Put the Kentucky Wildcats near the top of that list. Listless in victory in their opener, such that fans left the stadium in droves to beat the gang to the parties, they were so high after their road W in Columbia, they could have flown back from South Carolina without their chartered jet.
The Michigan Harbaughs also found Week II more fun.
The flip side was Arkansas and Maryland and Oregon and, sigh, my Louisville Cardinals.
And, uh, me.
Having picked all five winners on my opening weekend slate, only Sparty, my preseason choice for #1, came through in Week II. After the 1-4 debacle, I stand 6-4 on the year. It’s still above .500, but the Nate Silver trending curve doesn’t look so good.
But I’ve purged the negativitude, and feel comfortable I’m back on my game.
Thus I provide five winners for Week III:
BYU @ UCLA. Given the religious implications of this one, call it the Kim Davis Bowl. In one corner, you have Tanner Magnum, just back from a two year mission, he is rewriting the Book of Mormon, with his last second winning TD passes in both of the Cougars’ conquests this year. And they haven’t been playing Little Sisters of the Poor either. Ws over Nebraska in Lincoln, as fallen on hard times as the Huskers have, and Boise State, are impressive. The new star for the Bruins is Jewish Josh Rosen. Adding to the religiosity of it all is that the former Bar Mitzvah’s mother is a Quaker, and he prepped at Bosco, a catholic school. All we need is Mick Huckabee to show up as line judge, and we’ll have a battle of Crusadean proportion. I don’t know what Myles Jack’s religious persuasion is, but the UCLA LB can deliver a blow that has foes seeing the God of their understanding. It’s hard for me to be objective here. But I shall. Torah triumphs. The Hebrew leads the Bruins to victory.
Northwestern @ Duke. David Cutcliffe has led the Blue Devils to unprecedented success. Yes, even more than Ye Olde Ball Coach, who made a pit stop in Durham on his way to greater successes elsewhere. Duke has played in three bowl games and the ACC title game in the last three seasons. Of course, the team lost them all, but has gone 10-4 and 9-3 the last two years, and have opened this campaign with wins over plugs, Tulane and North Carolina Central. Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats are always feisty, perennial overachievers in the B1G. Their W over Stanford in the season opener was duly noted around the land. The Purple have pushed their way into the Top 25. Because Duke is playing at home, and because hoops hasn’t started yet, excitement is swelling in KVille. To no avail. To the visitors go the spoils.
Western Kentucky @ Indiana. To be honest, I think this may be the first time I’ve paid attention to Hoosier football since Run John Run. IU’s gridiron exploits are, to be frank, of no consequence on Planet Chinstrap. That lone trip to the Rose Bowl under John Pont is generations removed from today’s reality. That said, the Crimson and Cream are thus far the equals of Ohio State and Michigan State in the B1G East, all with 2-0 records. Yes, stats can be deceiving. The Hilltoppers have eked out Ws against Vanderbilt and nemesis Louisiana Tech. Neither team plays much D. Which makes this game worthy of a look see. When the final whistle blows, WKU from the C-USA shall have a W over teams from both the SEC and B1G.
Florida @ Kentucky. It was a big year for those residing in the Dark & Bloody Ground, the last time the Wildcats bested the Gators on the gridiron. Because in that same annum, Daniel Boone repulsed the Shawnee. So the BBN was partying from Prestonsburg to the Pennyrile. It was long ago, far away. But hope is springing mightily eternal. The Cats got their first road SEC W since Aristides won the Derby. And the Gators, despite two wins over nonentities, had to take to tackling themselves to preserve the last one. The game is in newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium, which, it says here, shall be full when the game is done. For, the Cats will hang on for a nailbiter, to go 3-0.
Clemson @ Louisville. Clemson is 2-0 and a favorite to win the ACC. Louisville is 0-2 and a favorite to not become bowl eligible. The Tigers have bashed a couple of walkovers, and seek to establish their props this Thursday night at Papa J’s. Louisville’s D has been less than expected, and its O line exactly what was expected. Which is to say, mediocre . . . at best. Of course, I’m going with my heart and picking the team in black playing in front of a home crowd which has been ordered to wear black. What I’m hanging my hat on is this. Last season, if wunderkind QB Deshaun Watson hadn’t been hurt and been unable to continue in the game, U of L would have won. Won big, arguably. He couldn’t figure out U of L’s D. Todd Grantham’s guys have something to prove. Which they shall this week.
— Seedy K