Badger QB RFr Graham Mertz has the game of a lifetime in his first start, comes down with the COVID, then the whole program shutters for a time.
Southern Miss fired Jay Hopson after an opening game L to South Alabama, naming Scotty Walden interim coach. Then Walden catches the COVID, then announces he’s exiting Hattiesburg — right in the middle of the season — to coach FCS Austin Peay. After sufficiently quarantining we have to hope.
What. Is. Going. On?
Meanwhile I was 3 up, 2 down last time out. Coastal Carolina, Ohio State and Louisville won. Iowa State and UK lost.
On the season, 23-18-3.
This week’s picks:
Indiana @ Rutgers. So, lets’ just start with what is The Marquis Game in the B10 this weekend, between a couple undefeateds, winner to sit atop the league standings. In his second stint in New Brunswick, Greg Schiano has generated the most pigskin excitement in the Garden State since Paul Robeson was a Scarlet Knight. An opening weekend W over Sparty has cranked it to 11. Meanwhile in Bloomington, they’re thinking a return to the Gonso to Isenbarger days. Michael Penix Jr. hopes to emulate his QB idol Teddy Bridgewater on Saturday. And he will. Hoosiers.
Memphis State @ Cincinnati. In what was surely a sweet break for your inveterate predictor, the Bearcats battle against Tulsa was postponed a couple weekends ago. I was going to pick the Golden Hurricane, and that surely would have been a mistake. 3-0 Cincy looked better than expected last weekend in a W over South Florida. The O seems to be catching up to Luke Fickell’s vaunted D. Memphis State is a pretty decnt team, with a W over Central Florida. But the Tigers shall fall as Cincy strives to endeavor to keep its name in the playoff conversation.
LSU @ Auburn. It’s just difficult for me to take seriously any team with Bo Pelini on the coaching staff. In the season opener, his D made Mississippi State look like the Next Big Thing. Leach’s team hasn’t won since. Auburn’s season has been similarly discombobulated. Loss to the Gamecocks. Victory in Oxford. Who knows? Not me, really, which makes me wonder why I ever included this game in this weekly endeavor? When in doubt, go with the homies. War Eagles.
Georgia @ Kentucky. Somewhere along the way when mentioning the Wildcats lame offensive effort at Mizzou, I used the word moribund. Have no idea where that came from, since I’m sure I’ve never uttered the word in my life. But lacking in vitality is what UK had on display. Such that Mark Stoops has opened up the QB position. The Bulldogs were thrashed in Tuscaloosa last weekend. It’s Get Back on Track Time for UGa. Cats get outSmarted.
Virginia Tech @ Louisville. The Hokies were upset last weekend in Winston Salem, allowing a rookie walk on to pilfer three VT passes. I never like it when my team’s foe loses the weekend before they play the Cards. Yet, here we are. Meanwhile U of L has come up huge two weeks in a row after a passel of stagnant efforts. Will Tech bounce back? Will the Cardinals continue their uptick on home turf? Yes for the good guys. Cardinals.
— c d kaplan