Thanks to the divine, full spectrum guidance of patron saint ROY G BIV, the Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii secured a waning moments W at UMass. Thus making for as satsifying a return trip to Diamond Head as there can be stuck in coach on a plane for 5100 miles.
Not to mention the victory secured as peerless an opening foray as yours truly could have hoped for. Along with wins by the Cougars, Bulls, Rams and The Cardinal, the kid started the season 5-0, prediction wise.
While I would like to boast ad nauseum, to be honest, last week’s meager slate of battles was hardly what could be termed a severe test of prognosticatory prowess.
A boffo schedule this coming weekend provides a legitimate chance to yet again prove my mettle. Thus I shall cut short the verbosity, and get right to it.
This week’s winners in five huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge games:
Texas A&M @ UCLA. Call it the Dead Man Walking Bowl. Because all the pundits paying attention to such matters have both the Aggies’ Kevin Sumlin and the Bruins’ Jim Mora on college pigskin’s most endangered list. The loser of this struggle will surely vault to the top of that dubious contingent. (Unless, of course, the Fighting Irish fall to Temple’s Owls under the watchful eyes of TD Jesus as an umpteen point fave. In which case, Brian Kelly would be wise to consider renting a U Haul and getting some moving boxes for his belongings.) The Westowoodites followed a lackluster 8-5 ’15 campaign with an atrocious 4-8 effort last season. One assumes former wünderkind QB Josh Rosen has lightened up his class schedule in hopes of having enough quality football time to lead his team as he was heralded to do when matriculating. Even with 12 men, A&M has finished poorly late in a trio of 8-5 seasons in a row. But the Aggies have been fast out of the gate, winning their first five in ’14 and ’15, and first six last year. Which is why I’m going with the quick off the mark visitors, winners of five straight road openers, in a mild upset.
Michigan vs. Florida (Jerry World). I thought about Coach Khaki as we were handed out U of L game notes at Bobby Petrino’s presser Monday. No Cardinal depth chart. But there was at least a roster list, which is more than the ever unctuous Harbaugh has provided. Which situation his opening week counterpart Jim McElwain was at least able to joke about. SEC pigskin mentors aren’t generally known for their ability to find humor in any matter. Though the Gators were scalded by Bama in the league title game last year, they finished by throttling Iowa, 30-3 in the Outback Bowl. Bloomin’ Onions all around. Those very same Hawkeyes upended the Wolverines in Big 10 play. Hmm. Florida has a triumvirate of signal callers to choose from. And all three might get to compete in Arlington. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, since I loathe the Michigan mentor so, but I’m thinking one at least will git ‘er done. Gators outgnaw Wolverines.
Alabama vs. Florida State (Atlanta). Could it be that this is indeed the GOOAT? Greatest. Opener. Of. All. Time. C’est possible. Both are odds on for the Final Four. Both have long and storied histories. Both have coaches at the very top of the game. Both rosters are filled wth ****s and *****s. These two elite of the elite programs haven’t met on the gridiron for over three decades. If only Chris Schenkel were back to give the game even more gravity. Herbie will have to suffice. Will Jalen Hurts thrive under OC Brian Dabol? Is his counterpart for the Seminoles, QB Deondre Francois, ready to prove Jimbo was right to recruit him over that other QB from Florida, Lamar Jackson? The Tide has won its last five neutral site openers against stellar foes by 46, 18, 10, 25 and 27. But Florida State got it going late last season, winning 7 of their last 8. Picking my 3d upset in a row, I say Best o’ ACC tops Best o’ SEC.
Kentucky @ Southern Mississippi. What an oddity this one is. When was the last time a school from the vaunted Southeastern Conference ventured to play a directional school on the latter’s home turf to open a season? Or, anytime? I actually don’t know. Feel free to research it and send me a note. Recall if you will how last year’s opening encounter by these schools played out. The Cats went up 35-10. Then gave up 34 straight points while posting a goose egg after the halftime show. Suffice it to say, UK has pay back on its mind. UK finally showed a pulse late last year for the first time in the Stoops Era. Hope for a legit turn around — something more than a bowl eligible 7-6 — springs you know what. The Golden Eagles don’t appear to have enough to hold off their revenge minded opening foe. Unless homie Bret Favre suits up. He won’t. Wildcats.
Louisville vs. Purdue (Lucas Oil Stadium). OK, visualize you’re watching “Pardon the Interruption,” and Kornheiser and Wilbon are about to play their fill in the blank game, “What’s the Word?” “It is _______ for Jeff Brohm to have his first game at Purdue against Louisville.” Tony: “Incestuous. At his press conference Monday, Louisville coach Bobby Petrino mentioned how the whole Purdue staff had been at his kid’s wedding this summer. Brohm and his assistants just about all have deep connections with the Cardinals, the city of Louisville or Petrino or some combination thereof. The game was scheduled years ago and is on national TV. Otherwise, my guess is Brohm might have tried to postpone it for an easier, less familiar opening foe.” Michael: “Perilous. U of L finished last season with three straight losses, including to arch rival Kentucky. They are ready to prove that was not a trend. There’s a new offensive line coach, so Heisman winner Lamar Jackson will certainly have better protection. Plus he’s stronger, faster and more mature than he was last year.” Offensive whiz that he is, Brohm will learn from the get go that to win at this level you need D too. He has neither yet. U of L wins, eased down the stretch.
— Seedy K