas State isn’t very good, Houston is worse, Texas State did not do any rising of any kind.
I haven’t been this wrong on a pick ever. I mean, the Reebok Incubus thinks I didn’t do enough research before picking this game. Tech picked off a pass on Texas State’s opening drive and ran it back for a score, recovered an onside kick and punched it in, and before anyone had to time to pull out the hidden flask it was 21-0 Tech. The Tuberville Farewell Tour bus is still in park.
No. 16 Oklahoma State vs. Arizona
Why it was included: A fun game during an otherwise boring weekend of college football.
Prediction: True freshman QB struggles in the desert, big crowd, Arizona with a shot to win late but lose, 34-28.
Reality: True freshman QB sort of struggled in the desert, big crowd, Arizona wins going away.
I was afraid that the 84-0 win for Oklahoma State was going to give them some false confidence, and it seems it did. True freshman Wes Lunt had a nice statistical day, setting the Big 12 freshman record with 436 yards and four touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions and OSU was flagged 15 times for 167 yards. I thought they might lose, but not by three touchdowns.
Savannah State Tigers vs. No. 7 Florida State
Why it was included: In last week’s Worst Game of the Week, Savannah State lost to Oklahoma State 84-0.
Prediction: Florida State is better than Oklahoma State, Florida State likes to score as much as Oklahoma State; this is the Worst Game of the Week.
Reality: Florida State is markedly better than Oklahoma State, Florida State did, indeed, score as much as Oklahoma State and it was, indeed, the Worst Game of the Week.
It was 55-0 when they called the game five minutes into the third quarter. The game was called due to weather. Also, it was terrible and should never have been played.