West Virginia vs. USF – USF went to Morgantown and beat a West Virginia team that a lot of folks thought were on the fringe in the national title hunt. Now West Virginia is not only taking the same starting quarterback and running back down to Tampa, they’re taking some backups that are almost as scary. I think if USF can keep their heads screwed on straight they can make it a four-quarter game, but I don’t have any reason to expect that West Virginia won’t win.
Notre Dame vs. Purdue – Notre Dame’s defense is going to have their hands full with Curtis Painter. Through four games he’s thrown 16 touchdowns vs. just 1 interception, and he’s making 68.7% of his throws. Offensively though, we’re looking at the worst offensive unit in the country against very much a middle-of-the-road Purdue defense. Even if Notre Dame’s offense gets rolling and these two teams start trading punches, Purdue will have the last word.
Penn State vs. Illinois – Steve is predicting a close game, and I think I agree with the reasoning. Penn State will rely heavily on their defense keeping the score from getting out of the reach of what the offense is capable of against opponents not named “Florida International”. Penn State wins, and Steve if you’re wrong about this you owe me $20.
Oklahoma vs. Colorado – This is going to be every bit the rude awakening for Colorado that Arizona State was. Come up with a decent win that makes you think you’re on the right track, only to have somebody flat out destroy you the next week. Look for another 60-14 type game from Oklahoma.
Michigan State vs. Wisconsin – This may yet be the first real test for the Spartans under their new head coach. Wisconsin has been content to sneak by in close games or go to sleep for entire halves pretty much every game so far but the important thing for them is that they’ve continued to win. Michigan State might be able to keep the game close for awhile, but I think Wisconsin takes a lead into the locker room at halftime and doesn’t look back from that point on.
Kansas State vs. Texas – I think as things progress we’re seeing that what was once considered a gutsy effort that Kansas State put up in their loss at Auburn may not be as impressive now because of how badly Auburn has played in subsequent weeks. Unless they can find a way to take Colt McCoy out of the game early like they did last year, it’s going to be a long day… and there won’t be a damn thing their power towels can do to save them.
Alabama vs. Florida State – This just in… Florida State still sucks. There’s no way Alabama doesn’t win this one.
Auburn vs. Florida – Ok, Florida got scared by Ole Miss last week. On a scale of 1 to 10, that’s ridiculously inexcusable. Luckily for Florida, they have two things working in their favor. First, the game is in The Swamp. And second… Auburn’s offense just reeks. Forget everything you’ve heard about Florida’s secondary being bad this year, because with Brian Cox as the opposing quarterback it won’t even matter. Auburn’s defense may keep the score from getting out of hand, but this is still an easy game for Florida to win.
Iowa State vs. Nebraska – There’s no reason to expect Iowa State is going to beat Nebraska tomorrow, the only thing we don’t know is how many points they are going to be able to score. The problems with Nebraska’s defense are well-documented, and if you have regular exposure to the Omaha media like I do the topic has basically been beaten to death since the USC game. It didn’t make matters any better that Corey McKeon put on the sad clown act for half an hour at this week’s press conference, because that just made it look like the defense is a collection of beat-up, lethargic, listless wimps that can’t handle a little adversity. I’m comfortable with the fact that with Sam Keller as the quarterback Nebraska can win a shootout if they have to, but the simple fact that they’ve been thrust into that position with the likes of Ball State is just a touch unnerving. The defense needs to get their act together this weekend – because with Missouri coming up next Saturday, there won’t be any time for anybody to feel sorry for themselves along the way.