Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This week's picks in college football.

Last week: 6-2;  The season: 46-14.

“In old times, the first of November was New Year’s Day. The true end of summer, the cold start of winter.”—From The Halloween Tree, by Ray Bradbury, as posted to her Twitter feed by Holly Anderson, formerly of Grantland.


The College Football Playoff rankings link:


Thursday night:

A big night in the Little Apple. #6 Baylor (now using the first week of CFP rankings) @ Kansas State.  

Undefeated Baylor travels to Manhattan, KS for a showdown with the Wildcats. 

After a 3-0 start, Bill Snyder’s team has dropped four straight and has given up 146 points in its last three games at home. 

If there is a ray of light that could shine into Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium it’s that the Bears will be without QB Seth Russell who’s now out for the season with a neck injury from almost two weeks ago.  Frosh QB Jarrett Stidham will start for Baylor.  He’s 24 for 28 passing with six TDs and no picks in mop up duty this season. 

Chances are good that Baylor HC Art Briles will have used last week’s bye week wisely to prepare Stidham to do what needs to be done to get the win.

Strange things sometimes happen on Thursday nights....but, Projected winner: Baylor.




Dah--dah-dah-dah-dah.  Dah-dah-dah—dah-dah.  #16 Florida State @ #1 Clemson.  

A Seminole raiding party will visit South Carolina on Saturday hoping to bag some Tigers.  Once they arrive at Memorial Stadium, they’ll find a pride of very hungry felines licking their razor sharp chops. 

The undefeated and top CFP-ranked Fighting Dabos will need to come out of the intoxicating championship ether to preserve their chances for an ACC championship, as well as an opportunity for the final four. 

The Noles may be without star running back Dalvin Cook as well as QB Everett Golson.  Meanwhile, Tigers QB Deshaun Watson is having a Heisman Trophy-contending season, having thrown 20 TDs and for just shy of 2,000 yards. 

Dabo will channel his former coach Gene Stallings and have his team ready. 

Projected winner:  Clemson.


The Uncle Verne Bowl:  F=ma vs. R = V/I.  # 2 LSU @ # 4 Alabama. 

Dozens of LSU and UA student-athletes will converge on the turf at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night for a physics experiment in what has become, over the last 8 years, must-see November football.  

The question: Which formula will prevail:  Force or Resistance?  Heisman- hopeful running backs and fully grown men--the Tigers’ Leonard Fournette and Bama’s Derrick Henry--will test the very formidable strengths of the opposing defenses. 

While the main attraction will be the runners, the game will likely boil down to who has the better QB.  And, which offensive line can better protect their signal caller.  Oh yeah, look for a few trick plays from Les and Lane, too. 

Projected winner: Alabama.


Jerry:  “Whatcha’ watchin’, there, Wade?”  Wade:  Gophers!”  Minnesota @ #3 Ohio State.   

Just when you thought that whole week-by-week QB switcheroo thing in Columbus was over and done…naaah. 

After an off-the-field incident last weekend involving J.T. Barrett, The Urbz will go with last season's playoff game and Nat. Champ. commander Cardale Jones at QB. He'll lead the undefeated Buckeyes at the Horseshoe against Minnesota.  And, to compliment Jones, there's star running back Zeke Ellliot who’s having another great year.

The Gophers are 0-3 against ranked foes this year.  The Buckeyes have a 21-game FBS win streak.  And Meyer is 12-0 in November at Ohio State. 

Projected winner:  Ohio State.


Pittsburgh:  Mighty. Beautiful.  #5 Notre Dame @ Pitt.

After a come-from-behind win last week in Philly, the Irish continue their tour of Pennsylvania with a trip closer to home.  ND is averaging almost 37 points per game; the Panthers average giving up just over 22. 

After taking over at QB from the injured Malik Zaire after game one, Deshone Kizer has shone brightly with 11 TD passes and 5 running.  He was the big reason the Irish survived the Owls last week at Temple.

The web site, says, “The strength of Pittsburgh lies in the friendliness of its people and the beauty of its landscape.” 

Welcome to town, Irish. Enjoy the visit.

Projected winner:  Notre Dame.


Fridays:  Food Trucks & Tunes.  #8 TCU @ #14 Oklahoma State. 

In this week’s only matchup of undefeated teams, the Horned Frogs travel to Stillwater to play the Cowboys.  But—neither team has faced a ranked opponent this season. 

The Frogs high-velocity offense (# 2 in the Big 12) will meet stubborn resistance from the OSU defense (#2 in the Big 12), so something has to give. 

TCU has been very impressive on the road in some come-from-behind wins.  Heisman candidate QB Trevone Boykin and ace receiver Josh Doctson should give the Frogs the advantage. 

Too bad TCU probably won’t partake in the downtown Stillwater fun on Friday.  Although, they’ll probably have their share at T. Boone Pickens Stadium, on Saturday afternoon.

In a close one---and, don't be overly surprised if there' s an upset---Projected winner:  TCU.



Now, some Quick Headlines…


Stephen King’s Children of the Corn.  #7 Michigan State @ Nebraska.  The only thing scarier than the book or the 1984 horror movie in Lincoln Saturday afternoon will be what happens when Sparty comes for a visit.  

Projected winner:  Michigan State.


Back home again in Indiana.  #9 Iowa @ Indiana. 

Gee, I miss Jim Nabors singing that song at the Indy 500 every Memorial Day weekend.  Oh well.  Back to football.  Hmmm.  I’m going out on a limb, here.  Okay.  Here goes:  A team whose name begins with “I” will win. 

Not so fast Hoosier fans.  The Hawkeyes are undefeated and playing better with each passing week. 

Projected winner: Iowa.


Ahoy, mateys.  Might those be giant water lizards over there??? Vandy @ #10 Florida. 

The Commodores, who haven’t beaten a ranked team in 12 years, sail into Gainesville to go Gator hunting.  A word of warning to the sailors:  DO NOT get out of the boat.  Those reptiles will eat you alive if they get half a chance. 

And they will.

Projected winner:  Florida.


A tree grows in Colorado.  #11 Stanford @ Colorado. 

The Cardinal bring its/their tree mascot and high SAT scores to the Rockies on Saturday for a bit of competition to see who has the cooler college town, Palo Alto or Boulder. 

While Stanford tries to keep its CFP hopes alive, the Buffs are just trying to get to .500.

Probably not this week. 

Projected winner:  Stanford.


Sources:;;;;  Screenplay from Fargo.



For your CFB TV watching pleasure, the quintessential, easy-to-read guide:


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