Thursday, October 19, 2006

CFB Weekend Preview

Yes, I'm posting the regularly featured college football weekend preview on Thursday, rather than Friday. I wish I could say that it was part of some larger blog re-invention, but really, I'm going to be on the road tomorrow -- I'm heading down to Miami to offer career counseling to Lamar Thomas. Moving on...

If someone told you that this week's most intriguing game would be between 19th-ranked Rutgers and should-be-ranked Pitt, you'd probably ask them where they found such high-quality crack.

And yet, here we are. Rutgers is one of a handful of unbeaten teams remaining and combines with Pitt to give the Big East a respectable four Top 25-worthy teams (Rutgers, Pitt, WVA, L'ville).

Here's where we see how legit Rutgers really is. A win here keeps the Big East title dream – if not the BCS title dream – alive.

But, more likely, the Big East is going to turn into a poor man's version of the top-heavy SEC: The teams will spend the next few weeks giving each other a BCS-crushing loss.* Welcome to what SEC fans will agree should be called "Round-Robbery."

(Meanwhile, the ACC might be down – way down – but Clemson and GA Tech are still playing for supremacy in the league, and it's the biggest ranked-vs-ranked game of the week. Isn't the absence of Miami, FSU and VA Tech refreshing? The winner should be Top 10.)

1 Ohio St over Indiana
2 Michigan over Iowa
4 WVA over at UConn (Fri.)
5 Texas over at 17 Nebraska
6 Louisville over at Syracuse
7 Tennessee over Alabama
8 Auburn over Tulane
10 Notre Dame over UCLA
11 Cal over Washington
12 Clemson over 13 GA Tech
14 LSU over Fresno St.
15 Arkansas over Mississippi
16 Oregon over at Washington St.
18 Boise St over at Idaho
*At Pitt over 19 Rutgers
20 Oklahoma over Colorado
21 Wisconsin over at Purdue
22 BC over at Florida St.
23 Texas A&M over at Oklahoma St.
24 Missouri over Kansas St.

Comments Question: What are your most intriguing college football plotlines of the weekend?

-- D.S.


Brian in Oxford said...

Wow....UConn's hosting #4? Too bad they built the stadium too small, and half an hour from campus.

Maybe get Khalid El-Amin to help them "shock the world"!

I am very curious to see the Pitt-Rutgers game. Is Wannstadt for real as a college coach? He didn't seem it last year.

rukrusher said...

Rutgers will beat Pittsburgh suprisingly easily. Palko will not have time to throw and Pitt has a average run game. Rutgers 27 Pitt 13

Anonymous said...

the best story going into this weekend is how the #1 team in the land is being held hostage by ESPNU and the fans in Columbus all suffer.

more like ESPN fuckU.

Richard said...


Good man finally picking an upset. I guess you learned from last week. I think Oklahoma is getting killed this weekend.

About the Georgia Tech/Clemson game:

As a Tech alum I always used to look foward to playing Clemson because nothing meant victory quite like seeing Charlie Whitehurst suit up. However, this Tigers team scares the shit out of me (mostly becasue Whitehurst is gone). Should be a good game with Tech's blitz on every play defense against the Tigers high scoring offense. Calvin Johnson can earn some Heisman love as well.

My (hopeful) plot line I'm most looking foward to is Duke beating Miami.........(I can't be that only one hoping for this)

manninghamheisman said...

3rd row seats at the 40 yard line for the Wolverines-Iowa game!!

GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!

Jo Fer said...

I say this with no bias towards either team or even the conference.

Alabama over Tennesee.

(...preparing to be flamed)

Maher. Are you really gonna miss much with that game? If I was an OSU fan, I'd make a day of watching some of the other teams in my division. Iowa / Michigan will be a much better game to watch.

nyc-steelers fan said...

Picking an upset finally? Very Ballsy... You missed 'em all last weekend, and we had a couple of good ones. I think you have to pick at least two each week, just to have some credibility, even if you pick the wrong two. You know there's goign to be an unexpected loss by a member of the top 15 pretty much every week.

I'm down with your pitt pick, and I'll go you one better, although this will piss off the michigan mafia that trolls this board, but i'm calling hawkeyes to have a big rebound from their look ahead loss last week, to hand the wolverines a look ahead loss of their own. And I'd give Bama a healthy shot to pull off a major upset as well.

TJ said...

You're picking the wrong team for Round-Robbery in the Big East. Pitt is a good team, but they're #4 in the conference. Instead, Rutgers will win this weekend, and also will beat the Louisville-WVU winner, putting the Big 3 teams in the conference tied atop the leaderboard with one loss each. Not to meantion putting them among the half-dozen or so one-loss teams who will all have legitimate claims to #2 at season's end. I can't wait.

TJ said...

more like ESPN fuckU.

There aren't sports bars in Columbus?

Steve said...

nyc-steelers fan said: I'm down with your pitt pick, and I'll go you one better, although this will piss off the michigan mafia that trolls this board, but i'm calling hawkeyes to have a big rebound from their look ahead loss last week, to hand the wolverines a look ahead loss of their own. And I'd give Bama a healthy shot to pull off a major upset as well.

As much as I'd love to see Michigan lose just to shut manninghamheisman and his 2 other nics he uses on here up, do you really think they're looking ahead to Northwestern? Come on.

rukrusher said...


People used to make the same complaints about ESPN2 and big college hoops games before the cable companies caved and put ESPN2 on their systems.

ESPN putting the number one team in the nation on ESPNU is smart business.

Call your cable comapny or get Directtv.

nyc-steelers fan said...

nah steve, they're looking ahead to OSU already. Well, maybe not. I'm no psychologist. But all the talk is how dominant they are and that OSU-michigan will be a de facto nat'l championship. And if they ARE looking ahead, and not thinking Iowa stands a chance against them. I wouldn't be surprised to see Iowa take advantage and shock 'em...

I'm not saying it's likely; if it was likely, it wouldn't be an upset.

Christian Thoma said...

Am I the only one not completely sold on Cal yet? Probably. Regardless, I'm picking Washington over Cal as my upset pick of the weekend.

Richard said...

Everyone says the ACC is down. Maybe...another possibility is that the ACC is exactly the same a a hole, but Clemson, GT and Wake just switched roles with Miami, FSU and Virginia Tech.

(Did I just say that Wake is the "New U"? Someone get me an asprin.)

Steve said...

Whenever I need to pick an upset I just call up my buddy Denny Green and ask him, because teams always are who he thinks they are. This week he told me Oregon is going down.

Anonymous said...

Any takers for Nebraska beating Texas in Lincoln?

slaskaris said...

I too like Nebraska's changes at home to knock off Texas.

I'm very biased but I don't know what jo fer has seen out of Bama that makes him think they can stop UT (must have been that OT win over Ole Miss last week - ha!) I do look for it to be close however because of it being a rivalry game.

...and on another Tenn. note,

Of all the criticism for the BCS poll, how come no one mentioned Cal being #10 and Tenn #11 despite the total beatdown the Vols laid on them earlier this year.

EPorvaznik said...

Michigan plays Ohio State in November? Are we sure about that? I watched the Penn State-Michigan game last week and I didn't hear the announcers mention it at all in the second half.

FreKy J said...

I find it overly amusing that the BCS Championship Series TV ads show all the players trying to climb a LADDER. That's right, they all know about my ladder rankings!

Jo Fer said...

Well I was prepared to defend Bama over Tennesee, so here goes.

Bama played Arkansas tough in Arkansas, (and should have won that game). They lost because they missed a PAT in OT and their kicker missed I think two field goals during regulation. This game was right after Arkansas had beaten a frisky Vandy on the road and just before Arkansas beat Auburn on the road. So say what you will about Arkansas, but they were playing very well at the time and Bama went the their house and 'should have' beaten them.

They also went to the vaunted 'swamp' and played Florida very well and even though lost by 15, that game was close until the 4th quarter. Florida obviously playing very well at the time and still.

Will they upset??? I don't know, just a fun pick. But I'd take the 11 points Tennessee is laying all day!

Jo Fer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lenny said...

Watch out for Iowa at Michigan. Iowa's got the Front Four that could stop Mike Hart, and without Manningham, the Michigan passing game is significantly worse (which is good because Iowa's pass defense is horrendous). If Iowa can stop Hart, which is very possible with their D-line, Michigan will have difficulties winning this game

Steve said...

Oh cool Lenny's back, how did that game last week against Indiana work out?

EPorvaznik said...

If Penn State's porous secondary couldn't slow down a Manningham-less Wolverine passing attack (oh, great, another third and long converted thanks to yet another zone), how exactly will Iowa's equally horrendous fare any better? Good luck with that front four is all I can say.

Unknown said...

Ohio State fans don't know how to be rational. The team can be 2-6 and they would whine that not all their games are on TV.

I want to see how Oklahoma fares this week. I'm picking Nebraska in the upset.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until it happens to your team raffy. now go do some 'roids.

Keithsrk said...

Unfortunately, I agree with most of your picks.

Definitely on the Pitt call - Pitt is underrated, good QB - and picking against Rutgers worked so well for me last week.

I do like Ga Tech over Clemson, and I'm on the 'Bama bandwagon as well.

As for the OSU - ESPNU issue, I can empathize. Comcast doesn't carry the ESPN GamePlan, and when you've got a family that enjoys watching Big 10 games (including a wife who's a PSU alumn and an 8 year old who has a blast watching games) - going to a sports bar to catch the game isn't really an option.

And since the Eagles moved to the ACC - ABC assumes I want to see crappy ACC matchups. I, and the rest of the northeast, could care less about the ACC!

xcdannon said...

I actually wrote an article for a sportswriting contest about the OSU game not being on "regular tv" in's the link for anyone interested! and vote if you feel so inclined!

i think rutgers is gonna beat pittsburgh. i was surprised by the way their defense shut out navy (5-2!) last weekend. Pittsburgh is great too...they're both in my top 25.

twins15 said...

You are on crack Dan... :D

Biggest game of the week for me is Georgia Tech/Clemson... top 2 teams in the ACC.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

nyc-sf -

I'm not at all surprised to hear that, nor am I upset. I couldn't agree more about Iowa's look-ahead loss, but fortunately, my Wolverines don't have much to look-ahead to right now (anyone want to suggest Lloyd runs a loose enough ship that his players are thinking a full month ahead? That's your own petard.)
Meanwhile, Iowa's ground game is not going to exist this weekend, and poor Drew is probably going to have a rough afternoon running away from big guys in winged helmets.
Also, don't tell me about Iowa's great D - Indiana only scored, what, 31? Demetrius McCray was held to only 84 yards rushing, to take his season total to... 185? I think Hart, Breaston, and Arrington can find their way around and through these guys.

maher -

the story here is actually how you are blog-spamming about some slight you have invented, after ESPN has been granting OSU consensus, uncontested #1 status all season long. That's even better than DS has treated you.

And actually, your team is not being held hostage. I believe it is the most lopsided game of the afternoon that is being held hostage in this situation.

Go to a bar. Guy with family - go to BW3 (get there early).

everybody -
Is it just me, or is Rutgers really the 'dog here, despite the ranking? Does anybody except rukrusher have any idea how Rutgers is actually playing this year? Don't get me wrong, anybody - I like them, and I know they deserve some poll love for their accomplishments at this point in the season, but is Vegas, for instance, actually favoring Rutgers here?

I just think it's not the boldest upset for Dan to predict, if an upset at all. But that's cool. I gotta finish this, it's time for work.

Unknown said...


My team is on TV maybe 2-3 times a year if I'm lucky. Oh well, I watch other better games that are on.

Indiana? cmon. Suck it up, get some exercise on your way to the car, and drive to a bar.

Like an article stated in teh dispatch..There are HUNDREDS of tickets for sale for this game..if you really wanted to see the game, you could just buy a ticket. Otherwise...go play in front of moving traffic.

rukrusher said...

I agree that Pitt should be a favorite, any time you play an even team at home you should be favored. However, I think what Vegas is seeing is the speed and discipline of the RU defense. Pitt has put up good numbers this year but against very suspect defenses. Plus Michigan State ran all over Pitt and RU has a top 20 running game. If Pitt puts 8 in the box to stop the run I think Teel can do the same thing he did to Navy, 2-3 TD's and 200 + yards.

Lenny said...

I feel it necessary to defend my Hawkeyes. Did they lose to Indiana? Yes, but Indiana is a team on the rise. Hoeppner is a good coach and the team wanted to win for him. Iowa was looking ahead to Michigan. Was it stupid to do that? Absolutely. But was it a mistake that can be fix? Well, who are they going to look ahead to this week? No one, so they have their entire focus on Michigan. To think that Michigan is entirely focused on Iowa and not in the slightest bit on OSU is stupid. They are looking ahead. Whether that translates into a loss, we won't know until tomorrow. I do know that Drew Tate is the ULTIMATE competitor. He will not go down without a fight, and he has won in the Big House before. He knows what it takes and he'll make sure the team is ready. All he needs is to have his receivers start catching the ball.

Josh said...

ChrTh said...
Am I the only one not completely sold on Cal yet? Probably. Regardless, I'm picking Washington over Cal as my upset pick of the weekend.

WOW!!! So either you don't pay attention to college football or you really are just an idiot. A) Cal has the most potent offense West of the Mississippi. B) One of these days everyone will have to get over their one loss IN THE FIRST WEEK to an (at the time) underrated and rejuvinated Tennessee. C) The only reason UW had ANYTHING going for it this year is now out for the season (Stanback I hope recovery goes well...most unnoticed QB in the country). So take your pick chrth...are you an idiot or do you really just not pay attention to what's going on in college football?

manningham86 said...

rumors about michigan....

Hart is dinged but it's not serious. If possible they'll reduce his workload tomorrow.

Adrian Arrington is probably suspended.

There's a tiny chance Massey might be dinged, too, but I'm pretty sure that's just a wrong reading of a particular tea-leaf.

Jason (East Lansing) said...

Hope you were on the road and didn't have to watch this one Dan. What a comeback.