Hmmm, well, it seems like Utah’s Utes couldn’t even wait until Halloween to prove it’s more trick than treat, and thus abdicated its spot as college football’s Flavor of the Month a full week before the calendar flipped to November.
What’s more important, frankly, in wake of their loss to Southern Cal, than Utah’s immediate disappearance from any Final Four discussion, is that the defeat kept the kid from his first perfecto weekend of this ’15 campaign.
Memphis, Texas, Mississippi State and U of L all did their part in reestablishing my props. But, I guess I, like many other pundits, I/we was/were higher on Utah than I/we shoulda been.
So, be it. The 4 out of 5 success has me heading into Week IX with 23 correct predictions against 17 misses.
But, I’ve got a feeling, now that I’m back on my game, that it’s time to run the table.
This week’s picks:
Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville). For the 20th consecutive season, Jacksonville will host what has come to be known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Who am I to disagree? (Though I haven’t personally partaken in the festivities, or attended the football game around which the partay is centered.) Bulldog coach Mark Richt’s name keeps popping up in connection with the vacancy at South Carolina. Which makes sense since the Peach Staters are just about fed up with underachievement. Considered a legit Final Four contenda this year, UGa has dropped two of its last three, giving up 38 points to both Bama and the Vols, then eked out a 9-6 W at home over mediocre Mizzou. Plus last season at this very same drunkfest, Georgia lost to a Florida squad so inept, it cost its coach his job. Under first year mentor Jim McElwain, the Gators are back. Their only blemish was in Baton Rouge by a TD, which is nothing to be ashamed of. By the end of this Saturday soiree, Richt will be closer to moving on than ever.
Notre Dame @ Temple. Roll out the cheesesteaks, and welcome to Philly, College Game Day. Notre Dame’s media darlings will be in town to battle surprising 7-0 Temple. (I daresay, famous Owl alum Bill Cosby will not be joining Corso et al on the pre-game show.) The Owls, along with conference cohorts Houston and Memphis State, both also undefeated, stand at the top of the list of this season’s surprises. Their clean slate includes a W over Penn State, whose only other L is to the Buckeyes. After 2-10 and 6-6 campaigns, Matt Rhule has his team hummin’ and bowl bound. And determined to get that W this Saturday that affirms it newfound status. The Irish, despite some key injuries, have been as good as expected. That L to Clemson is the only blemish on their record. Oh how I want to give a big hoot, to say Temple shall prevail, but my gut tells me ND. I won’t cry if I’m wrong.
Louisiana (Monroe) @ Louisiana (Lafayette). Why on earth, you are probably asking yourself, am I picking a winner in this game? Legit Q. Correct A: I just don’t really know, to be honest about it. Maybe it’s because I love the state and am obsessed with its culture, especially the music. And, oh, the food. Maybe it’s because it’s the time of year when I start to think about JazzFest, and my annual trek to New Orleans, which is only six months away. And, as you can tell, none of those have anything to do with either of these schools’ footballs teams. Both of which have been underwhelming. Lafayette is 2-4. Monroe, 1-6. In that I have no other knowledge, and really no interest, I’m going with the Ragin’ Cajuns. And, allow me to apologize for the 90 seconds you just spent reading this paragraph, which time you won’t be able to retrieve.
Tennessee @ Kentucky. Last year, in Knoxville, UK held an early 3-0 lead. Then gave up 30 consecutive points, eventually succumbing, 50-16. Both schools are in rebound mode. But, even with three Ls in its last 4 games, the Vols seem closer to turning the proverbial corner than the Cats. They seemed oh so close last time out, losing by 5 to Roll Tide. Kentucky is 4-3, third in SEC East, and is getting better by the year. If not by the week. The Cats have dropped two in a row. And things look eerily like last year, when they stood 5-1, then lost their last six. This used to be the season ender for Kentucky. And it might feel like it after losing Saturday, even though they’ve got four left to play afterward.
Louisville @ Wake Forest. There are a few Power 5 schools, whose football fortunes these days are hard to figure out. They used to be pretty good, but now are simply mired in mediocrity. Purdue comes immediately to mind. So too, Wake Forest, which as recently as 2007 was the ACC’s rep in the Orange Bowl. (Where it lost to the Petrino I Cards, 24-13.) WF has ugly uniforms. Not much of a following. And a dumbfounding, oxymoronic nickname, Demon Deacons. Plus WF has lost four of five, the only W, a scintillating 3 nil nailbiter at Boston College. Louisville remains an enigma. One week, its D looks as good as any, after a week when it tackled like the St. Basilica Crusaders in the Parochial League. One week the O is on, Lamar Jackson looks like the next Teddy B. The next week, O is off and LJ looks too lost. Inconsistency be damned, the Cards will stand at .500, when the sun rises Saturday.
— Seedy K