Yeah, Cal’s Golden Bears beat Ole Miss. Send those Southern kids out to Cali and their eyes get dazed and knees wobbly. And Florida increased the Fahrenheit on Butch Jone’s hot seat with that last second prayer. So, those were my Ws.
But I had the Bruins. And I had no faith in the Cats, who took a big punch to the kisser right after the opening bell, but stayed strong and have now bested the Gamecocks four times in a row. As for U of L, feh. You can read my take here.
Which tallies up to a 2-3 weekend, lowering my still reasonably passable season record to 12-8.
I may be down, but not out. Thus I forge ahead undaunted.
Here are five sure winners this weekend:
Mississippi State @ Georgia. While ringing up 37 on the scoreboard, the Cowbells held LSU to a TD and point after last weekend. There’s a new D coordinator in Starkville, who apparently, at least at first blush, seems to know what he’s doing. What’s his name. Oh yeah, Todd Grantham. Didn’t he use to be the DC at . . . oh never mind. Anyway, at 3-0 (1-0), the Maroon Bulldogs sit atop the SEC West. Lofty spot, even if it is early. Meanwhile the Red Bulldogs are also undefeated with a win in South Bend, which is always invigorating but hardly the accomplishment it once was. Kirby Smart’s doing it with a frosh QB no less. So, yeah, it’s another ho hum Top 20 battle in the insufferable SEC. The homies are almost a TD fave. But, looking for some breakout of the slump props, given my less than overwhelming start to the season, I’m looking for a shocker between the hedges. More Cowbell.
Michigan @ Purdue. Have the faithful in Lafayette fallen in love with the Brohm clan, or what? Or what!!! Despite that opening L in Lucas Oil, the Boilermakers have looked ready for a steady climb to relevance since the season commenced. Jeff Brohm is looking like The Next Great Offensive Coach more and more each week. What impressed me most about the Wolverines W over the Fly Boys were their classic unis. Love ’em or hate ’em, those maize and blue duds and those unique helmets are the most stylin’ in the game. Other than that, Coach Khaki’s victory was, well, workmanlike. Now Michigan heads to pumped up NW Indiana for its first real road test of the campaign. Are the Boilermakers ready already to bust a move upward in the B10? I wish I could say yeah, and hope I’m wrong, but they’re still a season or two and a recruiting class or two away. Blue.
TCU @ Oklahoma State. Well, all of a sudden, and it’s about time isn’t it, the B12 is back in the Final Four conversation. The nation’s wags are actually riffing on some quality pigskin in the Heartland instead of the lack of D and lack of championship. The conference plays a legit round robin, so the two best schools will compete for the crown, even though they might end up a win apiece. The Cowboys are putting up some dazzling numbers, such that we’ve almost forgotten that their coach wears his hair in a mullet. Hopefully it’s just PR. Mason Rudolph is right there in the Heisman chatter. And the Orange are averaging over 50 ppg and 600 ypg. Glossy. Meanwhile the Horned Frogs QB Kenny Hill — Didn’t he used to play somewhere else? — is looking mighty fine his own self. And Gary Patterson’s D is starting to again look like Gary Patterson’s D, and at 3-0 the Purples are rebounding as expected from last season’s stunning 6-7 campaign. Both undefeated squads look legit. Okie State looks legitimater. And they’re playing in the friendly confines of T. Boone Pickens’ pasture.
Florida @ Kentucky. The Wildcats, with a solid victory over the Gamecocks after taking a punch in the solar plexis early, are beginning to appear to look like they might actually be misunderestimated as a contender in the SEC East. Mark Stoops still appears as if he doesn’t have a clue on the sideline, but there’s a possibility it might be deceiving. The Gators pulled one out of their bum last time out, with that Hail Mary against the Vols. In a game that was punchless until the 4th Q. Folks in the Bluegrass are saying Kroger Stadium might be as full as the grocery on Senior Day for this hoped for season enhancing encounter. Is Kentucky really ready to be considered to have a shot in its division? Will the Gators W last weekend settle in their neophyte QB for more consistency? (That’s an awkward sentence, but I’m too lazy to rework it.) Will Florida’s suspended stars remain MIA? A flip of the coin goes to the Wildcats.
Kent State @ Louisville. How interesting that in his weekly Monday press conference, Bobby P talked about how his Cards didn’t think they could win last weekend, how they failed to perform as expected, how the team isn’t where he though they were . . . but . . . shouldered none of the blame himself. I inquired of a local scribe who was there, whether Petrino’s comments had any inflection of mea culpa? “No,” I was advised, “he threw everybody else under the bus.” Despite the reality that taciturn BP is never going to fire up the troops with the Knute Rockneish equivalent of “Win one for the Gipper,” one has to believe the Cards believe they can beat the 1-2 Golden Flashes, who scored but a FG against Clemson while surrendering 53. (Dabo Swinney is a lot nicer guy than Penn State’s James Franklin.) Kent State was skunked by Marshall last week, 3 TDs to nil. The Cards will prevail in the first of two consecutive ho hummers at home, where the rest of the schedule is about as enticing as the new Darren Aronofsky flick.
— Seedy K