Thursday, October 8, 2009

Anticipating a Shakeup in the Rankings

We seem to be mostly into conference play now, although there are a few nonconference games.

I'm predicting that seven ranked teams will lose this weekend. Some are to be expected, with ranked teams squaring off in four games. But I'm also predicting that three unranked teams will beat ranked teams in results that will probably be considered upsets.

Whether they are or not will be a matter of opinion — if they come to pass.

Four teams in the Top 25 are idle this week — Boise State, USC, Cincinnati and South Florida.
  • #1 Florida at #4 LSU, 7 p.m. (Central) on CBS — In a week that features four head–to–head matchups between teams in the Top 25, this is the cherry on the parfait, although, if LSU wins, that may well set the stage for 1 vs. 2 or 2 vs. 3 when the Tigers travel to Alabama on Nov. 7. The big question is whether Tim Tebow should play after suffering a concussion. Common sense says no. And, acting on the assumption that Tebow won't play, I will pick LSU.

  • Colorado at #2 Texas, 6:15 p.m. (Central) on ESPN or ESPN2 — Texas will just be warming up for next week's grudge match with Oklahoma.

  • #3 Alabama at #16 Ole Miss, 2:30 p.m. (Central) on CBS — I think Ole Miss is a good team, but the Rebels aren't good enough to beat Alabama.

  • Boston College at #5 Virginia Tech — The Hokies are home, and they should prevail.

  • #25 Wisconsin at #8 Ohio State, 2:30 p.m. (Central) on ABC — The Buckeyes seem to have rebounded from their loss to USC. I'll take Ohio State.

  • #9 TCU at Air Force, 6:30 p.m. (Central) on CBS CS — I think Air Force is capable of the upset, but I think TCU will escape with a win.

  • Florida A&M at #11 Miami (Florida) — This should be an easy win for Miami. But the Hurricanes are certainly due for one.

  • Eastern Illinois at #12 Penn State, 11 a.m. (Central) on ESPN Classic — Joe Paterno is just going to keep adding to his victory total as long as the Nittany Lions get fed a steady diet of non–conference creampuffs.

  • #13 Oklahoma State at Texas A&M — I've been wondering if there is a chance that the Aggies might pull off the upset. They've got the real deal at quarterback. But I don't think their defense can close the deal.

  • Michigan at #14 Iowa, 7 p.m. (Central) on ABC/ESPN — I think this one might be close, but I'm going to take Michigan as my upset special.

  • Iowa State at #15 Kansas, 11:30 a.m. (Central) on Versus — I just don't see Iowa State beating Kansas on the road.

  • #17 Oregon at UCLA, 2:30 p.m. (Central) on ABC — This should be an entertaining game for West Coast viewers. I'll take Oregon, barely.

  • #22 Nebraska at #18 Missouri, tonight at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN — This game will answer a lot of questions about both teams. Some observers will call this an upset, but I pick Nebraska to win on the road.

  • #19 Auburn at Arkansas — Is this a new Auburn, or is this the same Auburn as last year? I'm not convinced that Auburn is that much better. Still, you have to respect a 5–0 record. But things will get tougher for Auburn, with LSU, Georgia, Ole Miss and Alabama yet to come. I think Arkansas needs this one more than Auburn does. I pick Arkansas.

  • #20 BYU at UNLV, 9 p.m. (Central) on MTN — BYU should have a wide margin of victory.

  • Baylor at #21 Oklahoma, 2:30 p.m. (Central) on ABC — I have friends who went to Baylor. I always hope, for their sakes, that Baylor wins. But I don't expect Baylor to upset Oklahoma on the road.

  • #23 Georgia Tech at Florida State, 7 p.m. (Central) on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 — I guess I just can't see Florida State losing three in a row. Give me the Seminoles.
Last week: 13–3.

Season: 69–14.

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