The proof, to coin a phrase, is in the proverbial pudding.
Tennessee, Pitt, Ohio, Florida and Louisville all won. Just as yours truly advised they would last week in this very space.
It was also a weekend which, strange as it sounds given how Kentucky spit out the bit in Gainesville, should provide some reason to smile a bit for UK fans. Watching way more of the Ohio Bobcats victory over Kansas than any human who savors good health should have, it became obvious that Kansas is easily the worst Power 5 team in the land.
So, Kentucky Wildcat fans, you got that goin’ for you. Which is nice.
Anyway, 5-0 for the weekend puts me at 7-3 for the young season, and raring to go again.
This week’s winners:
Alabama @ Ole Miss. Among the many curiosities of the last two seasons is that Alabama, with Final Four appearances both campaigns and a national title, has lost twice in a row to the Johnny Rebs. 23-17 in Oxford two seasons back, and 43-37 last year in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban’s distress notwithstanding, the Crimson Tide are rolling again this season. No surprise really. Self proclaimed Draft Guru Mel Kiper lists five Bama players as the best in the country at their position. Meaning almost a quarter of the All-American team wears houndstooth. Ole Miss is, as we know, not bereft of some of the best pigskinners money can buy. But, have they enough to make it a threepeat? Uh. I. Don’t. Think. So.
Ohio State @ Oklahoma. Talk about a matchup of malevolent Pigskin Royalty, this is Richard III vs. Ivan the Terrible. The last time the Buckeyes journeyed to tornado alley, their coach was Earl Bruce, and they defeated the triple option of Barry Switzer. Pope Urban’s charges are out of the gate, trampling Bowling Green and Tulsa. To gain some insight on the Sooners, It is said he’s chatted up former assistant Tom Herman, whose Houston Cougars bested Ooooooooooooklahoma opening weekend. Advantage: Ohio State. But Oklahoma’s season will be down the tubes, should they be 1-2 after Saturday’s battle. The game is in Norman. Advantage: Oklahoma. On a hunch, home field prevails. Boomer Sooner.
Michigan State @ Notre Dame. Sparty opened with a mediocre how’dthathappen 28-13 escape over Furman. Then, in an odd scheduling situation, had Week II off. So one must suppose the Green will be frothing at the mouth and ready to go. During its last visit to NW Indiana in’13, State lost its only game in a 13-1 Big Ten title season. Since they get the Badgers, Buckeyes and Wolverines in East Lansing, this is their last serious road test of the year. Now that ND coach Brian Kelly knows what every football fan in the country already knew — DeShone Kizer is his QB — the Irish are ready to make a mark after that opening week L in Austin. Plagued with injuries last year, the healthier Irish are looking to make the Final Four this season. Though the Spartans have a way in recent times to sneak up and win one when it doesn’t seem to be in the cards, I don’t see it happening this week. TD Jesus is smiling at the final buzzer.
New Mexico State @ Kentucky. Thanks to some deft scheduling, Kentucky has finally met a match. The Cats won five last year. The Aggies have won five over the last two seasons, the first two of ’14, followed by a 17 game losing streak before winning three in a row last year. They’ve already trumped the Cats this season, upending cross-state rival New Mexico 32-31 last week. Despite all that, Kentucky is a significant favorite to nab its first W of the year come Saturday. One can only surmise the folks in Vegas have been paying zero attention to UK. If Kentucky loses this one, it won’t take Mitch Barnhart long to collect the $12 mill he needs to buy out Mark Stoops. Cat fans from Prestonsburg to the Pennyrile will be cracking open their piggy banks to contribute to the worthy cause. Though I haven’t a scintilla of faith in Stoops or his Wildcats, many of whom did indeed quit last week, it’s impossible to conceive they’d lose this one. A wobbly vote for UK.
Florida State @ Louisville. It’s pretty damn neat that The World Wide Leader has stamped its imprimatur on U of L football by bringing Game Day to town, and choosing its premier announcing team to call the noon kickoff. But is it too much, too soon for a team that’s still untested and coalescing? Lamar Jackson is without a doubt the nation’s Flavor of the Moment. His capacity to stay focused on the real task will be tested this week, what with all the folderol afoot. Florida State is legit, ranked #2 and is a perennial power that’s been here done that many times through the last few decades. The Seminoles are experienced with 16 starters and 57 lettermen back. Safety supreme Derwin James is out, but it’s not a fatal flaw. The Cards are a slight underdog, and have the ability to win if they show the wherewithal. Which means LJ stays cool, the OL protects and opens holes, the LBs corral Dalvin Cook and the secondary bamboozles frosh QB Deondre Francois with stuff he’s never seen. You know where I’m going. I rarely pick against the Cards. And won’t this time. Bobby Petrino figures out a way, and the Cards follow that script.
— Seedy K