I missed the first half of games due to prior commitments, but here we go:
- Way to go Florida State, Clemson, Alabama, Wisconsin, and South Carolina. Your wins surely erase all the concerns that cost (or almost cost) you wins against Oklahoma State (W), Georgia (L), LSU (L), and TAMU (L). Moral: you still have a lot of proving to do.
- Notre Dame looks pretty darn good. Maybe it was Lou Holtz’s pep talk? Either way, they are starting off with a bang.
- Other historic programs aren’t doing so well. Texas is looking pretty weak in the beginning of the Charlie strong project. Don’t worry Aggie fans, y’all are the team in the state right now.
- I don’t know what I can take away from USC’s win over Stanford. Both teams looked uncharacteristically sloppy. Stanford is typically the well-oiled 4.0 ypc machine. USC is still juiced with talent despite a coaching change. Chalk it up to a rivalry game and move on to next week.
- Nebraska, you’re on the watch list along with FSU, Clemson, Alabama, Wisconsin, and USC East…except much more so. Sparty is looking to retain the Big 10 crown, and you’re not exactly making an early season case.
- Speaking of Michigan State…their game against Oregon was a hell of a game to watch. A true heavyweight bout with potential knock out punches going back and forth, but two busted seam plays gave Oregon critical long distance touchdowns through the air. Oregon also showed a lot of grit after Michigan State rallied ahead by 9 early in the third quarter.
- I don’t know what is wrong with Washington, but if Chris Peterson doesn’t start earning his money, the Huskies could be in for a hell of a letdown. Their point differential against Hawaii and Eastern Washington combined was EIGHT.
- Washington State…I just don’t know. It’s gonna be a tough year unless they can beat some strong Pac-12 teams.
- Ohio State looks pretty bad. I don’t think Virginia Tech is THAT good. Better luck next year, enjoy the Outback Bowl (if that).
- UCLA TBA. I assume it will be a drubbing on their part.
My Top Four (plus two bubble teams)
3) Texas A&M
6) Florida State
This (I am pretty sure) would mean:
(3) Texas A&M @ (2) Oregon
Prediction: Oregon 52 – Texas A&M 42
I feel that Oregon proved it can go toe-to-toe with a smashmouth defense (at full health) and rally against said defense after getting hit in the mouth (scored 28 straight points after MSU scored 20 straight). Texas A&M is going to be a powerhouse for years to come, but Mariota and the gang have the experience on their side.
(4) LSU @ (1) Georgia
Prediction: Georgia 31 – LSU 14
I can’t justify this score prediction, but LSU didn’t impress me against Wisconsin. Wisconsin seemed to lose grasp on the game versus LSU climbing back into it. Georgia, however, stomped Clemson (despite Clemson losing Boyd and Watkins over the offseason, I still view them as a good team).
With Georgia-LSU being a likely SEC Championship rematch, they’ll probably be picked to play in the Sugar Bowl. Oregon having a strong California draw along with Texas A&M being the closest team of the other three to LA, it will likely be the Rose Bowl game.
This leads to the National Championship game at Jerry World:
(2) Oregon @ (1) Georgia
I can’t really pick a score here…but if this game were to happen this week I’d say Georgia eeks out a win in overtime. If this game were played in a vacuum, I’d pick Oregon every time. But with injuries, I feel like Oregon is going to get beat up on their road to the playoff (Stanford, UCLA, and either UCLA or USC for the P12 Championship, along with the predicted game against a vaunted TAMU defense).
These are my thoughts, and I am sticking to them.