Friday, October 13, 2006

CFB Weekend Preview:
Florida in Spotlight Again

For the second straight week, Florida is involved in the Game of the Week. Despite the way Auburn was clobbered at home by Arkansas, this game is arguably tougher for the Gators than last week's game against LSU:

First, it's on the road. Second, Auburn will be motivated after dropping off the national-title radar a week ago. Third, the best way for them to regain national respect is to KO the Team du Jour (or "du Week"). But can they?

Florida's defense has emerged as the toughest in the country; if Auburn can be shut down by Arkansas, what will they be able to do against Florida? Meanwhile, no team yet has devised a way to stop Florida's suddenly chic two-headed QB: "Leakbow," (or, as I like to call the set-up: The "Fun-n-Gun-n-Run.")

As always, I'm biased. But I'm picking Florida – and if the Gators DO win at Auburn, I'd be willing to put UF's three "big" wins (AT Tennessee, AT Auburn and LSU) over Ohio State's AT Texas, AT Iowa and... what else? (Penn State? Ha, sure.)

Here's the rest of the weekend. Since I take the chalk, SOMETHING crazy HAS to happen, right?

1 Ohio State over at Michigan St.
2 Florida over at 11 Auburn
3 USC over Arizona St.
4 Michigan over at Penn St (TRAP!)
5 WVA over Syracuse
6 Texas over Baylor
7 Louisville over Cincy
10 Cal over at Wazzou St.
14 LSU over Kentucky
15 Iowa over at Indiana
16 Georgia over Vanderbilt
17 Arkansas over SE Mizzou St.
18 Oregon over UCLA
19 Missouri over at Texas A&M
20 Boise St over at New Mexico St.
21 Nebraska over at K-State
23 Oklahoma over Iowa St
24 Rutgers over at Navy
25 Wisconsin over Minnesota

Don't forget to drop by tomorrow all day for the weekly CFB Tailgate, using the Comments section to deliver all the pre-game, in-game and post-game analysis.

-- D.S.

27 comments:

Richard said...

DS,

Every week I tell you to man up and pick an upset (ala Tony Kornheiser). But, damn, there don't seem to be any upset alerts this week (or rather this Saturday since VT got killed on Thursday).

Maybe UCLA over Oregon...thats a stretch.

john (ann arbor, mi) said...

Alright, some people are gonna be pissed, and others are just gonna laugh, but here's my pick for a game that won't play the way a lot of people expect: WVa vs. Syracuse. I wish there were a slightly better lousy team than Syracuse playing the Mountaineers this weekend, but I think they're due for their disgraceful upset loss and precipitous fall from contention.

Unfortunately, again, Syracuse is not very good at all, so it would take a lot for them to beat WVa, but I think it'll at least be a foreshadowing of future downfall.

Sorry, this amounts to my calling this a "trap" game, but my point is that I think West Virginia gets exposed this weekend, but maybe not enough for anyone to pay any attention (see: Colorado vs. Georgia).


I know I'm being crazy enough already, but let's see if anybody can (or wants to) follow me here: I think, furthermore, that the only possible situation in which West Virginia can beat Louisville in two weeks, is a situation in which WVa already has one loss.


And Michigan will continue to win by no less than 2 touchdowns.

Up and At Them! said...

UCLA over Oregon. That's the obvious upset pick. Keeping in mind the Ducks' "win" vs. OU and their big loss to Cal, we might start to think that that team isn't all it's QUACKED up to be!

Dan Shanoff said...

If you count VT as an upset...which is a stretch!

Natsfan74 said...

Florida's 3 big wins? One verse an LSU team that hasn't beaten a ranked team yet this year, one against an Auburn team that lost big to the same Arkansas team that USC crushed? Tennessee is the most legitimate win in that bunch -- they beat Cal and put up 50 on Georgia. I still think the SEC is WAY overrated... a bunch of highly rated defenses that play non-conference games against Cupcake U and then shut out the weak offenses within the conference.

Drucifer said...

Ok, natsfan, if you think the SEC is overrated let's hear what conference you think is tough and while you're at it name a big program that DOESN'T schedule "cupcake u." non-conference games.... And just for argument's sake, how about naming a team with 3 bigger wins than those Gator wins this year...

Upset of the week will be Penn State taking care of business at home against michigan.

Keithsrk said...

Showing no love for the home field this week, eh? Me thinks he underestimates the effect of 100,000 strong.

Auburn AT HOME over Florida - A week ago, everyone thought Auburn was a better team than Florida. That thought will be re-confirmed around 11:15 PM. LSU, at 7-7, had a chance to take control but a called-back touchdown and a fumble at the goal line was too much to overcome. Made UF appear better than they actually are.

Texas A&M AT HOME over Mizzou. Careful of the downtrodden perennial power, at home, with a coach on the hot seat.

Navy AT HOME over Rutgers. Too much prosperity for Rutgers to handle.

And big one... Penn State AT HOME over Michigan. Happy Valley will be absolutley insane on Saturday night. Lloyd will go conservative, make that conservativer, without Manningham in the lineup. Another program, and coach, that has only been able to handle prosperity once in the last 50 years. Morelli's break-out game. Joe and PSU serve notice that next year is their year (9 returning starters on offense next year if my math is right).

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

The SEC plays weak non-conference games because they know they are going to beat each other up.

USC can schedule Arkansas, Nebraska and Notre Dame because they know that each year there is maybe one team in the Pac-10 that could beat them.

The only conference that can try to claim being the toughest is the Big 10 but they are basing that on having Ohio St. and Michigan. The SEC top to bottom is much better than any conference in the country.

jkads said...

Drucifer "name a big program that DOESN'T schedule "cupcake u." non-conference games.... And just for argument's sake, how about naming a team with 3 bigger wins than those Gator wins this year..."

First, realize that Florida has to beat Auburn for there to even be a discussion/debate on the topic. I for one think that Auburn is going to win the game.

Second, look at Ohio State and Texas for scheduling a tough non-conference game against each other and applaud them. I know Ohio State has future home and home matchups with USC and Miami.

Lenny said...

I'm going to get ridiculed for this comment by people with memories from a couple weeks ago, but I'm ok with that. I think the Ok-Ia St game could be a trap. I've actually seen Iowa State and Oklahome play and I think the Cyclones could give the Sooners problems. You must know that as an Iowa Hawkeye fan, supporting anything that has to do with Iowa State goes against every single thing I've ever been taught, but I'm just looking at it from a non-biased side. And Florida won't win. Auburn's pissed. They want to make a statement and this is the perfect way for them to do it.

Drucifer said...

jkads....

Sure OSU vs Texas is big. However, OSU also scheduled N. Illinois, Cincinnati, and Bowling Green. Texas is even worse, with games against N. Texas, Rice, SAM HOUSTON, and Baylor. PLUS their conference is weak. And I'll grant you the future USC matchup, but Miami? No longer an elite program, I'm sorry to say.

And the Gators will handle Auburn this week...they have arguably the best defense in college football, and their two-headed offense will be more than Auburn can handle - they gave up 27 pts to Arkansas.

And speaking of tough non-conference games, let's not forget that the Gators throw down with FSU EVERY YEAR!

Stooncer said...

Yawn! Where are the upset picks? Both OU teams (Oregon, Oklahoma) have a shot at going down.

FreKy J said...

You know Dan, If both Florida and Ohio State win this week, Florida will overtake the #1 spot on my CFB Ladder.

jkads said...

Miami is 3-2. They have losses to what were two Top 25 teams at the day of defeat. If you don't think Miami is going to bounce back by 2010, I think you might have a screw loose.

I count the game against FSU as the same as OSU has against Michigan. FSU might be non-conference and Michigan is conference, but it is the biggest game every year and the last game for OSU/UM every year (don't pay close enough attention to whether Florida/FSU is last game ever year). So I count that as a push.

Drucifer said...

@jkads

You can predict the college football landscape in 2010 and I'm the one with a screw loose? Ummm...ok. Miami lost to FSU, who is terrible. Don't care if they were overrated when Miami played them in week one. Then they lost to Louisville and managed to beat Houston BY ONE POINT. That program is in disrepair and badly needs a head coaching change. They are being out-recruited in the state of Florida by both the Gators AND FSU at this point....

No comment on the bake sale non-conference schedules of OSU and Texas? Exactly....

Dan Shanoff said...

If Florida wins this weekend, I think people will be very surprised when they end up being ranked ahead of Ohio St on Sunday night in the first official BCS formulation.

jkads said...

"No comment on the bake sale non-conference schedules of OSU and Texas? Exactly...."

They may have weak non-conference schedules outside of this game, but look at this game in an of itself. It pitted the #1 vs. #2 team in the country. I don't see Florida playing Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Texas or any other big name non-conference opponent. Other than FSU, "who is terrible."

Benvious said...

Dan,

It'll piss everyone off even more when Florida and OSU win, and NEITHER is #1 in the BCS. Apparently, USC is #1 on 3 of the computers and #2 on another.

Does it really matter who is #1 or #2 at this point? I think everyone that can be objective about it will agree that if Florida goes undefeated, and the winner of the OSU/Michigan game goes undefeated, there's your national championship game.

All the others that "could" go undefeated (USC, WVa or Louisville, Missouri, Rutgers) can piss and moan and beg for a playoff, but Michigan, OSU, and Florida are the three that control their own destiny.

Benvious said...

Doh - Forgot that Boise State could go undefeated too...

Drucifer said...

It pitted #1 vs #2 based on inflated preseason rankings...Texas without Vince Young isn't nearly the team it was with him. I'll happily continue this dialogue if you can name a team in division 1 football that plays a harder 3-game stretch than LSU, @ Auburn, and Georgia at a neutral site.

Florida doesn't have to go outside it's conference to find tough teams to play...Unlike Texas. The Big 12 just ain't what it used to be....

jkads said...

"It pitted #1 vs #2 based on inflated preseason rankings...Texas without Vince Young isn't nearly the team it was with him."

I'll concede that they are not as good this year as they were last year. But if you look at the rest of their scores, other than the OSU game, they have blown out every team. So I would disagree that their #2 ranking was inflated. In fact, some people are saying they could be the #2 team in the country, even with the one loss (though I wouldn't take it that far, the bookies seem to agree with this).

"I'll happily continue this dialogue if you can name a team in division 1 football that plays a harder 3-game stretch than LSU, @ Auburn, and Georgia at a neutral site."

I'm not even sure what we are debating here. I don't mind conceding that Florida has a tougher stretch in their schedule than anyone else in the country right now. But remember, even if they do lose to Auburn (albeit by a close margin) they are still not out of the National Championship picture. Ohio State has to beat what could be #2 Michigan in the last game of the season. If that is their only loss, they will still be barred from making the National Championship game.

Drucifer said...

"I'm not even sure what we are debating here." LOL...I seem to have lost track, but it was fun while it lasted.

This has been my best year as a fan of college football ever, though. I was born, raised, and currently live in Cleveland, Ohio and have been a Buckeyes fan forever. However, I went to college in Florida and adopted the Gators as my Florida team, and went to lots of games at the swamp. So I have a closet full of Scarlet and Grey, and Blue and Orange. If they end up playing for the national championship, I'm not even sure how I'll dress that day. As a fan, here's hoping...

jkads said...

Hah. Good stuff.

I too am from Cleveland. Just finished up college in Boston and I am now currently living in Stamford, CT.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
manninghamheisman said...

I don't think Florida will beat Auburn. Auburn went through a terrible loss last week. Good reason to gather themselves.

Michigan and Penn State, Michigan will not have too much problem because we still have great defense and the same great offensive scheme with Arrington and Greg Matthews (rookie phenom). I think there will be extra motivation for Henne being in his hometown playing the school he verbally accepted to. Our defense has carried the team the whole season. We will be fine

Anonymous said...

come on, the georgia game is not at a neutral site. Every year I hear that crap and every year I watch the game and see the stands full of blue/orange. It's a de facto home game for UF.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

Maher, you must only watch every other year. The Georgia game is so much fun because it's exactly 50/50 in the stands, split right down the middle. Which is awesome because its loud on every play--every play has about 40,000 people sreaming. So you must only be watching the years UF is the "away" team.