Posted: September 17, 2014

Random thoughts on the upcoming weekend of college football.

1. The weekend gets off to a fast start on Thursday with the Auburn Tigers traveling to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. This is one of two games between top 25 teams and it is in prime time on Thursday night. Both teams come in 2-0. Auburn’s easy week 1 win over Arkansas looks even better after Arkansas shredded Texas Tech. I still am not sure what to make of this Wildcat team. I guess we find out Thursday. Bill Synder Stadium should be rocking for this one.

2. On Friday, UConn takes on South Florida in Tampa. Unfortunately for the Bulls, there are probably 10 high school games within 5 miles of Raymond James that will be better played and more exciting than this one. Look for a sparse crowd at best. But on the positive side, someone has to win this game and get to 2-2.

3. Northwestern returns to the field this week and continues its Illinois games against Western Illinois. Western is 2-1, Northwestern is 0-2. If Northwestern goes to 0-3 against a FCS team, is 0-12 out of the question?

4. Bowling Green fresh off its win against the Indiana Hoosiers out of the Big Ten, travels to Madison for another Big Ten foe in Wisconsin. A big step up from the Hoosiers. The Big Ten should be able to get back at the MAC in this one.

5. North Carolina travels to East Carolina. The Tar Heels have not looked very good to me, while I have been very impressed by the play of the Pirates. The Pirates pushed South Carolina and beat a Virginia Tech team that had just beat Ohio State. Vegas has the Pirates as a 3 point favorite. I guess they are as impressed as I am by the Pirates. I was high on the Tar Heels coming into the season, this is a benchmark game for the Tar Heels.

6. The Virginia Cavaliers go on the road to BYU after their big win against Louisville. Both teams have been impressive this year with the Cavs beating Louisville and pushing UCLA losing by 8. BYU is 3-0 without a win over a ranked team but they have looked good in going 3-0. BYU is a 14 point favorite, but I am expecting a close hard fought game.

7. Moving onto night action, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have to go to Tiger Stadium. Tiger Stadium at night is not a place many visiting teams win. Both teams are 3-0 and this is the conference opener for both. This is not the Bulldogs of old. Dak Prescott has the Bulldogs 20th in points scored and in 2 of their 3 games their opponent has been held to 3 or less points. Granted the competition has not been SEC worthy but that has never mattered to Mississippi State in the past. This is the usual LSU Tigers. They have 2 shutouts in 3 games. Vegas has LSU as a 10 point favorite. Tiger Stadium is probably worth 5-6 points, if not more, so Vegas has these teams very close, or at least a lot closer than is typical in this match up. The Tigers are on upset alert.

8. South Carolina at Vanderbilt – Uh oh Commodores. The ‘Dores do not have the ability to take advantage of Gamecock weaknesses. The only chance that Vandy has to keep this remotely close is if Spurrier is already installing the game plan for next weeks game versus Missouri.

9. Clemson at Florida State – The game that probably decides the ACC Atlantic. The Seminoles are favored by 20. Clemson did not perform well against Georgia. The Seminoles have a better defense than Georgia. It is tough to see a way the Tigers get out of Doak Campbell with a win.

10. California at Arizona – A PAC 12 battle of unbeaten teams. That is correct, both teams are unbeaten. The Bears have looked good after a very poor year last year. This could be the late game to watch after Oregon scores 3 TD’s in 5 minutes against Washington State.