It’s not difficult for yours very truly to be self righteous, a character flaw to be sure.
Especially so, after a weekend like last. Not only did my team win. That would be the Louisville Cardinals, for anyone who wandered here by taking a wrong turn on Cyber Highway. As predicted, of course.
So did all the other collegiate pigskin contingents whom I advised would prevail.
Now Final Four Cincinnati. Hugely, finally impressing the Nagurskis in the the Selection Room. Also Miami. Giving their homie coach a reprieve. At least until the tryptophan kicks in. The Bruins of The University of California at Los Angeles. Over their coachless rival.
And Arch Rival down the road in a paid for a bye week ahead of its visit to The Ville.
All of which reads: Perfecto.
Five correct. Zero incorrect. Thus, I stand a shiny 41-23 for the season, heading into Rivalry Week.
This week’s winners:
Mississippi @ Mississippi State. The cheap joke would be to ask which of the second year mentors is going to end up with egg on his face? But, Cowbell State’s coach has a mind that is notoriously scrambled. While He Who Roams the Sidelines for the Johnny Rebs is certainly hard boiled. Some might say overcooked. He doesn’t come over easy. Or sunny side up. You understand, I surmise, that the battle for Magnolia State gridiron supremacy has been known since ’79 as the Egg Bowl. Wonder if that barnyard foodstuff has become a staple of Turkey Day feasts in the Delta? The Bulldogs should be tough to best in the clanking din of StarkVegas. But that trophy returns to Oxford Town for the second year in a row.
Massachusetts @ New Mexico State. There is one reason and one reason only that this game is on my slate. Because I know absolutely nothing about either school’s team. Except this. They are both entrenched denizens of the ESPN Bottom 10. Which is weekly assessment of all that is woeful in college pigskin, written by a very funny guy. The suitably snarky Ryan McGee. Whatever my mood, come Wednesday mornings in autumn, I wend my way for the latest on the worst the sport has to offer. Grins and calm always ensue. Both contingents stand 1-10. The Minutemen vanquished the only team in the land worse than this duo, UConn. The Aggies bested a BCS school, but shall nab their second W to double their victory total from their spring COVID season campaign of . . . two games.
Ohio State @ Michigan. Losers of 8 in a row. Losers of 17 of last 20. Those are the depressing numbers the nation’s largest alumni base must deal with. Making it even worse is that the Buckeyes seem to be, no, are hitting their stride. Just at the right time, as we say. Coach Khaki had to tighten his belt buckle financially to keep his gig at his alma mammy. But has done an admirable job. Which. Will. Mean. NOTHING. If the Wolverines don’t prevail in the Big House Saturday. Can they? Well, sure, they put on their pads one at a time just like THE Olentangys. Will they? That’s the $64,000,000 ?, isn’t it? Against my better judgement, I say, yes, Maize and Blue prevail. Resulting in Ann Arbor couch burnings. And Final Four Selection turmoil.
Florida @ Florida State. Because The Conference That Cares More only cared about its own last season, this annual Sunshine State tussle never came about. Probably a good thing, frankly, for the Seminoles. This one intrigues. Free Shoes University — Oh how I miss Steve Spurrier pressers — lost its first four, won three, lost two, then won its last two. Running the numbers, that means it needs to win for an extra game. The Gators are similarly situated. And are coachless to boot. Because the last guy said, “Recruiting? Recruiting? I don’t need to talk about no recruiting.” And thus was terminated. Gators get chopped.
Kentucky @ Louisville. The most surprising occurrence of Rivalry Week — Yes, even more than the Selection Committee actually recognizing that Cincy might have a really good football team — is that the U of L Cards opened as a slight favorite over Arch Rival from The Conference That Cares More. Makes me nervous, even though I’m not a betting man. Card Nation is riding high, after two smackdowns in a row. I fear they be a false positive. ‘Cuse and Duke suck. UK had a bye week, playing the aforementioned Aggies from New Mexico. It’s time for all to fall in place for the Cardinals. It doesn’t. But enough does that the Good Guys prevail.
— c d kaplan