If I’m not anything else, at least I’m consistent as I went 5/7 for the second week in a row. It’s not the perfection I’m striving for, but it’s an honest living – a nice blue collar prediction series. Now, don’t focus on the 2 games I missed, but rather look at what the college football deities gifted us on what looked to be a stale slate of games. In what the layman thought would be slow, boring, and uneventful brought us upsets, over time games, and *double checks the stat* 61-yard game winning field goals.
Last week’s results
• 5/7 correct
• 19/28 for the year
o Surprise: Alabama looked lethargic and unexcitable in what should have been a blowout away game at South Florida but ended up being a low scoring bout. Alabama didn’t pull away until about halfway through the 4th quarter, but I’m most disappointed in the “response” from the players throughout the game. This game may have gone down in the win column, but it was anything but that for this team on the field. They have some work to do to save this season…
o Best game: Colorado vs Colorado St. was by far the most exciting game of the weekend. It had everything – bad blood, big plays, lead changes, 2-minute drives, come backs, controversial plays, and over time! The only thing this game was missing was a good time slot…I’d be lying if I said I watched this game live (having two kids under 3 doesn’t really bode well with staying up ‘til 2:30 in the morning.
o Disappointment: Tennessee. The Volunteers entered 2023 with a lot of promise, but just got out physicaled by a Gators squad that has been mildly inconsistent this year. I guess Florida just proved to us that you don’t make conclusions after week 1. Tennessee must fix their defense if they’re going to survive their schedule – good news for them, it’s only week 3.
Now to this week’s slate.
(4) Florida St. at Clemson
This is the only matchup that I’m discussing where both teams aren’t ranked. However, this is not a biased decision as this game will be highlighted by just about every college football fan at the noon spot. Clemson tripped out of the gate against Duke, but the scoreboard doesn’t tell all as the offense moved the ball up and down the field, but drives were stopped (7) times by turnovers (2 fumbles, 1 interception, 2 turnover on downs, 2 blocked field goals). They then continued the turnover trend against FCS Charleston Southern in the first half by turning the ball over twice (1 fumble 1 pick six) before righting the ship in the second half. Last week was Clemson’s cleanest game against FAU with only (1) turnover (muffed punt) and it happened to be Florida St.’s worst week. The Seminoles eked out a win in Chestnut Hill 31-29, but they struggled defensively. This could be the anomaly, or this could be what we should expect from Florida St. – score 30+ points a game and do just enough defensively to win. I think this game will be the true measuring stick as to what these two teams are, and I think we may see a Clemson team that is much better than what we saw in weeks 1 and 2 and a much more “down to earth” Florida St. team. *DISCLAIMER please sit down and take a deep breath before reading my score prediction. *
Clemson 41 Florida St. 31
(22) UCLA at (11) Utah
Utah and UCLA are built completely different – one is built for finesse, the other, brute strength. The age-old competitors of strength and speed will go toe to toe in Utah, which I think will be the difference. The little old Bruins from Pasadena will hike over to Sack Lake City and if they can control the tempo of the game, they’ll have a shot. However, I don’t think they will.
Utah 31 UCLA 21
(19) Colorado at (10) Oregon
I know I’ve been Rocky Mountain High on the Bufs since the preseason and I think they are a good, not great football team and I think that’ll be proven on Saturday (and next Saturday). Travis Hunter being out in this game hurts, BUT I don’t think it makes a difference. I believe Oregon takes care of business this weekend and sends the Bufs and their Louis bags packin’.
Oregon 41 Colorado 28
(15) Ole Miss at (13) Alabama
Alabama looked capital cursive “A” awful last Saturday (see “surprise” segment above) against USF. However, look for Jalen Milroe to return to the helm this weekend and be on a revenge tour against a middle of the road Rebel defense. I think Ole Miss hangs around the first half, but the Tide will roll in the end.
Alabama 28 Ole Miss 17
(14) Oregon St. at (21) Washington St.
DJ Uiagalelei has returned to his inconsistent play as he struggled mightily against San Diego St. last Saturday (48% completion percentage). That may work against the Aztecs, but I think an emerging Cameron Ward and Wazzu Crew will take advantage of this. Look for the Cougars to build a dam on the Beavers’ season.
Washington St. 33 Oregon St. 20
(24) Iowa at (7) Penn St.
I think this game can go only one of two ways – either it’s a nailbiter that comes down to the last play or Penn St. absolutely boat races Iowa in Happy Valley. I see that there’s potential for monsoon levels of rain and normally that would benefit Iowa. However, Penn St.’s run game might be the strength of this team – look for the Nittany Lions to run the Hawkeye’s into the ground. NOTE: I wanted to make a joke about what Brian Ferentz said…only to find out that it was an AI generated deepfake answer.
Penn St. 26 Iowa 12
(6) Ohio St. at (9) Notre Dame
I am very excited for this game, but I have a hot take – *whispers* I think Notre Dame could win this game by double digits…and here’s why. QB play is going to play a huge role in this game and the biggest difference in the QB’s here is Notre Dame’s QB, Sam Hartman is far more established than Ohio St.’s Kyle McCord. Maybe McCord is a great QB, maybe not, but the fact that we’re asking that question makes me heavily favor the Irish in this one.
Notre Dame 37 Ohio St. 27