After a mediocre 3-2 start in Week I, the kid’s gone 5-0, 4-1, and again this past weekend, 4-1. Only the Crimson & Crean let me down. Which forces me to apologize profusely to Coach Tom, for even considering pigskin stuff up Bloomington way, now that full team hoops practices have commenced. Whatever was I thinking?
In case your abacus isn’t handy, my record for the year is 16-4. Yes, I know there have been some Cardinal walkovers, but still, ya know, 80% winners will have Joey the Vig simmering anytime.
You ready for this week’s winnahs?
That’s what I thought. Let’s get this party started.
Iowa @ Minnesota. See there, I’m not just cherry picking easy games. This one’s a single digit spread. Not to mention that the only thing I know about either squad — until I google up a hint o’ research — is that the Golden Gophers coach keeps having epileptic fits on the sideline. Which, I understand, is not something to joke about. But good taste has never gotten in the way of pithy commentary in this space. Speaking of coaches, wasn’t Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz Flavor of the Month not so long ago? No more. Iowa went 4-8 last season, then started this campaign wobbly with an L to Norther Illinois. The W over rival Iowa State doesn’t look so hot, since the Cyclones also lost to Northern Iowa. Meanwhile the Golden Gophers have taken care of business during their pre-league schedule, standing 4-0, with coach or without. Phil Steele says this is Jerry Kill’s best team yet. Who am I to disagree? The Golden Gophers win again. (Which is something their crosstown compatriot Vikings have yet to do at all.)
LSU @ Georgia. Yeah I hate the aura of the SEC as much as the next guy, who doesn’t reside in Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge, Athens, Columbia, Fayetteville, etc, etc, etc. Have had too many run ins with Harvey Updyke kind of guys to willingly admit any admiration for the conference. But they do play some football down south this time o’ year. And their big games are Big Games. Like this one between two contendas between the hedges. The Tigers are 4-0 including a league W over Auburn. The Bulldogs are 2-1, but the L to Clemson is offset by a bigger league W over the Ol’ Ball Coach. Ya know, Les Miles is going to do something irrational but oh so interesting to watch on Saturday. It ain’t gonna work. Chalk up a W for Uga.
Wisconsin @ Ohio State. So, backup QB Kenny Guiton sets an Ohio State record for most TDs in a game, doing it in one half no less, and what’s his reward? Well, let’s just say nobody’s going to be using the Lou Gehrig reference. Because one time Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller is no Wally Pipp. Pope Urban Meyer is undefeated at the helm on the banks of the Olentangy. And what The Pope wants, The Pope gets. Which is a now healthy again Miller back calling signals for the Buckeyes. Meanwhile, Guiton is parked on the pine, despite acing his understudy test. Joel Stave is still under center for the Badgers, despite his gaffe which cost his team a W at Arizona State. Wisconsin recovered from that misfortune by thrashing the Boilermakers in the league opener. Winning in the horsehoe is a different story. One has to assume Pope Urban will eventually get an L on his Ohio State resumé. But it shan’t be this weekend.
Navy @ Western Kentucky. Yes, I have been among the wise guys who wondered whether Bobby Petrino would still be coaching in Bowling Green when autumn officially arrived? At 2-2, he’s showing that even coaching genius — which he possesses — needs talent to prevail. So, the Toppers face their second big test of the Petrino Era, in the runnin’ runnin’ runnin’ Middies from Annapolis. At 2-0, with a W over IU, Navy is as steady as she goes as always during the Ken “I’ve Got The Hardest Last Name Besides Krzyzewski To Spell In All Of Coaching” Niumatalolo. My head tells me the disciplined visitors are a superior team. But my gut tells me Bobby P with his phalanx of QBs pulls this one off.
Florida @ Kentucky. The Wildcats have not bested the Gators on the gridiron since a 10-3 W on November 15, 1986. It’s a thorn in the side of the pigskin aficionados of the Big Blue Nation. While the Gator Guard has less long term, more immediate concerns. Like, will backup QB Tyler Murphy be as good, or hopefully, even better than injured starter Jeff Driskell? More important — Big Picture — is coach Will Muschamp as good at what he does as former mentors Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier? It’s not clear yet, since last year’s bittersweet 11-2 campaign ended with an upset L in the Sugar Bowl. A loss in Lexington to the slowly but surely resurging Wildcats would not sit well. Kentucky won’t win, but this is going to be a far closer encounter than the 14 point spread would indicate.
– Seedy K