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October 30, 2010

College Football Report: Saturday Picks - Week 9

#5 Michigan State (8-0) vs. #18 Iowa (5-2)


3:3 0 ET ABC/ESPN, Sat. Oct. 30, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA

Michigan State: The Michigan State offensive line has taken a lot of heat the last two weeks in slow starts by the Spartans, and rightfully so. MSU is averaging just 99 yards on the ground in its last two games, over a 100 yard drop off from the start of the season. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been spectacular when called upon, but MSU doesn’t want to only rely on their quarterback, especially against a talented team like Iowa. PLAYER TO WATCH: Eric Gordon, Sr. OLB

Iowa: Known for their toughness, the Hawkeyes will take the field Saturday with a hole at one of its most important positions. Three starting linebackers, Jeff Tarpinian, Jeremiha Hunter and Troy Johnson, are expected to miss the game. Tarpinian and Hunter are both out, while Johnson is listed as questionable. Outside linebacker Tyler Nielson will resume as a starter, but two freshmen, James Morris and Shane DiBona are expected to start. PLAYER TO WATCH: Christian Ballard, Sr. DT

The Pick: I should be able to tell who is going to win the game by watching the offensive and defensive lines clash on the Spartans first offensive possession. The defensive line for the Hawkeyes is phenomenal, placing a tremendous amount of pressure on the Spartans offensive line to produce like they did against Wisconsin. I liked the Hawkeyes before I saw the injury report. Two new freshman starters at linebacker are enough for me to turn the other cheek in such a close game. Michigan State 20 – Iowa 18

(Game of the week…)

#6 Missouri (7-0) vs. #14 Nebraska (6-1)


3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN, Sat. Oct. 30, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE

Missouri: The Tigers made me put my foot in my mouth last week after their win over the Sooners. I didn’t think there was any possible way they could pull off the No. 1 upset. I said, however, I wasn’t a believer and I’m still not. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert operates the offense like a fifth year senior and defense has brought in 17 takeaways but there still feels like there’s something missing. That missing piece will get exposed this week in Lincoln. PLAYER TO WATCH: Aldon Smith, So. DE

Nebraska: Quarterback Taylor Martinez was back to him game-breaking self last week, following a benching during the Texas game. Martinez not only ran for 112 yards but threw for 300+ with five touchdowns against Oklahoma State. The defense had holes in the secondary surprisingly, but the Cowboys offense is one of the nation’s best. Nebraska, however, seems to be able to score at will this season. PLAYER TO WATCH: Brandon Kinnie, Jr. WR

The Pick: I’ll admit when I’m wrong and I was wrong about the Tigers last week. They are a sound offensive and defensive team and very well coached. Unfortunately the Huskers have been one of the nation’s best offensive and defensive team this year. In a head-to-head matchup I think the Huskers would have beaten the Sooners and I think the Huskers have more than enough to take down Missouri. Nebraska 43 – Missouri 31

#2 Oregon (7-0) vs. USC (5-2)


8:00 PM ET, ABC, Sat. Oct. 30, Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

Oregon: The Ducks have been on a war path this season, averaging 55 points offensively while holding teams to just over 15 points. It may be scary to think what the Ducks are capable of now with more than a week to prepare for their trip to the coliseum. My guess is a whole lot of new ways to get running back LaMichael James the ball in space. PLAYER TO WATCH: DJ Davis, Sr. WR

USC: The Trojans have been lost in the shuffle of the Oregon spotlight this season but still poses an offense capable of hanging with nearly everyone in the country. The Trojans defense however, has been its weak area. Keeping up with the Oregon offense is opposing team’s biggest struggle to date. If the offense can keep Oregon off the first with long drives USC may have a chance. PLAYER TO WATCH: Matt Barkley, So. QB

The Pick: The Trojans put some pretty big beatings on the Ducks while they were on their National Championship runs in the middle of the decade. Oregon may be out for a bit of payback, as if the 47-20 beating the Ducks handed the men of Troy last year wasn’t enough. USC needs to start fast and keep an up-beat tempo throughout the game. Once a team loses its fast pace, the Ducks drop points in literally minutes. Until I actually see a team slow down the offense I can’t call for anyone other than the Ducks to win. Oregon 53 – USC 30

#1Auburn (8-0) vs. Mississippi (3-4)


6:00 PM ET, ESPN2, Sat. Oct. 30, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS

Auburn: Topping his performance last week for quarterback Cameron Newton will be tough to do the rest of the season. Despite his 217 yards on the ground last week, Newton has been a throw first quarterback this season and has a 172.08 QB rating this season when he does throw. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of rushing yards against the Rebels, unless things break down and he absolutely needs to take off. PLAYER TO WATCH: Josh Bynes, Sr. OLB

Ole Miss: The Rebels have been out of the spotlight more so this season than more recent Houston Nutt teams. The offense, led by ex-Duck Jeremiah Masoli, has been able to score this season, averaging 31 a game. The Rebels defense, however, hasn’t been able to slow down anyone. PLAYER TO WATCH: Rodney Scott, So. RB

The Pick: Can another No. 1 really fall four weeks in a row? I don’t think so and neither should anyone outside of Oxford Mississippi. Newton and Masoli is a really good quarterback matchup, and the Tigers defense has had a tough time slowing down even average quarterbacks this season. Expecting a team’s defense that gave up 49 points to Jacksonville State to stop the most dominating player in the country is a different story, though. Auburn 35 – Mississippi 23

(Upset pick…)

#13 Stanford (6-1) vs. Washington (3-4)


7:00 PM ET, Versus, Sat. Oct. 30, Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA

Stanford: The Cardinal has been a dominating offensive team this season, led by quarterback Andrew Luck. The last two weeks, however, the team has lost its grip on games late. They squeaked by the Trojans on a late field goal 37-35 then last week gave up 28 points to Washington State. Luck will get his points and yards, but the defense needs to hold a powerful Husky offense to a minimum the entire game. PLAYER TO WATCH: Chris Owusu, Jr. WR

Washington: The Huskies have carried on the trend of an impressive then disappointing team this season. Winning every other game, Quarterback Jake Locker has been one of the nation’s most up and down players from week to week, something he’ll need to change if he’s expecting No. 1 draft pick money. Although, there isn’t a whole lot Locker can do if his defense plays as poorly as they did last week against Arizona. PLAYER TO WATCH: Chris Polk, So. RB

The Pick: Expect a lot of fireworks from both quarterbacks here. Stanford’s Luck and Washington’s Locker are considered the two highest draft eligible quarterback prospects heading into the 2011 NFL Draft, so neither will be willing to toss the head-to-head matchup away especially with 16 NFL teams scouts being represented in Seattle. The Huskies have been playing a different kind of football at home this season, apart from the Nebraska game. If Locker gets any such help from his defense, Washington should be able to come out on the better side of this matchup. Their due for a win anyways. Washington 37 – Stanford 34

Michigan (5-2) vs. Penn State (4-3)


8:00 PM ET, ESPN, Sat. Oct. 30, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

Michigan: The ghosts of football recent past are beginning to haunt the Wolverines. It was at the same point last season Michigan began their downward spiral. There is however, one reason many Michigan fans shouldn’t worry. That reason is Denard Robinson. Despite the two losses and being knocked from the Iowa game, Robinson still leads the nation in rushing yards a game (156) and still averages 345 total offensive yards. PLAYER TO WATCH: Roy Roundtree, So. WR

Penn State: Things have been pretty ugly at times for the Penn State offense. True freshman quarterback Robert Bolden has been paying just as you would expect a freshman to thrust into Big Ten play. Bolden was knocked from the Nittany Lions last game with a concussion, however, and although cleared to play, reports are that sophomore Matt McGloin will make the start. Whoever plays for the Lions may not need to do much more than handing the ball off to running back Evan Royster. PLAYER TO WATCH: Chris Colasanti, Sr. MLB

The Pick: This may be the game we finally see the old Denard Robinson again. The Lions defense is good, but ranked No. 52 against the run, this team hasn’t seen a player like Denard Robinson yet this or any other season. Penn State plays tough at home in night games but Michigan is trying to beat away last year’s win mark of five games. Michigan 38 – Penn State 26

(Give me a ticket to see…)

#25 Baylor (6-2) vs. Texas (4-3)


7:00 PM ET, FSN, Sat. Oct. 30, Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX

Baylor: Don’t rub your eyes or try to shake out the webs in your head, the Baylor Bears are ranked. Quarterback Robert Griffin III is playing as the best quarterback in Texas right now, with heavy competition. Griffin has led the Bears offense to over 500 yards of total offense a game and a win over No.22 ranked Kansas State last week. PLAYER TO WATCH: Jay Finley, Sr. RB

Texas: Texas’ record may want to make you take a closer look more so than a ranking in front of Baylor. The Longhorns offense has been ugly apart from the Nebraska game. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert has shown his youth this season but will need to pick up the slack of a young offense if Texas doesn’t want to slip any farther down. PLAYER TO WATCH: Vondrell McGee, Sr. RB

The Pick: The Bears are riding high after becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 last week. The Longhorn’s, however, can’t afford to lose any more games this season. That may be inevitable at this point with the talent they have left down the road but they especially can’t afford to lose to instate Baylor. We saw how the Longhorns responded from the loss to Oklahoma, beating a very talented Nebraska team. They should be just as upset at home again. Texas 30 – Baylor 28

#8 Utah (7-0) vs. Air Force (5-3)


7:30 PM ET, Sat. Oct. 30, Falcon Stadium, United States AF ACA, CO

Utah: You’ll be hard pressed at finding another team as hot as Utah right now. The Utes have scored 56 or more points this season four times and held opponents to six points or less in three of those games. The offense is balanced to the point where quarterbacks Jordan Wynn and Terrance Cain have both contributed in games this season. They’ve faced a weak Mountain West schedule so far and will get a test from the Falcons. PLAYER TO WATCH: Shaky Smithson, Sr. WR

Air Force: The Falcons are a good team this season. Their three losses, however, have come to really good programs. I want to believe the Falcons have an upset in them this season though. They came close against Oklahoma and kept the first half close against TCU, can they contain the Utes in their own backyard? PLAYER TO WATCH: Reggie Rembert, Sr. CB

The Pick: The academy can be an intimidating place for any team to play. Whenever these teams play the games always seem like they’ve gone down to the wire. Last year’s meeting between the two went to overtime with the Utes coming out on top. I’d like to pick the Falcons here, but they’ve burned me twice already in upset picks this season. Utah 37 – Air Force 23

Florida (4-3) vs. Georgia (4-4)


3:30 PM ET, CBS, Sat. Oct. 30, Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, FL

Florida: The Gators have lost three straight games and are in danger of a fourth straight loss, something unspeakable around Gainesville. The Gators have owned the Bulldogs the last five years, including huge marginal wins in the last two years. The offense is terrible, however, the Gators are heading off of a bye week and Urban Meyer should have his team prepared in a big game. PLAYER TO WATCH: Janoris Jenkins, Jr. CB

Georgia: After a terrible start on the season the Bulldogs have railed off three straight SEC wins. This game against the Gators, however, is the ‘Dogs most important yet. If they want a chance to make it to the SEC title game, it has to start with a win over the Gators. Wideout AJ Green has brought a new dynamic to the offense since his return from a suspension, opening the field for other players. PLAYER TO WATCH: Justin Houston, Jr. OLB

The Pick: This may be one the toughest game of the week to pick. Neither team can afford a loss in Jacksonville. The Gators more so than the Bulldogs need a win because four straight losses in a Gators uniform looks really ugly. It is possible, however. I’m interested to see how the team responds and how prepared the coaches have the players coming off of a bye week. The Bulldogs are favored but the Gators are fuming right now. Florida 27 – Georgia 26

Last Week: 7-5 – Overall Season: 72-27 – Upset Pick: 5-2

October 28, 2010

College Football Report - Thursday & Friday Picks - Week 9

(Thursday Game)

#16 Florida State (6-1) vs. North Carolina State (5-2)


7:30 ET ESPN, Thur. Oct. 28, Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC

Florida State: Florida State is heading off of a bye week after dominating nearly every opponent since the embarrassing Oklahoma loss. Quarterback Christian Ponder has been hampered by an elbow injury thus far and has not been the player most though he would be this season. Luckily, the Seminoles boast the nation’s No. 19 rush offense where running backs Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas have carried the team. PLAYER TO WATCH: Greg Reid, So. CB

NC State: In quarterback Russell Wilson's first three games, the junior tossed zero interceptions. In his last three, Wilson has turned the ball over through the air eight times. Teams have begun to figure out how to rush Wilson, which has been bad news for the Wolf Pack. A lot of pressure tonight will be placed on linebackers Nate Irving and Audie Cole to make the FSU offense one dimensional. PLAYER TO WATCH: Owen Spencer, Sr. WR

The Pick: Turnovers have plagued the Wolf Pack lately and Florida State is a team that thrives on capitalizing off turnovers. The Seminoles are ranked No. 1 in the country in sacks a game and should pressure Wilson into a few Thursday night. Last year’s game between the two tallied 87 points. I wouldn’t expect quite that much this time around with better defenses on both sides. The Seminoles offense and rush game should prevail in the end, however, in a close matchup. Florida State 30 – North Carolina State 27

(Friday Game)

West Virginia (5-2) vs. Connecticut (3-4)


8:00 PM ET, ESPN2, Fri. Oct. 29, Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT

West Virginia: The potent speed spread of the Mountaineers offense was shut down last week by conference opponent Syracuse at home. Quarterback Geno Smith threw three interceptions last week, more than his two on the season heading into the game. The players around Smith need to start making plays, however. The speed surrounding the young QB is ridiculous with wideout Jock Sanders and running back Noel Devine, but they need to play to their level. PLAYER TO WATCH: Chris Neild, Sr. DT

UConn: Huskies quarterback Cody Endres was tossed from the program two weeks ago, giving the reins back to Zach Frazer. Frazer, the starter to begin the season, has been playing blind this year and didn’t do anything to change that in the loss to Louisville last week. The key here will be to let running back Jordan Todman carry the offense. Todman has five 100 yards games this season and needs more than the 19 carries he had last week. PLAYER TO WATCH: Scott Lutrus, Sr. MLB

The Pick: Both of these teams season’s at this point can be considered disappointments. The Mountaineers had a chance to run the table in the Big East this season but last week’s loss ends that. The Huskies have looked awful this year after there was hope that they may compete for the Big East title. West Virginia’s conference chances are still alive and they need to dominate on the road this week in order to save face. This game was a close 28-24 matchup last year. This year, I can’t see UConn keeping it that close. West Virginia 26 – Connecticut 10

Last Week: 7-5 – Overall Season: 72-26 – Upset Pick: 5-2

College Football Report: Saturday Storylines - Signs of a good weekend:

Week nine of college football offers up a lot of good matchups, such as Michigan State heading to Iowa and Missouri heading to Nebraska but the storylines that follow the week nine matchups may be even more intriguing than the lineup of games themselves. The following are the biggest tags to watch heading into and during week nine matchups. Each offers signs of good football this weekend.

Quarterback prospects graded in Washington:

In many NFL Draft experts’ minds, Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Washington’s Jake Locker are the top two quarterback prospects for the 2011 draft. The two face off in Locker’s backyard this weekend. Both quarterbacks are having memorable seasons, although Locker could argue for a few more wins. You can believe both with be up to par Saturday with their checkbooks and futures on the line.

The No. 1 team on the road again:

I don’t want to believe that another No.1 team can or will fall this weekend when the new No.1, Auburn, heads on the road to Mississippi. For three straight weeks the No.1 has traveled on the road only to return home with their loss column goose egg pick-pocketed. I saw the Alabama one coming, saw the Ohio State loss coming and then got hit in the face with a two-by-four when Oklahoma went down. Can Cameron Newton stop this madness?

Michigan State’s start:

If Michigan State's season is a fairy tale beginning in East Lansing, they’re traveling through the dark creepy forest right now. The Spartans tip-toed past Illinois at home then got by Northwestern by the hair of their chinny chin chin last week. The reason? Their slow starts in both games. The Spartans went to halftime down 6-3 against Illinois, then down 17-3 against Northwestern. Spartan fans better hope MSU wises up and builds a brick house lead on Iowa this week.

Panic mode in Jacksonville :

Someone’s going to have some answers to give following the Georgia vs. Florida matchup in Jacksonville. As it stands right now, both sit with three SEC losses. The Bulldogs and Gators were clearly rebuilding programs heading into the year, but four conference losses from either team sounds an alarm. Neither program looks impressive right now, but the upper hand has to go to Georgia. Whoever loses this week, though, will find them in some pretty thick mud the rest of the way.

Familiar face gone for OK State:

The Cowboys have been one of the best teams in the country tossing the long ball. Quarterback Brandon Weeden has tossed 21 touchdowns and over 2,200 yards. This week, there is a problem, however. His favorite target and Heisman hopeful Justin Blackmon is suspended following a DUI arrest on Tuesday. Blackmon has brought in half of Weeden’s yards, with 1,112 on the season and more than half of his touchdowns, with 14. The candidates likely to step in are wideouts Josh Cooper and Tracy Moore. One of them could be in for a huge afternoon for once.

Undefeated’s on the road:

I’ve already talked about Auburn heading on the road to take on Mississippi and Michigan State heading to Iowa, but three other undefeated teams head on the road this week in pivotal conference matchups that will raise on the blood pressure of either sides fans. Oregon heads to California for a USC matchup. The decade’s win-loss numbers for the Trojans and Ducks won’t matter here. There hasn’t been a team yet to slow down the Ducks offense and don’t expect USC to be the team that does. Expect the Trojans, however, to match the Ducks cardiac tempo. Utah heads on the road to take on a dangerous Air Force squad. The Falcons lost in their test to TCU but kept it close early. This is the week to redeem themselves. Finally, Missouri, who one week after bringing in the schools biggest win in years, head on the road to Lincoln to take on Nebraska. Stopping quarterback Taylor Martinez isn’t like stopping Landry Jones. You can believe the Tigers have been watching the Texas vs. Nebraska game tape to prepare for the young QB.

Individual matchups collide in Boston:

The Clemson vs. Boston College matchup may not spike your interest from a game standpoint, although it should, but what should even more is the individuals facing one another. The first is Clemson running back Andre Ellington facing off against BC linebacker Luke Kuechly. Ellington, one of the fastest and most versatile running backs in the country, has had breakout games against Auburn (140 yards) Miami (104) and Georgia Tech (166). On the other side, however, stands Kuechly, the nation’s leading tackler with 97 stops, over 13 a game. Keep an eye on Clemson’s defense end Da’Quan Bowers, the nation’s leader in sacks (10), against BC offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, the highest rated offensive tackle for the NFL Draft. Although Bowers plays mostly right end and Castonzo is a left tackle, both should meet one another at least a few times in the game.

Are the ‘Cuse the cure for the Big East?

Syracuse, 5-2 overall, has gone on the road to knock off Big East opponents South Florida and West Virginia last week. This week, they get their chance to knock off Cincinnati on the road. The Orange were embarrassed against Pitt, but held the speed spreads of both the Bulls and Mountaineers at bay. Can they do the same against the speed operated spread of the Bearcats? If so, the Cuse just may be the cure to a league that sits without a ranked team.

Michigan’s Déjà vu:

Remember Denard Robinson? The first player in college football history to win a Heisman trophy after five games. He’s back against a team not named Michigan State or Iowa this week. Robinson has a chance to knock the Michigan cobwebs out against Penn State on the road. The Nittany Lions boast the nation’s No. 52 rushing defense and No. 29 pass defense, but Robinson has done well against better defenses. The Wolverines are looking to jump the five win mark for the first time under Rich Rod and it will have to start against Penn State. After a similar 5-2 start last season, the Nittany Lions were the start of a slippery slid in a 35-10 loss for the Wolverines.

October 27, 2010

College Football Report: Struggling to Stay Afloat:

Dynasties in college football don’t last long these days. Heck, there’s barely time to get a dynasty started before a program tumbles back into the hole it crawled out of. Would Boise State be dominating as long as they have been if the Broncos joined the PAC-10 four years ago? I don’t have any doubt Boise would be a top program in the conference, but to dominate like they have over the last decade is something of a rarity in the new BCS world of college football.

Some records and streaks for winning may never be broken. The Oklahoma Sooners hold the record for the longest win streak in the history of college football at 47 games, from 1953-1957. The most recent programs to challenge the Sooners record were Miami (FL), from 2000-2002 and USC, from 2003-2005 with a streak of 34 wins. Both ended in National Championship game losses (Miami, below). The current longest streak belongs to Boise State, at 21 games.

Home field advantage isn’t even what it used to be. The longest home win streak in the history of the game belongs to the Hurricanes as well, at 58 games dating from 1985-1994. The current holder, Oklahoma, holds 34 straight home wins and holds it by a finger nail.

Win streaks may never be broken, but why are programs spending less time at the top these days? For one, the pressure of winning has taken an enormous turn. Technology in particular has placed a heavy burden on teams to produce wins. Fans have the ability to track their teams recruiting, checking in to see where the top recruits on national recruiting sites are heading. Programs also need to meet the standards of the BCS computers, which Oregon is still trying to figure out. Fans and viewers nationwide are exposed to more team coverage than ever, bringing preseason expectations for their programs to new heights.

My days of watching and studying college football have been short compared to others but there are still some things that I’ve seen as of late that I didn’t expect to ever witness: Bobby Bowden being run out of Florida State. Michigan with a 1-7 Big Ten record, while running the spread none the less. Joe Paterno ditching his thick framed glasses. Florida losing two consecutive games at the Swamp under Meyer. Texas with a No. 83 ranked rush offense. Miami, who once played at the legendary Orange Bowl, playing on a makeshift baseball field. Notre Dame finishing 3-9. Cheerleaders as good looking as Oregon’s (above). I'm almost out of breath listing things that hit me like a Pulp Fiction adrenaline shot.

Many of the “Royal with cheese” programs of college football aren’t even what they used to be this season. This year, you will be hard pressed at finding some of the programs that have dominated the last decade in the BCS rankings. Florida, who brought in a 13-1 season last year, currently sit at 4-3. Texas’ season has been as blotchy as a Ricky Williams beard. While USC, a program that brought in at least 11 wins from 2002-2008, has a 5-2 record and soon to be falling. Some Georgia fans have even called for the firing of head coach Mark Richt, the man who has led the Bulldogs to six 10 plus win seasons the last decade and had a 90-27 record heading into 2010. All might not be signs of the apocalypse, but signs of a new and short lived life at the top of college football, yes.

So how will a few of the countries traditional powers that started the 2010 season on sour notes finish: I’ll break down eight programs that may sink lower or rise back to grab whatever ounce of dignity they can this season.




The Breakdown:




The Longhorns have lost two games at home for the first time since 2006. The fact that they have lost two at home wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t to UCLA and Iowa State, however. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Longhorns the rest of the way. Games against Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will all be challenges. Against the Bears this Saturday, we’ll see how the Longhorns respond from the ISU loss. Regular Season Prediction: 8-4




Things looked bad for the Gators when head coach Urban Meyer stated in the offseason he may need to take some time off because of health concerns. Turns out Meyer knew this team might raise his blood pressure before anyone else. The Gators have lost three games in a row, a first for Meyer, including two in a row at the Swamp. The offense has been plain ugly. Remarkably, the Gators still have a shot at the SEC East. With games against Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State to come, though, the wins may not pile up. Prediction: 7-5

Penn State



Joe Pa has been known to have a down season mixed into a decade of wins. The offense is rebuilding with true freshman Robert Bolden at the helm, which explains the Lions inability to move the ball on anyone this season. The scary part about this Nittany Lions team, though, is that they haven’t even hit the challenging part of their schedule. Games against Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Michigan State are still to come. If they can walk away with one of those wins, the team may be OK for the future. Prediction: 5-7




A lot of people question what the Trojans have to play for this season. A lot, however, is still on the line for this USC team. The coaches have their records at stake and trust me, Kiffin needs some wins, recruiting for the future is at stake and conference pride. Even if USC can’t go to a bowl they can still be crowned conference champions. I don’t think that will happen, however. Not with the likes of Oregon, Arizona and Oregon State left to play. At UCLA to end the season may be a tough game for the Trojans as well. Prediction: 8-5




The Wolverines started the season as one of the nation’s hottest programs. Denard Robinson was handed the Heisman and the Wolverines were cured of their gloomy recent past. Not so fast my friend. Michigan has lost their last two, looking like a team that started the 2009 season with an eerily similar 5-2 start. The Wolverines have yet to play Wisconsin and Ohio State, but it’s Illinois who Michigan fans should be weary of. It may be another tough finish for Rich Rod in Ann Arbor. But an improvement. Prediction: 7-5




The Bulldogs looked horrendous at times during the first half of the season. Offensively, they couldn’t move the ball. Since gaining back wideout AJ Green, however, the team has a new found spark. Georgia has won three straight SEC games and with Florida and Auburn left, they have a chance to make a late push. Against the Tigers, though, let’s be real. The Gators, however, are fresh kibble for the ‘Dogs. Prediction: 7-5




The Cougars may have picked the wrong season to turn independent following the year. The offense is led by true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps, which would explain part of the Cougars struggles. Heaps has a bright future, but this season is all cloud covered skies. The Cougars have dropped two Mountain West games and two games against the WAC. A weak season ending may turn things around, except for a Utah meeting to end the year. Prediction: 5-7

Notre Dame



Head Coach Brian Kelly was supposed to finally be the answer to the Irish struggles. Last season, Weis turned down a bowl game with a 6-6 finish. It may not be much better this year. Not even Touchdown Jesus can help this team. The Irish dropped its last game to Navy, a low point of the season. They looked as if they had turned things around, winning three straight, including wins against Pitt and Boston College. Games against Utah and USC still remain, but so do games against Tulsa and Army. If the Irish drop more than two of those games, the program needs some time off to rethink this football thing. Prediction: 6-6

All writing and views subject to © Drew P. Kochanny, All Rights Reserved. Photo's credited to rights owner.