It’s shutdown week and at TwH we are all about keeping you informed about how this fiscal crisis will affect your Saturday afternoon:
- Army, Navy, and Air Force games
arewere at the risk of not occurring
- If you’re a member of our nation’s armed forces overseas, you may not be able to see a game
- You will not be able to visit any national parks or monuments so you might as well be a shut-in for one weekend, you outdoorsy, patriotic weirdo
- You will not be able to see Ha Ha Clinton-Dix play because he has been furloughed by the University of Alabama
- The Department of Defense has been forced to cancel their experiment in Boulder against the Oregon Ducks where the real Colorado Buffaloes were replaced by Buffalo androids to see if they could stop the Oregon offense
- Lil’ Red will not be in attendance at the Illinois – Nebraska game because of the halt in agricultural subsidies to pay for two Cornhuskers within Memorial Stadium
- “THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN MY OTHER SIGN” at College Gameday (YOU CAN DO BETTER, NORTHWESTERN)
Now that I’ve given you a small run-down on the reach of the federal government into your college football Saturdays, let’s get down to business (that’s non-profit business with little to no federal contracts, government. Please don’t shut down Saturday).
No. 12 UCLA at Utah: A late Thursday night game here on the east coast but hey, that’s what Thirsty Thursdays are for, AMIRITE? UCLA has one of the best offenses in the nation with the 12th and 13th best running and passing games, respectively. The Utes are 59th when it comes to points against in the nation with their thinnest margin of victory coming off a three point loss to an Oregon State team that is finding their groove. This game will be relatively close with the Bruins winning by six.
No. 20 Texas Tech at Kansas: The Red Raiders head to Lawrenceville to see just how bad Charlie Weis’ program is. It’s really a lesson for the team about what the rest of the Big 12 looks like outside of Oklahoma and Texas. “It’s a scary place,” says a fatherly Kliff Kingsbury as the team walk by Weis’ throne made of chicken bones.
Georgia State at No. 1 Alabama: Georgia State has yet to win a game with losses to the following: Samford, Chattanooga, West Virginia (exception), and Jacksonville State. The Crimson Tide has won four games against the following: Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, Colorado State (exception), and Ole Miss. With a line set 55.5 points in Alabama’s favor, it’s set to look like the cornfield scene in Casino.
No. 25 Maryland at No. 8 Florida State: Y’know, a Randy Edsall-coached Maryland team could very well upset Florida State. While Jameis Winston may be taking snaps, the Terps’ defense has only given up an average of 10.3 points per game. If the Seminoles are in the mood for continuing the trend established by Clemson as well as themselves in recent years, this is certainly the game to do it. I’m going for the upset pick here with Maryland winning by a singular point on a last minute field goal because I am a mind reader and PG COUNTY PLAYS LIKE THAT.
No. 7 Louisville at Temple: When will the Teddy Bridgewater hail of points end? Mayyyyyyyybeeeee against Rutgers?
No. 3 Clemson at Syracuse: Can you imagine TWO ACC upsets in one weekend? Me neither. Syracuse has allowed an average of 22 points per game this season against relatively slow moving offenses with their biggest loss (48-27) coming against Northwestern who was without both Kain Colter and Venric Mark. Against Clemson’s Chad Morris powered offense, I doubt Syracuse celebrates their first win in the ACC. I would put my money on Dabo screaming about the Tigers’ orange being superior to Syracuse’s orange before I put money on the Orangemen to win this.
No. 6 Georgia at Tennessee: I think Butch Jones is starting to realize the kind of mess that Derek Dooley left behind and where Tennessee’s program has been for the past five years. You play fourth fiddle behind Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida with no guarantee of whether or not you will beat Vanderbilt. Georgia’s average points allowed may be higher than Tennessee’s but it’s come against three top 10 opponents. The defense has also showed some signs of life with Jordan Jenkins coming into his own a little bit at the LSU game. The Dwags win again with sights set on Atlanta.
Minnesota at No. 19 Michigan: After taking the previous week off to reflect on two near misses to Akron and a Paul Pasquiano coached UCONN team, Michigan has studied themselves (they are Michigan Men, after all) and their flaws. My bet? Michigan struggles against Minnesota and the poll dropping continues.
Kansas State at No. 21 Oklahoma State: It’s a little crazy to consider that around this time last year, the Wildcats were climbing to the pantheon of the elite. They were rubbing shoulders with Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, and, even crazier, USC. Now, Kansas State is unranked and a victim to a 2013 Texas team. They are more rested than the ‘Pokes who walked away from an upset in Morgantown but I doubt Oklahoma State is going to drop the ball twice.
Georgia Tech at No. 14 Miami: The U is still attempting to reestablish themselves as nationally relevant while Paul Johnson wants the nation to know that the triple option is still working despite a government shut down. Georgia Tech has one of the most stifling defense’s in the county only allowing an average of 12.5 points per game. However, Stephen Morris has had experience playing against a much more dominating defense like, say, the one from Gainesville. Miami wins.
No. 23 Fresno State at Idaho: Fresno State is what Tim Brando would call a “fly in the ointment” team. Take that for what it’s worth because that’s all I got.
No. 2 Oregon at Colorado: As mentioned before, the Department of Defense cannot save Colorado. They cannot the speed or the all caps twitter thoughts of DeAnthony Thomas. The Ducks are still the more efficient, alternative stealth bomber that the government has yet to correctly produce. They get in and get out; leaving your program “bombed out and depleted”.
No. 20 Ole Miss at Auburn: If there’s one game that a ranked Ole Miss team can lose to a lesser opponent in the SEC West, it’s this one. Auburn had their problems against LSU but LSU is not just any team to have problems against. Ole Miss is still a relatively inexperienced team with some great impact players on defense but I think the offensive genius of Gus Malzahn will be able to outmaneuver the talent on the Rebels’ defense.
Arkansas at No. 18 Florida: As mentioned earlier in my college football pontifications, Tyler Murphy is a serviceable quarterback for a Brent Pease offense that operates like Porky and Alfalfa’s go-cart from The Little Rascals. Murphy can throw, pass, and hand off the ball adequately and if he can’t convert on 1st down he has a stifling defense that the best in the SEC East. This will be a close game because of Florida’s inability to score in bunches and Arkansas’ failure to get past their opponents’ twenty with ease. Expect a Miami-UF type score – PART II.
TCU at No. 11 Oklahoma: Oklahoma had a nice out-of-conference win against Notre Dame last weekend. Now, they have to deal with a bruising TCU defensive line. While Oklahoma has had success with Blake Bell at the quarterback position, he’s hardly proved effective at throwing the ball. His throwing mechanics are off and this could cause some problems for a Sooners team that eyes a Big 12 championship. But Blake Bell has a better ability to create plays than that of the Frogs’ Trevon Boykin. Oklahoma wins it in a close one in Norman.
No. 10 LSU at Mississippi State: What does Les Miles want in practice on Thursday? Of course it’s more cowbell! He decided this week to pump some cowbell into the Tigers’ practice facility instead of rap music (they better have been playing BOOSIE). But cowbells or no cowbells, LSU walks away with this one.
No. 22 Arizona State v. Notre Dame: I like when two (or three) worlds collide. In this case, we have JerryWorld in Fort Worth as the setting for two diametrically opposed fan bases. Notre Dame, of course, is covered in tradition and old football money and it regularly calls the Homeowner’s Association on the Sun Devil’s for putting pink flamingos in their front yard. Meanwhile, oil money is laughing at both of them for not putting horns on top of their vehicles of choice. In all, Todd Graham’s appeal to the HOA wins out over the curmudgeons down the street.
Kentucky at No. 13 South Carolina: South Carolina returns home to Columbia after a near heart attack against UCF. The Gamecocks could use a little reprieve and what better way to do it than against the Kentucky Wildcats!
No. 4 Ohio State at No. 16 Northwestern: This weekend’s host to College Gameday, a very dangerous Northwestern team returns Venric Mark since injuring his leg in the season opener. This atmosphere is one of the most electric Evanston will have all year and it will undoubtedly be one of the biggest challenges a Buckeye secondary who lost Christian Bryant to an ankle injury last week. Ohio State’s very strong against the run so stopping Mark should not be a problem however Northwestern may have success through the air. I suspect this to be a close one and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ohio State lost. But the Buckeyes are still the better team and ending margin of victory will be by a field goal, in my opinion.
West Virginia at No. 17 Baylor: Baylor wins in, hopefully, another fast paced game of basketball on grass. Go Bears! Go Lache! Go America!
No. 15 Washington at No. 5 Stanford: This is Stanford’s revenge game since last year’s fiasco in Seattle. The loss to the Huskies cost Stanford their shot at a national title. But winning the Rose Bowl isn’t a bad consolation prize. For Wahington, this is the start of a rough stretch where they will then go onto play Oregon. The Cardinal is a significantly better team than they were last year with Kevin Hogan playing lights out and the defense significantly improved. Though I’ve been quite bullish on the Huskies all season, this is where they stumble and expose their weaknesses. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: you may want to take a 5-Hour Energy around 9 o’ clock to ensure you’re up for the 10:30 pm kick off time of this game)