Notre Dame is no longer a playah. Period. They also run. That’s it. Their Gipper tank is empty.
And besides being overrated as a coach, Brian Kelly is an insufferable schmuck.
But no, there was a swallow of Kool Aid left in the jug, so I, like a dumpkopf unwilling to learn from recent history, drank, picking the Irish to beat Georgia.
Silly me. Silly silly me.
When will I ever learn?
Were I a wiser man, I might also have determined from IU’s performance against the Buckeyes that the Hoosiers were at least better than the hapless UVa Cavaliers.
Yet the Quack, the Cards and the Wildcats all came through. Though UK’s W was far from “easy” as I projected. Meaning I got more right than wrong. Always a good thing, 3 up, 2 down, making my record 10-5 on the year. It could be worse.
As always, I forge ahead. This week’s picks:
UCLA @ Memphis State. Obviously the Power 5 schools are being forced to play more competitive games out of league early in the season, though there are plenty Krispy Kremes left for the national contenders to swallow in September. But the trend has brought about some strange cross-country matchups. Baylor @ Duke. Utah State @ Wake Forest. Okie State @ Pitt. Could it get any curioser? Well, of course it could, but it’s plenty odd. Because hoops is ever on my mind, as well as, frankly, the minds of fans of the Bruins and Tigers, this might as well be called the Gene Bartow Bowl. Josh Rosen followed up his boffo performance against the Aggies with another stellar showing against the Rainbow Warriors. He’s got 9 scoring throws on the year, no picks, and is completing almost 70% of his attempts. Yet the famous school with the hot cheerleaders — Yeah, I said it. If it bothers you, bite me — is only a small overdog here. Memphis State, from the hardly vaunted AAC, had an extra week to prepare since the Central Florida game was hurricaned out. The Tigers have visions of being this year’s BCS interloper. Their QB Riley Ferguson didn’t show up in the opener like he finished last season strong against Houston and Western Kentucky. I was going to pick the home team, but I flipped. Bruins.
Ole Miss @ California. This is another of those matchups that has me scratching my noggin’. I’ve been to Oxford Town. I’ve been to Berserkely. While the home of the Johnny Rebs is considered wacky in the context of the Magnolia State, it is nothing compared to the University of What’s Happenin’. The Golden Bears made their cross-country trek the first weekend of the season, besting the Tar Heels of Chapel Hill in an upset. Which along with its other W matches the visitors’ two victory start. Things are always a bit nutty in northern Cali, but nothing really compares to the off season turmoil of this week’s foe from the SEC. Quick, can you name the Rebels’ coach? Google couldn’t. Ask it, and the name Hugh Freeze pops up. Wrong. It’s Matt Luke. Whose counterpart Justin Wilcox is similarly unrecognizable. Which school will win? The one playing at home.
Tennessee @ Florida. It’s nice to know that neither hurricane winds nor torrential rain nor massive power outages nor millions of displaced citizens nor billions of dollars in damages gets in the way of what really matters in SEC Country. Most all of the other FCS schools in the Sunshine State have cancelled their games this weekend. Not the Gators. Some things are sacred in Gainesville, even if the Energizer Bunny himself has to come to town to power Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida’s offense was moribund in the opener against the Wolverines. While the Vols showed life late, coming from way behind against the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech. I get the feeling this might be the type of encounter even retired Verne Lundquist couldn’t make sound exciting. Which hue of Orange do I like? The one not found on Rocky Top.
Kentucky @ South Carolina. Things haven’t been quite the same in Strom Thurmond Country since The Ol’ Head Ball Coach retired. Actually Steve Spurrier at the end wasn’t doing such a great job himself. So it was goodbye two a days, Hello Augusta National. How dire is the Gamecocks’ situation? Here are the numbers: 38-45, 22-26, 10-17. Which are the losing tallies in their last three battles with this weekend’s foe, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Hmmmmmm. But South Carolina — Is it a basketball school now? — has looked good this campaign with solid Ws over NC State and Mizzou. UK not so much in their couple of sketchy wins over lessers. Mark Stoops, nice dude that he seems to be, never quite exudes confidence. Do the Cats make it four in a row? I. Don’t. Think. So.
Clemson @ Louisville. These are the numbers that scare me and they should all U of L Cardinal fans. 11. 60. The former is how many sacks the Tigers garnered last weekend against a legit SEC title contender. The latter is how many sacks Clemson has tallied since the beginning of last season, when, in case you have forgotten, it was the last school standing. Oh yeah, it’s the most by any school in the land in that time frame. So, of course, I’m worried that all the maturation we’ve observed from college football’s best player Lamar Jackson shall dissipate as he runs for his life against Dabo’s guys at Papa J’s. The Cards’ OL is better than last year. The question that shall be answered by midnight Saturday is whether that refurbished OL is good enough? And, will Malik Williams continue his rush to stardom? Does Dez Fitzpatrick have a couple more TDs available this weekend? Can Bobby Petrino finally coach ’em up and git ‘er done in a Really Big One, a Really Important One? I am skeptical. But I love the Cardinals, and I have faith. I’m answering those queries in the affirmative. Let it be written, let it be done.
— Seedy K