Friday, September 30, 2005

Week Five: #18 Minnesota (4-0, 1-0) at Penn State (4-0, 1-0)

It sure feels good to be winning again. Penn State is 4-0 for the first time since 1999 and won their Big Ten opener for the first time since 1999. Now Penn State needs to exorcise the final demon of the downfall of the football program- the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Nittany Lions have not beaten the Gophers since 1998 and that fateful November afternoon. November 6, 1999- a day that would go on to live in infamy in the minds of Penn State players, coaches and supporters. Many claim that the downfall began years ago. The first cracks in foundation seemed to occur in 1995 with tough home losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin. Then back to back blowout losses to Michigan in 1997 and 1998 and the 16-15 escape of Minnesota in 1997. All of those events seemed to lead up to the program finally caving in against Minnesota on that infamous day. Dan Nystrom's game-winning field goal as time expired was like a dagger through the heart of any associated with Penn State. The Lions went on to lose the next two to Michigan and Michigan State before defeating Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl, a far cry from where PSU fans expected to be just weeks earlier. 2000 and 2001 were disappointing coming up just one win short of a bolw trip in both seasons. 2002 brought somewhat of a feeling of old back with a 9-4 season. 2003 and 2004 were downright abysmal. Now here we are in 2005. The Lions are climbing back to respectability with a strong early start to the season. Meanwhile here come the Gophers into Happy Valley, high after a victory over Purdue last week. Minnesota is thinking Big Ten title, Penn State is thinking resurgance. This is a statement game for Penn State, a chance to finally get people talking about Nittany Lion football again. Minnesota came in and spoiled Penn State's undefeated season in 1999. Now Penn State has a chance to exorcise the final demon and crush Minnesota's hopes of a dream season. The exorcism began when Penn State came within three feet of losing at Indiana last November. The Lions pulled off a goal line stand reminiscent of 1967's "The Stop" against N.C. State, the play many credit as the start of Penn State's football dynasty under Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions have not lost a game since then. Minnesota is the last hurdle. As big a game as this one this, next week's is even bigger. How much bigger does it get than Ohio State at home, under the lights, 110,000 strong on national TV? If Penn State is 5-0 heading into the game, it may very well be the biggest game at Beaver Stadium in years. I think the Nittany Lions will be 5-0.

My Prediction- Penn State 24, Minnesota 23
The final demon is exorcised as freshman kicker Kevin Kelly, a freshman, nails a field goal as time expires to give Penn State the victory. Dan Nystrom, Minnesota's kicker in 1999, was also a freshman when he nailed the infamous kick. Coincidence? More coincidence- Penn State's last loss was on November 6, 2004 against Northwestern, five years to the day of the loss to Minnesota.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

ABC "Regional" Coverage

Correct me if I'm wrong but last I checked State College, Pennsylvania is a lot closer to New York City than Los Angeles or Tempe, Arizona. So now I would like an explanation as to why I will not be seeing the Minnesota-Penn State game on WABC on Saturday afternoon. Now I can understand why the Syracuse-Florida State will be on WTNH out of New Haven, CT with New England being Big East (and now ACC) territory but how in the heck is ASU-USC a REGIONAL broadcast? Most sports fans north of Pennsylvania don't give a crap about college football and they are transplanted. Most NY and New England sports fans, and now myself included, will be watching the Yankees-Red Sox game instead. I can also vouch for the fact that there a heck of a lot more Penn State fans in New York and New England than USC and Arizona State combined. After Connecticut and Notre Dame, I wouldn't surprise me if Penn State was the third most popular team among college football fans in this region. It is an absolute disgrace that ABC continues to spurn Penn State. The only PSU games I remember being broadcast in New Enland and New York on ABC over the past two seasons were the Boston College games in 2003 and 2004. It still seems like yesterday that the Penn State game would always be on here in Connecticut no matter what. Back in 1998, the PSU-Bowling Green was on ABC up here. Now we can't even get the Minnesota game. Oh well, I'll enjoy the Yankees capturing their eighth straight AL East pennant and then listening to the Minnesota-Penn State game. Next week will be one of my most treasured as a college football fan when I make the trip down to Happy Valley for the Ohio State-Penn State game. A night game at home (first time since Nebraska in 2002), 110,000+ and a wild atmosphere.

BlogPoll Roundtable #8

1. We are now 1/3 of the way through the season and things are starting to shake out. With that in mind, who are your picks to win each of the BCS conferences, as well as your choice for an at-large berth from a non-BCS league (none is an option)?
ACC- Virginia Tech
Big East- I will preface this by saying that the WAC deserves this bid more than the Big East does. South Florida
Big Ten- Michigan State
Big 12- Texas
Pac-10- Southern Cal
SEC- Florida
At-Large- Georgia

2. What team currently out of the
Top 10 (AP or Coach's, doesn't really matter), has the best chance of ending up in the title game?
Alabama and Penn State. Alabama is becoming a sexy choice out of the SEC so I'm going to go with the slightly homerish selection of Penn State. Penn State you ask? Minnesota and Ohio State at home, at Michigan in what appears to be a down year, Illinois away, Purdue and Wisconsin at home and then at Michigan State. Is at a long shot? Hell yeah. But if Penn State can manage to get past Minnesota and Ohio State, a Top 10 ranking is likely. I will guarantee one thing though. If Penn State starts 6-0, the Nittany Lions will be spending New Year's Day in the Sunshine State.

3. When you're watching a game, what type of fan can you absolutely not tolerate being around?

The casual fan who asks too many questions. I don't mind casual college football fans in general if they ask only a couple of questions but the people who ask a question after every other play are extremely irritating.

Bonus: A sizable portion of Michigan fandom is in full meltdown mode (myself especially). Some have chosen to sequester themselves for this weekend's game against MSU to avoid scaring children, causing long-term psychological damage to those in the near vicinity, and most especially to avoid jail (I'm not saying this is me per se). Anyways, we need some help. Give us some ideas for replacements for LLLyd Carr (3 L's for the number of losses per year, and no O this year either). Assistant coaches, head coaches elsewhere, etc. Please, give us something to look forward to.

Glen Mason (Minnesota), Joe Glenn (Wyoming), Jeff Tedford (Cal), Tom O'Brien (Boston College), Bobby Johnson (Vanderbilt). I don't see Michigan going with someone without prior head coaching experience.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Nittany Blog Top 25 (9/27/05)

1. Southern Cal
2. Texas
3. Virginia Tech
4. Florida
5. Georgia
6. Florida State
7. Ohio State
8. Michigan State
9. Tennessee
10. Cal
11. Miami (Florida)
12. Notre Dame
13. Louisiana State
14. Arizona State
15. Georgia Tech
16. Alabama
17. UCLA
18. Texas Tech
19. Virginia
20. Wisconsin
21. Minnesota
22. Purdue
23. Iowa State
24. Boston College
25. Penn State

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Week Four Thoughts

The ACC is clearly the strongest conference in the nation this season. Virginia Tech is challenging Texas as the second best team in the nation and Florida State and Miami are in the Top 10. The SEC, as usual, is still billed by many as the top conference but top to bottom I think the ACC trumps them. The only two teams in the ACC that have little shot at a bowl game are Duke and Wake Forest.

Clemson was snake bitten for the second week, losing to Boston College in overtime at home, just a week after losing to Miami in three overtimes. The Tigers are a good team and are easily the best 2-2 team in the country. However, they need to step up their play if they have any designs on challenging for a decent bowl game. Their only real difficult games the rest of the season are at Georgia Tech and Florida State at home. The only other potential trap is at South Carolina. This team is capable of finishing 8-3 or even 9-2.

Virginia Tech looked unbelieveable against Georgia Tech. I was very high on the Yellow Jackets heading into the season and I still believe that this is one of the best teams in the ACC despite the 51-7 loss. However, it also made me a full believer that Virginia Tech is capable of at least challenging USC. Marcus Vick is a great weapon at QB and the Hokies have a defense that could potentially contain the Trojans attack to some degree. Frank Beamer's attention to detail on special teams is amazing.

Big East:
Once again, the conference proved that it is undeserving of a BCS bowl bid. Louisville, the proclaimed power team in the new Big East, was thrashed by South Florida 45-14. It's one thing to be upset by USF but for the supposed best team in the conference to lose by 31 to an inferior opponent. With the victory, South Florida can pretty much be considered the best team in the league. The rest of the conference is in disarray and all I really see is another 8-3 or 7-4 heading to a BCS bowl, depriving a 9 or 10 win team in a real conference that deserves it.

Oh and Pitt finally won a game, beating 1-AA Youngstown State 41-0.

Big Ten:
Wisconsin upset Michigan 23-20 to drop the Wolverines to 2-2 and out of the Top 25 for the first time in years. Michigan looks like they have one of their worst squads in several years. Things may get better on offense when Mike Hart is healthy but Chad Henne is really missing Braylon Edwards. Edwards was there to bail him out of tough situations last season. Now there are times where Henne looks downright lost, similar to the 2004 Notre Dame game. However, he seems to be developing a good connection with Mario Manningham. Manningham was Henne's favorite target against Wisconsin.

Michigan State and Ohio State look like the two best teams in the conference at this point. Drew Stanton may be the best QB in the league. Ohio State looked strong against Iowa. The Hawkeyes offense looked plain bad, just as they did against Iowa State. The Hawkeyes need to get it together if they expect to make it to a fourth consecutive New Year's Day (or better) bowl game. Ohio State has a bye week before traveling to Penn State in what will be a classic trap door game for the Buckeyes with Michigan State awaiting the Buckeyes the week after. Penn State always plays OSU tough in Happy Valley and could be 5-0 heading into the game.

Minnesota upset Purdue in OT, 42-35. Purdue blew their chance at running the table in the Big Ten since they miss Ohio State and Michigan this season. So much for Iowa being the hardest game on the schedule. Meanwhile, Minnesota is 4-0 and heads to Happy Valley next week to meet 4-0 (boy it feels good to write that) Penn State. Minnesota will be high going into the game and Penn State is still trying to avenge the 1999 loss to Minnesota that ended Penn State's hopes of an undefeated season.

Big 12:
Not much of note went on this week other than the fact that Iowa State barely escaped at Army, 28-21. Colorado also lost to Miami 23-3. Texas Tech blew out Indiana State 63-7 after leading 49-0 at halftime. The Sycamores were the second 1-AA team the Red Raiders have played this season, Sam Houston State were first. Texas Tech's only other OOC game was against 1-A newcomer Florida International.

Southern Cal, despite struggling early, came back to blow out Oregon. There's not anything new to say about the Trojans, we all know that they are good.

Washington lost at home to Notre Dame 36-17 but it wasn't that close a game in the second half. The Irish were only up 12-3 at the half but were leading by as much as 36-3 in the second half. It's absolutely amazing how quickly this Husky football program has fallen in such a short time span. Washington finished 6-5 in 2003 before falling to 1-10 last season. Willingham has a giant rebuilding job in front of him. He really has nothing at this point. I have a feeling that Washington got their only victory against Idaho. Another 1-10 season isn't out of the question.

Vanderbilt advanced to 4-0 after beating Richmond at home. The Commodores host Middle Tennessee State next week.

Alabama defeated Arkansas to go to 4-0. Things are once again right with college football as Alabama, Penn State and Nebraska are all undefeated and Notre Dame has one loss.

Tennessee-LSU is the best SEC matchup of the week. Seeing how both teams deal with the game being pushed back 48 hours will be interesting. I like LSU at home.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Week Four: Penn State (3-0, 0-0) vs Northwestern (2-1, 0-0)

Here we are, the cupcake games are over and now the Big Ten season starts with an ideal match up for Penn State. The Nittany Lions travel to Evanston, Illinois to face the homestanding Northwestern Wildcats, a team that has squeaked out victories over Penn State the past two seasons. Penn State's last victory over Northwestern was in 2002 when the Lions spanked the Wildcats 49-7 in Happy Valley. However, there are many factors that give Penn State a disctinct advantage in this game and I advise any sports bettors out there to take Penn State at -6.5. This Northwestern defense is horrible. Just plain horrible. Northwestern was an extra point away from losing to Northern Illinois at home, squeaking out a 38-37 victory when Huskies' coach Joe Novak decided to go for two and win the game on a last minute touchdown instead of kicking the PAT. The Wildcats then traveled down to Arizona State and allowed the Sun Devil offense to run all over them for nearly 800 yards of total offense. Through their first three games, the Wildcats rank 115th in the 1-A in yards per game against. More importantly for Penn State, Northwestern is 116th in passing yards per game against. The only team PSU has faced that is worse than NW is Central Michigan, ranked 118th. On offense, the Wildcats feature a spread attack led by QB Brett Basaenz and RB Tyrell Sutton. The Wildcats currently rank 15th in the nation in passing yards. Tyrell Sutton, a true freshman, has scored six touchdowns. However, after those two the rest of the offense is a bit shakey. Wide receiver Shaun Herbert (21, 212, 4 TD) is the only other real threat on offense. Northwestern, as usual, has a solid offensive line and is led by Zach Strief. Basanez has yet to throw and interception.

It's hard to not see the improvement that Penn State has made from game 1 to game 2 to game 3. After a shakey 23-13 win against South Florida to open the season, the offense exploded the next weekend against Cincinnati, jumping out to a 42-10 lead. However, the Bearcats got two touchdowns in the final minute against the reserves and then an emotionless and lethargic 1st team to break Penn State's streak of holding opponents to 21 points or less after 12 games and make the final 42-24. The team then finally came together last weekend against a Central Michigan team that had defeated MAC heavyweight Miami of Ohio the previous Saturday and had nearly beaten Indiana in week one. Penn State was sharp on both sides of the ball, whipping the Chippewas 40-3. It was Penn State's best overall performance of the three early games and basically showed people what this team is capable of. I'm still skeptical of Paterno opening up the passing game and running the spread as much as the Lions did in the first three games but it's hard not to believe. Michael Robinson looked much better, Deon Butler is emerging as a big play threat and Derrick Williams is as good as advertised. Earlier this week, there was a blurb about Williams not living up to expectations. Someone needs to point out to the author of that piece that Williams currently has better stats than Ted Ginn Jr. Anthony Morelli has had two consecutive stelar performances in mop up duty, including his first career touchdown pass. I'm absolutely salivating at the thought on Morelli at QB and this corps of wide receivers next season. It won't hurt to have Mark Rubin back either. I don't hesitiate in saying that Morelli is Penn State's best QB since Kerry Collins. Michael Robinson and Anthony Morelli are arguably the best one-two QB tandem in the Big Ten. If the offense is for real, Penn State could join Michigan State as a sleeper in the Big Ten this season.

I'm sorry to any Northwestern fans reading this but Penn State is going to beat the crap out the Wildcats defense tomorrow. If Penn State can pass effectively and minimize turnovers, the Nittany Lions will have no problem hanging 35 on Northwestern. I'm predicting 35-14, with NW's final TD coming in mop up time. The only reason PSU won't score more than 35 is that Joe will call off the dogs in the third quarter and save the guys for Minnesota. If Penn State wins, especially if they win big, will indicate nothing. It will pretty much just be looked at as the fourth cupcake game. Next week against Minnesota will be when we finaly learn how good (or bad for that matter) this team is.

My Prediction- Penn State 35, Northwestern 14

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dandy Vandy

What? Vandy is 3-0? Yes, I still can't believe it myself. What's even more scary? The Commodores have already beaten two SEC teams, Arkansas and Ole Miss, and haven't faced Kentucky, who played poorly against 1-AA Idaho State, yet. Vandy also defeated Wake Forest on the first Thursday night of the season. Somehow this team has come out of nowhere and has beaten THREE BCS conference schools through their first three games. I haven't researched it but I doubt that any other program can boast that at this point in the season. Vandy should clean up the next two weeks with Richmond and Middle Tennessee State at home. It is very likely that Vandy will be 5-0 when LSU rolls into Nashville on 10/8. Don't forget that they still have Kentucky on the schedule on November 12th at Vanderbilt Stadium. A match up usually used to decide who finishes fifth in the SEC East may now become a chance for Vanderbilt to get six wins and reach a bowl game for the first time since 1982! That's not to say that the Commodores might not get it sooner. Georgia comes to Nashville the week after LSU and the Bulldogs are notorious for playing close games with even the worst Vandy teams. The only other possible win on the SEC slate is at South Carolina. Jay Cutler may very well be the best QB in the SEC and Bobby Johnson should be SEC Coach of the Year if he gets Vanderbilt to a bowl game. Heck, they should name the stadium after him if he gets them to a bowl game. Everyone gasped when the Commodores pulled out a 28-24 win at Arkansas and then went bug-eyed when Vandy posted a 31-23 victory over Ole Miss in their home opener. With two SEC games and two SEC wins under their belt, the Commodores techinically lead the SEC East. Savor this success Vanderbilt fans, after decades of despair, the Commodores finally look ready to be competitive. Remember, Northwestern came out of decades of disappointment to win Big Ten titles in 1995, 1996 and 2000, including the 1996 Rose Bowl appearance. I will be pulling for Vandy all season long. What a story it would make for this program to just reach a bowl game, let alone win some more SEC games.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nightmare in Norman

I would have laughed at anyone who told me that at this point in the season, the Oklahoma Sooners would be 1-2 and out of the Top 25 for the first time since 1999. It's Oklahoma, right? They're not supposed to lose to TCU at home, barely sqeak by Tulsa and then get it handed to them by UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Oklahoma was a consensus Top 10 team to the begin the season and looked poised for a 3-0, at worst 2-1, start. The number ten became an enemy in Norman on September 3rd when the Sooners could muster only ten points to TCU's 17 and lost at home in September for the first time under Stoops. Things didn't improve a great deal in week two as the Sooners struggled to put away Tulsa, a team that had been ambushed by Minnesota at home in week one. The Sooners scored 31 on the Golden Hurricane but needed a touchdown to extend and protect a 17-15 lead late in the third quarter. Rhett Bomar, cited for underage drinking earlier in the week, was once again unimpressive and Paul Thompson, the starter in week one, wasn't any better. The Sooners' passing game was so anemic against Tulsa that they didn't attempt a pass play the entire second half. The Sooners then surprised few when UCLA defeated them 41-25 last week to drop Oklahoma to 1-2, their worst start in years. Bomar was improved, going 20 of 29 for 241 yards and no interceptions and a rushing TD. The Sooners up to this point remind me of the 2000 Penn State team that finished 5-7. After losing to Southern Cal in the Kickoff Classic to open the season, the Lions lost an embarassing game, 24-6 to Toledo. That was the day Penn State football hit rock bottom and still hasn't fully recovered. The Sooners' first three performances certainly don't give anyone confidence that this team can turn the corner in the Big 12. The only sure wins on OU's Big 12 slate are Kansas, in Kansas City, and Baylor at home. Oklahoma State has played the Sooners tough in Norman, Texas Tech looks like they can score 40 on anyone, Texas is widely recognized as the second best team in the country, Texas A&M will be seeking revenge, the Sooners travel to Lincoln to renew they rivalry with Nebraska and they draw Kansas State at home to open the Big 12 schedule. To reach a bowl game Oklahoma will need to finish 5-3 in the conference. To be honest, I don't think they're up to it. Adrian Peterson can't be the entire offense and Travis Wilson is Bomar's only reliable receiver. 4-4, wins against Kansas State, Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma State seem like probable victories but if Nebraska improves even marginally, the Huskers should be able to handle OU's rather one dimensional offensive attack. From the early games, the Sooners look like a 5-6 team. 5-6 was the exact record I first thought of as I watched them lose to TCU. Obviously it is far too early to panic in Norman but if the Sooners don't come out and make a statement against Kansas State, they will get rolled over by Texas in Dallas and find themselves at 1-4 headed to Kansas City. If I'm a Sooners fan right now, I'm very nervous. How could Jason White and Mark Clayton possibly have meant so much to this offense?

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Nittany Blog Top 25 (9/18/05)

1. Southern Cal
2. Texas
3. Virginia Tech
4. Louisiana State
5. Florida
6. Georgia
7. Purdue
8. Florida State
9. Georgia Tech
10. Louisville
11. Cal
12. Ohio State
13. Tennessee
14. Michigan State
15. Miami (Florida)
16. Notre Dame
17. Arizona State
18. Michigan
19. Texas Tech
20. Alabama
21. Virginia
22. UCLA
23. Iowa
24. Wisconsin
25. Penn State

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Week Three: Penn State 40, Central Michigan 3

After yesterday's game, I believe that Penn State is in a great position to surprise some Big Ten teams. I'm not predicting that Penn State will win the Big Ten but this team looks capable of going 5-3 in the conference. The game against Central Michigan, a team that knocked off MAC heavyweight Miami of Ohio the previous week, was by far Penn State's most complete game of the season thus far. The defense was dominating and will only get better with the return of Dan Connor next week. The offense was improved this week as Michael Robinson appears to be more comfortable and seems to have a good thing going Deon Butler, Penn State's go-to-guy the past two games, who had two more touchdowns against the Chippewas. Anthony Morelli once again looked good in mop up duty and threw his first career touchdown pass. I am absolutely salivating at the possibility of how good this offense might be next season with Morelli running the show. Perhaps Penn State's best offense since 1994?

Week Three Thoughts

Clemson and Miami was an absolute thriller. I didn't see the game live but I would imagine that we'll be seeing it on ESPN Classic very soon. It took a strong effort by the Hurricanes to win in Death Valley but I still am not sold on this Miami team being better than Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, therefore I still refuse to put them near the Top Ten as the media and coaches do, I slotted them at 15, up from 24 last week.

Florida State scored a big win at Boston College, 28-17. I have been reluctant to give the Seminoles credit for beating Miami and have kept them ranked much lower than the coaches and media but I'm buying into Florida State as the best team in the ACC Atlantic. However, I expect Clemson to challenge them.

Virginia Tech took Ohio behind the woodshed and beat them 45-0. This makes Pitt's loss to the Bobcats look even worse (see my Big East thoughts for more on Pitt).

Georgia Tech took care of Connecticut at home. The Yellow Jackets are a better team than they are getting credit for.

Big East:
West Virginia picked up a nice victory against Maryland to go to 3-0. West Virginia is starting to look like the second best team in the Big East.

Louisville shelled Oregon State 63-27. A much more impressive performance than the Cardinals' near loss at Kentucky in week one

Pitt lost 7-6 at Nebraska in an ugly game for both teams. The Panthers lost on a blocked field goal to fall to 0-3. Pitt draws Youngstown State, a 3-0 1-AA team, at home. The Penguins are probably in close resemblence to Ohio so who knows if Pitt will steam roll them or lose an embarassing game once again.

Big Ten:
Michigan State-Notre Dame was another classic game. The Spartans were up 38-17 before blowing the lead and sending the game into overtime. However, the Spartans were able to recover and won 44-41. At 3-0, the Spartans are a Top 25 and look like a sleeper in the Big Ten. Drew Stanton is perhaps the nation's most underrated QB.

Ohio State looked bad in beating San Diego State 27-6. It will be interesting to see how they recover heading into Big Ten play next week.

Penn State smoked Central Michigan 40-3. The offense looked good and the defense looked good. A lot will be learned next week when the Nittany Lions travel to Northwestern for their Big Ten opener.

Big 12:
Having already discussed the Nebraska win in the Big East section, not much else of importance happened in the Big 12 this past Saturday. Oklahoma lost to UCLA to fall to 1-2 and out of the Top 25 for the first time in several years. Texas Tech put 80 on Sam Houston State and looks strong heading into Big 12 play.

Conference USA:
UTEP came from behind to defeat Houston 44-41 and gain an upper hand in the C-USA West. The Miners didn't look good in the first half but Jordan Palmer is a stud QB and Tyler Ebell is an explosive tailback as he proved at UCLA. If Palmer can find some consistency with Johnny Lee Huggins, the Miners will be well on their way to the C-USA Championship Game.

Mountain West:
TCU, coming off a tough loss to SMU, ended Utah's 18 game winning streak on Thursday night. The Horned Frogs look like they might be the favorite in the Mountain West early on despite the loss to the Mustangs.

New Mexico looks like another early favorite in the Mountain West. DonTrell Moore needs a strong senior season and Hank Baskett needs to continue as one of the finest receivers in the conference and the Lobos have a good shot to knock off Utah as the defending champion.

Stanford lost to Cal-Davis 20-17. Cal-Davis is a team new to 1-AA! This is an absolute embarassing loss for the Cardinal and Walt Harris has lost all reason to laugh at Pitt and their pathetic start. It is inexcusable for a 1-A team to ever lose to a 1-AA team, especially one with little 1-AA experience. Unfortunately, Stanford and Washington do not meet this season, so there will not be a game to decide the worst teamin the Pac-10.

Southern Cal continues to prove that they are the best team in the country, hammering Arkansas 70-17. I don't see a team in the Pac-10 that will be able to hold Southern Cal under 35 points. The Trojans are simply scary good. Pete Carroll has amassed such an abundance of talent that no other the team in the country even comes close to replicating.

Florida won a big game against Tennessee and look as good as advertised. It should be a good battle between Florida, Georgia and Tennessee for the SEC East crown.

Vanderbilt is now 3-0. Yes, Vanderbilt is 3-0. I honestly can't believe this. I said last week that if Vandy beat Ole Miss, they would have an excellent chance to go to a bowl game. With Richmond and Middle Tennessee State the next two weeks, the Commodores should only need to beat Kentucky at home in November to get to their first bowl game since 1982.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Week Three Top 25 Predictions

Overall- 28-7
Upset Special- 1-1

Louisville over Oregon State W
Virginia over Syracuse W
Michigan over Eastern Michigan W
Georgia over Louisiana-Monroe W
Notre Dame over Michigan State L
Virginia Tech over Ohio W
Ohio State over San Diego State W
UCLA over Oklahoma W
Clemson over Miami (Florida) L
Iowa over Northern Iowa W
Cal over Illinois W
Georgia Tech over Connecticut W
Texas over Rice W
Fresno State over Oregon L
Texas Tech over Sam Houston State W
Boston College over Florida State L
Florida over Tennessee W
Arizona State over Northwestern W
Purdue over Arizona W
Southern Cal over Arkansas W

Week- 12-4
Overall- 40-11
Upset Special- 2-1

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Time to Expand the Mountain West, Destroy the WAC and Sink the Big East

The landscape of college football has changed greatly in the past year or so. Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College all exited the Big East to join the ACC. Conference USA suffered a mass exodus when Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida left to join the Big East. The time then came for the near death blow to the WAC, as C-USA pillaged SMU, Tulsa, Rice and UTEP. The Sun Belt then lost some key members when Idaho, New Mexico State and Utah State left to join the depleted WAC. Amidst this mess, TCU moved from C-USA to the Mountain West.

Now I propose one more major change, including the first discontinuation of a 1-A conference since the Big West, and a league to rival the MAC in terms of size. I propose the following moves:

Mountain West- Boise State, Fresno State and Hawaii leave the WAC

Sun Belt- The remaining WAC members (Idaho, Nevada, Louisiana Tech, Utah State and New Mexico State) join.

The new leagues would then look like this:

Mountain West
North Division:
Air Force
Boise State
Colorado State

South Division:
Fresno State
New Mexico
San Diego State

Sun Belt
South Division:
Arkansas State
Florida Atlantic
Florida International
Louisiana Tech
Middle Tennessee State

West Division:
New Mexico State
North Texas
San Jose State
Utah State

It is undeniable that a Mountain West that looked like that would be an inferior conference to the Big East. Boise State, Fresno State and Hawaii are all consistent bowl teams and could even rival the Pac-10 in year to year strength. This would finally push the terrible Big East out of the BCS picture and into their rightful place- mid-major standing. Now all that would need to be done is the removal of West Virginia to an actual football conference and let the rest of them rot in their superior basketball and weak football conference.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

BlogPoll Roundtable #7

1. With Trev Alberts now thankfully gone, he passes the torch to Aaron Taylor and Craig James as the worst commentators in college football. I honestly can't stand these two blithering idiots and change the channel to another game that's on even if it's something as unappealing as Arkansas State-Missouri. Craig James is lucky to be partnered with Taylor because it makes even look like the lesser of two idiots. James comes off as an arrogant know-it-all and ranks only a notch below Alberts because he doesn't come off as caustic and self absorbed. Aaron Taylor is just an idiot who seems to know nothing about football. I can't believe some of the idiotic things that come out of his mouth. An honorable mention goes out to Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel.

2. Austin Murphy from SI. He seems to know his stuff and has written some good college football books.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Week Two Thoughts

I surprised to see The Citadel hanging around with Florida State before the Seminoles overwhelming amount of talent led to a blow out. I really don't think the Seminoles are among the elite in the league this year as Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Boston College have impressed me far more.

Big East:
After a poor showing in week one, week two may have been even worse for the Big East solely based on one game. Pitt was absolutely embarassed on Friday night when they lost to Ohio, one of the worst teams in the MAC. Tyler Palko looked lost and the lowly Bobcats, beaten handily by Northwestern the previous week, shut down Pitt's stud wideout, Greg Lee. The Wannstedt Era is off the a very shaky start.

Connecticut, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, West Virginia all dominated far inferior opponents, including shutouts pitched by Connecticut against Liberty and Syracuse against Buffalo. The rest surrendered a touchdown or less.

Big Ten:
This weekend proved to be a very poor one of the Big Ten overall. Iowa lost to Iowa State, Texas squeaked out a victory over Ohio State and Michigan was stunned at Notre Dame at home. Barring collapses by some other programs, the Big Ten is likely out of the national championship picture. Iowa's offense looked pitiful against the Cyclones after Drew Tate was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Chad Henne showed signs of a sophomore slump against the Irish. Without Braylon Edwards to bail him out, it might be a long season for Henne and the Wolverines.

Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State and Penn State are all 2-0 thus far. Michigan State and Penn State are the only two in the group who have played anyone worth mentioning (Kent State and Hawaii for MSU and South Florida and Cincinnati for PSU). With some of the early favorites losing early on, the Spartans and Lions could make some noise in the Big Ten race. Indiana struggled to beat 1-AA Nicholls State.

Big 12:
Texas clearly looks like the team to beat in the Big 12 this season. I'm not sure there is any team in the Big 12 even close to being on the same level as them right now. If the Longhorns can get past Oklahoma, they will finish undefeated and participate in the Rose Bowl once again.

Oklahoma played another pitiful game against Tulsa, winning just 31-15. If not for two late touchdowns, this game would have been a lot closer. The Sooners passing attack is so bad that they didn't attempt a pass the entire second half. This team looks remarkably like the 2004 N.C. State and Penn State teams that finish 5-6 and 4-7, respectively. Both had tremendous defenses but couldn't put points on the board. I keep getting the feeling that OU might be in for a 5-6 season if they don't find offensive production outside of Adrian Peterson.

Iowa State looks like the team to beat in the Big 12 North after pummeling Iowa at home 23-3. Colorado and Nebraska should both be in the mix but Bret Meyer is a Vince Young Lite at QB and he has a terrific wide receiver in Todd Blythe.

Mountain West:
TCU made Oklahoma's loss to them look even worse as the Horned Frogs lost to lowly SMU. After being touted as this season's Utah for the past week, the Frogs are slammed back to the reality of what they really are- a middle of the road Mountain West team.

Arizona State looked good against LSU despite losing a game they had well in hand at one point. With both Cal and ASU on the road, one of them will end up with a good shot at knocking off the Trojans.

Cal dominated Washington 56-17 and despite a relatively weak conference overall, the Pac-10 has three pretty strong teams. The Huskies program is in shambles and there will not be a quick fix. People have revelled in the fact that Penn State has fallen off the college football map in recent years but Washington is much worse shape than my Nittany Lions.

South Carolina played Georgia much tighter than most expected. A lot of experts say that South Carolina is a 6-5 team at best but I think this team could win 8 games if they show the same effort every week that they brought to Athens with them. I'm sure the Bulldogs didn't expect to escape with a 17-15 win.

LSU had a nice come from behind win against Arizona State. Granted, it was the first game after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the team was playing with heavy hearts but the Tigers don't look like a national championship contender at this point. I picked them to reach Pasadena but they are going to need marked improvement to win the SEC, let alone a national championship.

Vanderbilt defeated Arkansas 28-24. Vandy isn't supposed to be capable of beating anyone other than Kentucky or Mississippi State so this is a devastating loss for the Razorbacks to say the least. If Houston Nutt doesn't get this team to a bowl game, he may be out of a job at the end of the season.

Wannstedt Fails on the Big Stage

Dave Wannstedt was hired to replace Walt Harris in January 2005. Harris had taken over a Pitt program that was in shambles in the early to mid 1990's and not much hope for the future. In just a couple of seasons, Harris was able to bring the Panthers back to respectability. While Harris did not do a good job of recruiting in Western Pennsylvania, he did bring in a number of solid recruits and built them into pros. Two of the finest examples are San Francisco 49ers running back Kevan Barlow and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. While Harris left to take the head coaching job at Stanford, Wannstedt, an ex-Pitt lineman and assistant coach, was hired to replace him. Wannstedt began searching for a job in November after he was fired by the Miami Dolphins. "Wannstache" was suddenly anointed as the savior of Pitt football and he would make the program relevant for the first time since 1981, when #1 Pitt lost at home 48-14 to Penn State.

Now we are one game into the "Wannstache" Era at Pitt and the results couldn't be any better from my perspective (a Penn State fan and Pitt hater) or any worse from a Pitt perspective. The Panthers looked atrocious against a Notre Dame team that had clearly less talent than Pitt and Charlie Weis clearly outcoached Wannstedt. The Panthers play was sloppy and it seemed as though a player was running to the sidelines every other play because of cramps. Meanwhile Weis was able to put together a tremendous gameplan and attacked Pitt's secondary relentlessly. Standout Pitt linebacker H.B. Blades was a non-factor as Darius Walker ran all over the hapless Pitt defense. Both of Pitt's lines were completed dominated. For months people were predicting how Pitt was going to smoke the less talented Irish and I just kept on predicting a Notre Dame victory. Charlie Weis is a smart coach. He turned Tom Brady into a Pro Bowl QB and ran the offense for three Super Bowl winning teams. I never had any idea that the Irish were capable of absolutely demolishing the Pitt Panthers as they did on September 3rd.

I began writing this piece during the middle of last week and it was solely based on the Panthers losing to Notre Dame. Then on Friday night the absolutely unthinkable happened- Pitt lost to Ohio U 16-10 in overtime. Ohio U.? A team that most picked to finish near the bottom of the country upset the team considered to be second best in the Big East this season. The Panthers offense looked absolutely abysmal against the Bobcats. The running game never got going and the Bobcats were able to shutdown one of the best wide receivers in the country, Greg Lee. Pitt didn't score an offensive touchdown and both of Tyler Palko's interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Dave Wannstedt looked ready to jump off a bridge at the end of the game. Wannstedt's Pitt team looks headed for the seem downfall that the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins experienced with him at the helm. Wannstedt is a very good recruiter because of his and offensive coordinator Matt Caavanaugh's NFL experience but both are NFL failures and have so far led Pitt into regression. Pitt made the mistake of taking a chance to market the team to the local area rather than the long term health of the program. Wannstedt is a Pittsburgh guy and will pull in the blue collar, hardworking players from Western Pennsylvania but the Panthers aren't going to win unless Wanny is able learn from the past and figure out how the coach a game, not just teach the techniques. I predict that Wannstedt is out of Pittsburgh in five years or less and he will have left the program in the same devastated state that Walt Harris inherited it from Paul Hackett.

Somewhere in Palo Alto, Walt Harris has a big grin on his face. It probably doesn't hurt that Stanford won their first game under Harris against Navy, a team that won ten games last season.

Week Two: Penn State 42, Cincinnati 24

Despite the fact that Penn State gave up more than 21 points in a game since the season ending loss to Michigan State in 2001, the win the over Cincinnati was very satisfying. The offense seemed to struggle for much for the first quarter but began to pick it up in the second quarter and really took off in the second half. Quarterback Michael Robinson looked much better against the Bearcats than he did against South Florida. Robinson completed 11 of 17 passses for 220 yard, 3 passing touchdowns, a rushing TD and an interception. Robinson still needs to cut down on costly turnovers as he also fumbled the football in Bearcat territory. The young wideout corps also looked very good as Derrick Williams caught 4 passes for 60 yards, Deon Butler had two grabs for 73 yards and a touchdown and Justin King had a long 59 yard TD reception. The Nittany Lions surprised many by not attempting to establish the running game against Cincinnati. Tony Hunt had just 11 carries for 44 yards after setting a career high in rushing yards against South Florida. However, the offensive line looked much better today, giving Robinson time to throw the ball, move around in the pocket and make plays with his legs rather than just running for his life as the pocket collapses around him. I was very impressed with the play of A.Q. Shiply, a converted DT. He seems to be the only player on the O-Line with a mean streak. Hopefully Paterno will continue to play him. Anthony Morelli looked very sharp off the bench. He completed 4 of 5 for 25 yards. I'm sure I wasn't the only Penn State fan salivating at the thought of Morelli throwing to these young wide receiers in 2006 and 2007. I would go as far as to say that he may be Penn State's best QB since Kerry Collins. The kicking game was once again solid as Kevin Kelly nailed all of his PAT attempts and placed several kick offs in the end zone for touchbacks. Hopefully everything will come together for an entire game next week against Central Michigan.

Despite giving up 11 more points than they did against South Florida, the defense played a much more sound game against Cincinnati. The defensive line and linebackers seemed to always be in the backfield blowing up another Cincinnati running play. The only concern was that Bearcat QB Dustin Grutza threw for 286 yards. However, many of those came on a couple of long pass plays near the end of the game against the second and third stringers and then a 1st string that didn't care with PSU up 42-16 at that point. Anwar Phillips was beaten a couple of times. Paul Posluszny was his typically dominating self. It is scary to think how good this linebacking corps will be when Dan Connor returns, now supposedly Northwestern. Look for the defense to turn in another solid performance next week against Central Michigan. Hopefully the offense can run up the score early on and get some younger plays on both sides of the ball some experience.

The Nittany Blog Top 25 (9/11/05)

1. Southern Cal
2. Texas
3. Virginia Tech
4. Louisiana State
5. Florida
6. Tennessee
7. Georgia
8. Georgia Tech
9. Purdue
10. Notre Dame
11. Cal
12. Florida State
13. Ohio State
14. Louisville
15. Michigan
16. Clemson
17. Arizona State
18. Texas Tech
19. Fresno State
20. Iowa
21. Boston College
22. Alabama
23. Iowa State
24. Miami (Florida)
25. Penn State

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Week Two Top 25 Predictions

Michigan over Notre Dame L
Clemson over Maryland W
Virginia Tech over Duke W
Oklahoma over Tulsa W
Boston College over Army W
Purdue over Akron W
Cal over Washington W
Iowa over Iowa State L
Georgia Tech over North Carolina W
Georgia over South Carolina W
Florida over Louisiana Tech W
Florida State over The Citadel W
Texas Tech over Florida International W
Ohio State over Texas L
LSU over Arizona State W
TCU over SMU L
Fresno State over Weber State W

Week- 13-4
Season- 28-7
Upset Special- 1-1

Monday, September 05, 2005

Week One Thoughts

As a Penn State fan, I was happy to win the game against South Florida but the offense could have definitely played better. Joe Paterno said that South Florida was giving them the ability to throw short hitches but said he opted to attempt to improve the offense. Unfortunately after the past five years, I have to see it to believe it. Hopefully the full return of guys such as Tyler Reed and E.Z. Smith with improve the offensive line and Dan Connor will return at linebacker. Joe has yet tell us when Connor will return.

Now for the rest of the country...

Virginia Tech squeaked by N.C. State and avenged their only conference loss from last season. Much like my Nittany Lions, I would imagine that they feel they could have played a better game overall.

Clemson pulled off a big upset of Texas A&M, a team many had as the darkhorse in the Big 12 this season. The Aggies hopes aren't dead but this a serious blow for them. Meanwhile the Tigers have a chance to be among the teams vying for the ACC Atlantic crown. The only team with little chance to win that division at this point is Wake Forest.

Big East:
The Big East as a whole looked miserable this week. Connecticut defeated Buffalo, Cincinnati barely escaped Eastern Michigan at home, Rutgers blew a 20 point lead and lost at Illinois, South Florida lost at Penn State, Louisville barely escaped Kentucky, West Virginia won an ugly game at Syracuse and Notre Dame decimated a far superior Pitt team. Somebody needs to step up and show something because even the league's best team, Louisville, struggled against one of the worst teams in the SEC.

Big Ten:
Overall, it was a very good weekend for the Big Ten. Every team to play this weekend (all except Purdue) won their game.

Iowa looked sharp in destroying a depleted Ball State squad.

Ohio State looked good against one of the MAC's best teams, Miami of Ohio. They were able to get the run game going with Antonio Pittman. Jim Tressel has been trying to get rejuvanate the tremendous running game the Buckeyes rode to the national championship in 2002.

Wisconsin won a shootout against Bowling Green 56-42. The Wisconsin offense looked strong againsy a week Falcon defense but the Badgers' defense looked almost equally bad. After losing so many starters, it is unlikely that Wisconsin will be able to give up a ton of points to Big Ten teams and still manage to win the game with their offense.

Big 12:
Perhaps the biggest surprise of week one was Oklahoma's surprising loss to TCU in Norman. The Sooners offense looked pitiful with Paul Thompson and Rhett Bomar both struggling. Not to mention that Adrian Peterson got hurt. The Sooners need to figure some things out on offense if they expect to keep their winning streak against Texas alive.

Speaking of Texas, they looked sharp against Louisiana-Lafayette in a 60-3 victory.

Nebraska struggled against 1-AA Maine, a team that beat Mississippi State last season. Bill Callahan still has some work to do in transforming Nebraska from an option offense to the West Coast offense.

Southern Cal looked very good against Hawaii, surprise surprise.

Washington was beaten in the final seconds by Air Force. Ty Willingham certainly has a way to go to bring the once mighty Husky program back to respectability.

Georgia looked very good against Boise State. Mnay thought that Boise State would be able to stay closer to the Dawgs but Georgia was in control from beginning to end.

The Steve Spurrier era got off to a nice start against Central Florida on Thursday night. QB Blake Mitchell looks like he will be able to thrive in Spurrier's "Cock n' Fire" offense. The Gamecocks also possess two gamebreaking wideouts in Travis Lee and Syvelle Newton.

Tennesse struggled against UAB, as many other good teams did in their opener. It will be interesting to see if they get things straightened out in their bye week before the Florida game on 9/17.

Boise State showed how far behind the bigger programs they still are after a blowout loss against Georgia. It isn't surprising that they lost but more the fact that they could only manage one touchdown. With Fresno State looking to overtake the conference, the Broncos are going to need to get the offense and defense back on track.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Week One: Penn State 23, South Florida 13

A win is a win but this was an absolutely ugly win for Penn State. This certainly wasn't the performance we were all hoping for in the first game of what Lion fans are hoping to be a promising season. The new look offense rarely showed up, any spread formations were few and far between. Last year's popular play call, the QB draw/keeper, seemed to be the most commonly run play against the Bulls. And much like last year it was ineffective almost every time it was run. QB Michael Robinson struggled to complete passes and continually locked in on one wide receiver and forced a pass. The offensive line was once again abysmal. Tony Hunt had some very nice runs including a 70 yard scamper that would set up Penn State's final touchdown. Hunt ran the ball better towards the end of the game, hopefully indicative of improvement on the offensive line. Derrick Williams and Justin King were as good as advertised. King had a long run on one of the first plays of the game and saw signficant time on both offense and defense. Williams also contributed on offense, making some spectacular catches, and in the return game. Overall it was a disappointing performance that the Lions will need to improve on if this team has any aspirations to beat good teams and make it to a New Year's Day bowl game. I'm looking for major improvement next week against Cincinnati. Also, sophomore QB Anthony Morelli didn't see any playing time against USF.

Despite giving up 13 points to a rather poor South Florida offense, the defense didn't play a bad game. Much like the majority of last season, the defense was on the field for a ridiculous amount of time. It was obvious the defense was wearing down towards the end of the game and with the losses of Ed Johnson and Lavon Chisley, the depth along the defensive line is no where near as good as it was last season. Tim Shaw played well at outside linebacker and Tyrell Sales seemed to handle the middle well. Once Dan Connor returns from his suspension, the staff should consider leaving Shaw at OLB and working him into a rotation with Paul Posluszny (who had a strong game against USF) and Connor. The secondary had trouble adjusting to USF's fade routes, getting beat twice for the two touchdowns, but one was on the freshman King. The defense won't miss a beat with Chris Harrell back at safety, replacing the departed Andrew Guman. Paul Cronin is a terrible nickelback and shouldn't see anymore time there. A decent first performance by the defense. If the offense can keep them off the field for a reasonable amount of time, this unit will easily be one of the nation's best.

The special teams were much improved. The only negative I take away from the game is that Calvin Lowery is still returning punts. With all of the speedy freshmen, there is no reason for a slow footed safety to be a return man. Lowery's fair catch at the 5 yard line cost Penn State valuable field position. True freshman kicker Kevin Kelly was impressive. He had several kick offs go for touchbacks and he hit his only field goal attempt. The only negative is that he had his final extra point attempt blocked. Jeremy Kapinos had some excellent punts. The team has work to do in the return game but the kicking game should remain solid. Kelly is Penn State's first freshman kicker since Craig Fayak in 1990.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Week One: South Florida vs Penn State Preview

As a diehard Penn State fan, this game has been a long time coming. After the team stumbled to a 2-7 start last season, the team was energized with a goal line stand victory against Indiana. The next week was a break out affair against a Michigan State team that had defeated previously undefeated Wisconsin the prior week. It has been almost nine months since Penn State last took the field in a meaningful game, the 37-13 beat down of the Spartans. Now the South Florida Bulls, only in their ninth year of football, come to Happy Valley for the first time and as a full member of the Big East conference.

The Nittany Lions look poised to record their third win a row this weekend as South Florida rolls into State College. Despite the losses of star linebacker Dan Connor to his indefinite suspension for making prank phone calls, along with Jim Kanuch and Nolan McCready, to long time Penn State assistant coach Joe Sarra, Lavon Chisley to academics and Mark Rubin, lost for the season, due to injury, the Lions look to begin their assent back to the top of the college football world. The defense remains stacked despite the crucial losses of Connor and Chisely. The only other question mark on defense heading into Saturday is how much time DT Scott Paxson will see against USF. Paxson was part of "Arrowgate" and was held out of spring practice to straighten out his academic situation. Steve Roach is expected to start in his place. The offense will have a bit of a new look this year with Penn State to likely work out of the spread formation. The team has plenty of speed at wideout with Derrick Williams, Justin King, Deon Butler and Lydell Sargeant. Ethan Kilmer, a potential sleeper, will fill in for Rubin as the possession receiver. Rodney Kinlaw will miss the USF and Cincinnati after suffering a knee injury during practice. Tony Hunt and Austin Scott will get the majority of the carries at tailback. Robert Price and Lance Antolick will fill in for Tyler Reed and E.Z. Smith who have botth been demoted following the "Arrowgate" incident. Considering that both were two of the biggest underachievers on last season's abysmal offensive line, neither should be a tragic loss. Expect to also see Greg Harrison and Gerald Cadogan getting some time on the line. The kicking game remains unsettled as of Friday afternoon. Matt Walderon will handle the extra points and short field goals while Kevin Kelly will take care of kick offs and long field goals. Derrick Williams and Justin King should both be involved in the return game tomorrow against USF.

The Bulls are coming off a poor season in Conference USA and things aren't likely to get much better in 2005. The star on offensive is tailback Andre Hall, perhaps the best player in the country that no one has heard of. The QB position is unsettled with Pat Julmiste expected to make the start and Courtney Denson and Carlton Hill expected to see playing time. South Florida is a push over on defense and the Lions offense should have no problem getting the wheels moving on offense.

South Florida looks like a program headed in the right direction and Florida is one of the nation's most fertile recruiting areas. Jim Leavitt can build a decent Big East program at USF and I look for them to be a bowl regular within the next five years. However, they are a ways away and the Nittany Lions shouldn't have any trouble winning this one. If they do, or God forbid lose, it might be another long season in Happy Valley.

Penn State 48, South Florida 10

Week One Top 25 Predictions

Bold indicates my Upset Special of the Week

Ohio State over Miami of Ohio- W
Oklahoma over TCU- L
Iowa over Ball State- W
Tennessee over UAB- W
Boston College over BYU- W
Michigan over Northern Illinois- W
Cal over Sacremento State- W
Georgia over Boise State- W
Florida over Wyoming- W
Virginia over Western Michigan- W
Texas over Louisiana-Lafayette- W
USC over Hawaii- W
Notre Dame over Pitt- W
Georgia Tech over Auburn- W
Louisville over Kentucky- W
Virginia Tech over N.C. State- W
Texas A&M over Clemson- L
Miami over Florida State- L

Week- 15-3
Season- 15-3
Upset Special- 1-0