The Red River Shootout – Or Rivalry, if You Prefer – Headlines This Week’s Games, Which Also Includes the Battered Gators Facing Another SEC National Title Contender
Before the Pigskin Prognosticator gets into this week’s games, he is going to start with the Quote of the Year in college football. It comes from Colorado tight end Matt Hahr, explaining what he was told about himself after first-year Colorado coach Jon Embree asked the Ohio State coaches to evaluate the Buffalo players after those two teams played: “I’m not a great route runner and I don’t need to be covered very well because I’ll probably drop the ball.”
Cal at Oregon, Thursday night (9 p.m., ET). Last year, Cal went all SEC on Oregon, holding the Ducks to one touchdown before going “all Cal” and losing the game on an illegal motion penalty. On the field goal kicker. Oregon won 15-13. This year, Cal had to go to overtime to beat Colorado. Winner: Oregon.
Texas vs. OU in Dallas for the Red River Shootout (Noon). This is a great road trip for any college football fan. It’s a huge party, part of the Texas State Fair. Thank goodness the “Big” 12 held together to keep this great college football rivalry together. Too many rivalries are going to disappear with conference expansions. As far as the game toes, Texas will make it interesting, at least until the Bloody Mary bar is done. Winner: Oklahoma.
Florida at LSU (3:30 p.m.). Pity the teams in the SEC. Florida had to play arguably the best team in the country last week (Alabama, getting flattened in the process) and now has to go on the road to play arguably the best team in the country. LSU certainly has observed what the Tide did to super speedsters Rainey and Demps (combined 14 rushes, 8 yards) and says, “hmm, we can do that, too!” There’s a quarterback controversy brewing in the Red Baton but it won’t come into play this week. Winner: LSU.
Miami at Virginia Tech (3:30 p.m.). The Hokies scored three points in losing at home to Clemson last week and Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer blamed the band for costing his team a touchdown! They were too loud, he said, and caused the offense to jump offside. Well, that’s music to the Canes’ ears. Winner: Miami.
Auburn at Arkansas, (7 p.m.). Auburn is a cat with 9 lives. Or more than 9. Steve “Not So Superior Against Auburn” pulls a Dennis Erickson last week and uses horrible clock management to cost his team the chance at a tying field goal. This is Planegate; several years ago Bobby Petrino stabbed his mentor Tommy Tubberville in the back by quietly accepting the Auburn job before it was available; several Auburn people went on a plane to bring him back from Louisville even though the man who gave Petrino his start (Tubberville) was still at Auburn. Needless to say, things got messy. Now Petrino is at Arkansas. Now the Tigers go to high-scoring Hogville, so just lean back with some beers and watch the scoring in this one. Yes, the SEC plays defense but these two teams will make it look like a Pac-12 game. Winner: Arkansas.
Georgia at Tennessee (7 p.m.) The Mark Richt Survival Tour continues with this game in Knoxville. After playing like dogs the first two weeks, Georgia is now typically playing like Dawgs. It will go back to being dogs again, but not until Florida. Watch this for, if nothing else, the start for the “splitting of the ‘T’ “ at Neyland Stadium, one of college football’s best pre-game activities. Winner: Georgia.
Ohio State at Nebraska (8 p.m.). Back in the spring, this had BIG GAME written all over it. But now Nebraska has been badgered by Wisconsin – causing Bo Pelini to scream at another player and even refuse a halftime interview with ESPN’s Erin Andrews – and Ohio State is suddenly pathetic. Its offensive line is one of the worst in school history, the play calling does not take that into consideration and thee players expected to return from Tattoogate are suspended for at least another game for getting paid to “work” a summer job. That school is out of control. And USC gets hammered by the NCAA for one player! Winner: Nebraska.
Washington State at UCLA (10:30 p.m.) Could UCLA actually lose this game? It sure can. For starters, the Bruins have three injured players in the secondary who may not play and Washington State runs a lot of four-receiver sets. Plus, the Cougars are not as horrible as they have been in the past. If it happens, the heat on Slick Rick picks up considerably. He’s already starting to melt, getting testy with the media with regard to injury reports. Last week, he said some players were a “game time decision,” and they didn’t even make the trip to Stanford. That’s a sign of a coach beginning to lose it. Winner: UCLA.
Off: USC. The Trojans take the week off this week before going to Cal – well, sort of, the game is in the San Francisco Giants ballpark and forget about a Bay Area short weekend road trip because it’s on a Thursday – so Lane Kiffin announced he would take a couple of days this week “figuring out our deficiencies and getting better at those.” Well, Kiffin’s Trojans are pretty good at these deficiencies, and if they get any better at them they may not be able to beat anyone on the rest of the schedule: Coaching, discipline, poor tackling, poor pass defending and in-game adjustments.