In a world where it costs the U.S. government 1.7¢ to produce a copper penny — because copper pennies are mostly zinc — and where every sorority on the Ole Miss campus is trying to rush Katy Perry so the bowties will start coming around again, and where they got to celebrate something in Piscataway other than Rutgers AD Julie Hermann’s latest verbal faux pas, even if it is a win over Hail to the Losers Michigan, and where four of the Top 5 teams in the land, as chosen by coaches, their SID stand ins and my fellow pundits, lost . . . in that kind of world, I shall no longer apologize for my record so far this year.
I nailed Rutgers, U of L and, yes, Wildcat fans, Kentucky correctly. I thought Tennessee was more ready for prime time but they obviously are not, and TCU not quite ready for prime time but they obviously are.
So, I went 3-2 on a college football weekend so wacked that we fans are grateful it wasn’t Owsley Orange in the Dew we were drinking to stay awake to view the Utah Killer Bees swarm the UCLA Bruins in the last upset of the weekend. I’m 16-14, two games over .500 on the year, and mighty damn proud, thank you very much.
I’ve restocked the fridge, doubled up on the chips, put Impellizzeri’s on speed dial,1 and installed a seat belt on the Barcolounger.
This weekend has the potential to be more furschlungener than last. Duke plays Georgia Tech in a football game that’s actually of consequence, TCU tests its legitimacy in Waco against Baylor, Alabama has to regroup and hope to overcome OOOOOOOOPigSoooooeey in Fayetteville against the Razorbacks, LSU Tigers hope not to be consumed by Florida’s Gators, who will be without their catalyst Treon Harris,2 Southern Cal has to travel to Arizona, Ole Miss has to shake a major hangover and journey — without lucky charm Ms. Katy — to College Station, where the Aggies hunger for a W, and Michigan and Penn State play in a game as irrelevant as any each has ever contested.
Which brings us to the games I am going to talk about. And divulge the victors thereof.
Northwestern @ Minnesota. The purple-clad Evanstonians are 1-1 against Directional Illinois Schools — A W over Western, a L against Northern — but 2-0 in the Big Ten, and atop their division. (Insert your own how-the-mighty-Big-Ten-has-fallen joke here.) The Golden Gophers stand close by, 1-0 in the league. after its victory in the Big But Abandoned House in Ann Arbor. Meaning this battle has Big Bowl Implications. Plus Minnesota coach Jerry Kill hasn’t fainted once this year. The Wildcats, fresh off a stunner against the Badgers, have emerged victorious on their last 3 journeys to Minneapolis. They’re a feisty crew and the L to Cal in the opener doesn’t look so bad in retrospect. But Minnesota’s had a week off to rest and prepare. Gooooooooooooophers.
Auburn @ Mississippi State. I’m advised by those who live within a three mile radius of the site of last weekend’s Louder Than Life Rock Festival that medical tents have been set up along River Road and Zorn for tinnitus triage. Well, ye unwitting hearing losers, you might want to avoid the Starkville locale this Saturday. Undefeated Auburn’s coming to town. The Bulldogs, undefeated themselves, are strutting high after bashing the Aggies last weekend. Their fans have the fever, and but one diagnosis. More Cowbell!!!
Is Dan Mullen’s gang finally, after several seasons of false starts, ready to really join the elite? Can they beat three Top 10 SEC teams in a row? Is Auburn capable of proving it’s a legit year in and year out national power? Don’t bother knockin’, Davis Wade’ll be rockin’. When this one is over, those upper crusters in Glenview will be deja vuing all over again. Stock up on ear plugs, kids. You’ll able to hear them cowbells all the way from the Land of Cotton.
Oregon @ UCLA. Just when the Bruins seemed to have discovered the mojo we all thought they’d carry with them throughout the year — a 62-27 thrashing of the Sun Devils in Tempe — they lost at home to the Utes. Just when Oregon seemed worthy of its uniform budget — a 46-27 thrashing of Sparty — they lost at home to Arizona, coached by Rich Rod, the guy Michigan’s muckety mucks fired to get the guy they have now. What was once going to be a playoff elimination battle is now Survival of the Fittest, loser joins Hans and Franz for an insurance company commercial. On a personal note, I need to inform that I’m tired of the Quack’s wardrobe infidelity. Not to mention that they let me and their other fans down. Every. Single. Season. This trip to southern Cali shall bring nothing but further disappointment. Bruins.
Louisiana-Monroe @ Kentucky. Some reader is sure to gig me for choosing to predict the sure win by the Cats over this Louisiana school, which is not to be confused with the one now sometimes calling itself simply Louisiana. They would be the Ragin’ Cajuns, hailing from Lafayette. But, hey, these Warhawks beat Wake Forest. Plus, this is the kind of game in which the Wildcats have wavered through the years. Including the first time the schools played, when the invaders prevailed. But that was 20 years ago, and these Cats don’t resemble that edition, nor the one from last year. The Cats are upticking, and it’s going to take another school from the Bayou, LSU, next week, to try and derail ’em. I daresay, the BBN shan’t rush the field after this W.
Louisville @ Clemson. I’ve been regaling my readers with this college pigskin predicatory exercise for a number of years now. Thinking back, I’m sure I’ve picked the Cardinals’ opponent to win. But I simply don’t recall it. It is not an easy thing to do. I’m advised U of L hasn’t been an underdog since the Sugar Bowl a couple seasons back. We all know how that turned out. But, yea, though I walk through the shadows of the valley of death, a trip to Clemson is another matter. The Tigers only losses have been to Top 10 Georgia and Florida State. Their Ws have been emphatic. They emphasize passing instead of running on O. Their frosh QB Deshaun Watson is the deal. As much as I hate to admit it, the Cards will be schooled Saturday on what it’s like to play a big league game on the road against a top quality foe. I can only hope I’m wrong.
— Seedy K