Last week’s picks were a little more solid than the week before. I went 3-1, putting my season total at 13-7 on the year. I would like to extend a very big sarcastic “thank you” to LSU for not living up to the hype I bestowed upon them all year. I was growing more and more confident by the second as LSU was looking better and better each week. It seems that Les Miles can never get his boys to fire on all cylinders at the same time. The Tigers would probably have won a national title if they had the quarterback play the past few years that Mettenberger is giving them this year. Typically their offense struggles and their defense bails them out. It was their defense that let them down last week against the Bulldogs. They simply could not stop Georgia and Aaron Murray. I never thought I would see the day when LSU would give up 40 plus points in a showcase SEC game. I also never thought I’d see the day when Mettenberger would transform into a second round draft pick. I honestly do not know what is more of a surprise; LSU getting shredded on defense in a big game or Zack Mettenberger playing his way into a Heisman candidacy and possible NFL starter. If you disagree with the latter, I’ll say this; if no-talent, over-hyped PR boys like Brandon Weeden and Brady Quinn can get drafted and handed starting jobs, then Zack Mettenberger must be the second coming of Joe Montana. Put the kid on your top five Heisman list and if you’re a Browns or Jaguar’s fan, pay careful attention to the Zack Attack after the first round of this year’s draft.
This week is the first round of college football in October, the official start to college football. September is wasted on the best teams in the country playing crippled kids in an effort to keep unblemished records and healthy players before they enter into harsh conference games. Unless of course you play in the Big Ten, where aside from Ohio State, the entire conference is crippled. October games are different. They look different. They smell different. It’s when teams start to hit their stride and find their true identity. Mistakes in October can cost you November and beyond before trick or treat gets here. There may have been some better games played in September, but as we stated above; those games didn’t have the prestige October.
Grab your pillowcase…October is here and it’s passing out all sorts of treats…with a few tricks sprinkled in.
No. 25 Maryland at No. 8 Florida State
Don’t look now but Maryland is 4-0 this year. Actually, go ahead and look now. After this Saturday the Seminoles will have made an awfully big mess of that 4-0. This game is going to be a prison movie and for the exact reasons that sentence implies. Color me unimpressed with Maryland’s 4-0. Their out of conference schedule makes Ohio State’s look like the Buckeyes play in the NFC West. It’s nice to see that Maryland got the Big Ten’s memo about sissy out-of-conference scheduling a year before they actually joined the conference. No matter. Jamise Winston and the Noles will give them a nice parting gift on their way out of the door.
Florida State 54 Maryland 13
No. 22 Arizona State vs. Notre Dame
I really do not want to keep picking Notre Dame games, but I give credit where credit is due. Notre Dame schedules real games, aside from their relentless pursuit of the Commander and Chief trophy every year. At least you’ll never see Air Force State or Navy A&M on the Irish schedule. There, I said my one nice thing about Notre Dame this year. Now I feel icky…moving on. This game is interesting. Which Arizona State team shows up? The one that got pushed around by Stanford or the one that dropped 62 points on USC (an extremely unimpressive feat.) The Sun Devils have serious issues on defense. Giving up 40 plus points to a Lane Kiffin coached USC team is grounds for “lack of instructional control.” As the luck of the Irish would have it, Notre Dame isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with their offense. I’ll take Arizona State in this game because I have more “faith” in their offense.
Arizona State 33 Notre Dame 28
Georgia Tech at No. 14 Miami (FL)
This, my friends, is another interesting game. On one hand, you have Georgia Tech and their triple option. On the other hand you have the Miami Hurricanes; a team that already has a quality victory over the Gators this year. Defending Georgia Tech’s triple option is difficult and requires extreme discipline on the part of the defense. The Canes are traditionally not known for discipline, in any element of their program, but there is one thing that trumps even the most sound football team; Speed! Speed kills and the Canes have it in spades. Miami is inching their way back to the top of the ACC and college football all together. Miami will win this game but Georgia Tech will have their share of success on Saturday as well.
Miami 27 Ga Tech 23
No. 15 Washington at No. 5 Stanford
Most every weekend has a showcase game, welcome to this one’s. Of course this game doesn’t start until 10:30 p.m. EST, so this showcase game will end on Sunday. Not cool. Anyways, I like what Washington is doing this year. They are as balanced on offense as anyone in the country, and they play pretty darn good defense. They give up 10 points a game against what is arguably one of the very best out-of-conference schedules in the country. But is it enough to beat the Cardinals? Washington has played some good teams but none as physical as Stanford. Stanford’s defense ain’t too shabby either. I still maintain that you can beat Stanford by loading the box and stopping the run. You just need a team with corners that can cover and a defensive line that can win the line of scrimmage. I think Washington has that defense. For the second time in three weeks I am picking against Stanford. I just hope the Huskers back up my confidence in them with results.
Washington 28 Stanford 25